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Posts Tagged ‘smartphones’

Most online Americans have smartphones, nearly half have tablets

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

tablet computersTablet ownership as of May 2013 is closing in on a majority of Americans who are online, 8 to 64, across the United States, with 44% of the population owning a tablet in their household – up from 30% in 2012 which is a 47% growth rate in one year.  Already a majority of online Americans (54%) ages 18 to 34 own a tablet.

Smartphone ownership has now broken the majority barrier and reached 61% of online Americans as of May 2013.  Over 79% of all online Americans 18 to 34 now own a smartphone.

The rapid growth of tablet use suggests that many of us want bigger screens than most smartphones have for many of our mobile device activities. We wouldn’t be surprised to see hybrid devices with screens 5 inches to 7 inches becoming increasingly popular.

America is now a mobile connected country

Mike Vorhaus, President of Magid Advisors, a unit of Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. says, “America is not just a connected country now, but a mobile-connected country.”

Magid has just concluded their 2013 Magid Media Futures study including a section dedicated to tablets and smartphones.  The study covers a nationally representative population of 2400 respondents who are 8 to 64 years old and have access to the Internet.

Over half (53%) of all tablet owners in the U.S. have Apple’s full-sized iPad, steady since last year. When you also include the ownership of iPad minis, 59% of tablet owners have any iPad.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire has risen to 31% of tablet owners vs. 28% in 2012. Personally, here at the TechJournal, we love our Kindle Fire, but it does have distinct lacks compared to both the Google Nexus 7 (with a new model allegedly coming in July) and the Apple iPad Mini. It lacks a microphone and dictation software – which we believe is the future of mobile device interfaces. So we’re considering the upcoming new Nexus model as our next tablet purchase.

The Samsung tablets now account for 19% of tablet owners vs. 13% in 2012 – the highest growth rate among tablets this last year.  A third (32%) of tablet owners have multiple brands of tablet devices in their household. We were not crazy about the 10-inch Samsung model we tested, but they have made advances.

Android now a majority in the US

Android logoAndroid smartphones now account for a majority of smartphone owners in the U.S. at 53% vs. iPhones at 41%.  Samsung captures the largest group of Android owners at 50% (26% of all smartphones).

Just under 1 in 10 (8%) of smartphone owners own multiple brands of smartphone devices.  See charts attached for owner adoption and market share data.

App spending was up huge in both the tablet and smartphone markets over the last 12 months.

Tablet app spending growth

Tablet spending on apps grew 42% year-to-year, while smartphone spending on apps grew 44% year-to-year.  Tablet spending on apps in the last 12 months was $2.3 billion among American tablet owners. For smartphone owners the app spend in the last 12 months was $1.7 billion.

“The smartphone has become a mini-TV for many consumers,” Vorhaus said, with 38% of smartphone owners regularly watching video on their smartphones and almost 40% of those consumers are watching full-length movies and TV shows on their smartphones (16% of all smartphone owners).

Tablet users are also big fans of watching video on their tablets with 63% of tablet owners saying they regularly watch video on their tablets.  Much of this tablet viewing is full-length movies and TV shows with 69% of all tablet video viewers regularly watching long-form video, which is 42% of all tablet owners.

In the year ahead Magid anticipates major growth in smartphone and tablet penetration in the U.S.  By this time next year Magid estimates that 67% of online Americans, ages 8 to 64, will have a smartphone and 54% of online Americans will have a tablet.  That represents a 10% YOY predicted growth rate for smartphones in the U.S. and 20% growth for tablets.

Smartphone distracted walking can be dangerous (infographic)

Monday, June 10th, 2013

no cell phone graphicHave you seen that video of the man absorbed in his smartphone as he walks off a train platform and falls onto the tracks? The dangers of distracted driving have been widely reported, but few consider distracted crossing of streets and roads to be a major safety risk in this country.

According to the Liberty Mutual Insurance Pedestrian Safety Survey unveiled today, 60 percent of pedestrians walk while texting, emailing, talking on the phone, or listening to music despite 70 percent considering those behaviors to be dangerous.

Such distractions may have been a contributing factor to the 4,280 pedestrian deaths in traffic crashes in 2010, a 4 percent increase from the previous year, as reported in the latest data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA).

Distracted walking is risky

“So much attention has been paid, and rightly so, to distracted driving that we have ignored the fact that distracted walking and crossing can be just as risky,” said David Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety. “From an early age, we all learn how to safely cross the street – look both ways, wait for the walk sign – but as adults many of us seem to forget those simple rules.”

Of the more than 1,000 adults surveyed by Liberty Mutual Insurance, the majority of respondents (55 percent) consider texting or emailing while crossing a street to be the most dangerous activity when walking – more so than those who feel running across a street to beat oncoming traffic (40 percent) or jaywalking (24 percent) to be the most dangerous.

Such pedestrian safety concerns are valid, as a 2011 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that 1,152 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms after being injured while walking and using a cell phone or some other electronic device.

Specific survey results also include:

Consumers that engage in activity Consumers that find the activity dangerous
Text or email while crossing the street 26% 55%
Run across the street to beat oncoming traffic 46% 40%
Talk on the phone while crossing the street 51% 26%
Listen to music while crossing the street 34% 25%

Despite all these warnings and even awareness of the danger of talking while walking or driving, cell phone users continue both behaviors, many thinking “it won’t happen to me.” Nevertheless, we’ve personally seen more than one person walk into a door or trip over a curb while talking on a phone.

Drivers Prioritize Phones over Pedestrians

According to the Liberty Mutual Insurance Pedestrian Safety Survey findings, like pedestrians, drivers do realize the dangers of their actions but do not modify them for safety. For example, three in five drivers say talking on the cell phone while driving is dangerous for pedestrians, yet 70 percent still admit to doing so.

