Paris Transit Users To Pay With Their Cell Phones in 2010

According to French newspaper Le Monde, transit users in Paris will be able to access the subway, bus and region train systems with their cell phones at the end of 2010. Tickets/passes will downloaded on mobile devices via short-range wireless communications (NFC). The article mentions that tickets will be transferable between phones.

via Le “téléphone-ticket de transport” dès fin 2010 en Ile-de-France – Société – Le Monde.fr.

What it means: thought that mobile devices were only about communications? Think again. As Research In Motion’s CEO Mike Lazaridis said yesterday, your mobile device will become your “wireless wallet.” It’s one of the reasons why they bought Certicom earlier this year, “to embed that kind of security in our devices to make sure that things like wireless banking becomes a reality, and to make sure that we have the rights to these security models that you feel comfortable keeping medical information on them, or your license on these devices, your passport on these devices, or your credit card on these devices, or your bank access on these devices.”

RHD Releases DexKnows iPhone App

I’m a bit late writing about this news (Greg Sterling wrote about it here and the Kelsey Group guys here) but RHD has just released a series of DexKnows mobile apps & services.  I recently had the opportunity to connect with Deborah Eldred, Director of Mobile at RHD, to discuss the new offer.

dexknows-mobile-apps

Highlights:

  • Developed by MobilePeople
  • Covers the whole mobile “value chain”: text messages, mobile browser version, downloadable client applications, iPhone application
  • They looked at ComScore data to focus development on the most important phone models/carriers
  • They developed a specific search “taxonomy” by looking at top categories in a mobile context. They also regrouped categories in three most-used metacategories called Gettin’ Grub (food & restaurants), Havin’ Fun (entertainment), Goin’ Places (travel)
  • Search results are ranked by centroid, currently the center of the city, but eventually the user geo-location

I asked Deborah how the Dexknows offer was differentiated from other offers out there. She mentioned the following:

  • Focused on relevant experience for mobile users (as opposed to advertiser-focused)
  • Most important mobile categories have been grouped and surfaced on the home page
  • People search (data provided by Whitepages.com)
  • RHD covers the whole mobile value chain, from text messages to iPhone app
  • They have great content in their in-region territory.

You can go to m.dexknows.com to use/download the various versions and a short video shows the various features.

Update: Yellow Pages Group in Canada has also released applications for the iPhone and Blackberry. Canpages had released an iPhone app about two weeks ago.

What it means: happy to see that directory publishers are releasing new mobile apps. Obviously, in the medium/long term, it is a critical component of the distribution mix. But I think, in the short term, it plays an important perceptual role with the sales team and advertisers.

This Isn’t About The New iPhone

It seems like everyone is excited about the new iPhone that was introduced by Apple on Monday (many people are actually calling it the Jesusphone) but I think everyone’s missing the big picture.

pile of mobile phones

Flickr photo by nedrichards

What triggered those thoughts was today’s blog post from Mashable, discussing what was really revolutionary about the new iPhone:

And, The Really Big Thing About The New iPhone Is… GPS. Global Positioning System . Geo-anything. Location based services. (…) Why hasn’t all this happened before? Three words: ease of use. While you could have done all these things for the Symbian or Blackberry or Windows ME platforms (provided the device had GPS capabilities), it just took too many clicks and required too much fidgeting for any of it to get mass appeal.

I actually agree with that statement. The iPhone is well designed, it’s very easy to use, it’s now location-aware and the touchscreen navigation is amazing…

BUT…

  • RIM (Blackberry) is working on a similar device
  • Nokia is working on a similar device
  • Samsung is working on a similar device
  • HTC is probably working on a similar device
  • Google might be working on a GooglePhone

I give kudos to Apple for innovating, creating a user-focused device and forcing change in a market that badly needed the kick in the pants but, the same way the social Web is not about Facebook, Friendfeed or Twitter, the mobile Web is not about Apple and the iPhone. It’s about permanent change in the way we access the mobile Web and that’s good. But, it’s certainly not about the iPhone…

Update1: David Pogue from the New York Times reviews the Samsung Instinct.