Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

Video: The Question Company Presents SMS Based Q&A Service At DemoCamp Dubai

| June 26, 2010 – 11:58 am | comment No Comments

The Question CompanyThe Question Company is a UAE based company that provides a question and answer sms-based service, that enables users in the UAE to sms any question to them and get an answer back in a few minutes time.

The guidelines to use the service are really simple, you basically just think of a question, text it to the number 4644 and then wait for them to send you the reply back. The target on their side is to have replies sent out in less than 10 minutes, and they say their current average is 6.55 minutes.

The service is available for both Etisalat and Du subscribers and costs 3 Dirhams per question, answering all types of questions, but refraining from providing any legal, financial or medical advice.

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Jeddah Food, The Online Restaurant Guide Launches iPhone App

| June 22, 2010 – 9:40 pm | comment 2 Comments

Jeddah FoodJeddah Food, the English language online restaurant guide to restaurants in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, recently announced the launch of their new iPhone mobile application.

The application enables visitors to Jeddah, as well as locals, quickly find restaurants around the city, based on your current location, while on the go. It provides a search functionality to look for specific restaurants and cafes around Jeddah, as well as quick categories that enables users to click through directly and locate places by type of cuisine (e.g. Lebanese, Japanese, Burgers etc.)

For each venue, the application provides the venue details, phone numbers, website details, photo galleries, and maps.

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ITIDA And Vodafone Egypt Launch MobileAppsAcademy For Egyptian Mobile Developers

| June 19, 2010 – 3:45 pm | comment 1 Comment

MobileAppsAcademyEgypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) is partnering up with Vodafone Egypt to launch MobileAppsAcademy, a contest and a program for sponsoring developers of mobile programs and applications in Egypt.

The initiative aims at preparing a generation of talented developers and helping them generate innovative ideas conforming to the needs of the Egyptian and Middle Eastern market.

Another purpose of this initiative is to highlight Egypt as a regional hub for projects and ideas and to encourage the creation of high-quality mobile applications. It aims to work on raising the local production through encouraging and sponsoring the skills of local developers, offering opportunities for talented Egyptians and turning their ideas into real projects that can contribute to the development of the ICT sector.

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Mdinar, A Tunisian Mobile Payment & M-Wallet Service

| June 17, 2010 – 11:00 am | comment No Comments

mdinarMdinar is a new mobile payment and m-wallet service that was recently launched in beta in Tunisia through a partnership between the BIAT Bank (Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie), Tunisiana (Mobile phone operator), ENDA (a microfinance institution) and Viamobile (a service provider); powered by Creova’s mobile payment technology.

The Mdinar service offers P2P, top-up, and loan payment services directly from a user’s mobile phone. It also offers multiple features, including the ability to view account balances, history of transactions, and the possibility to save and use the list of people frequently receiving payments from the user. It also allows the user to send a request for money to another person.

Using the service requires a subscription that translates into the opening of a BIAT Light bank account. To open an Mdinar account, the user must have a Tunisian ID card and a Tunisiana mobile line, and they can either register online (option not launched yet) or at any of the affiliate branches that display the Mdinar sign. Registration should be quick and the user’s account is activated immediately. Once registered, the user receives a notification by sms with their PIN.

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AppsArabia, An Arabic Mobile Applications Development Fund

| June 7, 2010 – 11:33 am | comment 11 Comments

appsarabiaAbu Dhabi’s twofour54 has recently announced it will be launching a new investment fund called ‘AppsArabia‘, which promotes and supports mobile app development throughout the Middle East and North Africa using the Software Development Kits (SDKs) of all the major mobile and online platforms (e.g. Android (Google), iPhone OS (Apple), BlackBerry, Facebook, OpenSocial and Ovi (Nokia)).

The fund will be offered by twofour54 ibtikar, which provides funding and support to start-up and early stage Arabic content initiatives.

AppsArabia is led by David Ashford, and the plan for it is to invest in the best ideas for apps from entrepreneurs, app developers and businesses, and provide commercial guidance, resources and marketing support to make these apps successful.

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Yallakora Launches Mobile Version of Yallakora TV

| January 16, 2010 – 7:12 pm | comment 1 Comment

YallakoraYallakora, one of the popular sports portals in the region has announced the launch of a mobile version of Yallakora TV, giving users the possibility to access sports news and information, as well as watch match commentary and analysis directly from their mobile phones, while on the go.

Yallakora, which is owned and run by LINKonLINE (a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding), is available in both English and Arabic, providing full coverage to different sports with a bigger focus on Football, through publishing various details and news regarding Football leagues and championships in the Middle East, North Africa and others. This includes team news, player information and statistics, match results as well as analysis for Football matches

Yallakora’s new effort isn’t through an application that has to be downloaded and installed, all users have to do is point their mobile phone browsers to yallakora.com to access the mobile version of the site, and access the information and news on the site, as well as mobile phone compatible video streaming of interviews, match analysis and the contents of Yallakora’s video library.

A number of Arab entrepreneurs and startups are currently looking more and more to the mobile phone as a practical way to provide their services, especially with the high and growing mobile penetration around the region. We can surely expect a number of other announcements revolving around mobile in the coming year.

