Tag Archives: smartphones Blog

Internet Trends Report

Knowing how and where people get information is the best way to know how and where to deliver our messages and services. With that in mind, Kleiner Perkins analyst Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report is a valuable compilation of research and observation that sheds light in these areas to help us keep up with the constantly changing business/tech landscape. This year’s report, delivered at the recent “All Things Digital” conference, highlights several notable trends.

The move to mobile is in full throttle. Laptop and desktop sales will continue to decline as smartphone and tablets become the devices of choice in the ‘Post PC” era. Apple and Samsung claimed a combined 51% market share of global smartphone unit sales in Q4 2012, making them the dominant players in the field.

  • Tablets are being adopted even more quickly than smartphones. Measuring the first 12 quarters after launch, iPads have sold 3-times faster than iPhones. Tablet sales also eclipsed sales of desktops and laptops for Q4 2012, and projections are that annual tablet shipments will surpass laptops in 2013, and total PCs in 2015.
  • Mobile Internet traffic is now 15% of total global internet traffic.
  • Time spent with print and radio continue to trend downward while TV and Internet remain steady. Mobile, on the other hand, continues to trend upward. Interestingly, the money advertisers spend on print is 4-times greater than the time spent there, while money spent on mobile advertising is one-fourth the time spent, pointing to a $20B opportunity as advertisers catch up.

The entire presentation is 117 slides and provides information on topics including media, global browsing, and wearable tech.

View full report: [no longer available]

The Mobile Challenge and Opportunity

Everyone is talking about the shift to mobile devices. We can expect changes in the way business is done and how people get information as smartphones and tablets continue to proliferate. This article points to three strategic problems that businesses must solve as  workforces become more mobile.

Just as the internet fundamentally changed consumer behaviour and the way we do business in the 1990s, the continued rise of mobile is set to be a major disruptive force over the next decade … That is backed up by a recent Gartner survey of 2,000 chief information officers (CIOs) worldwide, with 70% putting mobile top of the list ahead of other trends such as big data, social media and cloud computing as the technology that will disrupt established business models most for the next 10 years.

There are many benefits, mostly economic, that will drive the spread of mobile technology. In our own businesses, it’s a good time to develop strategies to meet our customers and partners when they’re on the go.

Read full article: http://linkd.in/130cV6a

Apps vs Browsers? No Contest. It’s Apps!

When apps — you know, those little applications that run on smartphones and tables? —  first came out a few years ago, a debate arose over which were better, apps or mobile websites, and which consumers would prefer. Developers thought that offering tailored services through a browser was much more desirable, from both cost and usability standpoints, rather than apps, which users had to update constantly, and that developers would have to maintain for several platforms. But consumers, hands down, have chosen apps. There’s something about these little one-trick ponies that are so easy to use that people like.

In this recent report from Flurry, a mobile analytics and advertising platform, it’s clear that apps command the most time spent on mobile devices by a whopping 4-to-1 ratio, and therefore are something consumers want.

Today, the U.S. consumer spends an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on smartphones and tablets. 80% of that time (2 hours and 7 minutes) is spent inside apps and 20% (31 minutes) is spent on the mobile web. Apps (and Facebook) are commanding a meaningful amount of consumers’ time. All mobile browsers combined … control 20% of consumers’ time. Gaming apps remain the largest category of all apps with 32% of time spent. Facebook is second with 18%, and Safari is 3rd with 12% Worth noting is that a lot of people are consuming web content from inside the Facebook app. For example, when a Facebook user clicks on a friend’s link or article, that content is shown inside its web view without launching a native web browser, which keeps the user in the app. So if we consider the proportion of Facebook app usage that is within their web view,  we can assert that Facebook has become the most adopted browser in terms of consumer time spent.

The article covers several more interesting points about apps, but the take-away is, it’s time to think about how we can use apps to best server our customers, and explore what other economies can apps provide. People are using them, so offering them will become a differentiator in the burgeoning mobile world.

Read full article: [no longer available]

What Comes After Smartphones?

Beyond Smartphones: Google and Microsoft are working on ‘eyeglass computers.’ Are these the next logical step in computer sizing, proximity and availability? Let’s face it, computers just want to get smaller. And more powerful, useful and ubiquitous. It may have something to do with an innate human desire to be telepathic and unbound in time and space. Whatever, it makes sense that someone will find a way to make computing almost as accessible as thought is to our brains. Hence, the ‘eyeglass computer,’ which features voice I/O, an internet connection, video recording and an embedded display in the glass.

… something like Google Glass or whatever Microsoft is working on could end up replacing the smartphone as the dominant way people access the Internet and connect to each other. First off: something has to. Disruption is inevitable. Secondly: The trend is obvious. Computers have been getting smaller and closer to our faces since their very beginning. First they were in big rooms, then they sat on desktops, then they sat on our laps, and now they’re in our palms. Next they’ll be on our faces. (Eventually they’ll be in our brains.)

It’s the “in our brains” concept  that’s a little scary. I’m not sure if it’s even possible to develop an interface for that (where would you get an API?). But in terms of storing everything a government might need to know about us on our person, including our exact location at the moment, that’s not difficult to do today. And forgetting about what life in that scenario might be like for the moment, let’s think about how interesting it would be to be able to get any bit of information we needed with just a Siri-like voice query. Unlimited information barely a thought away. If only understanding and wisdom were that available along with the information …

Read more: http://read.bi/UVLgwi

Smartphones Reaching Tipping Point

The smartphone revolution marches on. Data from Nielsen (via cnet) shows that more than half of those aged 18 – 24 carry a smartphone today. And numbers for those over 44 are continuing to trend upward. Given the almost limitless functional capabilities of these phones via the apps that run on them, smartphones are poised to take over a huge amount of the work of transactions that time-pressed people need to make while on the go. Also, given that Moore’s Law continues to hold weight, the advent of powerful, pocket-sized computers being everywhere is not unexpected. Add to this users’ love of those tiny apps that “just work,” and the proliferation of smartphones will only continue.