Likewise, drivers realize that talking on the phone, texting and listening to loud music is dangerous for pedestrians yet a significant percentage of respondents continue to engage in behavior they recognize as risky.

Drivers that engage in activity Drivers that rate the activity dangerous for pedestrians
Read or send text messages while driving 38% 90%
Talk on a cell phone while driving 70% 59%
Listen to music at high volumes while driving 64% 33%

“The reality is that neither drivers nor pedestrians seem to actually realize the dangers of their distracted behaviors,” added Melton. “The fact that drivers and pedestrians continue to engage in dangerous habits, despite claiming to recognize the risk, suggests that the majority of Americans are taking a cavalier, ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude.

As the weather warms up and we head into the summer driving season, pedestrians and drivers need to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads, whether on foot or behind the wheel.”

Milestone: Majority of Americans now own smartphones

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

PewInternetA majority of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind, a milestone finding by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project says.

Because 91% of the adult population now owns some kind of cell phone, that means that 56% of all American adults are now smartphone adopters. One third (35%) have some other kind of cell phone that is not a smartphone, and the remaining 9% of Americans do not own a cell phone at all.

Younger adults have consistently led the way in smartphone adoption, the new Pew report notes.

But, it also says, every major demographic group experienced significant year-to-year growth in smartphone ownership between 2012 and 2013, although seniors—defined as those 65 and older—continue to exhibit relatively low adoption levels compared with other demographic groups.

Some 18% of Americans age 65 and older now own a smartphone, compared with 13% in February 2012.

Smartphone ownership does vary significantly by household income.

However, that variation is unevenly distributed across different age groups. Younger adults—regardless of income level—are very likely to be smartphone owners. Conversely, for older adults smartphone ownership is more of an “elite” phenomenon: smartphones tend to be quite prevalent at the upper end of the income distribution but much less common among those with lower income levels.

Additional details are available with charts in the full report (see link in first paragraph).

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Smartphone traffic, orders up over 100 percent for some brands

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

mobilephonesYear-over-year smartphone traffic for apparel, health and beauty and home goods brands saw huge increases in smartphone traffic and orders, according to Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform to major retailers.

Compared to May 2012, the Branding Brand Mobile Commerce Index shows the following year-over-year gains for the 18 clients tracked during both periods:

  • Smartphone visits increased 102%
  • Smartphone orders increased 104%
  • Smartphone revenue increased 103%

In May 2013, mobile devices generated one-third of total online visits (20% smartphones; 13% tablets) and 17% of all e-commerce revenue (4% smartphones; 13% tablets). iOS continued to dominate across all categories.

“Desktop’s piece of the e-commerce pie is shrinking,” said Chris Mason , Branding Brand co-founder and CEO. “We are excited about the implications these numbers have for our clients, not just online but also in-store. Traditional commerce models no longer apply.”

These figures also show that the mobile commerce sector has heated up much faster than the Internet alone did. Mobile provides considerable and increasing juice to  ecommerce and digital marketing.

While many people still only occasionally use desktop and laptop computers, nearly everyone old enough to leave the house alone has a mobile device or two. Here at the TechJournal, we’ve seen a fair amount of evidence that tablets are even more shopping/marketing friendly and consumers are using them in growing numbers.

The complete report, along with accompanying images, is available at http://www.brandingbrand.com/data.

Poll names top five annoying smartphone behaviors

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

smartphonesIt doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman: The way people use (or misuse) their mobile phones can really grate on your nerves.

Microsoft Safer Online Facebook poll revealed that many smartphone users don’t mind their mobile manners — but men and women both find people who constantly check their mobile phones to be the most annoying.

Of course, the frustrations don’t stop there. The following are the agreed-upon top five pet peeves:

  1. Checking phones constantly
  2. Talking loudly
  3. Using or not silencing phones when appropriate
  4. Using phones during face-to-face conversation
  5. Delaying traffic by using phones

Other mobile annoyances included accidentally pocket-dialing someone and simply losing their phones, opening the door to potential digital damage.

Personally, we’re most annoyed by people talking on their phones while in traffic, often driving erratically because of it. We see that every single day despite warnings that it’s more dangerous than drunk driving.

The other habit we find most annoying is when people talk loudly on their phones on trains, planes, and in public places (restaurants, stores, events, movies).

Thirty-nine percent of respondents also agreed that they believe men and women equally practice mobile phone safety, but this may not be the reality.

Security concerns

“Although we’re all bothered by certain mobile phone behaviors, the more important point is knowing how to help protect one’s device and information from scammers, rogue software and the oversharing of digital details,” said Jacqueline Beauchere , chief online safety officer, Microsoft Corp. “We know from earlier research that men and women practice mobile safety very differently.”

So who does a better job protecting their personal information on mobile phones? According to the Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), men do a slightly better job using technical tools:

  • Thirty-five percent use a PIN or password to lock their mobile device compared with 33 percent of women.
  • Thirty-five percent use secured wireless networks versus 32 percent of women.
  • Thirty-two percent keep their mobile devices up to date contrasted with 24 percent of women.

Yet, men seem to experience more mobile pitfalls, receiving more emails from strangers asking for personal information (70 percent versus 65 percent), more rogue antivirus popups (66 percent versus 58 percent), and more online impersonation experiences (31 percent versus 26 percent).

Women tend to be more protective of their online reputations, taking additional steps to limit personal information online (40 percent versus 37 percent) and what strangers can see on social networking sites (40 percent versus 32 percent), as well as being more selective about what they text (34 percent versus 31 percent).

As always, protecting yourself online is paramount in today’s online world.

