It’s not easy to get speedy, reliable Internet access in cities like Jakarta so WiFi is a popular option — with even carriers offering access points. Google and partner MOGPlay have set up a range of hotspots which WiFi Passport users can access directly from the app, with no need for repeat passwords/log-in.
The service is free for an initial 10 days, thereafter it costs 20,000 IDR (under-$2) for 20 days and 50,000 IDR (under-$5) for 50 days.
We can see how this would be attractive in emerging markets, but for now the trial appears limited to Jakarta.
Thumbnail image via littleny / Shutterstock
Mobile data optimization startup Onavo has been acquired by Facebook in a deal that beefs up its Internet.org initiative to promote universal Internet access worldwide, and gives the US company its first office in Israel.
Onavo revealed the deal in a blog post which confirms that its apps — which help smartphone owners optimize their use of mobile data services — will remain available as a standalone brand once the deal has been completed. The company says its apps are used by “millions of users” across the world, and that figure is sure to grow under Facebook’s ownership.
The deal will also see Onavo’s Tel-Aviv office transition to become Facebook’s first office in Israel. Given the number of global startups emerging from the country — and Onavo’s existing position in the local scene — that is likely to be an interesting move too; particularly in light of the speculation that Facebook was unable to close out a proposed acquisition of now-Google-owned Waze because it wanted the Israeli firm to relocate to Silicon Valley.
Facebook has confirmed the deal with a statement. The price of the acquisition has not been revealed, but Israeli news site Calcalist estimates it within a bracket of $150 million-$200 million.
It’s not hard to see how Onavo — which launched at The Next Web Europe 2011 – could be beneficial to Internet.org, the industry-backed Facebook initiative that is aiming to bring the benefits of the Internet to the estimated 5 billion people who remain offline today.
Onovo explains that its services can help people — and particularly those in emerging markets, where pre-paid tariffs are common and cost is an issue — to get more from their mobile data deals or smartphone credit. Internet.org is focused on lowering the cost of data, so it figures that getting more from deals is an obvious synergy:
Today, we’re eager to take the next step and make an even bigger impact by supporting Facebook’s mission to connect the world.
We’re excited to join their team, and hope to play a critical role in reaching one of Internet.org’s most significant goals – using data more efficiently, so that more people around the world can connect and share.
Then there is also the analytics side of things. Onavo’s service has developed into a much-cited resource for app usage, and that deep insight will doubtless be useful for Facebook as it continues to develop the mobile side to its product and business model — which lately has included an alpha testing program for Android owners, trials with game developers and more.
You can get a feel for Onavo’s consumer service from this product video and the company’s pitch at TNW 2011:
Headline image Scott Beale / Laughing Squid
Read the original here: Facebook buys mobile data optimization startup Onavo to beef up its Internet.org initiative
Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices & Services division for $7.2 billion is a bet on emerging markets and a continuation of Nokia’s emphasis on “connecting the next billion” users. In order to make that strategy pay off, Microsoft has to figure out how to thrive where Nokia floundered. Feature phones were a key part of Nokia’s strategy, especially in emerging markets like India, where it recently announced 2 billion downloads from the Nokia Apps store. As worldwide sales of smartphones start to overtake feature phones, however, it might be a smarter bet for Microsoft to concentrate on creating low-cost smartphones if it wants those next billion users to chose Windows Phone instead of Android.
One potential strategy is selling off Nokia’s feature phone business. According to the PowerPoint presentation Microsoft made to explain its rationale for the acquisition, the company said the deal could create cost synergies of $600 million within 18 months after its close. But as Juha-Pekka Helminen, former Director of Strategy at Nokia, noted on Twitter, consolidating marketing and sales and supply chains would not add up to $600 million. One way Microsoft can achieve those savings is by offloading Nokia’s feature phone business, which is in decline but still making money. This would also allow Microsoft to focus more resources on tripling its current smartphone market share from 4% to 15% within five years, a goal it laid out in its PowerPoint.
In Nokia’s press conference earlier today, CEO Stephen Elop said that the acquisition will allow Nokia’s device division to accelerate its growth. In return, Microsoft can extend its service offerings to a far wider group of people around the world, using Nokia’s devices as an “on-ramp” to Windows Phone. Feature phones are still important in emerging markets because they are the first (and, in some cases, only) point of entry to the Internet for many users. But the landscape is changing–last month, Gartner reported that in Q2 2013 smartphone sales exceeded feature phone sales for the first time.
This was driven mainly by inexpensive Android-powered devices, which is troublesome news for Nokia. Nokia shipped just 61 million feature phones in Q2 2013, down from 83 million in the year ago quarter. But despite overwhelming competition from Android, sales of Nokia’s smartphones still managed to grow in that same timeframe, thanks to its broad portfolio of devices at different price points. Nokia’s Windows Phone-powered Lumia sales increased 112.7% in Q2 2013, according to Gartner.
As part of the deal announced today, Microsoft acquired Nokia’s Asha brand outright. If Microsoft decides to hold onto Nokia’s feature phone business, it has to convince current feature phone users to stay within the Windows Phone ecosystem when they upgrade to smartphones instead of turning to Android. Not only that, but Microsoft must also now compete with its Windows Phone licensees, including Samsung and HTC–another reason why it might want to sell off Asha and Nokia’s other feature phone lines while they are still profitable in favor of focusing on inexpensive smartphones.
All major U.S. tech companies that sell both software and hardware–including Apple–have eventually turned to emerging markets for growth when their business in domestic and mature markets began to slow, so it’s unsurprising that Microsoft sees its acquisition of Nokia as a way to gain a bigger foothold around the world.
After the failure of Windows RT, Microsoft is banking its business on Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Acquiring Nokia’s D&S division gives Microsoft a chance to execute its strategy for both operating systems in a more vertically-integrated way similar to Apple’s business model for iOS devices. Microsoft currently makes a royalty gross margin of less than $10 per Windows Phone-based Nokia handset sold. After the acquisition, the company says that figure will increase to more than $40 per unit, which in turn will enable it to invest more in the Windows Phone ecosystem.
Selling off Nokia’s feature phone business would enable Microsoft to pour more resources into developing smartphones similar to the Lumia 625, its first affordable 4G handset. Lower-price points are attractive to people living in countries where smartphone adoption is still in its early stages, while 4G accessibility is a selling point for developed markets. By releasing more devices like the Lumia 625, Microsoft can apply a two-pronged strategy to expanding Windows Phone’s market share in a bid to challenge Android’s dominance.
August 7, 1994, NYSE:NOK
NOKIA is a Finnish multinational communications corporation. It is primarily engaged in the manufacturing of mobile devices and in converging Internet and communications industries. They make a wide range of mobile devices with services and software that enable people to experience music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games, business mobility and more. Nokia is the owner of Symbian operation system and partially owns MeeGo operating system.
April 4, 1974
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and…
Here is the original post: For Microsoft, Nokia Represents A Crossroads In Its Emerging Markets Strategy