There’s a lot of technology that makes perfect sense on smartphones — technologies that just wouldn’t be as useful on desktops or laptops. These include bar code scanning, NFC (near field communications) and voice recognition like the iPhone’s new Siri. Combine these and you have almost instant, far-ranging research when making buying decisions, and an instant transaction once you find the perfect widget. Today, people buy smartphones for convenience — connecting and communicating with others, accessing information, carrying media and entertainment, playing games, taking photos and videos — all on one, easy-to-carry device. But soon smartphones will be essential to transact business and buy things. Once a tipping point is reached, changes, especially around commerce, tend to snowball.

All of us in business need to consider smartphones. As I often say, if you want to know where markets are going don’t listen to tech companies. Look at the devices people are using and how they use them.

Article  and infographic: http://goo.gl/NqVP2

Some Tips for Using QR Codes

Are QR codes useful? Are they here to stay or just a stop-gap technology? Here’s an interesting article that explores productive ways that print publications are using QR codes along with some helpful tips if you’ve been thinking of implementing them.

Walk past a bus shelter, check product packaging, visit a home improvement store and you’ll see Quick Response (QR) codes. They have gone mainstream, as 14 million people scanned a QR code in June, according to a new report from comScore, and it turns out that half of the time they scanned codes in a newspaper or magazine. Newspapers (and some broadcasters) are exploring how they can make good use of these codes to drive traffic from the print product to the Web via mobile devices, and it may be working.

Read full article: How 6 news organizations are using QR codes to drive traffic to news content

NFC On the Move?

We’ve been hearing about NFC (Near Field Communications) for a while now. The technology, which will empower a new era of mobile commerce, seems to be upon us. With appropriate chip sets, mobile phones will be able to make payments at point of sale terminals similar to the way we use credit cards today. Considering the interactivity that goes with web-enabled phones, this is likely to create a host of new opportunities for retail and mobile commerce.

The news today is that Google apparently is ready to start testing NFC in select retail locations in NY and SFO. The following article provides details along with some insights about how the technology might be used. This is one to watch.

Read full article: Report: Google to Test NFC Mobile Payment Service in NY, San Francisco:http://bit.ly/gHARoF

Laptop Killer?

How many computers do you use most days? A desktop at work and a laptop for the road? Another desktop at home? How about a netbook for the couch? And then there’s your smartphone. Any accounting of computers would have to include those devices in our pockets that allow us to use the Web, do email, create (or at least edit) documents, take photos, videos, manage appointments and contacts, etc., etc., etc., and, oh yes, make phone calls, right? And with apps, these smartphones can do hundreds–maybe thousands–of other useful computing tasks — all because they are full-blown computers. We’ve just begun to tap the potential of these little devices.

Well, what if you could carry a smartphone around with you that contained all your data, documents, photos, videos, contacts, etc., etc., that you could then plug into a terminal wherever you went that provided a keyboard, monitor, pointing device and ports for external devices. After hooking up, the terminal would become a regular computer system with your exact computing environment ready to go. When finished, you unplug, and carry your  digital world with you to use in miniature form on the device, or in full mode on the next terminal. Think of how little redundancy and how much convenience  would be afforded when you don’t have to sync everything in order to have the current versions of everything on the computer you’re using now.

I’m not sure how close we are to that day but we can definitely see it coming. Now there’s a new smartphone and docking station that fulfills a good part of this dream. Motorola’s Atrix 4G, an Adroid smartphone that debuted at CES this week, can turn your smartphone into a laptop very much as described above through its accessory docking station. Could this configuration actually become a “laptop killer?” It will take some time — future phones will need faster processors, more storage and more powerful apps before they can truly replace our notebooks. But past is prologue in the world of computer hardware, so we can be reasonably assured that it’s just a matter of time before our phones are as powerful as the computers we use everyday.

Read full article: http://nyti.ms/eYfUtM

Q: Are Web Apps the Future of Websites? (A: Yes)

As we become more of a mobile society, with respect to the computer and communications devices we use, everything becomes smaller. This includes the time expected to complete tasks, the amount of time we’re allowed to be unavailable, the keyboards and screens we use, and the applications necessary to do our work. The Age of Apps is upon us. Due to the great success of iPhone apps we can now expect to see AppStores everywhere: the MacApp Store, the ChromeApp Store, the AdroidApp Store, and app stores from probably every telecom, computer platform and device maker known to humankind.

Why have Apps become all the rage? Very simply, people want to do things on the go. Apps provide functionality in a nicely portable form with a wonderful simplicity. Most apps do a single function very well. They’re easy to install and use, and in a large way exemplify what people have always wanted from computers. With this in mind, the following article will make a lot of sense. Businesses need to start thinking of how they can offer their content and functionality as simple apps that people can use on-the-go.

In the mid-2000s, many of us still had to “go online” – meaning if we wanted to use Internet services like e-mail or read content published in a blog, we needed to get to a computer connected to a network (or attached to a modem).

That doesn’t really happen anymore. Or, at least, it’s happening less and less. We now travel about our real world surrounded by a bubble of data and functionality that is always available to us. And, since we have ditched the spending-time model in favor of the doing-tasks model, we should expect that the organization of functionality and content should change as well.

No one had to persuade people to start using apps (unlike the unrelenting “education” of consumers regarding 3D TV). The demand has always been there. Now there’s a way to deliver the goods via portable devices. People like having their data and functionality with them. Smart businesses will take note and begin finding ways to provide customers with the information and capabilities they want.


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