MicrosoftMicrosoft offers the following tips to help you stay safe when using your mobile devices — in turn, ensuring you don’t annoy your friends:

  • Silence your mobile phone. Know when to put the phone away, and be present.
  • Help protect your privacy online. Don’t overshare. Think before posting your whereabouts, and save vacation highlights and photos for your return.
  • Use location-based services safely. Think carefully about turning on geotagging. Share your location only with people you trust. Pay attention to where and when you check in, and get permission before you check in your friends.
  • Conduct financial transactions on a secure network. Don’t use “borrowed” or public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Lock your mobile phone. Keep your info secret with a unique, four-digit PIN.

Take the Microsoft Safer Online Facebook poll, and find more information about the poll results and mobile phone safety athttp:/www.microsoft.com/security.

Tablet users more likely to shop online

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

tabletsTablet computer users are quickly becoming a key target of digital marketers, and for good reason.

Tablet users are more likely to shop online and browse news sites than smartphone users. The findings were based on mobile Internet traffic data retrieved from operators in Western Europe and Asia during March of 2013.

So says Flash Networks, a provider of mobile Internet optimization and monetization software. But we’ve seen a host of similar reports suggesting Tablet users are much more receptive to advertising and marketing messages than smartphone users.

Based on Harmony Analytics, Flash Networks discovered that people who browse on tablets are twice as likely to go to shopping sites, and three times more likely to browse news sites than people who browse on smartphones.

Conversely, those who browse on smartphones are more than twice as likely as tablet users to engage in social networking activity, such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Tablet consumers behave like PC users

mobilephonesThis research suggests that although tablets are also a mobile device, consumers tend to behave more like PC users than smartphone users when they browse and engage with shopping and news sites. Yet, when it comes to checking in and updating social networks, subscribers are more likely to do so on the move, using a smaller device.

Flash Networks collected this data using Harmony Analytics which provides the ability to drill down and analyze traffic based on devices, domain, bearer (e.g. 3G, 4G), data plan (e.g. prepaid, postpaid), application, or any combination of these factors. This analysis is helpful for identifying browsing behavior for advertisers to monetize the mobile Internet.

“We are continuously evolving our analytics to help operators have a greater understanding of application level trends and subscriber behavior,” said Merav Bahat , Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Flash Networks.

“Mobile operators are currently in a position to share valuable information about subscriber preferences that can unlock the key to realizing the potential of mobile advertising.”

Social media lags as ecommerce traffic source

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

social media logosCompanies haven’t cracked the code for leveraging social media to drive ecommerce.

Social media is not sending much traffic to ecommerce sites despite significant brand investments, according to - Monetate, a customer experience engine. Its Ecommerce Quarterly report (Q1 2013) also found that while tablets and smartphones are grabbing more device share of ecommerce traffic, only a handful of companies optimize for those devices.

Among the report’s key insights:

  • Social media is lagging as direct traffic source to ecommerce websites and for online purchases, despite brand investment. Social media represented just 1.55 percent of all ecommerce traffic, way behind search (31.43 percent) and trailing email (2.82 percent). And social media traffic numbers were down from Q1, 2012, when they were 2.36 percent. The data lead to the question: Should brands change their approach to social marketing?
  • Tablets and smartphones are grabbing more device share of ecommerce traffic. Tablets and smartphones were 21.02 percent of traffic, compared to just 2 percent two years ago. Tablets (10.58 percent) led smartphones (10.44 percent) in ecommerce traffic. Despite the rapidly increasing traffic being driven to sites through tablets and smartphones, only 14 percent of companies optimize for tablet users and only 13 percent optimize for smartphone, compared with 43 percent that personalize for desktop users, based on a recent Econsultancy survey.
  • It pays to market to U.S. military personnel. The numbers show conversion rates among military personnel in the U.S. (5.15 percent), Europe (4.30 percent) and Asia (3.57 percent) were significantly higher than the overall U.S. consumer segment (2.53 percent). And the average order value of military personnel was 23.39 percent higher than shoppers across the U.S.

“As marketers know, data can tell a story and the EQ1 2013 tells the story of a fast-growing ecommerce market where companies face growing opportunities and challenges,” said Blair Lyon , vice president, marketing, Monetate.

Digital east Ecommerce Panel

A panel at TechMedia’s Digital East conference.

“We focused this EQ on social commerce since the data shows the companies have not yet cracked the code in leveraging social media to drive ecommerce traffic. We know that social media plays an important role in influencing social purchases – to what degree brands are able to leverage social to build loyalty is the next big question.”

Here at the TechJournal, we suspect part of the problem of leveraging social media is that it’s time consuming and cannot be simply push, push, push. As many of the experts who attend TechMedia’s digital summits have said time and again, companies have to master techniques that engage their customers in a dialog and that’s a lot easier said than done.

Not only that, in many cases, the tactics a company uses to successfully leverage social media probably vary considerably from firm to firm, industry to industry, and product to product.

It’s a much more complex problem than just post and go.

Consumers prefer larger screens on smartphones

Friday, May 10th, 2013

mobilephonesWhat is the ideal smartphone size? for most consumers, bigger is better.

In the second half of 2012 existing smartphone owners were most likely to be interested in devices with a screen size between 4.2-inches and 4.7-inches.  The Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Device Lab report, “Smartphone Size Preference on the Rise: 4.5″ Most Preferred Size” found an increase in the most preferred smartphone screen size from the same period in 2011, where a 4.3-inch device was most preferred.

Smartphone intenders show greater interest in slightly smaller devices than existing smartphone owners. Males preferred smartphones with larger screens than females, while current brand of smartphone also impacts future screen size preferences.

Nearly all want a bigger screen

Nearly all respondents showed a preference for their next phone to have a larger screen size than their existing handset.

Those small phones are not all that lighter or easier to carry than slightly larger ones and the larger screens are much easier to navigate by touch and provide a superior reading or viewing experience. Here at the TechJournal, we’ve tested a wide-range of smartphones over the years, and even though we have small fingers, those with smaller screens were the most difficult to use and the least satisfactory.

