Our MobileNoter SE for Android was just updated in the Google Android Market. The main reason for the update: inking capability has been completed! The users can draw sketches, outline important places – one of the most loved features of Onenote, something that’s not available to Evernote users. Needless to say, this feature will be available in the HD version very soon, iOS versions of MobileNoter to follow.
The release of educational platform is a strong move by Apple. Not only it’s a market that hasn’t seen any significant innovations for years. Getting young people hooked on the iOS platform early is a great way to ensure they’ll be willing to buy Apple stuff when they grow up. However, it might be a bit too soon for Apple to celebrate. I expect the same move by Amazon in a few months. Eventually they will ship a better tablet than their current Kindle Fire is, and with the clout they have among traditional publishers, they’ll be able to grab the lead in tablet-based educational market.
Amazon is becoming a super-monster company of the new age. Their cloud services were basically the first large-scale commercial cloud available, and it seemed to be a bit weird for them to move into it. These days, after their strong tablet debut, it won’t surprise me if Amazon releases a personal cloud platform (think gmail and Google Docs), a browser (take Chromium), a search engine (becoming a commodity too), ad platform (hello AdWord). This all can happen thanks to their deep penetration into consumer market and democratic (think cheap) pricing. Now this is a threat that Google might not survive.
2011 was a monster year for MobileNoter. We didn’t get to our goal of 100,000 customers by the end of 2011, but still we are several tens of thousands users in. If you decide to compare these numbers to other services, like Evernote or Catch, remember that these are paying customers we are talking about, not people who download free stuff with the intention of never paying. The 100,000 customers milestone is postponed to the year of 2012 now.
Microsoft released Onenote for iPhone in January and then Onenote for iPad in December 2011. What’s good about these releases: first, they determined the price and trial terms. It will definitely influence our decisions in the future. Second, their release allowed us to differentiate our product from theirs pretty easily. Microsoft provides basic access to their Skydrive stored notes, which is totally free for everyone except power users. MobileNoter gives you full access to the notes stored on Skydrive, Dropbox, your computer, while preserving all graphics, drawings, and provides complete Onenote for Windows experience on the mobile devices. The release of Onenote for iOS from Microsoft has some positive and negative impact on us. Overall, it is a somewhat neutral event.
Android was our top platform in 2011. The sales of MobileNoter for Android went from zero to more than that of for iOS during the year. Two factors helped: exceptionally great releases of MobileNoter for Android and skyrocketing growth of the platform itself. Even MobileNoter sales in Amazon Appstore showed significant growth despite a slow start. The Kindle Fire is to thank for this.
We expect to have some great releases of MobileNoter of iOS in 2012, so this platform is not to be ignored. The dominance of iOS over Android is however evaporating and soon it will be gone forever, as more as more developers find their income from Android growing over that of from iOS.
Our plans for BlackBerry lost some priority as the year of 2011 clearly demonstrated that the platform is struggling to survive. If the enterprise mobile users move to Android/Windows 8 and leave RIM products, then those Blackberries may never see a native MobileNoter and thus receive access to their Onenote notes.
Finally, 2011 was the year when MobileNoter as a startup reached several important financial milestones. If you ever ran a startup, you know what I’m talking about. We never doubted that the day would come, but it’s nice to actually experience it.