Posts tagged 'LTE'
As if you have not heard enough about iPhone 5 already, here is more of it
Apple announced iPhone 5 on Sept 12th. The other big thing that happened that day was Quantitative Easing version 3 announcement by US Federal Reserve – one wonders, it was a synchronized announcement – just kidding.. Certainly, some market analysts have said that iPhone 5 may do more for US GDP growth than Fed’s QE3..amazing..
Well, intentional or not, both the announcements have a dramatic impacts – QE3 will accelerate the stock market rise around the world, fuel more inflation etc. Apple announcement will lead to Apple maintaining it’s hegemony in the smartphone ecosystem. I know, I know, some of you are on side of the table which is less than enamoured by the new iPhone 5. However, our take is that the ecosystem of Apple is much too strong and still underestimated by most. The vertical integration of iTunes, Macs, iPhones, iPads, licensed content in there, seamless charging via iTunes, cross-device synch capabilities are so intense and so transformational in the tech world, that few can match up with Apple prowess over the marketplace. Apple ran out of online inventory of iPhone 5 in one hour of opening the sales..validation enough of a huge pent-up demand out there.
Lack of NFC or some other popular features, now commonplace in other smartphones, will not deter iPhone 5 in creating breakthrough success once again for Apple sales. What most people fail to realize about Apple is that it does not usually toe the line created by others – it creates new models which, in many cases, become the benchmark over time. Coming back to NFC, Apple did bundle a feature called Passbook in the new iPhone 5 – a loyalty and coupon management feature – this is not payment enabled but it could evolve into a Digital Wallet. Many leaders like eBay, Square, Paypal are making do without NFC in Mobile Payments and quite successfully at that. It is likely that NFC may never become the mainstream mobile payment tech if Apple and others listed here do not push it.
As to what Apple iPhone 5 does pack, it has a laundry list of neat features :
LTE (4G capable), Thinner, Lighter, bigger screen (4 inch diagonally), all new Apple-designed A6 chip, better retina display, improved camera (although megapixels remain at 8 megs), enhanced HD video recording, 5 rows of icons on the screen, improved Siri assistant, new lightning connector, new Apple mapping app, better iCloud integration, 700,000 apps, new iOS 6 OS, Passbook loyalty feature, the list goes on and on.
To view all iPhone 5 features, click here.
As far as we can visualize, we still feel demand for iPhone 5 will be back-logged and people will go gaga over this device the world over. Apple mobile leadership is far from being threatened, not until they make major blunders or others truly can provide a neat vertically integrated ecosystem. So far, we see only Amazon as being anywhere close to providing the vertical ecosystem with Kindle platform. Samsung tried but it is missing many major components for creating a complete ecosystem, music partnerships to begin with, among other things. Google does not try as their focus is entirely different – to monetize via search engines on Android devices.
So – for now, it is Apple’s world to rule in the mobile arena, until somebody else “does an Apple” on them.
September 17th, 2012
(excerpted from GigaOm Pro article at http://t.co/20B9JVyo)
Katie Fehrenbacher with Gigaom is traveling with Geeks on a Plane in India. She writes following stats provided by Google CEO Rajan Anandan to the Geeks on a Plane group :
Rajan Anandan on Indian internet scene : “We’re probably in 1996 in the U.S. in terms of the Internet market in India.”
Here’s the stats from Anandan’s deck. India has:
- 1.2 billion people
- The 9th largest economy in the world, with $1.7 trillion GDP
- 600 million people below the age of 25
- 22 languages
- 250 million in the consuming class — these are the folks that buy e-commerce
- 900 million mobile accounts, with 600 million unique mobile subscribers (many people have more than one account)
- 30 million PCs — it’ll be a mobile broadband world
- Average revenue per user (ARPU) is $3
- 100 million Internet users, and 120 million Internet users by the end of 2011
- By 2015 there will be 300 million to 400 million Internet users
- 37 percent of Internet users access the web from home, 27 percent from an Internet cafe, 22 percent from an office, 3 percent from school
- There are 50 million mobile data subscribers
- 5 million access Internet only on the phone
- In 2010/2011 e-commerce emerged as a $7 billion market, with $6 billion of that going to online travel
- By 2015 the e-commerce market is expected to be $40 billion
- 67 percent of e-commerce customers by electronics and cell phones. 18 percent buy apparel.
- 15 million 3G mobile subscribers
- Broadband is 250 kbps to 500 kpbs fixed line
- The use of smart phones will grow 52 percent CAGR
- There are 37 million Facebook users
- Google Plus use is bigger than Twitter use
- 23 million unique users on YouTube India
- There will be $1.3 trillion in online ad spend in 2011
- The English Internet will not scale beyond 200 million, says Anandan
- 159 million read Hindi newspapers and 31 million read English newspapers
- There will be a massive tsunami toward vernacular content on the web, says Anandan
- 70 percent of non-travel e-commerce is “cash on delivery” (no online payments, buyers pay cash when goods are delivered)
- This cash on delivery market has a 30 percent return rate
- Web 1.0 and 2.0 are happening at the same time in India, says Anandan.