“As consumer acceptance of smartphone sizes increases, many smartphone manufacturers are making larger and larger products,” commented Paul Brown , a Director in the Strategy Analytics User Experience Practice (UEP).

Potential for “phablets”

“The intention of many manufacturers to drive screen size up has been very clear over recent months, and there is the potential for ‘phablets’ at the lower end of the size scale to become more mainstream – especially as manufacturers work to maximize the ratio of screen to overall size, therefore providing a larger screen on a smaller form factor.”

Kevin Nolan , Vice-President for the User Experience Practice at Strategy Analytics, added, “As screen size increases, the way in which consumers interact with the device also needs to be considered. Larger devices are harder to interact with one-handed, and so it is important for user-interfaces, and especially on-screen key placements, to be designed to allow for easy interaction.”

We’ve said this many times at the TechJournal, but the real game-changer for smartphone and tablet use will be very good voice interfaces. While Apple’s Siri is a move in that direction, it’s just a beginning.

Parents want to see more use of mobile devices in schools

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

mobile devicesIn one of the most comprehensive studies of parents’ views on mobile devices in education, more than 50 percent of parents believe that schools should make more use of mobile devices in education and 32 percent agree that schools should require them in the classroom.

These findings are from a new study of how parents perceive mobile learning and devices in and out of the classroom. The Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study was conducted by Grunwald Associates and the Learning First Alliance and underwritten by AT&T*.

The study found –

  • Parents recognize the benefits. Seventy-one percent of parents say mobile devices open up learning opportunities while, 62 percent say the devices benefit students’ learning and 59 percent say the devices engage students in the classroom.
  • Parents are ready for change. Forty-five percent of parents say they plan to buy, or have already bought, a mobile device to support their child’s learning.
  • Parents want to collaborate with educators. Forty-three percent of parents say they need help finding good educational apps for their children.

“Mobile learning is approaching a tipping point as parents and educators recognize the potential of mobile technology in the classroom,” said Cheryl Scott Williams , Learning First Alliance Executive Director. “Now is the time for parents and teachers to join forces to shape what mobile learning will look like in and outside of the classroom.”

With students already carrying their own devices to school, widespread mobile learning could be on the horizon.

The study found that one quarter of all K-12 students bring a smartphone to school every day – and by high school, more than half of all high-school students carry a smartphone on a daily basis. About one in six parents say that children are permitted to use their own mobile devices in the classroom – commonly known as a “bring your own device” policy.

“The opportunity is ripe for mobile learning as students are now surrounded with technology, but the study does suggest there is an unmet desire for more learning and educational value from mobile devices, both at home and in school,” said Peter Grunwald , president of Grunwald Associates LLC.

The Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study recommends that educators share information and advice with parents about how to make better use of mobile devices and apps for learning.

Similarly, the study suggests industry and mobile learning advocates should work with parents and educators to identify educational apps and content. The full public report is available free atwww.grunwald.com/reports.

“Parents can be change agents in the school system. With the results of this study, educators know parents are on board with mobile learning, and their support can be enlisted to jumpstart ways to cultivate mobile learning,” said Kevin Carman , AT&T Marketing Director. “Likewise, we are committed to doing our part to help support educators and parents by providing mobile learning products and solutions that seamlessly function in the classroom and at home.”

Four tips on keeping your smartphone secure

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

mobilephonesA smart phone can contain a lot of information that its owner would rather keep private. But 39 percent of the more than 100 million American adult smart phone owners fail to take even minimal security measures, such as using a screen-lock, backing up data, or installing an app to locate a missing phone or remotely wipe its data, according to Consumer Reports’ Annual State of the Net survey.

At least 7.1 million smart phones were irreparably damaged, lost, or stolen and not recovered last year, Consumer Reports projects. Yet 69 percent of smart phone users hadn’t backed up their data, including photos and contacts. Just 22 percent had installed software that could locate their lost phone.

“When you take your smart phone into your confidence, so to speak, you’re also taking in a host of parties, including app developers, your wireless carrier and phone manufacturer, mobile advertisers, and the maker of your phone’s operating system,” said Jeff Fox , Technology Editor, Consumer Reports.

Take basic precautions

“We recommend that all smart phone users take the basic precautions we outline in this report to ensure that their phones are secure from wireless threats.”

The full report can be found in the June 2013 issue of Consumer Reports and online at ConsumerReports.org.

The report revealed that though most smart-phone users haven’t suffered serious losses because of their phone, there are wireless threats that merit concern.

Among them: malicious software. Last year, 5.6 million smart-phone users experienced undesired behavior on their phones such as the sending of unauthorized text messages or the accessing of accounts without their permission, CR projects. Those symptoms are indicative of the presence of malicious software.

Location tracking can lead to trouble

The location tracking feature that all smart phones have can also leave users vulnerable to wireless threats. One percent of smart phone users told Consumer Reports that they or a person in their household had been harassed or harmed after someone used such location tracking to pinpoint their phone.

CR also projects that at least 5.1 million preteens use their own smart phones. In doing so, they may unwittingly disclose personal information or risk their safety.

A smart phone can be quite secure if users take a few basic precautions, Consumer Reports found. Those precautions include:

  • Using a strong pass code. A four-digit one, which 23 percent of users told CR that they used, is better than nothing. But on  Android  phones  and  iPhones  earlier  than  the iPhone 5, a thief using the right software can crack such a code in 20 minutes, according to Charlie Miller , security engineer for Twitter. A longer code that includes letters and symbols is far stronger.
  • Install apps cautiously. Malicious apps may not lurk around every corner, but they’re out there and can be tricky to spot. For example, CR projects that 1.6 million users had been fooled into installing what seemed to be a well-known brand-name app but was actually a malicious imposter.
  • Be alert to insecure Wi-Fi. A projected 13 million users engaged in financial transactions at hot spots in hotels, retail stores, and airports last year. Before using any app to do business at a hot spot, users should check the app’s privacy policy to see whether it secures wireless transmissions of such data. Otherwise, they may disclose sensitive information to a nearby criminal.
  • Turn off location tracking. Disable it except when it’s needed, such as for driving directions. Only one in three smart phone owners surveyed by CR had turned it off at times during the previous year.

