By 2015, The Majority of The Cell Phone Market will be Smartphones

August 26th, 2011

IHS has just released their iSuppli Mobile Handset Market Tracker, with a wealth of information and analysis on the landscape of the cellphone marketplace.  In 2009, smartphones only accounted for 15.8 percent of the total market, a very small percent that has risen dramatically over the last two years.  In the present day, smartphones are now accounting for 32.5 percent of the market and all signs are showing even more explosive growth.

While this last spike in growth has been spurred on by the popularity of high end devices, such as the iPhone, the next category to see a large growth will be the low-end smartphone market. The expected rate of annual growth is 115.4 percent over the next four years. Smartphones have become greatly adopted by mainstream culture and the prevalence of large scale app stores on multiple devices has sparked a great interest in these devices by all mobile users. These low-end devices, which often have smaller feature sets and  lower amounts of onboard memory, are most attractive to first time smartphone users that are not quite ready to take the plunge to an iPhone or high-end Android device.

“Low-end smart phones often are sold with inexpensive tiered data plans that target consumers who do not yet need full-featured services. This further reduces these phones’ total cost of ownership, making them attractive to vast numbers of entry-level consumers.”  Said Francis Sideco, senior analyst of wireless communications for IHS.

Smaller companies now have a chance to capture a greater marketshare. IHS is projecting Samsung to become a bigger player in the market due to their Bada Mobile OS. During the second quarter of 2011, Samsung’s smartphone sales grew 600 percent due to their low end-products in China and Latin America.

One point that is important to note, is that hardware is not the primary factor driving growth, instead now the growth of mobile app development is a greater factor.  “Success in the mobile phone industry is no longer purely a function of hardware capabilities,” Sideco said. “Growth for all players is being determined by a number of other important factors, such as software capabilities, the sleekness and intuitiveness of the user interface and the availability of a variety of applications.”

2011: 100 Million Users Will Be on the Mobile Web

August 24th, 2011

US Mobile Internet Users and Penetration, 2010-2015 (millions, % of mobile phone users and % of population)

 

This was a big year for mobile. The media has labeled 2011, the year of the tablet, and in many respects they are right. We saw a near 25% increase in mobile internet usage, largely fueled by the huge influx of tablet devices to hit the market. eMarketer, a digital research and analysis firm, has released their forecasts for the mobile web. “The rapidly expanding smartphone and mobile internet user populations raise the stakes for marketers and make the mobile web more of an imperative than ever,” said Noah Elkin, an eMarketer mobile analyst.

 

US Smartphone Users and Penetration, 2010-2015 (millions, % of mobile phone users and % of population)

 

97.3 million mobile users sign onto the internet from their device at least once a month. Right now, two out of every five mobile users are using the mobile web and this figure will increase to three out of five by 2015, which will account for nearly half of the total United States population. This large growth in the future is forecasted to be attributed to a large spike in smartphone penetration. 38% of mobile users and 28.8% of the overall population will have smartphones by the end of the year. By 2015, nearly 150 million US users will have smartphones.

 

iPhone 5: Coming to All Four Major Carriers?

August 24th, 2011

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint will begin selling the new iPhone upon its release later this year. This year has been a trying time for iPhone fans. The last four iterations of the iPhone have followed a clear cut release schedule, with a release coming once a year in the month of June or July. July came and went with no release and no announcement. Widespread speculation was that Apple would push back their release date to August, but now with August drawing to a close with no announcement, many have been concerned. The latest reports seem to estimate the iPhone to have a mid-October release. Rumors have speculated the latest iteration of the iPhone to carry an 8-megapixel camera, a possibly enlarged screen and a better antenna.

Sprint is currently America’s third largest carrier with over 52 million subscribers. AT&T currently carries 99 million subscribers, and Verizon currently leads the pack with 106 million subscribers.   This is a huge win for Sprint, the iPhone will help retain many of their current customers, as well as help attract prospective switchers. AT&T was the exclusive holder of the iPhone upon its launch in 2007. Verizon began offering the iPhone in Q2 of 2011, which Sprint cited as a reason for their decline in subscriptions for that quarter.

While the Sprint iPhone has all but been confirmed, the latest rumor has been that T-Mobile, the nation’s fourth largest carrier, may also receive the iPhone. Up until this point, many people have used unauthorized unlocked iPhones to run on T-Mobile. T-Mobile claimed to have 1 million unauthorized iPhones running on its network earlier this year. Amid rampant speculation, there is not much concrete evidence to go on. At this point, all we can do is wait and see what cards Apple has up there sleeve come October.

