Archive for the ‘Smartphones’ Category
June 22nd, 2012
The study of 2000 smartphone users in UK, France, Germany and Sweden found that 42% of smartphone owners use their device to compare prices in-store , while 13% claim to have switched stores after finding a better offer elsewhere.
However, 50% of UK respondents said they become frustrated with the mobile shopping experience, which shows mobile site development and usability has some way to go before fully capturing the opportunity.
Further evidence from On Device Research (ODR) shows that 60% of mobile users have utilised the mobile internet while in store, 78% would use free Wi-Fi in stores if offered it and 74% of respondents would be happy for the retailer to send a text or email with promotions.
Retailers are waking up to the opportunity and we are seeing more introduce free Wi-Fi connections, including Debenhams, Tesco and John Lewis, each trying to capturing more in-store traffic and push relevant offers via a branded Wi-Fi signal, while hoping to discourage shoppers from using unbranded 3G connections.
According to the Tradedoubler survey, offering location-based services and relevant vouchers helps to secure the interest of a fifth of potential buyers.
The retailers will not have it all their own way though, as they find it harder to control the shopping experience of their customers who have access to many mobile apps and websites that enable the comparison of product prices, including Amazon’s successful app.
However, vouchers and offers can be a strong motivator, and with the full force of the retailer’s marketing machines behind the push, the opportunity to regain the upper hand in online and mobile experiences still exists. Even if retailers are a little late to the game, and are yet to fully roll out mobile sites to enable communication and real engagement on the move.
NFC (Near Field Communication) could be the ace that the retailers have yet to play, and by linking cashless payments to branded mobile shopping sites, those that want to take advantage of this type of payment are likely to be inserted into the retailer’s online assets.
Another blocker remains security, as around half of respondents of the Tradedoubler survey were concerned about the security of mobile as a payment platform, but 42% said they were interested in using their device as a mobile wallet.
Unfortunately, as with all web-based developments, the real barrier remains access to strong, secure and consistent broadband connectivity, and without this the opportunity for retailers falls flat.
This is why we can expect to see more investment in retailer Wi-Fi networks, alongside relevant mobile sites and offers, and it is the quality of these networks that could be the difference between success and failure.
May 31st, 2012
My younger son introduced me to an intensely addictive mobile game this week, one that reminded me of the extraordinary power of brand and reinforced the way I think about brand reputation.
Itâ€™s not a game that is red-hot from the coder oven ( I think this version was April launch) but the fact that a 19-year-old likes it enough to tell his Dad ( aka Old Man Slow to Understand) about it is an indication of the mental space that brands occupy in his head, and mine.
If youâ€™ve been there and done that, my apologies but â€œLogoQuizâ€ is the game and I have watched much less TV because of it. The game environment is 2D and simply displays elements of brand logos that you have to name by entering that in a text field.
The game mechanic is so simple that it hurts (display, guess, gain, move on up â€“ buy). You make up the game narrative in your head as you go along. The revenues come from ads and upsells. I havenâ€™t been sold yet but pretty sure that I will be. Game genius!
Hereâ€™s the thing â€“ you can cheat soooo easily, just by looking up the potential brand names on Google images. Â But that destroys the point, the fun and means that itâ€™s game over. Game genius!
You could play it as a team but my son was not up for that at all. Itâ€™s about the singular effort, getting there solo.
The fact that it is a simple, brilliant game (so retro, so new) also means that it has tapped an energy that is much greater than the game concept and mechanic themselves. I think this energy derives from the power of The Brand in popular culture.
And thatâ€™s where I came in. LogoQuiz reminded me that the power of branding, expressed in its strongest form through the logo, runs through our emotional pathways, informs our thoughts and choices, and at best creates beautiful, desirable objects.
What I found most interesting about playing the game were my emotional, atavistic responses to the brand logos. Those brands that I felt good about, or had bad feelings about were easier to get right than those I had no emotional connection with.