Low-cost smartphones will dominate by 2018

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

smartphonesNot everyone needs a smartphone that costs more than a PC.

In many parts of the world, smartphone shipments account for a larger percentage of mobile handset shipments than feature phones and low-cost handsets. Yet within the smartphone class of devices, segmentation is increasing to three price tiers (low, mid, and high). And relatively low-cost smartphones will account for nearly half of all shipments in a few years.

Shipments of sub-US$250 low-cost smartphones will grow from 259 million in 2013 to 788 million in 2018, according to recent Market Data from market intelligence firm ABI Research.

Mid (sub-$400) and high ($400+) cost smartphone shipments are expected to grow from 635 million to 925 million over the same period.

Primary drivers

“As the feature phone segment continues to lose its battle for relevance, the low-cost smartphone has become the tool for operators seeking to drive increased data revenues,” says senior analyst, Michael Morgan.

The growth of smartphones in pre-paid and emerging markets will be the primary driver of low-cost smartphone growth. Developed and subsidized markets are also finding that low-cost smartphones can capture the remaining consumers that have yet to convert to a smartphone while minimizing the margin impacts stemming from subsidizing high-cost smartphones.

Mid- and high-cost smartphones will continue to play an important role for operators looking to seed their customer base with the most advanced smartphones.

More dependent upon reliability

Premium smartphones tend to carry the most advanced wireless connectivity and operators who are upgrading their network want to ensure that the handsets running on their network can deliver the best possible experience and customer satisfaction.

“As smartphone penetration moves from early adopters to mass-market and laggard consumer segments, the smartphone as a product will be less dependent on technical superiority, and more dependent on reliability and value,” adds senior practice director, Jeff Orr.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Mobile Handset Markets (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/mobile-devices/) Database, which includes files detailing smartphone and mobile handset shipments, forecasts, and market share.

LTE smartphone and tablet sales surged in Q4 2012

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

mobile devicesTablet sales exploded nearly 300 percent over 2011, Apple regained its smartphone market share lead, and LTE smartphone sales rose 151 percent in the 4th quarter of 2012, according to Infonetics.

FDD-LTE was the biggest driver for smartphone growth in the final quarter of 2012, with unit growth of 151%, the second straight quarter of triple-digit growth,” reports Julien Blin, directing analyst for consumer electronics and mobile broadband atInfonetics Research.

TDD-LTE smartphones are also ramping fast, albeit from a much smaller base, despite a temporary dip in growth in the 4th quarter. In 2012, 5 times as many W-CDMA/HSPA smartphones shipped as LTE smartphones. By 2015 we expect LTE smartphones to overtake W-CDMA/HSPA.”

Blin adds, “Similarly in the tablet space, the growing popularity of low-cost LTE tablets, shared data plans, and improved LTE network coverage (especially in developed markets like North America and Western Europe), will drive LTE-enabled tablets to close the gap on WiFi-only tablets by 2017.”

MOBILE BROADBAND DEVICE MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • The global smartphone market totaled $247 billion in 2012, up 51% from 2011
  • Owing to the introduction of the iPhone 5, Apple regained its lead in smartphone revenue market share in 4Q12 with 37%, followed by Samsung with 29%; Samsung maintains its lead in smartphone unit share
  • Sales of tablets reached $42 billion worldwide in 2012, jumping 281% over 2011
  • In 2012, shipments of standalone USB mobile broadband cards grew steadily, driven by W-CDMA shipments in developing countries and LTE growth in developed markets
  • Meanwhile, embedded cards declined as the more functional tablet segment overshadowed embedded PCs and mobile internet devices (MIDs)
  • Infonetics expects the number of global mobile broadband subscribers (phone and PC) to grow from 1.2 billion in 2012 to close to 3 billion by 2017

Customers are liking feature-rich smartphones

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

smartphonesOverall satisfaction among smartphone customers increases significantly as manufacturers continue to improve styling, feature sets, usability and software, according to two J.D. Power and Associates 2013 studies released today.

Study Key Findings

  • Nearly two in 10 (17%) smartphone customers experience a software or device malfunction.
  • Smartphone customers spend an average of 115 minutes per week using social networking applications on their device.
  • Smartphone customers spending more than 100 minutes per week on social apps are 14% more likely to recommend their smartphone model than those that spend 100 minutes or less on social apps.

The studies measure satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets and smartphones among customers who have used their current mobile device for less than one year.

Satisfaction is measured in several key factors. In order of importance, the key factors of overall satisfaction with traditional mobile phones are performance (29%); ease of operation (26%); physical design (24%); and features (21%). For smartphones, the key factors are performance (33%); physical design (23%); features (22%); and ease of operation (22%).

Satisfaction increases in all factors

The Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction Study finds that satisfaction among smartphone customers is 796 (on a 1,000-point scale), an increase of 22 points from 2012.

This improvement is likely due to a growing array of new features and services being offered that are providing a seamless product experience between the operating system functions and third-party apps.

While satisfaction in all factors of the smartphone customer experience increases from 2012, satisfaction has increased the most in performance (26 points), as a few key attributes, such as operating system reliability, processing speed and video/camera picture quality, have improved significantly.

“As the capabilities of wireless phones and their applications continue to expand, and as customers grow more reliant on their device, handset manufacturers have an opportunity to further shape the customer experience and impact satisfaction with better integration of services and more communication options, such as video chat,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power and Associates.

