AT&T My MEdia Net 'PC-based browser service'

Yesterday AT&T announced My MEdia Net, a new ‘PC-based browser service’ for using the web to provision mobile content.  Despite their press release, it does work on Mac browsers too.

I tried it out, the web interface is slick and easy to customize.  Unfortunately it gave me a ‘MEdia Net is experiencing technical difficulties’ when I tried to view my customized page on my device.

Interestingly, the web site is a product of AT&T Knowledge Ventures, while the mobile site was built by Infospace (at least, that’s the domain of the mobile web link).

Making millions in downloadable apps

Telephia just published a report on the market for mobile downloadable applications, which is the first time in a while they’ve given numbers on this space.  Since Telephia’s metrics are taken from the source (cell phone bill scanning), they can generally be trusted.

‘Of the $118 million in revenue that downloadable mobile applications such as LBS, weather applications, chat/community, and personal organization tools generated during Q2 2007, LBS represented 51 percent.’

Now $118 million in a quarter is a big number for downloadable apps.  The LBS percentage has grown substantially from a couple years ago, but that makes sense because of the high price point for navigation apps and the promotion of GPS capabilities by the carriers.

Significantly, two navigation companies, NIM and Telenav, are generating 42% of this revenue.  After LBS, the long tail of categories begins …  including apps such as music (Pandora), address book backup (MightyBackup), weather (Accuweather), yellow pages (Superpages), IM (AOL’s AIM), maps/directions (MapQuest), and of course widgets (WHERE).

In Telephia’s last report on this market, in Q1 2006, revenue from mobile downloadable apps was roughly $18 million per quarter.  That would indicate the downloadable application market has been growing  somewhere around 13% per month.  Not a bad number.

Another recent report Telephia published was on mobile video, in which they state that mobile video revenues in the U.S. totaled  $146 million in Q1 2007, growing 198 percent year-over-year.  Also not bad.  Mobile video has been heavily promoted by the major carriers over the last couple years. 

The lesson is that when US carriers are willing to put some marketing muscle behind downloadable applications, they succeed.  A multi-million campaign of tv, web, print, when combined with in-store promotion, retail sales training, and good deck placement can yield impressive results.

Nokia to acquire NAVTEQ

This is definitely the biggest event to hit the mobile location industry in recent times.  Should be good for most of us in the industry.  And people at both NAVTEQ and Nokia seem genuinely excited about it.

Some good info came out of the analyst briefing.  Here are a few highlights…

http://www.secinfo.com/d11MXs.u27zt.htm#1stPage
(Oct. 01. 2007 / 9:00AM, NOK – Nokia to acquire NAVTEQ – Conference Call)

Anti-trust:

We will intend to request a referral to the European Commission. And we will also fire our Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance in the U.S. There is a couple of other foreign jurisdictions where some filings are anticipated, but I think this one is pretty straightforward in how you look at for a EC referral, the Hart-Scott-Rodino, and we fully expect that within the need to go through these processes, that the closing in the first quarter is very likely.

NAVTEQ Revenue:

during the first six months of 2007, we estimate that more than 75% of the in-dash navigation systems sold in Western Europe and North America used NAVTEQ maps.

the pricing in the map space is very competitive because there is a move to make this more available to more devices and more companies around the world, and generally it’s been consistently trending down.

Having said that, the space is getting more complex because a map is not a simple thing. As we have seen over time, and I’m sure we will see in the next few years, there will be more and more content that we add to our underlying map, both static content and dynamic content, which does give us the opportunity to price separately for that from the underlying map.

This is about growth of the existing business that is in a — analysts estimate more than a 30% CAGR over the next three, four years.

Nokia GPS-capable devices:

Earlier this year, we have introduced the Nokia N95 multimedia computer, and in the second quarter alone we shipped more than 1.5 million units of the device.

And by the end of next year, we will have tens of navigation-enabled devices in the market.

User surveys show that Nokia Maps is in the top five applications used on the N95. In fact, our survey shows that 100% of the users have used the maps application and users on average use maps more than three times per week.

Tele Atlas comparative price:

I think the question revolves around Tele Atlas and why NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas in terms of the market capitalization is significantly lower — should you buy an asset that is significantly lower than delivers the same thing. You should if that was available, but it isn’t, because NAVTEQ is a superior asset on all counts.

First off, its product, we believe, and services offering is absolutely the best in the world. It is superior. Its geographical coverage, the breadth, the scale that is so important, we think is the best in the world — that is superior. And thirdly, the financials — the delivery to the shareholders, the financials are superior. They are consistent, very clean there.

Timing of deal:

high, high, high expectation of closing this deal in the first quarter