Some Internet sites that have found success in India:
Thanks to Gigaom for the above post.
December 14th, 2011
At the Apple’s WWDC event on June 06, 2011, Steve Jobs unveiled the “iCloud” – Apple’s answer to the Cloud Computing fever which sweeps the world. The stock of Salesforce.com – the first B2B SAAS service which houses all your CRM and ERP data in those massive server farms around the world, has gone vertical since its debut. Cloud Computing, SAAS (Software as a Service) and Online Media Lockers are real and happening at a breakneck speed. Amazon and Google released their online music and media lockers to much fanfare and Apple has followed suit with it’s iCloud offering.
Businesses have adopted online CRM and ERP applications offered by Salesforce.com, Oracle and Microsoft. Microsoft Office 365 – Microsoft’s online Office suite is a Cloud-based product and is due to be debuted end of June ’11. Business applications and documents find their new home in the Cloud and the transaction models have evolved from licensed software to Subscription services.
The whole idea of Cloud-based Apps and Content envisages universal access from all devices including PCs, phones, tablets etc (TVs to be added in near future). In other words, smartphones and tablets are integral part of the access channel for Cloud services. The front-end in Mobile phones and tablets in such cases are either Apps or Mobile websites, underscoring the relationship of Mobile Apps/Web with the Cloud. Speaking simply, a mobile app may simply be a door to a cloud-based service, product or content.
Such cloud infrastructure, of course, assumes high availability of networks and fast speeds as in case of 3G or 4G services. So far, these issues have not been a major bottleneck in the rise of Cloud Computing.
Cloud Computing in the consumer arena has a profound impact on Media and Content industries. The illustration below depicts these changes.
Impact of the Consumer Cloud
June 10th, 2011
Mobile Apps Conclave – the conference organized by CellStrat concluded successfully on 29th April, ‘11 at The Chancery Pavilion Hotel, Bangalore. The Conference saw tremendous interest with a large no of audience from all over India. The star-studded speaker lineup and intuitive content on Mobile Apps and Web fueled interest in this event. The theme for this event was : “The Mobile Web Disruption – Life, Media and Business get Appified”.
In addition to Bangalore, audience came from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chennai, both from brands and senior management of companies as well as the developer community.
More than 200 blue-chip audience participated in this event on the hottest topic in modern times – Mobile Apps, App Stores and the Mobile Internet. Most brands, mobile device manufacturers, app store and app development firms were present to learn about the Business of Mobile Apps and Web.
Details of the event and photographs are available at http://www.mobileappsconclave.com.
Event Brief :
The Mobile Web – the new name of Growth around the world. Mobile Internet Tsunami – as many refer to it.
Mobile is the industry of this decade. Mobile has taken world by storm. The feature phone growth is fast evolving into smartphone growth driven by the emergence and popularity of The Mobile Web and those tiny ubiquitous Apps – hundreds of thousands of them literally. Mobile Web is upending so many industries, it is breathtaking to say the least. Many of these businesses are succumbing to the trend which the venerable firm Apple started – businesses like news and media, advertising, gaming, productivity, publishing, telecom, entertainment, commerce, financial services or healthcare..the list goes on and on. Whoever you are, wherever you are – either have an App and Mobile Media strategy or be prepared to loose substantial traction in the marketplace – because, indeed, your customers are App savvy even if you are not.
You are on the road and want to check nearby promotions, there are many apps for that; you want to track your supply chain, many apps for that too; track Social Network updates; many apps there as well; there is even an app for Confessing to God. Apps are orchestrating the growth in intelligent smartphones; next playground is Tablet followed by Computers. Are you ready for the brave New World of Mobile and Mobile Tablets ? Are you ready for the Mobile Web revolution ?
Conference Sessions :
Here are some notes from the Keynotes and Panels that transpired at this event.
In the morning session, there was an intuitive keynote by Pratapa Bernard, Vice President and Head – COE – Data Services (Emerging Markets) at Vodafone. He addressed the impact of the Mobile Web and Apps on the modern consumer and businesses. He mentioned the imperative need to focus on user experience and not technology itself citing the example of Apple etc. He went on to say that 80% of internet access in India in 2015 will be from mobile devices.
Next came a panel on “Mobile Apps go mainstream – Content, Engagement and Lifestyle on Mobile Apps”. This panel discussed the Mobile App revolution and how Content and Entertainment is being delivered via Apps. The panel speakers included Rajiv Kumar (CEO – RockeTalk), Deepak Swamy (Head – Flypp App Store, Infosys), Sanjay Bhasin (VP-Getit Info Services), Vikram Tanna (VP – STAR Digital), Rajesh Reddy (CEO, July Systems) and Narasimha Suresh (CEO – TELiBrahma). This panel focussed on App monetization and how developers are finding it a challenge to monetize their apps. This panel also discussed the need to “Indianize” the Western business models, cost structures as well as offerings to make them work in India. On HTML5, the panel members said this new standard will be big against Mobile apps but the “when” is not clear yet.