Important to meet customer expectations

“It is important, however, that manufacturers meet the expectations of those customers who take advantage of such offers by ensuring the features are intuitive and, ultimately, rewarding to them. Providing an easy-to-use, yet powerful operating system with the ability to customize applications to suit individual needs is essential to providing a high-quality and rewarding wireless experience.”

Among traditional mobile phone customers, overall satisfaction has remained virtually unchanged during the past two years.

However, among the 42 percent of traditional handset customers who indicate they are likely to purchase a new mobile phone in the next 12 months, 76 percent say they “definitely will” or “probably will” upgrade to a smartphone.

Satisfaction mostly unchanged for traditional users

“Satisfaction remains relatively unchanged among traditional mobile phone customers, likely as a result of heightened awareness of advanced services available on smartphones and the lack on new device offerings with upgraded feature sets,” said Parsons.

For the ninth consecutive study, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction. Apple achieves a score of 855 and performs particularly well in physical design and ease of operation.

For the third consecutive study, LG ranks highest among traditional mobile phones with a score of 719. LG performs particularly well in the physical design and features factors. Nokia (714) follows LG in traditional mobile phone rankings.

Growing use of multiple digital devices presents opportunities

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

mobile devicesThe American population’s voracious appetite for digitized information and entertainment continues unabated, creating a groundswell of consumers who move seamlessly between smartphones, tablets and laptops to consume digital content, often using multiple devices at the same time.

Released today, Deloitte’s seventh edition of the “State of the Media Democracy” survey reveals a 160 percent growth in the number of digital omnivores – those consumers who own a trio of  tablets, smartphones and laptops — with this group representing more than a quarter of U.S. consumers.

Deloitte’s “State of the Media Democracy” survey compares and contrasts generational preferences of over 2,100 consumers, ages 14 and older in the U.S., revealing significant technology, media and telecommunications consumption trends including attitudes and behavior to advertising and social networks, mobile implications, consumption preferences across platforms and devices, and the Internet.

“Digital technology has emphatically triumphed in its penetration of the modern consumer lifestyle,” said Gerald Belson , vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. Media & Entertainment sector leader.

“While that trendline has been well documented, the surprise is how thoroughly digital tools have become essential across all age groups and consumer applications in the past year.

This new reality creates opportunities – and an imperative – for organizations to differentiate themselves by utilizing multiple platforms to reach prospects and serve their customers.”

Portability is key
The survey reveals that tablet ownership increased 177 percent over the past year, with almost a third of tablet owners saying that it is now one of their top three most preferred consumer electronic devices. Meanwhile, smartphone ownership increased by 28 percent, while laptop penetration remained strong.

When analyzing the ways in which Americans utilize their devices, the survey found that tablet owners stream movies 70 percent more often than non-tablet owners and intend to watch movies more than any other video content in the next 12 months. The use of multiple devices occurs even inside the home, as more than 80 percent of consumers are multi-tasking while watching TV.

Renting media preferred to buying

Samsung Smart TV

A Samsung Smart TV.

Moreover, trailing millennials aged 14 to 23 have nearly doubled their frequency of using online video services in the past year, in addition to increasing their frequency of watching TV shows on smartphones by five times, and frequency of watching TV on tablets by 10 times. The survey also reveals that more U.S. consumers prefer to rent versus own their TV and movie content, and that they intend to rent versus buy by a ratio of 2:1.

“The explosion of media-capable devices has had a striking impact on consumer behavior that poses interesting challenges for the entertainment industry and longstanding business models,” said Alma Derricks, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

“More than half of consumers have their TVs connected to the Internet in some way, and that group watches TV content from online sources over 40 percent of the time. This behavior impacts both the entertainment and advertising industries, and highlights the continued importance of using multiple platforms and devices to build brands and engage consumers.”

More than just a gaming console
xBoxAmericans are now utilizing the multi-functionality afforded by what was traditionally a singular-purpose device.

The survey reveals that the gaming console has become the most preferred method for Americans to connect their TV to the Internet. Of those that have connected their TV to the Internet, 31 percent prefer to connect via a gaming console.

Twenty percent of consumers rank videogames as a top three media activity, including mobile and social gaming in addition to consoles. In the last year, online video-gaming subscriptions have increased by 47 percent, and millennials’ buying decisions are more influenced by advertising on videogames than any other generation.

Connected home
The survey reveals that 93 percent of Americans rank Internet access as the most valued household subscription, and 72 percent of U.S. households have a computer network or router (up 20 percentage points in the past year).

More than half of all consumers are willing to pay a premium for faster Internet connection, with tablet and smartphone owners more inclined to pay for faster connections as the intent to consume more content over the Internet continues to grow.

“Digital technology continues to transform the high-technology, media and telecom industries, and we expect the pace of change to accelerate in the next few years,” concludes Belson.

“The proliferation of new devices and customer segments opens up new doors for engaging with customers and finding opportunities for growth and innovation.”

For more information on Deloitte’s “State of the Media Democracy” survey, please visit: www.deloitte.com/us/tmttrends.

Majority of SMBs have official BYOD policies, study says

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

mobile devices

According to iGR’s February 2013 survey of IT managers at U.S. SMBs, nearly 62 percent of employees reported an official “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy at their company.

Additionally, 73 percent of employees reported that their company unofficially permits its employees to use personal devices for work purposes (i.e., the company is aware that employees bring devices, but has not officially allowed or banned the practice).

“Rather than reaching saturation, our survey results show that the number of employees who bring their own devices has grown significantly since 2012,” said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry.

“There continue to be opportunities for BYOD solutions and strategies in this market. We found that the Bring Your Own Device trend is growing for tablets, as well as smartphones.”

iGR’s new market research report, SMBs: The Ongoing BYOD Trend, provides an overview of the adoption of Bring Your Own Device policies at SMBs in the U.S. It is an update to iGR’s 2012 report on the same topic.

