Tag Archives: Mobile

Finland's Hatch plans Netflix-style streaming for mobile games
March 26, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Hatch Entertainment, a spin-off from the game maker behind the Angry Birds franchise, is testing streaming access to mobile games the way Netflix does for movies or Spotify for music.

Hatch CEO Juhani Honkala presents the company’s mobile game streaming service at his office in Espoo, Finland March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jussi Rosendahl

The Finnish company that grew out of Rovio believes the gaming industry is ready for flat-fee monthly offers to give players a greater choice of titles and replace the irritating free-at-first, pay-later model that has dominated this decade.

“This is a new way to play mobile games, and at the moment we don’t see any direct competition,” Hatch Chief Executive and Rovio veteran Juhani Honkala told Reuters.

The streaming model faces scepticism from an industry that currently makes its money per game, charging fees for props or upgrades within games.

“High-quality content is more likely to attract new players than positioning around innovative streaming technology,” said Jack Kent, an analyst at IHS Technology.

Spotify makes its debut on the New York stock market next week in a listing that could value the business at $ 20 billion, but it took the company years to persuade music publishers of the attraction of streaming services over single music purchases.

More than 100 game developers and publishers are ready to give the new business model a try, including SEGA, Square Enix and Bandai Namco, Honkala said, though the beta version has only 10,000 user downloads so far in the Google Play store.

INDUSTRY BACKING

Hatch’s platform, which runs on Android phones and is being tested in 18 European countries, has also racked up support from U.S. wireless chip giant Qualcomm and China’s Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker.

Hatch CEO Juhani Honkala presents the company’s mobile game streaming service at his office in Espoo, Finland March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jussi Rosendahl

“We have very strong industry backing,” Honkala said.

Rovio is stepping up its investment in Hatch, looking to secure a new revenue stream after a dramatic profit warning sent its share price tumbling by 50 percent last month.

Rovio owns 80 percent of Hatch, which operates as an independent subsidiary.

Hatch CEO Juhani Honkala poses for a photo at his office in Espoo, Finland March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jussi Rosendahl

Smartphone-based games are currently dominated by a free-to-play model that makes money through in-app purchases that help players to progress.

The model rewards games that have become mass-market success stories but makes life challenging for lower-ranked titles and smaller publishers who have trouble getting discovered as players stick to games they know and have invested in.

Rovio itself has struggled in recent years to repeat the success of Angry Birds and has had trouble forecasting future revenue because of heavy marketing costs and increased competition.

Hatch now offers 100 games on its platform and it has signed up about 200 more, including SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog games, Crazy Taxi and Virtua Tennis. Honkala said the service will pay 70 percent of its revenues to the publishers of its games.

The model would also allow more room for educational or strategy games that have longer narratives, he said, adding that running the service from the cloud rather than locally on the phone should also improve the experience for multiplayer games.

The company does not have a target schedule for formal launch but Honkala said it could happen this year. He declined to say how much the subscription price would be.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Eric Auchard and David Goodman

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Fujitsu in talks to sell mobile phone unit, highlighting fading Japanese presence
January 26, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Japan’s Fujitsu Ltd said on Friday it was in talks about selling its mobile phone business to investment fund Polaris Capital Group, becoming the latest Japanese electronics maker to withdraw from the sector.

The sale, if realized, would leave just three Japanese electronics makers – Sony Corp, Sharp Corp and Kyocera Corp – in a global market dominated by Apple Inc, Samsung Electronic Co Ltd and cheaper Chinese rivals.

The potential deal calls for Tokyo-based Polaris Capital to take a majority stake in Fujitsu’s mobile phone unit, which is valued at around 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($ 365 million to $ 456 million), a source familiar with the situation said.

The size of the stake is still under negotiation, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the discussions were confidential.

An official agreement is expected by the end of the month, the Nikkei newspaper said.

Polaris will aim to list the business in several years, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

Fujitsu said in a statement that no decision has been made and a representative declined to comment on how large a stake is being negotiated.

Around the year 2000, there were more than 10 major Japanese handset firms producing traditional flip phones, including NEC Corp and Toshiba Corp.

But most have since withdrawn from the business, caught out by the meteoric rise of Apple and Samsung.

Domestic makers failed to gain a global presence by being overly reliant on the lucrative domestic market, which gave them little incentive to change their Japan-specific mobile phone formats and expand overseas.

The rise of low-cost component producers such as Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc also have made it easier for price-competitive Chinese rivals to enter the market.

Fujitsu, whose shares were up 1.0 percent in a flat broader market, has been unloading other non-core businesses as well.

Last year, Lenovo Group agreed to buy a majority stake in Fujitsu’s personal computer unit for up to $ 269 million in a bid to capture a larger share of a market that is battling weak sales as more people switch to mobile devices.