After the first panel, there was an interesting keynote by InMobi (top Mobile Advertising firm) executive Sridhar Ranganathan (VP-Product Management) on how market pressures are forcing firms like InMobi to push the boundaries of creativity with immersive advertising and the need to think of Mobile Ads like mini-apps. He mentioned the need to un-learn the PC and focus on Mobile as a separate experience.
In the afternoon session, there was an innovative keynote by Sunny Rao, MD – India and APAC of Nuance Communications. Sunny spoke about some of the innovations in Mobile Web world surrounding Speech Technology, Voice-based Social Networking and automotive vehicles as mobile channels. Sunny’s keynote was followed by an interesting panel on innovations in Mobile Apps and Mobile Web. This panel had some true Mobile innovators in Amiya Pathak of ZipDial, Kalyan Manyam of MojoStreet, Indus Khaitan of Bitzer Mobile and Soumitra Sharma of IDG Ventures. This panel discussed specialized vertical Apps which are popping up in industries like Payments and Commerce, Social Gaming, Healthcare and Education.
The Mobile Innovations panel was followed by a Startup showcase where Sriram Mohan, Associate Editor at YourStory.in helped introduce some startups which are creating innovative business models in the Mobile App ecosystem.
The last (but not the least) panel was on Emerging Devices and Tablets. Advent of Apple iPad has opened a whole new world of possibilities and truly heralds a world of post-PC era. Prabha Aithal, CTO at CanvasM moderated a panel of speakers which included Alap Ghosh of Mobango (App Store), Pradeep Rao of Research in Motion, Ashish Gupta of Helion Ventures and Dr Sharad Jaiswal of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs. This panel discussed the impact that the tablet and emerging devices are having on the ecosystem. Emerging Devices is a hot new area and is seeing digitization of content at a blistering pace from a variety of industry verticals like publishing, entertainment, retail, media etc..
Conference Partners :
Overall, it was an action-packed conference with active participation from speakers and audience. Partners included Presentation Sharing Partner authorSTREAM on which the presentations by CellStrat, event speakers, exhibitors and partners can be found. The Mobile App Partner, Hazel Media provided an event app for this conference. Whereas the Mobility Partner, MobiVite published a Mobile WAP site for the same.
InMobi was the Platinum Sponsor for this event. AgileCO was the Gold Sponsor. Other supporters included partners like MOMO Bangalore, The Morpheus and Indian Angel Network (IAN). Media Partners include the online media firm YourStory.in and TelecomLead.
YourStory.in was a Premium Partner for this event and it provided online media visibility as well as Anchor support for the event.
Mobile Solutions Expo :
This conference also saw an interesting exhibition on Mobile Solutions where some innovative app companies exhibited their apps and solutions. This Expo dazzled the audience with some interesting apps and solutions in the Mobile space. The exhibitors included WINIT, Nanostuffs, RockeTalk, Bitstream, Softtrends, MobiVite and some others.
For photos and other details from the event, check the event website at : http://www.mobileappsconclave.com.
Shyam Kamadolli (Director – Fidelity Growth Partners India) was one of the attendees and has some intuitive notes from this conference on his blog : http://skamadolli.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/india-mobile-apps/.
May 16th, 2011
I recently attended a TV Everywhere session where there was a discussion on the evolution of the Television and Video industry with the advent of IPTV and Mobile access devices.
Clearly, TV Everywhere is a a huge trend and there are many factors driving this trend :
Today one sees DSL and Cable Modems have replaced the erstwhile Dial-ups. The 312 KBPS+ bandwidth running upto 50 MBPS for high end Cable modems in advanced economies (speeds in India top out at 1.5 to 3 MBPS etc for most providers) is enabling the ability to access high-speed graphics, video and gaming content from home and work computers.
Firms like Netflix in the US and Canada have figured out compelling business models to stream movies over the internet and are threatning the traditional movie rental business and regular cable television.
India’s broadband penetration rate is woefully small and speeds are still on low end of the spectrum, so Live TV Streaming in India is still a very niche industry. However with the expected surge in internet penetration expected over the next decade (some estimates put India’s internet penetration at 30% households in next few years), the IPTV and online TV streaming is expected to surge. Firms like seventymm.com which have led the online DVD rental business in India (India’s Netflix) will likely evolve into movie streaming firms as India’s broadband penetration takes hold, similar to what Netflix has done in the United States.
Broadband sticks and Laptop connect cards (offered by most carriers) enable the laptops and tablets to be wirelessly connected over a reasonably fast GPRS/UMTS/3G network – with the advent of 3G in India, this pattern is sure to accelerate.
Consumers today are demanding YouTube and Cricket streaming video from their laptops, smartphones and tablets. Content providers and distributors have to oblige if they hope to keep these consumers engaged and commercially viable.
For India, Mobile is specially important as it has close to 800 million Mobile Subscribers already. Granted that more than 90% of these are carrying feature phones and using the 2G/2.5G networks, smartphone penetration rate is accelerating and wireless tablets are being introduced as well by a variety of handset firms. Between the smartphones, tablets and 3G, one is looking at increasing Mobile Video and TV access over the airwaves in the coming years.