The new report can be purchased and downloaded directly from iGR’s website at www.iGR-inc.com.

Smartphone makers may be losing billions in revenue (infographic)

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

iPhone 5sAre smartphone makers losing billions of dollars a year due to poor revenue management?

According to Gartner, Inc., a leading IT research and advisory company, given that chargeback credits can exceed millions of dollars per month, wholesale distributors can severely undermine profitability through inaccurate and inefficient processes, with revenue leakage accounting for as much as 1-2 percent of gross revenue.

Manufacturers also face similar revenue leakage exposure and although the percentage might seem small, for technology giants such as Apple and Samsung, this could mean billions of dollars in lost revenue each quarter.

Why does this matter to anyone but a manufacturer? It’s pretty basic: if the manufacturer’s costs are higher, so is the price consumers will have to pay for devices.

Here’s an infographic detailing the problem from Revitas, which, not surprisingly, sells  solutions for contracts, pricing, and compliance.

Targeting: when users are on which devices during the day

Monday, February 25th, 2013

mobile devicesHow many digital devices are you using to access media? Do you use different ones for specific purposes during the day?

A significant majority of Americans now access media using multiple devices each day with TV, PC, tablet and smartphone devices each dominating media usage at different parts of the day, according to Collective, a leading data-driven, multi-screen platform company.

Collective’s findings are included in a new report, “The Multi-Screen Dayparting Playbook: How to Utilize Device Dayparts for Greater Reach & Impact,” which was released today.

Multi-screen users outnumber single screen users

The research, which Collective commissioned Nielsen to conduct, quantifies for the first time that multi-screen users now outnumber single screen users by 2.5 to 1.

“This fundamental change in media consumption is a major opportunity for brands to redefine their engagement with audiences,” said Joe Apprendi, CEO of Collective. “In today’s multi-screen market, advertisers must deliver coordinated creative campaigns that are personalized with the right content for each device.”

Personally, we use both a tablet and/or our laptop while watching TV or listening to the radio on a daily basis. So we fit right in.

Enabling better message targeting

“The more we can learn about how people are consuming media via their multiple devices, the better we can pinpoint our client’s messages and get the most out of our commercial content,” said Simon Bond, BBDO Worldwide, CMO.

“As consumers continue to spread their engagement across more devices, marketers must have compelling creative on each device to achieve the same reach they might have with just TV a few years ago,” said Justin Evans, executive vice president, Emerging Media, Collective, and co-author of the whitepaper.

“Brands now need a data-driven understanding of consumer behavior across device and daypart.”

Key Multi-Screen Findings

mobilephonesAmong the key findings included in “The Multi-Screen Dayparting Playbook: How to Utilize Device Dayparts for Greater Reach & Impact,” are:

  1. the largest group of U.S. multi-screen users, 80.8 million or 25% of the U.S. population, accesses media using a combination of TV, PC, tablet and smartphone devices each day;
  2. in any given daypart, at least 100 million, or 32% of consumers are accessing media using multiple screens;
  3. “second screening” or combining tablet and TV use was reported by 35 million or 11% of consumers, a behavior that peaks in Prime Time; and
  4. Even in Prime Time, where media use peaks, there are 169 million multi-screen users outnumbering single-screen users by 1.5 to 1.

Key Device Findings by Daypart

Collective found that different devices achieve peak usage at different times of the day compared to other devices:

  • Early Morning – Smartphones are preferred during the commute.
  • Daytime - PC dominates work-related search and video.
  • Prime Time – Tablets drive multi-tasking during evening TV viewing.
  • Late Fringe – TV-only use increases as the day winds down.

“Consumers are using multiple screens to customize their media engagement,” said Frederick Stallings, director of Mobile, Collective, and co-author of the report. “Device daypart creative strategies will be critical for brands moving forward.”

Smartphone, tablet growth driving mobility market

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

mobile devicesLooking at a holistic view of smartphones, tablets, and PCs, one thing is clear – smartphones and tablets are driving mobility growth.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, vendors shipped 367.7 million desktop PCs, portable PCs, tablets, and smartphones – a collective view IDC refers to as “Smart Connected Devices” – the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12), up 28.3% from the prior year.

As desktop PCs and portable PCs declined (-4.1% and -3.4%, respectively), the overall smart connected device space continued to surge to just over 1.2 billion shipments cumulatively in 2012.

Tablet shipments see largest growth

Tablet shipments experienced the largest year-over-year growth in 2012, up 78.4% over 2011, while smartphones grew 46.1% but accounted for 60.1% of all smart connected devices shipped throughout the year.

After finishing 2011 second to Apple in the smart connected device market, Samsung arose to the number one position in 2012 with just over 20% share across the four device categories. Samsung shipped 250.0 million PCs, tablets, and smartphones in the past year, up 119.3% from the previous year, driven largely in part by its surge in the smartphone space.

Average tablet selling price declined

While Samsung managed to ship more smartphones and portable PCs than Apple in 2012, Apple led all in tablet shipments, was eighth in portable PC shipments, and fifth overall in desktop PC shipments.

“Smartphones and tablets are growing at a pace that PCs and tablets can’t realistically keep up with because of device prices and to some extent disposability,” explained Ryan Reith, program manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC.

“The average selling price (ASP) for a tablet declined 15.0% in 2012 to $461, and we expect that trend to continue in 2013. However, smartphone APSs are still lower at $408. We expect smartphones to continue to carry a shorter life cycle than PCs for the years to come based on price, use case, and overall device size.”

Rounding out the top 5 smart connected device vendors in 2012 was Lenovo at number 3 with 6.5% share. Lenovo’s strong point is still in portable PCs where it shipped just over 30 million units in 2012.

