Carnival of the Mobilists (No 243): music, psychology, consumer behavior, apps, ads, movies, handset share and more

Welcome to Carnival of the Mobilists (COM), your round up of the best mobile and wireless blogs and one completely average one. Last week the itinerant COM was hosted by Antoine RJ Wright, next week COm drops in at MJelly. If you want your blog to be considered, submit it to

This, the 243rd Carnival, opens with Average Jane. Jane is a debutant columnist at MOpocket, and she is a normal person, i.e. someone who is not obsessed by technology, which makes her perspective on all things mobile all the more valuable. In her first installment, her average phone (a pink Samsung flip phone) broke, so she goes shopping for a new one and despite the vast choice is unable to find a handset that actually meets her average needs.

Music, psychology and consumer behavior

Consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on their phone for music. But what happens when things go wrong and the music player won’t play the music that is stored locally on the handset? Well, if you are Antoine RJ Wright, you start using an Internet-based music service – in this case, Last.FM – and appreciating the result start to question whether we really need to buy, download and store music locally at all. And that’s just the start. Read more in: A tipping point.

But is too much mobile music a bad thing? In the latest of his fascinating psychology of technology series, Dr. Jim Taylor has noted the increasing number of people wearing headphones around him. He asks: “Why the need to be constantly tuned in (to whatever people are listening to) and tuned out (of the world around them)? I can think of a variety of reasons why people might want to tune out the world around them. Unfortunately, few of them are particularly healthy.”

Sticking with psychology, Raj Singh has been studying if mobile devices can influence changes in behavior. Specifically the team considers: can a phone be used to improve one’s health – the results are interesting.

When it comes to behavior of mobile consumers, the assumption has always been that no one knows more about what they do and who they connect with than their mobile network operator. But with people increasingly using social networks via PC and mobile, is the balance of power shifting? Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis shares his opinion in Mobile operators have lost their chance at owning the social graph.

The key to the mobile relationship between brand and consumer is trust and leaving the customer in control, according to this MSearchGroove interview and podcast with Mobile Marketing Association’s Michael Becker, ahead of the MMA conference this week.

Mobile apps: for movies, for associations and in-app advertising

Volker Hirsch asks have licensed movie apps failed on the iPhone. Hirsch’s well-argued and logical case for how movie apps ought to be done in the future is a useful blueprint for mobile engagement in many businesses.

Meanwhile, Carnival newcomer and expert blogger on both associations and social media, Lindy Dreyer at SocialFish, courageously takes on the question of whether mobile apps are a waste of time for associations. Don’t miss the on-going debate in the readers’ comments.

How to deliver ROI from mobile apps is a perennial debate. James Coops at Mobyaffiliates believes that a new US-based mobile ad network called Burstly is good news for buyers and sellers of in-app advertising. Among a range of useful tools, Burstly allows app publishers to sell advertising for their apps directly, bypassing ad networks such as AdMob.

Mobile handset share, device fragmentation, mobile commerce, tablet computers and more

David Eads of Mobile Strategy Partners battles to marry two future trends: a) mobile commerce is here to stay and b) mobile platform fragmentation will remain a serious challenge. It’s hard to disagree with this argument: “Organizations must support the mobile devices their customers have. As customers flock to the next great innovation, companies must reach their customers on the device they have right now — and in the way that works best for them.” Read more in Mobile commerce future fragmented.

Gartner’s latest mobile sales stats have caught the eye of several mobilists. The results are put into perspective by this very useful graphic illustration by Tom Godber at Masabi. It illustrates a sobering point – one that also was spelled out in the recent weekly installment of the the Fonecast industry podcast – that LG sold (No3) twice as many phones as Apple (No4); LG sold almost three times as many phones as Samsung; and Nokia sold more phones than Samsung, LG and Apple put together. But, as Godber’s graph cleverly points out, Nokia is losing market share fastest, while ‘the others’ (i.e. too-small-to-name manufacturers) category is increasing fastest… so (as Eads points out in the previous post) that means more device fragmentation.

Smartphones are about 19 percent of handsets sold and these tend to be categorized by operating system. The pecking order for smartphone OS by sales, according to Gartner, is Symbian (mostly in Nokia handsets) by a considerable margin; Android (many manufacturers), growing vey fast; iOS (Apple), RiM (BlackBerry) and Microsoft (various vendors).
• For Symbian, see Tam Hanna on: Why the Nokia/Symbian-deal makes sense.
• For Android, see Ajit Jaokar on: With the warp speeds of android, can Klingons win or do we need faster features?
• For Windows, Open Strategies’ Nan Hickman asks: Windows Phone 7: Can it Rise?

Expect 60 new tablet computers in 2011, with 30 models launched at CES in January, according to Randy Giusto at NewDigitalCafé. So what’s all the fuss about? Find out a lot more in Debating the future of touch at Harvard’s Cyberposium.

Finally, we have an in-depth look at how mobile networks handle the increasing level of voice-over-IP traffic, as Radvision’s Tsahi Levent-Levi compares circuit switching and packet switching in three installments. circuit switching and packet switching.

Blog of the week

Among these excellent and educational blogs, mobiThinking struggled to find a favorite, but after much deliberation, we have two blogs of the week, and both are newcomers to the Carnival. The first was Average Jane at MOpocket, because, damn it, I wish we’d thought of getting a normal person to write for mobiThinking. The second is Lindy Dreyer at SocialFish, because – no offence to the regular contributors that make the Carnival so excellent – it’s always refreshing to read what experts in other fields think about mobile, especially when it provokes a lively debate.

If you want your blog to be considered by the next week’s host of Carnival of the Mobilists, MJelly, submit it to

Comment below or email editor (at)

Don’t miss:
• What is Mobile 2.0? Two expert opinions
• Guide to mobile agencies
• Guide to mobile industry awards
• Guide to mobile ad networks
• Compendium of global mobile stats
• The insiders’ guides to world’s greatest markets
• Conferences & awards for mobile marketers, with offers
• The big page of essential links

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