As mentioned above, Consumer is the King. With proliferation of devices around the home and on the go, plus busy urban lifestyles, consumers are demanding DVR recording capabilities as well as anywhere, anytime access to their favorite programs. A common trend in many households, which have acquired the new tablets like iPad, is that as soon as the first tablet arrives, members of the household including parents and kids make a grab for it and want to curl up in the bed with their favorite channels on YouTube, Netflix or other streaming services.
TV Everywhere is a developing trend and is being demanded by the consumer. Entertainment and Media industry are happy to oblige – to drive new revenue growth and keep the customers engaged with the brands.
What are the prominent TV and Video Streaming services in India :
- CNN-IBN Live : TV Portal as well as Live TV
- NDTV 24×7 : TV Portal as well as Live TV
- In.com : Has a Video Social Network (not live streaming generally)
- CNBC TV18 / moneycontrol.com : Business news streaming
- ESPNStar.com : Video Portal (not live streaming) – has lot of Cricket coverage for World Cup and IPL
- YouTube / Indiatimes.com : streaming ICC World Cup as well as IPL cricket matches
- Nautanki.tv : currently it’s website is not accessible (so not clear on it’s status)
April 16th, 2011
(from our Atlanta desk)
It is commonly said that this is the “Year of the Tablet“. Certainly, with Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom and dozens of other tablets and eReaders being introduced in the marketplace, everybody is talking about the “post-PC” era and the impact of tablets on consumers and businesses. Tablets are causing upheavals in the Publishing and Media industries with most major Newspapers and Magazines plotting a Tablet strategy for their periodicals. Netflix and other Streaming Entertainment providers are booming due to the surge in Tablet access subscriptions. Book Publishers are digitizing their books at an increasingly rapid pace expecting a shift away from Printed Books to Tablet or eReaders. 80% of Fortune 100 companies in the United States are trialing iPad for their Corporate employees. Laptops which were hyper-growth computers for the first decade of this century are making way for the Invasion of the Tablets.
Our analyst in Atlanta attended an intuitive session on Tablet computing at the Wireless Technology Forum, Atlanta on March 17th, 2011. Here are the notes from this session :
Mike Lupo, Sr Director – Digital Products, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC)
Karen Truitt, Director – Mobile Devices, Intel
Chuck Rainbow, Technical Manager – Tablets, Research in Motion
Jim Dudenhoefer, Manager – WebOS, HP Palm
Moderator : Dr. Phil Hendrix, Director, Institute of Mobile Markets Research (IMMR), Atlanta
A great cast of speakers from top contenders in the Tablet space (the 800-Pound Gorilla, ie Apple, was missing, so was Google). This session focused on the tablet form factor, the applications that will drive adoption and the business models needed to support this new networking paradigm.
(All data below refers to USA Tablet Market)
Dr Phil : Tablets have almost 5 to 7% penetration right now – it is currently one of the fastest growing Consumer Electronics products.
IMMR (Dr Phil’s organization) recently concluded a survey on the Tablet ecosystem. On the question of “Familiarity with Tablets”, here are the stats :
- On the question of “Familiarity with Tablets” :- 38% audience – somewhat familiar; 26% – very familiar; 35% – not familiar
- Smartphone familiarity is higher than feature phones in households.
- 4 in 10 people are interested in purchasing a tablet for someone in the household. Once the tablet comes into the household, it tends to get shared. Over time, some households may become multi-tablet households.
- Lower prices will unlock demand. $500 is the breaking point for most folks when they get discouraged from spending on tablets. iPad is at a higher price point but has still sold like hotcake – this is due to Early adopters, who are buying high end tablets today. But significant opportunity exists for cheaper tablets below the $500 threshold.
- Preferred Tablet OS :- Apple iOS – 58%, Windows OS – 36%, Android OS – 35%, BlackBerry – 13%, HP Palm – 9%. Interestingly, Windows OS beat out Android slightly.
Mike (AJC) : AJC Newspaper has just developed its iPad App and it is currently in Beta. AJC also has an iPhone/iOS App called AJC Digest which is available on App Store today.
Karen – Intel, which is a strong leader in the PC microprocessor industry so far, is looking to expand into tablet microprocessors, chips inside cars, etc.
Jim – HP had acquired Palm recently and HP plans to deploy the Palm WebOS in many of its tablet devices over the years.
Chuck - RIM is about to release its Tablet play titled “Playbook”. There is much excitement within RIM with this upcoming launch.
Dr Phil - Why now for tablets ?
Karen - Apple has created the game-changing device in iPad. Apple is a master of simple products that work well. They made the Mobile Device, App and App Delivery ecosystem simple enough to allow for a mass market adoption.
Chuck – Tablets are now because chip processing and battery power has reached a point where these devices are possible (our take on this : RIM won’t admit to Apple’s role in opening this market :). These devices are now feasible. We are reaching an inflection point where tablets can substitute for laptops, devices which are anyway more difficult to lug around. People are not getting acclimatized to these devices.