Fourth quarter saw Apple resurgence

However, smartphones are a growing space for the Chinese vendor as shipments grew from 3.7 million in 2011 to 23.7 million in 2012. In the fourth position was HP with 4.8% share, however shipments of smart connected devices were down 8.5% year over year primarily for the lack of smartphone and tablet offerings.

And in the fifth position was Dell with 3.2% share, down 12.9% from 2011 as it also struggles with a lack of presence in the smartphone and tablet markets.

“The fourth quarter market share numbers showed a fairly dramatic resurgence for Apple,” said Bob O’Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays.

“After falling well behind Samsung early in 2012, Apple came roaring back in final quarter of the year thanks to its latest hits – the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini – and reduced the market share gap to less than a single percentage point. The question moving forward will be whether or not Apple can maintain its hit parade against the juggernaut of Samsung.”

Top 5 Smart Connected Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q4 2012
(shipments in millions)
Vendor 4Q12 Unit
Shipments
4Q12 Market
Share
4Q11 Unit
Shipments
4Q11 Market
Share
Year-over-
year Change
1. Samsung 77.9   21.2 % 41.9   14.6 % 86.0 %
2. Apple 74.8 20.3 % 57.7 20.1 % 29.7 %
3. Lenovo 24.3 6.6 % 16.5 5.8 % 47.2 %
4. HP 15.1 4.1 % 15.1 5.3 % -0.2 %
5. Sony 11.1 3.0 % 9.2 3.2 % 19.6 %
Others 164.5 44.7 % 146.2 51.0 % 12.5 %
Total 367.7 100.0 % 286.7 100.0 % 28.3 %
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, February 20, 2013.
Top 5 Smart Connected Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2012
(shipments in millions)
Vendor 2012 Unit
Shipments
2012 Market
Share
2011 Unit
Shipments
2011 Market
Share
Year-over-
year Change
1. Samsung 250.0 20.8% 114.0 12.3% 119.3%
2. Apple 218.7 18.2% 151.5 16.3% 44.3%
3. Lenovo 78.3 6.5% 48.5 5.2% 61.4%
4. HP 58.2 4.8% 63.6 6.8% -8.5%
5. Dell 38.8 3.2% 44.6 4.8% -12.9%
Others 557.1 46.4% 508.1 54.6% 9.6%
Total 1201.1 100.0% 930.4 100.0% 29.1%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, February 20, 2013.
Smart Connected Device Market by Product Category, Shipments, Market Share, 2012

(shipments in millions)

Product
Category
2012 Unit
Shipments
2012 Market
Share
2011 Unit
Shipments
2011 Market
Share
Year-over-
year Change
Smartphone 722.4 60.1 % 494.5 53.1 % 46.1 %
Tablet 128.3 10.7 % 72.0 7.7 % 78.4 %
Portable PC 202.0 16.8 % 209.1 22.5 % -3.4 %
Desktop PC 148.4 12.4 % 154.8 16.6 % -4.1 %
Total 1201.1 100.0 % 930.4 100.0 % 29.1 %
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, February 20, 2013.

Smartphone users primarily rely on private WiFi

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
WiFi icon

Researchers say they can boost the speed of public WiFi networks by up to 700 percent.

Smartphone users rely on Wi-Fi for their primary data connection, with Wi-Fi data consumption two to 10 times that of cellular data consumption, according to  Mobidia Technology, Inc., a leading provider of mobile analytics, in collaboration with Informa, whitepaper, “Understanding Today’s Smartphone Users.

With that level of usage, it is not surprising that the Wi-Fi market has been dynamic over the past 12 months. Incumbents, start-ups and new entrants into the Wi-Fi space, as well as many mobile operators have been battling to establish and maintain market positions and connections to the smartphone users.

Yet, little data has been available on the Wi-Fi usage trends of smartphone users, especially their usage of private vs. public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Understanding these trends

Understanding these trends is critical for both Wi-Fi and cellular providers when making a wide range of strategic investment and business decisions within the mobile broadband marketplace.

Mobidia’s data on global Wi-Fi usage in January 2013 highlights the following trends:

  • Smartphone users continue to rely on Wi-Fi as their primary connection. With very few exceptions, such as Japan, users in most developed countries consume well over 80 percent, and often over 90 percent, of their total mobile data on Wi-Fi networks.
  • Smartphone users are heavily reliant on private or unmanaged, self-provisioned public Wi-Fi hotspots, as you would find in many small businesses, for their primary Wi-Fi connections. These Wi-Fi networks consistently accounted for well over 90 percent of the Wi-Fi traffic.
  • As a corollary, usage of managed, public hotspots, as would be offered by Wi-Fi network providers or mobile operators, consistently accounted for very little traffic across all countries analyzed. For example, traffic on these hotspots was just three percent and two percent of all Wi-Fi traffic in the leading Wi-Fi markets – the U.S. and the U.K., respectively.

Does your smartphone make you smarter with your money?

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

mobile devicesWith computers and mobile devices giving us anytime access to our financial information, are Americans seeing any benefit on their bottom line?

According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index survey, just more than half of Americans (53 percent) regularly use online banking or investment applications. Of those that do, however, 70 percent say these tools make them more diligent about tracking their finances.

This awareness isn’t necessarily leading to action, except for those Americans using multiple online banking and investing features.

  • Less than half (46 percent) of regular users say online access has improved their ability to save in the short or long term.
  • Of the 31 percent of Americans who use these tools in multiple ways, 57 percent say these applications help them save.
How Americans Use Online Banking or Investment Applications
Pay bills 36%
Check balances 26%
Use budgeting tools 3%
Manage investments 3%
All of these functions 31%

“It’s great to see a majority of Americans are more aware of their finances thanks to online banking and investment applications,” says Joe Buhrmann , manager of financial security support at COUNTRY Financial.

 

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