Hedgehogging

Hedge*hog*ing v. Interrupting conversations in an office environment by poking your head over the top of the cube.

–Verizon Wireless put out two press releases March 1: One, that Verizon Wireless customers do not have to worry about the change in daylight saving time affecting its phones and another about text-messaging price plan changes. But nothing about its new mobile TV offering on the MediaFLO network, which launched that day. Huh?
Speaking of the Vcast Mobile TV service, we grabbed a handset the day the service launched and while the picture is clear, coverage was spotty-until we found the antenna. Then the service was much, much better. We’ll tell you more later

–So we saw Apple Inc.’s first TV commercial for its forthcoming iPhone during the Academy Awards last week. The 30-second spot, which ran multiple times, reached an estimated 40 million viewers watching at home. Apple’s commercial compiled a montage of clips from 31 different movies and TV shows, with appearances by John Cusack, Robert DeNiro, Cameron Diaz, Sarah Jessica Parker and the animated Betty Rubble. Each character answers a phone before a spinning iPhone is shown, followed by a full-screen caption “Hello.” The commercial ends with “Coming in June,” and at no point mentions the device by name, nor does it name AT&T, which will sell the phone. The ad cost Apple about $1.7 million each time it aired.
AT&T Inc. CFO Rick Lindner told analysts during the Merrill Lynch Communications Forum last week that he recently was able to get his hands on the iPhone-but only after being sworn to secrecy, so the most he could say was that it was “very cool” and “elegant.”
“It’s created more buzz than any product I’ve ever seen introduced,” Lindner said-even as he added to the buzz. He estimated that between two-thirds and three-fourths of iPhone customers will come from outside AT&T’s current customer base, and that the iPhone will create additional traffic and sales for the carrier’s stores as well as generate good ARPU through data add-ons.

–A prepaid MVNO called XE Mobile announced that it scored a distribution deal with electronics retailer CompUSA. The day after this announcement, CompUSA announced it would close more than half of its stores in the United States. We can almost hear executives at XE Mobile now: “D’oh!”

–Motorola unveiled its newest cellphone, the M900 for AT&T Inc. What is the M900, exactly? It’s a “robust, high-performance unit easily installed into service vehicles used by the military, federal, state and local government and emergency management agencies,” according to AT&T’s press release about this news. The M900 . is a car phone. That’s right, the follow-up to the smash-hit, super-slim Razr is a 2-watt car phone

–Amp’d Mobile announced it’s going to broadcast a new animated series, following on the success of its “Lil’ Bush” series about President Bush and his staff. The new series from Amp’d is called “Lil’ Hollywood” and is about celebrities such as Britney Spears, Mel Gibson and others. Said series creator Donick Cary: “We realized, ‘Hey, these Hollywood celebrities are pretty funny-why doesn’t anyone ever make fun of them?'” Yup, that’s right, apparently this will be the first time anyone has ever made a joke about Britney Spears.

–A company called Neochroma put out a press release about how it has a technology that can expand the images on a cellphone screen. (Note: The company said it has a prototype of this only, but that “the technology has the ability of getting to market within two years.”) Finally, to be able to project blurry camera phone photos onto a movie screen. Yessir, we can hardly wait.

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