Jim- Consumers today demand anywhere access to content and data. Tablets are just another end point in this evolution. It’s about data access – moving it to the cloud and the desire to access it from anywhere. Phone screen is too small to allow an optimal experience for this. Jim also noted that they are not concerned about Apple’s dominance so far. Jim has a great point of view that, if at all, Apple has been a positive contributor in creating a huge new market for all device makers to play in. Jim said market is huge for many to thrive. This is a market where all boats can and will rise. (Good point)
Mike - In an average American home, people think of tablets as lean back experience whereas PC is work – so tablets make sense now for AJC. Newspaper is about relaxing and consuming the news. So it makes sense for AJC to work in tablet space.
Dr Phil – The 800-pound gorilla (Apple-who else) is not in this session. Where is the gap in Apple’s tablet strategy which others could potentially exploit ?
Karen- Apple has created the benchmark. Everybody else is trying to catch up to that. Android Honeycomb from Google is an attempt to catch up to the iPad benchmark. However the user experience of Android still has to mature for it to be a strong contender. AS to Apple’s weak points, Flash is certainly one – a blatant omission from the likes of Apple. (Karen admitted, however, that Apple does not consider lack of Flash in iOS devices as a weak point).
Chuck- Apple is weak on security. There is a security breach every 4 hours in Apple iOS environment. RIM / BlackBerry is known for security (note that BlackBerry is still dominant smartphone in the Corporate world). Mobile Device security is critical area – virus maker McAfee has smartphone security software today. Apple does even acknowledge the security issue in its iOS environment. Chuck said that until something goes wrong, people don’t take notice. Consumers will start getting concerned when they loose credit cards etc in Apple environment (CellStrat note : Note that Mobile Payments is about to become a big area and here security is of paramount importance).
Jim - Apple is consumer-focused firm. There is lot of opportunity in Enterprise and niche verticals (where the field is still open for all) in addition to the huge consumer opportunity.
Dr Phil : Avg selling price in 18 months?
Mike – 350 or 300 dollar will be great.
Dr Phil - Newspaper in Canada is giving away iPads if folks buy newspaper subscriptions. Will Atlanta Journal Constitution adopt this approach ?
Mike (with a chuckle) – No (resoundingly!)
Karen - Intel has created tablets for healthcare verticals. Businesses will want ruggedized versions of tablets (a delicate iPad device will not work in many industries) – these devices may get dropped and used in rough conditions in various industries.
Dr Phil – Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Nobile (Nook) eReaders will have more and more of tablet functions over time as the boundaries between eReaders and tablets will become indistinguishable. Printed Books may become redundant. Tablets will take over though it will take some time.
Ques : Will HTML5 replace Flash?
Dr Phil - Depends on how quickly content makers adapt.
Ques : Where is the money?
Karen – Apple is making money and also App developers. Carriers are making money also because of rapid growth in Data plans.
Jim- Dynamics of the industry is changing. It is still wide open to pin down the business model. Revenue Models are evolving still.
Chuck- When the PC came around, money was in hardware sales. Then, software became more important and apps like Microsoft Office made money. A similar ecosystem will evolve in Mobile Devices (implying mobile device hardware will make money followed by software over longer term).
Ques : What about accessories business ? The new Apple Smart Covers for iPad 2’s is all about margins (for Apple). Will USB attachments and such accessories be a lucrative area ?
Chuck - Ultimately Bluetooth will be dominant. Apple model of side-loading will be replaced by Cloud services. (Chuck said that in spite of this, Blackberry Playbook will have USB and HDMI port to cover all bases).
Ques : HP Palm strategy to win over developers given Apple’s popularity in Developer ecosystem (50,000 Apps already available customized to Apple iPad and HP Palm has hardly any, so far) ? After all Developers make or break Mobile platforms. Also, Apple deducts a large chuck (30%) from Developer App revenue as commission.
Jim - HP talked to a lot of developers and they are struggling on revenue generation with the Apple App Store or even the Android Store. Certainly there is room for developer innovation here in terms of Business model which helps them.
HP’s strategy will be to be as open as possible (Open Mobile environment) – ultimately this will help Developers. Eg Kindle Book Store will be available on HP Palm – this means that HP Palm Tablet will have 800,000 Kindle Books available from the get go. Also, HP will offer both models in its App ecosystem – the App store approach for mass market as well as Private distribution for corporations.
Chuck – Even though Apple iPad has 50,000 custom Apps, most are trivial (he referenced iFart apps on Apple Store:). Average Usage per app among the 50K apps (on iPad App Store) is less than one day. RIM / Blackberry has much higher average usage of its mobile apps. (our take : Good point but can one discount the mass Developer and Consumer Crowd running after Apple ?)
Ques : On Tablets replacing PCs ?
Karen - Tablet is a consumption device. It will do well but won’t replace PCs/laptops. PCs will always be ahead in graphics and processing power. So tablet will not replace PCs/laptops that fast (our take: they better not – else Intel’s primary business is in jeopardy
Overall a great session on Tablets. Kudos to the folks at Wireless Technology Forum (Bob, Steve, Maury, Scott, John, Ed and others) for organizing this event.
