Why BT spent $105 million on Ribbit

JP Rangaswami, managing director of service design at BT (British Telecommunications plc), has a vision for the future of the telephony industry.

"The telcos have lost control of the device. When you start building genuinely agnostic services, when you don't know the target device, it requires a different form creativity," he said. It's a move from closed networks to more open software platforms, and part of BT's transformation from a telco to a platform-based, software-driven services company. "Everything we do at BT is embeddable as workflow for customers. Voice is a feature embedded in … Read more

Mobile platform tug-of-war

If you weren't aware, a war--more like a tug-of-war--is happening in the mobile space. The iPhone is quickly rising as the development platform to beat, despite its paltry share of market versus Nokia (Symbian), Java BREW, Blackberry and Microsoft Mobile. In addition, Google's fledgling open-source Android platform is also a challenger to the incumbents.

At a Mobile Web Wars Roundtable held by TechCrunch more than 20 mobile wonks discussed that state of mobile platforms (see the list of participants below). The purpose of the roundtable was to determine which mobile platform is best for developers. The iPhone has … Read more

EIC Squared: Wireless mergers, Apple alert, and the battle for Yahoo's soul

On this week's EIC Squared podcast, ZDNet's Larry Dignan and I discuss the latest moves in carving up the wireless world as Verizon Wireless announced plans to acquire Alltel for $28.1 billion. It won't be long before the U.S. wireless industry shakes out into AT&T, Verizon, and a Sprint/T-Mobile merger. We also discuss the latest news in the travails of Yahoo as it tries to keep Carl Icahn from taking over the board.

Plus, we speculate about the Steve Jobs' keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.

iPhone users: Think young and rich, not different

Rubicon Consulting's survey of 460 iPhone users in the U.S. surfaced the obvious. iPhone users are are young (half under 30), tech savvy and, besides telephony, primarily use the device for e-mail, texting, and Web browsing.

In addition, about one-third of the survey's respondents said they carry a second phone, presumably for some business purpose or a second phone number. Ten percent of those surveyed have a RIM BlackBerry alongside their iPhone. iPhone users also are about 40 percent above the U.S. median in household income.

The iPhone, starting at $399, naturally appeals to an elite, … Read more

Revisiting Apple's iPhone strategy

In the post I wrote about Rich Miner of Google saying that the Android mobile software stack will gain more users than the iPhone, several people commented. The general consensus is that Apple is the BMW of the personal computer industry and is the standard for innovation that its competitors, with far more market share, follow. Android is a non-factor.

The challenge for Apple is to keep coming up with proprietary products that fuel its business model, which is based on innovation and R&D around both hardware and software. Since Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the company has … Read more

Podcast: Apple iPhone, Microsoft's syncromesh, and Facebook's new hire

My former teammate and now editor in chief of ZDNet, Larry Dignan, and I continue our weekly podcast (formerly called "Between the Lines") covering the top headlines of the week. This week on "EIC Squared," we two square editor in chiefs discuss the iPhone's quest to seduce business users, some of the highlights from Microsoft's Mix '08 conference, and Facebook's new chief operating officer.

Chapter II: iPhone turns into an applications platform

When Steve Jobs sneezes, everyone pays attention. On Thursday, he blew out the doors on the iPhone with an array of alliances and applications that make the device less of a phone and more of a powerful computer in the palm of your hand. You can see where the so-called smartphone is heading, and Apple is leading the way in terms of usability. The choice of networks--no 3G as yet--isn't an ideal choice, however.

With more processing power and memory, plus shrinking components and smarter software, you will end up with a supercomputer in your hand. And if Steve … Read more

Keynote Reaction

By now you're surely read the big news -- Time Capsule backup device, a strong iPhone update, movie rentals with an accompanying Apple TV update and the ultra light MacBook Air -- so the Macalope won't rehash it.

It's a solid follow-up to last year's Keynote which was a tough act to follow. You can't get a new iPhone every year, but the MacBook Air comes pretty darned close.

One thing the horny one will call out is that Fox's Jim Gianopolus is one entertainment industry executive who seems to "get it" (… Read more

A better analogy

The Macalope has very little to add to this Daring Fireball post on David Maynor's crappy prestige for the MacBook wireless trick (part of the prestige is timing, David) other than to note that Mr. Gruber's "frog that can recite the alphabet" analogy misses the mark. Because the horny one can tell you categorically there's no such frog (he's been to all of the mythical creature meetings and he's never seen one) and -- despite the blatherings of numerous silly pundits -- no one outside of Slashdot commenters was claiming that OS XRead more


Hey, David Maynor's work won an award!

Most overhyped bug: The controversial MacBook Wi-Fi vulnerabilities released by David Maynor at last year?s Black Hat took this dubious award. ?In the end, the only public information about Maynor?s Wi-Fi vulnerabilities are hype, denial, a media frenzy, and a patch that may or may not have been based on Maynor?s findings,? the judges said.

Richly deserved, David. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Cough - you should know how to do that - cough.