The iPad: Green Technology?

August 23rd, 2011

When the iPad comes to mind, you are most likely caught up with thoughts of elegent Apple commercials, stream-lined apps, and all the ways it can make your life simpler. For others, many may look at the iPad as one step toward a more sustainable future. While, it may not be the solution to global warming or worldwide famine, many are finding ways for the iPad to help them transition from print media to the digital age.

United Airlines is one great example of a company that is making innovative use of the iPad. Today United announced that they will be ordering 11,000 iPads to be used by pilots in-flight. These iPads will be loaded with navigation and terminal charts, and will be a great improvement in cost and efficiency. Normally, each pilot is assigned 38 pounds of paper, which comprises: Flight manuals, charts, handbooks, checklists, log books, and weather information. All in all, this comes out to 12,000 sheets of paper for each and every pilot that United will no longer be ordering, instead they will be moving forward with a 1.5 pound iPad for each pilot.

An airline official had this to say: “The airline projects EFBs will save nearly 16 million sheets of paper a year which is equivalent to more than 1,900 trees not cut down. Saving 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year reduces greenhouse emissions by 3,208 metric tons.”

Clearly then, there is a great benefit to reducing paper usage in favor of a digital device, simply from an efficiency standpoint, but who else can benefit from these devices? Kno, an eTextbook company, is trying to change the way students think about textbooks in the classroom. When I think of student life, the first thing that comes to mind is a backpack full of textbooks and a brown bag lunch. Now Kno is saying, we have the technology, lets do away with print textbooks all together. Right now they have over 100,000 textbooks for sale, accessible through the web, iPad, or Facebook with innovative added features like “QuizMe” and “Journal”.

Textbook makers have always been concerned about profits, and I have long suspected that the primary reason they change editions so frequently is based on boosting sales figures. This has many schools requiring a completely new set of books each year and subsequently a huge paper usage as well. This is simply silly and a huge waste of resources.

South Korea seems to think so as well, pledging to be the first country to have completely paperless schools by 2015. The nation is spending over 2 billion to develop digital textbooks, which will be distributed to students on school bought tablets and have content available through a cloud-based system. This is, no doubt, a bold move but hopefully the first in many countries continuing to adopt plans to reduce their overall resource consumption in the future.

iOS & Android: The Kings of The Tablet Market

August 22nd, 2011

In-Stat, a market research firm, released a new report today that details their forecasts for the tablet market. The iPad and Android tablet projections account for more than 90% market share through 2017. In-Stat cites the wide availability of apps and content in development and from their publishing partners for this huge advantage over other tablet devices.

With the recent demise of the HP touchpad, we can clearly see the value of a diverse app marketplace and content. The webOS was touted as having the potential to be one of the best mobile OS’s available, but hardware restrictions and a small library of available apps sent HP from a high-potential iPad competitor to non-existent in under 50 days. HP’s performance in the market stands as a warning to other new tablet manufacturers, pushing others toward established operating systems such as Android. Tablets are about apps, and without a growing market of software developers, these platforms will fail to capture a substantial marketshare.

17 million tablets were sold in 2010, and In-Stat is projecting huge growth to 250 million in sales by 2017. Furthermore, they are predicting that the market will be dominated by 9 to 11 inch devices, with smaller devices being a minority in the marketplace. So far, the only device to sell well within the 7-inch range has been the Galaxy Tab, but its sales are miniscule when compared to the iPad. Now with Apple actively suing Samsung to try to prevent the sale of Galaxy products within Europe, the state of the tablet market looks grim. The next target in Apple’s sights is the Motorola Xoom. The tablet market is ripe for huge growth over the next few years and Apple and Android will be the leaders of the pack for as far as the eye can see.

Mobile App Revenue Projected to Reach $58 Billion by 2014

August 18th, 2011


 

Garter Inc, a mobile analytics company, has released their forecasts for mobile app downloads and revenue for the next three years. They are projecting downloads to reach 17.7 Billion downloads in 2011, up from 8.2 Billion in 2010. By 2014, they are estimating that a staggering 185 billion applications will be downloaded from mobile app stores.

In 2010, mobile application revenue reached $5.2 billion and projections for 2011 are showing a 190% increase to $15.1 billion and an even greater increase to $58 billion by 2014.

“Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing in just a fashion, and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so,” said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. This recent influx in downloads in attributed to the recent launch of app stores for many manufacturers including: Apple, Android, Nokia, RIM, Microsoft, and Samsung. Users are believed to begin paying for more applications as they become more trustful of in-app billing systems and as they build a greater perceived value from new and innovative applications.

