PayPal Goes Mobile

PayPal is working on mobile commerce service that is similar to TextPayMe. With the service, mobile phone users will be able to send a text message with instructions to send money to another person, using a cell phone number to identify the recipient. The recipient will be notified by PayPal of the transaction and will be instructed how to claim the money, according to the Web site.

PayPal Mobile will also include a new service called Text to Buy. Advertisements in magazines or posters will include the words Text to Buy and a special code, the site says. Users must set up a PayPal account and activate their phones for the service and then they can send a text to the number from the advertisement to buy the product. PayPal calls the user back to confirm the order and then the product is shipped to the user.

What’s interesting is that this kind of SMS-Payment service has already been widespread and commonplace in much of the rest of the world, primarily Europe and Asia. Looks like the United States is finally, at least trying, catching up.

Add comment March 31st, 2006

Yahoo Go Mobile with Nokia

Yahoo! Go Mobile debuted with initial support for Nokia 60 series phones.

Out of all those Yahoo! Go Mobile features, automatically synchronized Address Book between mobile phone and yahoo contact is the most interesting to me. The other features like Photo Stores, Messenger, Mail notification etc. don’t really thrill me that much.

If it takes a company the size of Yahoo! to come up with this set of features on limited number of phones (like the Nokia 6682, Nokia N70 etc.), it must be a really hard problem to get solved, a hard marketplace to get in.

Nokia Phones for Yahoo Go Mobile v1.0

You can get the low down from the Go Yahoo! site.

Add comment February 21st, 2006

More Ads On the Third Screen

Staff writer Li Yuan at the Wall Street Journal wrote about the increasing advertising on the cellphone screens.

Mobile marketing such as SMS ads has been around for a while in countries like China, where the number of cellphone users out-number the internet users (and/or computer owners) by a factor of 3 to 1. In China, it is more natuaral to use SMS from phone than using email from a computer screen.

While in the United States, the mobile marketing industry is still in its infancy as people are more glued to the second screen – the computer screen. However, that might be changing, as high-resolution camera cell phones become capable of displaying high quality images and videos, advertisers will find a way to display ads on the third screen. Services such as MobiTV (which last claimed to have over 3o mobile TV channels, and 500,000 subscribers) will certainly speedup the adoption process. Mobile portal such as is also well positioned to delivery mobile text and multi-media ads to the cellphones.

Major challenges still exist in the mobile marketing industry such as the lack of tracking ability in MobiTV’s case.

Add comment February 18th, 2006

ROKR E2 Linux-Powered Musicphone

Major upgrades from the original ROKR: direct downloads from your favorite CDs or digital music collections via a fast USB 2.0 connection and up to 2GB of optional SD Card memory. Bluetooth connectivity is still there.

SUMMARY OF FEATURES from MoTo Official Site:

• Dedicated music player buttons on the side (Play/Pause, Skip Forward/ Backward and Hold) and front
• Full stereo audio via industry standard 3.5mm headset jack eliminating the need for adaptors
• Optional hot swappable, SD™ mass storage memory card
• Approximately 500 songs in a single 2 GB SD card (4 MB per song, approximately 4 minutes in length)
• USB 2.0 High Speed connectivity
• 1.3 Mega Pixel Camera with flash
• Video capture and playback (15fps)
• Display: 2 inch, 240 x 320 TFT (262k colors)
• Built in FM radio with up to 30 presets
• Multi-Media Messaging (MMS)
• Integrated Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free connectivity with compatible Bluetooth-enabled devices.
• PIM functionality with Picture Caller ID*
• Motorola’s SCREEN3 technology solution featuring zero-click access to news, sports, entertainment, and other premium content.
• Opera® Browser

The Motorola ROKR E2 is expected to be available in the first half of 2006.

Add comment January 7th, 2006

Skype Wi-Fi Phone By Netgear

The first Wi-Fi phone for Skype. But not the first Wi-Fi VoIP phone. Vonage had that for a while now.

Since Skype is free of monthly fees, this is certainly causing troubles to the business of traditional VoIP folks. Imaging with free city-wide Wi-Fi networks in such cities as San Francisco, Mountain View, the availability of free Skype calls over the convenient Wi-Fi phone would kill conventional VoIP and pose a great threat to cellular service providers as well.

Now, Ebay sellers would be able to sip their coffee in Starbucks and chat with potential buyers, for free!

Throwing Google in the mix, if Google can provide a free national-wide wi-fi network, that would be really disruptive!

Add comment January 5th, 2006

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