The Nikkei added that retaining the mobile division’s staff and factories will likely be a condition of the deal. Fujitsu, which wants to focus on its core information technology services business, is also expected to continue operating its Arrows brand under Polaris, the source said.

Fujitsu, which spun off its mobile phone operations into a separate company in 2016, had drawn interest from other investment funds such as Britain’s CVC Capital Partners Ltd and Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd, the Nikkei reported last year.

Reporting by Minami Funakoshi and Junko Fujita in Tokyo, writing by Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo, with additional reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Malcolm Foster

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Rakuten eying entry into Japan's mobile carrier market: source
December 14, 2017 12:41 am|Comments (0)

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc plans to join a government auction for wireless spectrum to be held in January, potentially becoming the country’s fourth major wireless carrier, a source briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

A woman pushing a pram walks in front of a Rakuten Cafe store at a shopping district in Tokyo August 4, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

The source declined to be identified because the talks are private.

Japan’s mobile carrier market is currently dominated by NTT Docomo Inc, KDDI Corp and SoftBank Group.

The Nikkei business daily, which reported on the plan on Thursday, said Rakuten would raise 600 billion yen ($ 5.3 billion) by 2025 to invest in base stations and other infrastructure.

Rakuten said in a statement that while it was true it is weighing entry into the mobile carrier market, media reports on the matter were not something announced by the company.

Rakuten shares were down 1.7 percent in early trade. The benchmark Nikkei average was flat.

($ 1 = 112.6300 yen)

Reporting by Yoshiyasu Shida and Thomas Wilson; Writing by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Sarcos Unveils Revolutionary Robotic Mobile IoT Platform for Global Industrial and Public Safety …
April 24, 2017 7:35 am|Comments (0)

The Guardian S integrates the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform and the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, and leverages Windows 10 for the tablet …


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9 things from Mobile World Congress you should be excited about
April 14, 2017 9:20 am|Comments (0)

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Yes, there was no Samsung Galaxy S8 and yes, its absence was felt. But even without it, Mobile World Congress — the largest mobile show of the year — was anything but boring. 

This year, everyone’s crazy for retro phones. LG slapped competitors in the face with a surprisingly solid flagship. A futuristic-looking, hyperconnected car debuted at MWC instead of at the Geneva Motor Show. And there were just enough weird gadgets for us to geek out over while we sped through the Fira Gran Via’s sprawling convention center halls.

More about Mobile, Smartphones, Top Picks, Mwc17, and Mwc


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Foursquare offers every mobile app access to your whereabouts
April 7, 2017 5:15 am|Comments (0)

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Foursquare’s transformation from fun consumer app into serious behind-the-scenes business is taking another step forward.

The location app is rolling out a new platform open to all mobile apps that will allow them get to the front of your smartphone, capturing your attention at the right time and more importantly in the right place through location-based triggering of push notifications and app features.

It’s another step in the evolution of a company that was started more than a decade ago by New Yorker Dennis Crowley (@dens), who wanted to build a mobile app to connect his friends, understanding where they were so they could potentially meet up IRL. Read more…

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India’s Reliance Jio Is Blazing a Trail to All-IP Mobile Networks
April 6, 2017 2:45 am|Comments (0)

Fast-growing Indian mobile operator Reliance Jio may offer a glimpse of where all mobile networks are going eventually, to packet-based Internet Protocol infrastructure.

At Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest gathering of the mobile industry, Reliance Jio stands out by having none of the specialized 2G and 3G infrastructure that long distinguished cellular carriers.

Almost all mobile operators still have circuit-switched network gear in addition to IP systems. It came along with the 2G and 3G networks the carriers used before adopting LTE. Most are likely to keep older networks running for years, though some are moving faster than others to clear the decks.

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With Half A Billion Customers Lost, McDonald’s Gambles On Mobile Ordering To Get Them Back
March 25, 2017 12:50 pm|Comments (0)

McDonald’s has always boasted about the billions of customers it has served. But now it has a big problem: the 500 million potential visitors it estimates it’s lost in the past five years. It hopes mobile ordering and curbside delivery will lure them back.


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On-demand Pseudonym Systems in Geo-distributed Mobile Cloud Computing
January 19, 2017 11:00 am|Comments (0)

Geo-distributed mobile cloud computing (GMCC) integrates location information into mobile cloud computing, that has high potential for a large variety …


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Top 4 Emerging Trends Impacting the Mobile Application Development Platform Market From 2016 …
November 11, 2016 12:30 pm|Comments (0)

Continue to Cloud Computing ». From Trekkies, Wookies, and Propellerheads. “Life would be so much easier if we only had the source code.”.


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