March 18th, 2011
Mobile Apps and Web have taken the world by storm. Certainly, Apple deserves credit for orchestrating the Mobile Web experience when it created the iPhone and its App Store. In the process, Apple unleashed the creative energy of hundreds of thousands of Mobile developers worldwide. As of last count, Apple App Store counts 350,000 Apps in the store. With the launch of the iPad tablet, Apple popularized the Tablet computer category and now lot of developers are developing Apps for the Tablet version. Tablet has started what most refer to as the post-PC era. Certainly firms like Microsoft, HP and Intel are in lot of trouble as many consumers and businesses are going the Tablet way instead of upgrading or buying regular PCs and laptops. Now Apple is trying to bring the App experience with its launch of the MAC App Store.
Mobile Web is the latest and greatest Media channel today. It is a most apt media channel for a variety of reasons which we will explain a little later in this post.
Are the various Media firms and Brand Marketers prepared to adjust to this titanic shift of Mobile-based Media ? Do Mobile Apps and Web even belong in a firm’s Integrated Media portfolio ? We will attempt to answer these questions below.
Today media consists of various channels :
How does Mobile Web fit in this scheme ? The schematic below elaborates the various Digital and Mobile Advertising formats :
Digital Media Channels
Consider this (taking Indian context here) :
- There are 770 million Mobile Subscriptions today (out of a total population of 1.2 billion people) – granted only 550 million are Active Mobile Subscribers : still almost 45% of Indian population are active Mobile Subscribers
- India has less than 10% internet penetration
- Mobile is the first and only communications tool for most Rural and Semi-Urban Audience in India
- Mobile is personal, has context, is location-aware and is always ON
- Admittedly 90% of Indian mobile market is comprised of feature phones, leading to SMS as the dominant marketing channel in India. But the fastest growth rate is now seen in Smartphone uptake – with acceleration in sales of cheaper smartphones from the likes of MicroMax, Lava etc in addition to established Brands like Nokia, Samsung etc. Mobile Web is now proliferating throughout the Indian consumer class much more rapidly than the feature phone growth.
- The 3G launches this year will only accelerate the move to Broadband Mobile Services (think Mobile Web with much superior user experience and faster speeds)
- The post-PC era may have started with Tablets taking over the role of laptops and computers. Many leading businesses and business execs are using tablets for business travel instead of their laptops now.
- Print Media and Book Publishers are rapidly shifting en masse to Mobile Apps and Mobile eReaders as the delivery channel.
- People are increasingly consuming media, content and advertising on Mobile phones and tablets.
Given the above advantages – Mobile can be a top Media and Marketing Channel for any Agency or Marketer today in India, much better than the Internet at least.
Now how many Brands and Media Agencies in India have actually integrated Mobile in their portfolio ? Our research indicates that most Media Agencies and Brands in India are yet to include Mobile as a captive Media channel (more on this in our upcoming Research Report : “Mobile Apps Innovation Report for India“. Contact us for details). Though many firms have tried the SMS and VAS marketing route in India, the future now lies in capturing the Mobile Web and Mobile App Media market which is developing rapidly in India.
Our upcoming conference on Mobile Apps (April 29th) – the “Mobile Apps Conclave – Bangalore” will address the entire gamut of topics on Mobile Web and Mobile Apps. Do not forget to register – there are some early registration promotions going on right now.
March 7th, 2011
Mobile Apps – those tiny applications which sit on your mobile phone and provides all sorts of functionality, simplying your life and business, your connectivity, your social experience and entertaining you on the go. Mobile Apps – hundreds of thousands of them literally on various App Stores – have created a Mobile Web revolution – it is the advent of Web 3.0.
Ok – Mobile Apps are great – businesses are enamored by their potential, consumers want them, developers and brands want to make money of them. The last part is the most tricky one so far. How do you monetize Mobile Apps, most of which are either Free or sell for less than a Dollar? This remains a tough challenge for most developers or brands the world over. Here are some key insights on how one can market Mobile Apps we well as monetize them:
- Selling Mobile Apps is (generally) not a Business in itself
What? And people think they can retire writing Mobile Apps in their basement.. The sad fact is that just creating Mobile Apps, even with all their promise, is not a standalone Business Model. The Barrier to Entry is way too low. Any half decent developer can produce a Grocery Tracking app overnight.
Discoverability and Marketing of apps from smaller firms and developers is a difficult task. It is like saying SEO alone will make your business money, to take an analogy from the online world.
- Relying on Advertising revenue may not be a viable strategy
Many developers and brands assume that Apps can monetize themselves using those Banner Ads or in-App Ads. Issue is mass marketing apps is challenging, especially those apps which are from smaller brands and developers; unless the App is widely popular over a long period of time (eg Facebook, NDTV or Angry Birds apps), Banner Advertising will not provide substantial revenue to make the business tick.
- Apps are extension of your other business
The fact is that Developers and Brands need to think of Mobile Apps as an extension of their other Businesses, as an additional value they provide to their audience beyond their core business. That means, Mobile Apps are an Extension to other businesses and not a Business by themselves. Hopefully your core business is successful and Apps will serve as an additional value add or accelerator for the core business.