ArabNet 2010: Trends and Opportunities in Arab Web Business

| January 13, 2010 – 12:47 pm | comment 1 Comment

ArabNetIBAG, International Business Alliance Group, presents the first edition of a new international conference for the Arab internet industry, ArabNet 2010, under the tagline of “Trends and Opportunities in Arab Web Business.”

The conference will be held in Beirut on March 25-26, 2010 with the support of Endeavor Jordan, the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship, the Syrian Young Entrepreneurs Association and YallaStartup!.

ArabNet aims to bring the internet community together to network and help launch the hottest startups from across the region. Top investors, internet executives and leaders from Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, AdMob and Intel will address subjects that are critical to the Arab Web Industry including: e-commerce, gaming, mobile, content, online advertising, social networking, new media, and start-up fundraising.

Key to the conference are pitch sessions: Ideathon & Startup Demo.  This is the place to match talent with opportunity.

The Ideathon is looking for 10 select entrepreneurs to introduce their fresh startup ideas to eager investors in a rapid-fire pitch session.  Similarly, the Demo will select startups with innovative products to pitch and exhibit their companies for the duration of the conference.

Applications are currently being accepted from entrepreneurs and startups from all over the region with strong ideas and products.

For more details about the conference as well as how to apply, you can visit the official website: ArabNet.me.

[StartUpArabia is an official media partner of ArabNet 2010.]

AdMob To Be Acquired By Google For $750 Million In Stock

| November 10, 2009 – 12:04 pm | comment 2 Comments

AdMobJust a few hours earlier, it was announced that a definitive agreement was signed for mobile advertising network AdMob to be acquired by Google for $750 Million in stock.

AdMob was founded in January 2006 by Lebanese entrepreneur Omar Hamoui, as a mobile advertising marketplace, offering solutions for discovery, branding and monetization on the mobile web. It was able to attract investments from Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, DFJ Growth Fund and Northgate Capital.

The company grew to take a lead in display advertising on smartphone platforms, such as Apple’s iPhone OS and Google’s Android, working with thousands of advertisers to serve mobile ads on their publisher network of over 15,000 websites and mobile applications. AdMob received 10.2 billion total ad requests in September of this year, and has served more than 125 billion mobile ads since its inception.

With this deal Google aims to strengthen their push into mobile advertising, complementing the solutions they already have, and roll out more effective tools for creating, serving and analyzing emerging mobile ad formats.

The deal should also bring mobile advertising to the forefront and get more people interested in the space.

Google has created a specific site to talk about the AdMob deal and its benefits here: Google’s acquisition of AdMob.

This deal marks Google’s second acquisition of a company founded by an Arab entrepreneur, the first being their September 2007 acquisition of mobile social network Zingku, that was founded by Jordanian entrepreneur Sami Shalabi in May 2006.

Qanawati, Check Flight Details & Availability Using SMS

| October 16, 2009 – 1:06 pm | comment 1 Comment

QanawatiQanawati (‘My Channels’ in Arabic) is a new mobile based service that was just launched from Saudi Arabia by Remal IT, allowing you to check for flight reservation availability via SMS.

The service enables you to check for the availability of seats to be reserved specifically for the following airlines: Saudi AirlinesNas air and Sama; as well as for all airlines using IATA data.

Other than that, the service also makes it possible to check the details and status of a specific flight by entering the flight number, and if needed the specific date for it.

Another available option is  to check the arrival/departure activity in Saudi airports to see what planes are coming in or leaving on that day and the details of the flights.

Qanawati

The service is based on premium rated sms messages, and currently works with Mobily and Zain, with STC support on the way.

Kotob Arabia Bets On Mobile Fueling Arab e-Book Revolution

| September 13, 2009 – 2:31 pm | comment 2 Comments

KotobArabiaKotob Arabia, a Cairo-based online publisher of more than 4,000 Arabic e-books, and its founder and director Ramy Habeeb, foresee that mobile phones’ deep market penetration in the region, combined with the most popular e-book readers’ high price tags and inability to read Arabic’s right-to-left script, make the mobile phone a platform of choice for any coming e-book revolution in the Arab world.

Kotob Arabia recently signed a deal to create the first Arabic mobile book reader with Blackbetty Mobilmedia, a Viennese company that creates software that make books readable on mobile phones. The partners plan to present a prototype of the new Arabic mobile e-book reader at next month’s Frankfurt Book Fair.

Blackbetty and Kotobarabia plan to roll out a premium SMS billing system in which e-book purchases would show up on a buyer’s phone bill, starting with Vodafone in Germany, then Vodafone in Egypt and other mobile networks across the region.

Kotob Arabia became an affiliate of Sarmady, the popular Egyptian internet portal that was acquired by Vodafone Egypt last year, and so it already has a relationship with the company that should make it easier for them to roll out their mobile e-book service with them.

In May, the company made an important step of switching from a traditional e-book sales approach to a subscription service, where readers pay a subscription fee and then get access to the full book catalogue. This would give readers access to the list of books they know as well as to books by other authors who aren’t as famous. This way the reader benefits, and on the other hand all authors who have their e-books on the service get a chance to be read and start making money out of it.

This subscription model also is quite an appealing one for the mobile realm, one that can’t be realised in more developed markets because of book price regulation.

Source: The National

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