Telco Roundup: Reliance looking for US Acquisition, IPTV Delayed?, iPhone sales..and more

iPhone : iHype or..?

The much hyped “Jesus’ phone witnessed a cold response with only a few buyers biting the iPhone bullet.

The stage was set for a grand launch, complete with confetti and cheerleaders, but at the stroke of midnight, there were just 10 people who actually bought the high-end device.[ET]

Few celebrities to buy the ‘godly’ phone were Bhawani Singh (Maharaja of Jaipur) and Baichung Bhutia.

iPhone in India: iHype or iFlop?

Oh and by the way, Airtel is claiming it’s iPhone is ‘Hacker-proof’

Apparently the Airtel-specific applications on the iPhone have been developed closely with Apple and “suitable levels of security” have been taken to ensure that all Airtel Live and Airtel Apps applications remain out of “bounds for hackers” [source]

Anybody wants to take up the challenge?

Reliance’s Jump Games Hunting for US Acquisitions

Reliance announced the US launch of Jump Games, a publisher and developer of mobile video games in US market.

Jump Games is “aggressively looking” to acquire mobile content licences and brands for distribution to mobile phones worldwide. The company also has exclusive global licences to create and distribute games for some of the world’s leading brands such as Manchester United Football Club, Virgin Comics, and Honest Entertainment (Fido Dido) – ET

..it is hunting for U.S. acquisitions in the mobile-content market, including game publishers and companies that distribute ringtones and wallpaper for cellphones.[wsj]

Reliance ADAG earlier announced hollywood deals with Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Productions, Jim Carrey’s JC 23 Entertainment, George Clooney’s Smokehouse Productions, Chris Columbus’s 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks’s Playtone Productions etc.

IPTV Delayed?

IPTV players say rollout could be impacted due to inability to get content at competitive prices.

Telcos such as BSNL and MTNL had earlier asked telecom regulator TRAI to fix prices for IPTV services, similar to what the regulator had earlier done for direct-to-home (DTH) services. Trai had said that IPTV players would get content at rates similar to DTH, which means that broadcasters can charge IPTV players up to 50% more than what they charge in non-CAS areas. [ET]

In reality, TRAI’s directives aren’t followed (for DTH content rates) and hence IPTV content players too can potentially charge a premium. Entry of biggies like Airtel/Reliance might improve the demand/supply equation enabling content players to charge at a lesser price.

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