iPhone out of date already, what gives?


Reports are starting to filter in that Apple, which has released a 2G version of its iPhone in the United States, will announce on Monday that it will bring out a 3G version in Europe later in the year.

Australia…anyone home? Still no news from down under about a release of this device – oh well, a 3.5G Nokia phone should suffice for now.

Picture courtesy of hangingpixels.

China readies for virtual world onslaught


Writing for Ogilvy China’s blog, Kaiser Kuo has posed the question, “Will virtual worlds take off in China?”

The answer is a resounding “Yes”, according to Sam Flemming of Shanghai-based CIC Data. Sam is quoted in an article in Asia Times Online as saying that 3D worlds will have a healthy future in China.

The writer of the Asia Times article, Daniel Allen, has provided some cogent argument backing up this view. Firstly, the Cyworld China community is growing at a rate of 15,000 subscribers a day and has reached 3 million since its launch in June 2005. This points to an acceptance in China for a business model that includes the sale of virtual items. Secondly, the QQ instant messaging service has reached half a billion registered users – an audience that is primed for forming deeper connections via immersive environments.

It seems there is no shortage of immersive environments targeting this market, either. HiPiHi, which has been called a Second Life clone, is the most widely known of these, but others coming into the market include Shanda, UOneNet and Entropia.

Perhaps not at onslaught level quiet yet, but certainly a space to watch.

[Photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff – stuckincustoms.com]

Message to US mobile market, “You are lagging, badly!”

So you are hankering after an iPhone and you’ve read the reviews from folks who were already Apple converts before they first picked up this gadget (according to Valleywag). Well when you return from picking up your iPhone tomorrow take a moment to bask smugly – it is an awesome device.

But then, take another moment …and ponder the features on your new toy and see how they stack up with mobiles in the rest of the world.

For example, Symbian has conducted a survey of the top 20 smartphone features in Japan – recognise any on your iPhone:

1. mobile wallet
2. MANGA on mobile
3. mobile check-in at airports
4. mobile keys for door
5. mobile employee badges
6. mobile cinema tickets
7. mobile transport passes
8. fingerprint authentication
9. face recognition/authentication
10. mobile discount/promotion coupons
11. scented phones
12. mobile fashion consultant
13. mobile live TV
14. wii-like mobile phones (motion-sensor)
15. physical bookmarks for mobiles (shops)
16. privacy screens
17. 1D and 2D codes for marketing and even on fruit and veg labels
18. mobile GPS navigation for pedestrians
19. electric wave posters (uses RFiD)
20. waterproof phones

As the guys over at Biskero note, the Nokia N95 has only two of these features and they’re not even top of the list (2D barcode and GPS)…

UPDATE: Nik Cubrilovic, CEO of Omnidrive, provides a useful take on the iPhone from a developer point of view. Heh, doesn’t stop him hankering after one though on Twitter.

Mobile: What does the iphone really deliver?


Like most folks I have been waiting with baited breath for the release of the iphone. But here in Australia Friday holds minimal significance in that we are still no closer to a release date for what is fast becoming the most anticipated gadget ever, period.

For me though Friday has significance in that its the day I fire my Blackberry – hence some urgency in reaching a decision. I pinged a note out to my Twitter friends list today — what is a self confessed gadget freak to do! My choice seems to have been narrowed down to the iphone (whenever I can get my hands on one in Oz) or the Nokia N95.

Thanks Jason Calacanis – he pinged back that he’s going with the iphone — easier choice given he’s in the US. So, do I go Nokia N95 or suck a deep breath and hope the iphone arrives this side of 2008 in Australia. While the thought of seamlessly connecting my Macbook Pro to an iphone holds appeal, pragmatism may just hold sway.

The look of the iphone is way cool, but it’s also hard to argue with this:



The debate continues via video:

N95 vs. iPhone – Internet

 N95 vs. iPhone – Camera

N95 vs. iPhone – MMS 


My name is Rand Leeb-du Toit. Welcome to metarand!

Metaversally-related topics will be covered here, including:

  • Technology – social media, virtual worlds, mobile, presence and the web;
  • Business – startups, entrepreneurship, innovation; and
  • Funding – venture capital, M&A.

Comments and dialogue most welcome.