Be on the wave or under it
The News – 03/27/02
you can get lost in the Web when you’re seeking specific information.
And sometimes getting lost is actually productive, turning up
information you’re much more interested in.
to me the other day, while doing research for the next CTOMentor
white paper, on wireless. The paper will be based on one
I did for a client in October 2000, and I’m starting to go through
it and update the information. What follows is a description
of the path I took to answer a simple question: What happened
to Ericsson’s cell phone manufacturing business? Along the way
I tripped over a few very interesting infonuggets I might not
have found had I been looking for them.
It all started
when my intern, Jeremy, sent me a link to a ZDNet story
on Palm’s integration of Bluetooth capabilities into an add-on
card for its PDAs. The story mentions a company called Sony
Ericsson. I couldn’t remember what the deal was with this company,
although I knew Ericsson had pretty much gotten out of the business
of making their own phones. This is a testament to the competitive
nature of the cell phone business – Ericsson was the number
one cell phone manufacturer not all that long ago, until Nokia
ate their lunch.
So to figure
out if Sony bought all of Ericsson’s manufacturing business,
I go to www.ericsson.com
and scan the press releases. Sure enough, there’s a mention of Sony Ericsson
and Ericsson banding together on a project: Ericsson’s Instant
Messaging and Presence Server (IMPS). Cool. I vaguely remember
reading something about this, and Instant Messaging is something
I wrote quite a lot about in the CTOMentor P2P
The IMPS is built upon the Wireless Village version 1.0 specification
and the companies claim it “will provide network operators with
an advanced personal communication tool for users that can deploy
to 2G, 2.5G and 3G networks worldwide. The new instant messaging
solution, which also works with legacy handsets, is to be announced
by Ericsson in the upcoming months.”
I’ve never heard of Wireless Village,
but the press release describes it: “Founded by Ericsson, Motorola,
and Nokia, Wireless Village, the Mobile Instant Messaging and Presence Services (IMPS)
Initiative, was formed in April 2001 to define and promote a
set of universal specifications for mobile instant messaging
and presence services.”
This sounds like an important initiative,
so I check out the Wireless Village Web site.Turns out they just recently launched
their 1.0 specification.
Also on the site is a white paper, which quotes ResearchPortal.com:
“Research Portal.com reports instant messaging is the Number
Two requested application after voice. With the monumental growth
patterns of SMS, where 10 billion messages are sent every month
globally according to the GSM Association, and the adoption
rate of desktop instant messaging (IM), with over 100 million
registered users and over 50 million regular users as reported
by Jupiter Media Metrix, we foresee that wireless IMPS will
capitalize on both these trends.”
the same ResearchPortal survey I quote in my earlier white paper:
"Surprisingly, instant messaging (which we imagine includes
paging functions) was the most desired feature by mobile professionals.
Equally surprising was the fact that consumers rated both messaging
and email more highly than did the professionals. Understandably,
professionals ranked the ability to manage Personal Information
Manager (PIM) data higher than did consumers." The study
thus has to be about two years old, then. There’s no stat like
an old stat.
the Ericsson/Sony Ericsson/Wireless Village initiative combined
with the fact that VoiceStream is offering
access to AOL Instant Messenger on its phones means I'd better
talk a lot more about wireless IM in the next white paper.
back to the original questions (What happened to Ericsson’s
manufacturing and who is Sony Ericsson?) I dump “Sony Ericsson”
into Google, and come up with their Web
site. In the “About us” section, it says: "Sony Ericsson
Mobile Communications was established in 2001 by telecommunications
leader Ericsson and consumer electronics powerhouse Sony Corporation.
The company is equally owned by Ericsson and Sony, whose combined
mobile phone businesses on a pro-forma basis achieved annual
unit sales of approximately 50 million units and sales of USD
7.2 billion in 2000."
"Sony Ericsson" into ZDNet's search yields an interesting
Old Atari games will run on cell phones. In case you have never
heard of Atari, they were
the king of video games in the '70s, originating the classics
Asteroids and the world’s first video game, Pong, both of
which will be available to play on Sony Ericsson cell phones.
want to know if Sony got all of Ericsson's manufacturing business,
so I plug "cell phone manufacturer" into ZDNet's search.
And finally, I get the payoff:
Ericsson is licensing its technology to other cell phone makers,
including LG Electronics and Samsung, and “Ericsson Mobile Platforms,
based in Sweden, will stay within the Ericsson group when the
company merges its handset operations with the mobile-phone
unit of Japan's consumer-electronics group Sony on Oct. 1 .”
I could have answered my question by finding Sony Ericsson’s
site in the first place, but where’s the fun in that? Besides,
I found several other interesting pieces of information along
the way, including the fact that folks are still relying on
a survey of cell phone users that must be at least two years
important points for those doing research on the Web: serendipity,
within reason, can provide surprisingly pertinent results; and
don’t believe stats asserted without citations – things have
a way of taking on a life of their own on the Web.
Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.
our survey on corporate policies on home use of network
StratVantage has launched a new service, CTOMentor™, designed
to allow Chief Technology Officers and other technical
leaders to get rid of the Guilt Stack, that pile of magazines
you’ll get around to reading someday.
CTOMentor is a subscription advisory service tailored
to customers’ industry and personal information needs.
Four times a year CTOMentor provides a four-hour briefing
for subscribers and their staffs on the most important
emerging technology trends that could affect their businesses.
As part of the service, subscribers also get a weekly
email newsletter, Just the Right Stuff
links to the Top 10 Must Read articles needed to stay
current. These and other CTOMentor services will let you
As part of its launch, CTOMentor is offering a two-part
white paper on peer-to-peer technology: Peer-to-Peer
Computing and Business Networks: More Than Meets the Ear
Part 1, What is P2P?
, is available for free on
the CTOMentor Web
. Part 2, How Are Businesses Using P2P?
- What’s the Deal with Number Searches?
I use Atomz’ free site indexing service to provide search
facilities on both the StratVantage
and the CTOMentor
Web sites. A nice feature of the service is the summary email
they send each week detailing what users were searching for.
I get the usual off-topic search keywords, for the most part
– searches for sex, sluts, Excel password cracks. But this
week’s report has me scratching my head. There were three
searches for “23569 26519 27494 29579” and one for “35910
35910 40857.” I plugged these phases into Google and came
up with nothing, but when I tried them individually, I turned
up some pages from Taiwan.
It seems that various Taiwanese (Chinese?) characters are
represented in HTML by referring to an extended character
set thusly: 少, 林, and so on. When these
characters are used in the title of a page, they aren’t parsed.
For example, a page entitled “¤p¬õ¨§ªº·tÅÊ¦P·ù·|” (or the
Taiwanese equivalent) shows in the title bar as “小
紅 豆 的 暗 戀
同 盟 會.” So my best guess
is that I had some Chinese visitors. Wonder what they were
- Yahoo!/ACNielsen Internet Confidence Index Declines:
My old employer, ACNielsen, has partnered with Yahoo! to create
this quarterly study of confidence in the Internet. ACNielsen
uses CATI Omnibus methodology (I don’t know what that is,
either), utilizing a sample size of 1,000 adults, who may
or may not be currently utilizing the Internet. For the First
Quarter 2002, the Index dropped to 111, four points off the
fourth quarter of 2001. The companies claim the slight decline
was driven primarily by heavy Internet users who are less
confident with online order fulfillment. The Index is still
higher than both the second and third quarter levels in 2001
and indicates that more people intend to shop online during
the second quarter of 2002. The projected $13.8 billion spend
in the second quarter is slightly less than first quarter
projections. More than 40 percent of users manage some aspect
of their personal finances online, while 26 percent intend
to use the Web for tax research this year.
- Spoofed MP3s Pose Danger: Finjan
Software reports that miscreants are embedding URLs in spoofed
multimedia files (such as .MP3 and .WAV). Although the files
may have the proper extension, they don’t have the proper
format, and can be used to “hijack” users to malicious Web
sites when users click on MP3 or WAV files. For example, an
.MP3 file may really be another file type, such as a .AFX
file, which may contain a URL. Worse yet, Internet applications
such as Internet Explorer or Outlook may even open such files
without asking the user what to do. Since the spoofed file
extension is considered “safe,” some multimedia applications
open the files despite the difference between the file type
(for example, AFX) and the spoofed file extension (for example,
WAV). According to Finjan, some pornographic Web sites are
already using this technique.
- Microsoft Readying Converged Phones:
Alert SNS Reader Larry Kuhn notes that even cooler phones
are on the way. Microsoft’s SmartPhone effort will produce
phones that feature Pocket Outlook, Pocket Internet Explorer,
MSN Messenger and Windows Media Player. Microsoft and VoiceStream
plans to bring Microsoft® Windows® Powered Pocket PC 2002
Phone Edition-based devices to customers later this year for
use over VoiceStream's high-speed GSM/GPRS (Global System
for Mobile/General Packet Radio Service) wireless voice and
data network. The announcement seemed to indicate that the
phones would also have built-in 802.11b (WiFi) connectivity,
for use with VoiceStream’s 650 public WiFi locations.
The software giant also recently inked a deal with FedEx,
which will use the Pocket PC operating system for a new mobile
scanner and package-tracking device called the PowerPad. FedEx
selected AT&T Wireless' GPRS data network to support new,
high-bandwidth applications on the device, which will be used
by its 40,000 couriers.
Return to Mike’s
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About The Author
a New Service from StratVantage
Can’t Get Enough of ME?
In the unlikely event
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14, 1928 - July 5, 2003
Jane C. Ellsworth
20, 1928 - July 20, 2003