Other notable observations include: Advertising will generate 1/3 of the revenue generated by app stores, up 16 percent from 2010 and people will generally use native apps over web-based apps if they provide a more personal and richer experience.

 

Majority of Mobile Users Willing to Offer their Location for Better Deals

August 17th, 2011

 

JiWire, a location-based media company, recently released a report that tracks trends and insights in the mobile industry. It is reporting that 53% of “on-the-go” consumers are willing to share their location in exchange for better content. These statistics are especially useful to those in the mobile deal market. If we break down these consumers by demogrpahic, we can see that even greater rates of consent exist. For those under the age of 24, 58% responded yes, and 60% of those in the 25-34 also responded yes.

 

JiWire also had a number of insights regarding mobile shopping behavior. “80% of on-the-go consumers are planning to use their mobile devices equally or more for shopping this year, with 52% planning to use their device more than in Q4 2010.“ 58% of these consumers are interested in price comparison, research, and/or reviews.

 

When looking at the distribution of local deals, the majority still prefer to receive their deals by email, but this percent is significantly lower in Q2 of 2011(38%) when compared to Q1 of 2011(52%). Currently mobile is capturing 19% of the audience’s preference in deal delivery and 92% of on-the-go consumers are purchasing at least one local deal each month.

 

For more information, view JiWire’s full article at:  http://www.jiwire.com/insights

iPad Pushes Apple to #1 in Global Notebook Sales

August 10th, 2011

A new report from Deutshe Bank illustrates just how powerful an effect the iPad has had on global notebook sales. Chris Whitmore, an analyst, went over notebook sales over the last few years and found that, when the iPad was not included, Apple ranked last out of the top six global notebook manufacturers. When included, the data shows a completely different story, placing Apple at the number one spot.

Whitmore makes a case for including the iPad in global PC sales when you consider that since the release of the iPad, sales of traditional notebook devices among top manufacturers have shown steady decline or stagnation.

In Q3 of 2010, a report from DisplaySearch showed the iPad accounting for 8% of worldwide shipments of mobile PC’s.  Competitors  have rushed to release a flurry of tablet devices to the market to try to cash in on this new demand, but have struggled to do so with the iPad showing such a commanding lead.

Apple’s most recent earnings call showed $6 billion in revenue due to the iPad alone and shows no signs of slowing any time soon.

Mobile is the Fastest Growing Industry on the Planet

August 8th, 2011

According to a recent report issued by Chetan Sharma Consulting, the mobile industry has now become the most vibrant and fastest growing industry on the planet.

“We expect the total revenue in the industry to touch approximately $1.3 Trillion in 2011 with mobile data representing 24% of the mix.”

While these current numbers are impressive, Chetan Sharma is now saying that data is on pace to make up 95% of mobile traffic by 2015. If so, these current rates of growth will be miniscule when compared to growth we will see in the coming years.

In Q1 of 2011, the United States exceeded the 50% mark for smartphone sales, becoming the first major market to do so and some operators are now expecting 90% of their hardware sales to come from smartphones.

Total global subscriptions are expected to hit 6 billion in 2011 and several multi-billion dollar opportunities are emerging. For the first time ever, we are seeing mobile device sales exceed that of PC sales and 4G technology is spreading at a faster rate than previous generations. This will only continue to fuel the wide spread connectivity of smart devices.

The iPad is Electronic Arts’ fastest growing platform

August 5th, 2011

Electronics Arts, a leading global video game company based out of Foster City, is best known for its EA Sports titles such as Madden, FIFA Soccer, NBA Jam; as well as its other established franchises such as: Battlefield, Need for Speed, and The Sims. EA has been a leader in PC and console gaming, but now they are reporting that they are seeing their largest growth coming from mobile.

When Apple first marketed the iPad/iPhone as a competitor in the gaming market, other manufacturers scoffed at the idea, citing the lack of hardware controls, graphic capabilities, and small size. Now,  EA CEO John Ricciteillo is stating that consoles are no longer the primary force in gaming.

“Consoles used to be 80% of the industry as recently as 2000. Consoles today are 40% of the game industry, so what do we really have? We have a new hardware platform and we’re putting out software every 90 days. Our fastest growing platform is the iPad right now and that didn’t exist 18 months ago.”

While primary consoles still offer much great graphical prowess, we are still seeing a thriving market for the iPad, further proof that the flexibility and functionality of the device can make it a great tool across any market.

Currently Electronic Arts has 32 game titles available for iPad.