Zynga plots its mobile stategy

Zynga wants to get into your pocket. As the  publisher of games like, “Word with Friends,” a Scrabble-clone popular on Apple devices and since February, on Android platforms, Zynga, known as the top games publisher on Facebook, is likely trying to reduce its reliance of Mark Zuckerberg and co’s platform.

“You should play and you should pay,” says David Ko, the former Yahoo executive who moved to Zynga in November to spearhead its mobile push.

 In a recent interview, Ko told Reuters that Zynga’s mobile strategy has two parts: Creating mobile versions of existing Web titles like ”FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars” and, having users play games on their mobile devices before anywhere else, like on “Words with Friends.”

In the U.S, Ko says, mobile games are growing at a “high clip,”  but that the faster growth is in markets like South East Asia where people are turning to games first on their smartphones since PCs are less prevalent.

“In markets like South East Asia, mobile-first experiences are going to lead the way,” Ko says.

Motorola Atrix: works well on Wi-Fi


Motorola Atrix is an Android phone that runs on AT&T’s network. The phone itself is a powerful device, the first U.S. smartphone to run on a dual-core processor. It can also be paired with an unusual accessory called a laptop dock – it’s like a laptop in appearance but doesn’t work unless the Atrix is attached.

Once the phone is attached then the dock works like a netbook, a scaled down laptop intended mostly for websurfing.  The dock’s 11.6 inch screen was  designed for easier websurfing than on the Atrix phone’s smaller 4 inch screen and it sports a Qwerty keyboard that is aimed at making tasks like emailing much easier than on the phone’s touchscreen.

So how well does it work?

With barely a day to play with both devices,  our tests were pretty limited but they lasted long enough for us to form a strong first impression: The phone and lapdoc worked very well when  connected to a network but, that was the stumbling block.

from Breakingviews:

Put BlackBerry on hold – but not for long

Blackberry TourBlackBerry-maker Research In Motion is a victim of its own success. Having dominated the market for corporate e-mail devices for years, it is being forced to seek out growth in consumer markets, where, so far, it has had trouble differentiating its products.

Going mainstream has helped vastly expand its consumer base -- which now represents half of all BlackBerry subscribers. Fully 80 percent of its new subscribers now come from outside its traditional corporate base.

But that success is coming at a growing cost to the once lofty average selling price of its phones, the latest quarterly results show. Profits for its second fiscal quarter dipped 3.5 percent, amid weak subscriber growth. Product prices appear under pressure at both ends of its business, both among corporate users and with consumers.

from Commentaries:

Tech Links: Phones, more phones and communion wafers

HTC Android phoneBetter luck next year for Android
Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has warned of a revenue shortfall, saying it has too many new phone models chasing too little revenue. Revenue growth will turn negative in 2009, instead of growing 10 percent, as the company had previously forecast.

Chief Executive Peter Chou says: "Momentum on both the Windows Mobile and Android platforms are also turning out to be weaker than expected."

HTSEC weighted indexTC said it is boosting its marketing spending to more than 15 percent of revenue from 13.5 percent to fend off market leader Nokia and the Apple iPhone juggernaut.

Android co-founder in Google Ventures?

Is Android co-founder Rich Miner Google’s new in-house venture capitalist?

To judge by one intriguing clue, it appears so.

Miner’s name was recently spotted on a nametag at a Silicon Valley event for start-up firms to present their ideas and pitch VCs for funding. The tag identified Miner as belonging to Google Ventures.

Of course, there is no such thing as Google Ventures, at least not yet. A company spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday that Google Ventures is “a project we’re working on. But we’re not able to discuss details right now.”

Miner would be an interesting choice for a Google in-house venture fund, which has been rumoured for months.