Apple, Money, and… an iWallet?

Imagine that your iPhone became your wallet, and you could charge micro-trasactions to your phone bill just as easily as a credit card.
Would you use it?

Rumors are swirling around Apple’s plans to keep their $50 billion in cash. Steve Jobs stated during Apple’s last earnings call that these funds are: to keep Apple “powder dry” in case “one or more strategic opportunities . . . come along.” This info sent made speculations fly. What would they buy? Since Apple never makes huge acquisitions, but smaller talent and technology ones, attention came to rest on Apple’s interest in mobile payment start-up BOKU.

With Apple’s interest in mobile payments, and their M&A discussions with BOKU it seems a logical choice. Putting Apple in the unique position of making mobile payments more mainstream. Since Apple already handles payments with iTunes, which has 160 million active credit cards, this could be a huge opportunity. And since BOKU’s strength is with young customers or those in developing countries, with or without credit cards, it would make it even easier to sell apps, songs, and movies through iTunes

The sky is the limit, and over time payments could spread from online services and goods to real world purchases making the iPhone even more indispensable then it is now.

Even though nothing has been signed yet the question remains: Will Apple ever take the next logical step and become a payments processor?

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Lifting the Veil off the Verizon iPhone

Prayers of millions of consumers have finally been answered. Fortune has confirmed that the Verizon iPhone will be released early in 2011.

The Verizon iPhone may not exist, but American’s have been consumed with the idea; wishing for it since Apple’s iPhone was launched in 2007. And with Verizon’s new deal to sell Apple’s iPad with a MiFi card, that works on their network, people began to anticipate what tech site Appolicious was the first to ask, “…are there bigger plans in the works?”

With analysts estimating that Apple could sell 8 to 9 million Verizon iPhones next year, Ivan Seidenberg,Verizon’s CEO, has built an empire that tech companies: Google, Microsoft and Apple, must find a way to partner with.

Though the iPhone remains in the shadow of secrecy sources say Verizon will sell its own version of the iPhone 4, which will work on Verizon’s CDMA-based 3G network. Though the first version of the phone probably won’t be built to work outside the U.S.

With Apple already serving 28% of the smartphone market on AT&T this deal with Verizon could easily grow that number to 50%!

So whether you’re a long-suffering Verizon customer or part of the 18% of AT&T iPhone users that would consider switching carriers (Credit Suisse), this news has everyone talking, and AT&T signing customers up for new, two-year contracts worried about defectors to Verizon.

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Microsoft releases Windows7 for phones … So what?

After taking 2 years to update the Windows operating system for mobile devices, this is Microsoft’s last ditch effort to bale out their sinking mobile strategy.

4 key thoughts;

  • Only GSM phone support until sometime next year – Translate that as only having phones for AT&T and T-Mobile. NO Verizon or Sprint support until mid 2011… if you’re lucky. If the iPhone does come out on Verizon, Microsoft will be done.
  • Launching with 50 apps from third party developers – WOW.  That’s not much support in the aftermarket. They hope to get to 500 apps in the next several months, but anything developed for WinMo 6 or 6.5 has to be completely rebuilt. Sad that Microsoft couldn’t muster more support, but it tells you developers are going where the money – Android and iPhone apps.
  • Microsoft is an ever shrinking market share: In the past 12 months they have dropped from over 18% to 12% of the market, with most of those people moving to Android or iPhone devices.
  • Back in May Skype dropped support for Windows phone 7 citing the operating system had a “lack of user optimisation and partner support.” They also recently dropped support for the older Windows Mobile OS’s too.

Find out more at:http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/microsoft/whats-wrong-with-windows-phone-7.asp

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Email Subscriptions

I saw this comic by Brad Colbow the other day and had to share it. And I have to say, this is exactly what we are trying NOT to make our service into!

The Brads – Opt Out

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Traveler™ and Reach™ work with Android Devices

Today I tested the open source VoIP package SIPdroid with a new Samsung Incredible running v2.2 (Froyo).  It works fine over WiFi.

This is very exciting for us as this let’s our customers use Travelerâ„¢ and Reachâ„¢ with SIPdroid.  Most exciting is our testing was done on a Verizon device! A BIG thumbs up, since Verizon devices usually have something blocking the audio routing from working right.

There are a couple things I don’t like about SIPdroid, but we can fix them in a replacement (to be built) version. Until then, users should use SIPdroid to take advantage of the savings available with VoicePlex.

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Adults Texting More, Still way less than there Kids

A new study out from the good folks at the PEW Research Center shows that adults are texting more today than in 2007.

The truth is kids text 50 times a day verses 10 times a day for adults. 26-27% of both age brackets text while driving. That means 3 texts for mom or dad, but 15-18 per teen driver. Scary huh?

Now I know we say “hang up and drive”., but maybe we should just put our phones down while we’re in the driver’s seat.

What do you think?

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Fixing AsteriskNow 1.7 so it works as expected

Asterisk Now 1.7 has a hole in the installation. There are missing parts of Asterisk installation, namely the CDR (Call Detail Records) and the FOP (Flash Operator Panel). Now I don’t normally worry to much with FOP, but the CDR is an entirely needed part of any PBX installation. Evidently there are some copyright issues, and Digium just leaves this functions out. You would think they would put an obvious note somewhere.

To fix this, once you have installed Asterisk and FreePBX, open up a terminal connection and do the following:


# From the command line, issue the following commands

yum install asterisk16-addons
amportal stop
amportal start

Now CDR and FOP will work.

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New iPod Touch … Built in Microphone!

Wahoo! Apple has just released their new iPod Touch, and it has a built in microphone. That means you should be able to make calls without needing a wired iPhone headset. Now if someone could get their hands on one to test our client and report back, that would be great.

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TMCnet Coverage of VoicePlex

I would like to say thanks to Jayashree Adkoli over at TMCnet. She covered, and summarized some of our recent announcements. Jayashree, we appreciate it.

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A New Hope – For BlackBerry Users

Dan and I grinned from ear to ear yesterday after a brief phone call.  The call was nothing special, except that it consisted of a BlackBerry Bold 9000 calling my desk phone over SIP.  (In other words, it wasn’t a cell call but was over our private service.)  Before this we had written off the entire BlackBerry market as “all but lost” because it couldn’t support SIP calling.

Yes, our services may soon work with BlackBerry devices. 🙂

It is our hope that, with a little work, we can release our own version of the SIP client that we found.  But the bottom line is: BlackBerry devices are now SIP possible!

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