- Apps and Social Media Marketing
The world of Mobile and Social Media / Digital Media has truly converged. These areas are inseparable from two angles : First – Social goes on Mobile and Mobile enables the Social Networks. Secondly, App Marketing needs to integrate with Social Media Marketing.
Social Media is probably the best way for App Developers and Brands to generate buzz about their Apps and drive downloads (or mobile website access). It is a low cost way to engage audience and create social ambassadors for spreading the word about one’s Mobile Content and Apps.
Say you are in the business of selling Legal Content and Consulting. Your business could benefit from providing Mobile Access to your Legal Content. Another example is of that an Educational business – which puts its Educational offerings on a Mobile Channel.
The bottomline is that Apps developed for a niche market marketed by Experts in that Vertical have a higher chance of success and monetization.
- Large Brands can use Apps as an additional Channel
Finally, Blue-chip Brands and Large Enterprises have it most easy when it comes to monetizing or leveraging Apps. These firms have strong brand name and visibility already and can easily mix Marketing of their Mobile Content into their overall marketing messaging and portals. Eg large brands can prominently display their App Download links on their highly-trafficked website and newsletters. Plus, consumers actually search for apps from these providers in various App Stores.
In summary, Large Brands can and should use Apps and Mobile Web to engage their audience further and provide additional value.
Hope this helps those who are thinking about App Monetization and App Marketing. To learn more on this, we encourage you to attend the Mobile Apps Conclave – the largest Mobile Apps Conference and Expo in India on 29th April in Bangalore, where many leading experts from India’s Mobile Industry will tackle this topic, among many others.
February 27th, 2011
(from our Atlanta desk)
I attended the Wireless Technology Forum, Atlanta meeting on 18 Nov. The topic was “2011 Analyst Outlook” – an excellent one as we all are very curious to know what comes in 2011 in Wireless. Here are the notes from the meeting :
There was an excellent lineup of speakers –
Keynote : “Prospects for LTE in 2011″ by Steven Leonard, Regional Director, Data Sales, Verizon Wireless
- Phil Hendrix, Principal Analyst, Institute for Mobile Markets Research (or IMMR)
– Jorge Fuenzalida, Vice President, Strategy and Technology Group, inCode Telecom Group (now part of Ericsson)
- Jeremy Schneider, Principal, Telecommunications, McKinsey & Company, Inc.
- Robert Prudhomme, Vice President, Client Services, Telecom Practice, The Nielsen Company
Moderator : Gerry Purdy, Principal Analyst, MobileTrax
Steven Leonard (Verizon Wireless) on LTE in 2011 :-
LTE offers 10 times faster speed compared to 3G networks. Verizon will have LTE in 38 markets by 2011. Verizon has the valuable 700 MHz spectrum which allows high speed and data accuracy in network transmission. LTE utilizes the MIMO technology. MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) is a technology that increases in data throughput and link range without additional bandwidth or transmit power.
Another key aspect of 2011 is the growth of Tablets and accompanying data demands. 181% growth expected in Tablet usage in 2011 over this year. Verizon is the only carrier with contiguous 4G spectrum in USA (AT&T may disagree : )
Lte is 3.5 times faster than CDMA in how far signal will travel without diluting. It offers Latency near 30 ms where earlier it was 150 ms.
Verizon 4G leadership (per Steven) :-
– Joint innovation lab
– Open devl
– Verizon developer community
– LTE innovation center
– M2M management center in partnership with Qualcomm
Note : M2M or Machine-to-Machine is the new wireless industry developing around putting wireless chips in home appliances, hospital equipment and other such non telecom functions).
Verizon Launch mkt this year – Athens and Atlanta are included
Wireless broadband features in LTE include :-
1 Advanced applications :- like Entertainment and Music
2 Innovative devices
3 Location agnostic : Whereever you are availability
As per Steven, Verizon 4g network rollout will be completed in 2013 in the USA.
Phil Hendrix (IMMR) :-
Phil gave a presentation on Mobile Commerce, an area which is rapidly evolving. The most happening event in USA on Mobile Commerce has to do with NFC phone proliferation expected in 2011 with Google Nexus S and Apple iPhone – both NFC enabled phones coming out potentially as per reports.
As per Phil, Mobile Commerce has three perspectives :-
– Consumers : mobile shopping
– Brands : mobile advertising
– Retailers : m-commerce
8 dimensions which together constitute mobile commerce:-
– Mobile Shopping
– Mobile Funds Transfer
– Mobile Advertising
– Mobile Rewards
– Mobile Coupons
– Mobile Booking
– Mobile Offers
– Mobile Payments
Today we are only in the initial stages of Mobile Commerce.
Certain trends are accelerating Mobile Commerce. These Accelerators include :-
– Hyper Local sensitivity – what is around us
– Social Media
– Yield Management
– Supply Chain integration
– Big Data
Jorge Fuenzalida (inCode) :-
inCode Telecom Group, the telecom strategy consulting firm, has been acquired by Ericsson recently. inCode is famous for its “top 10 predictions” in wireless every year. Jorge said that these are not finalized for 2011 but offered a Sneak preview of the top 10 :-
1) Over the Top goes over the top (in other words, over the top video/OTT or IPTV accelerates and everything in video goes online)
2009-Netflix becoming very popular – CPE based OTT
2011-all content goes online eg Google TV or other such offerings
2) Tablet rush – in 2011 it will overtake netbooks
3) The new Gold Rush in 2011- wireless rural broadband – due to government stimulus
Well said, Jorge.
Jeremy Schneider (McKinsey) :-
Core wireless has matured. Revenue growth has slowed in voice and messaging
What is next then? Three predictions (since it is the day of 3 predictions from all analysts : ) :-
1) Data will grow much more than what most analysts are calling for. McKinsey thinks 17 times growth from 2009 to 2012 in mobile data
McKinsey thinks that even this number is relatively conservative. They think it could be 25 times growth by 2012.
Tablets, mobile video and broader consumer adoption of mobile browsing will drive mobile data growth.
2) Enterprise will outstrip Consumer in wireless (this is surprising as per me as consumer has been the bigger driver of smartphone data via apps so far)
Enterprise mobility will enable employee mobility etc
– 6 times higher willingness to pay in enterprise consider to consumer
– big market. M2M sensors estimates keep rising on a daily basis
– many verticals are ripe for innovation
Healthcare is particularly exciting in the M2M arena.
Healthcare will expand in 5 trillion dollars overall in 5 yrs. At current rates healthcare will be 30% of us GDP
* Remote Monitoring
* Remote Consultation
* Medication Management
* Health and Wellness
3) New directions in Application Architecture
– Data growth needs efficient network
* 30% time waiting on mobile browsing
– Platform independent tech like HTML5, JIL (Java Intermediate Language), WAC (Wholesale Application Community – the operator consortium), SNs (?)
– Delivered in the cloud (aha – Cloud Computing – we know it)
* Consumer – Large portions of iPhone apps already on the Amazon Cloud or EC2
* Enterprise – 40% savings by moving to cloud
Robert Prudhomme (Nielsen) :-
Growth has slowed in postpaid the USA. Prepaid is going well.
Only verizon and AT&T were able to get net adds in Pospaid this year. However, all of these came at the expense of T-Mobile or Sprint (no wonder, with 80%+ market penetration for wireless in USA, you can only get new customers by poaching from your competitors)
AT&T is doing well with its Connected Devices business, however a concern is that Standards and Business models around these new devices are not clear and their financial worth is not known.
The erstwhile prepaid kings, the carriers Cricket and Metro are suffering as the Big-4 wireless operators are getting most of the prepaid now.
Sprint is competing on pricing while it tries to retain its customers who are churning fast. The No 1 reason to win a customer now is promotion and pricing. This means price wars as are seen in $50 all you can eat plans from some carriers. Now, Sprint is even undercutting T-Mobile in pricing. (my conjecture is that the profit margin in $50 all you can eat plan is really next to nothing).
Of course wireless has lot of bright areas too on the premium side – mainly Record smartphone sales. On premium side, smartphone (driven by top smartphones like iPhone and Android phone) sales are driving fast growth.
Wireless Tablets remains an unpredictable play for the operators. This is depicted by the fact that only 1/10th of iPad tablets sold are activated on the AT&T network. Rest are using WiFi or exported out of the country. (But AT&T still scores as it has a respectable nationwide WiFi network – of course free public WiFi for broadband customers is a customer retention strategy by carriers like AT&T and not really a revenue generator).
Smartphones are driving increases in App adoption (finally a direct reference to Apps)
– 59% smartphone owners download apps
– 9% feature phone owners download apps
AT&T – 74% postpaid net adds in last quarter are iPhone customers (did I get it right – 74% ?).
Interesting stat from Nielsen : -950,000 netadds lost from AT&T if they lost iPhone exclusivity per Nielsen estimates. In other words, with the impending Verizon iPhone and potentially on other carriers too, AT&T might loose almost 1 million net adds per quarter. A significant number but one AT&T is already planning for most likely.
In France and other European countries, when iPhone exclusivity ended with one carrier, Apple doubled their share or more in some cases. So one can conclude that the Apple stock price may be trading at a discount if its market share is about to rise (now let me run and buy some Apple stock.. : )
Overall an excellent discussion on the 2011 Outlook for US wireless by some Industry heavyweights in the Analyst world. Congratulations to the team at Wireless Technology Forum (Atlanta) and especially to Gerry Purdy of MobileTrax for putting together this awesome event.
November 22nd, 2010
If you follow the 4G space and liked the article on CLEAR, you must check out this post by Om Malik. Its about Verizon and the roll out of LTE in Boston and Seattle.
What is LTE? In simple terms, LTE lets you browse internet on your phone at the speeds you get on your laptops today. Basically you have internet in your pocket and dont need wifi or even your laptop. For more details, click here.
This is a positive development for companies in the mobile media space. Companies betting on the mobile phones to become the first screen instead of the third screen will get a pump from services like this.
August 17th, 2009