The game reinforced my feelings about the brands I instinctively did not like because it prompted thoughts about why the brand was â€œbadâ€. Conversely, the brands I liked took a dose of â€œmore feelgoodâ€.Â The game details areÂ here.
We know that the brand can be assaulted on all sides and that there is an absolute need to manage its reputation. This is so much more difficult now, what with the web and everything (;). The propulsive force of a brand, driven by one-way messages embodied in the brand logo has been checked by audiences who, passive by historic constraint, have found that they have assumed power.
Their power is relative and highly creative and works through a new and unique dialogue. The Branded become something much more useful and relevant to the brand; they inform and reform the brand â€“ they make it better because more closely aligned to evolving needs and desires.
This exchange is still quite rare. Far too many business siloes, believe or not, are built from Unobtanium, a lethal metal that allows ideas to permeate out but deflects every idea coming in. In this way, they reinforce the Myth of Brand Control. The few who have dismantled the containers and opened themselves to the dialogue are making the greatest gains.
Finally, LogoQuiz reminded me of the almost supernatural power of the image. A fragment of a logo can tell the whole story and I read fragments very well. Much in the same way that, if you take a line of text and cover up the bottom half, most people will still be able to read and understand it. If you cover up the top half of the text, most people struggle to understand.
Visual is as visual does. Long live the logo, long live the dialogue!
March 9th, 2012
The Fifth Wave: A Strategic Vision for Mobile Internet Innovation, Investment and Return caught my attention last week and I blogged briefly on it.
The book, by Robert Marcus and Collins Hemingway, deserved a more detailed read â€“ there were enough hooks to warrant it and Iâ€™ve spent some time this week working out the weight of the ideas they put forward.
The Fifth Wave is written for anyone who wants to know where we are going online: mobile network operators, mobile companies, entrepreneurs, governments, media companies, content owners and distributors, mobile evangelists, mobile expertsâ€¦ the list goes on.
But the book, to my mind, is much more than a rapid excursion around the mobile terrain. Weâ€™ve seen more than enough tomes that promise more than they deliver, rehashing old ideas in new clothes.
Robert Marcus and Collins Hemingway (who, with Bill Gates, co-authored Business @ the Speed of Thought) have written a volume that I think is rare â€“ because it picks up on a defining moment that is obscured for most people, explains this in detail and then draws lessons from which it then lays out a path and process for the future.
The authors call this defining moment and what will follow the Fifth Wave. They use an ancient Greek concept, kiaros, to explain the idea. I urge you to read the book if only for this, because their explanation of a convergence of rapidly evolving but disparate forces – technical, cultural and economic â€“ to form a revolutionary time is exceptional.
The Fifth Wave is, of course, mobile in every sense. Robert Marcus and Collins Hemingway run fluidly through the first half of the book, setting the scene and explaining the revolutionary conditions that we live with right now.
The second half of the book is if anything better than the first because for the first time it offers a clear exposition of what is needed and an astute strategy for everyone touched by mobile internet, from the biggest mobile operator to mobile manufacturers from Apple to Microsoft and from Samsung to HTC, to the mobile apps makers and the movers and shakers in the global market and to every mobile handset user (around 2 billion now â€“ 6 billion soon).
I am old enough to have read Nicholas Negroponteâ€™s Being Digital, published in 1995. That book changed the weltanshauung of an entire generation with its definitional, cultural view of technological developments led by the Web/Internet.
The Fifth Wave: A Strategic Vision for Mobile Internet Innovation, Investment and Return is a book from the same cast and should be required reading in schools, colleges and universities. While the book should stand on its own merits, Robert Marcus was the architect of Microsoftâ€™s early mobile internet strategy and solutions and was a director on the M&A team and now leads QuantumWave Capital, which means he’s qualified.
If you want to know where weâ€™re at and where weâ€™re going, then read The Fifth Wave. You could even do as I did, download it and read it on your iPhone (.. or Kindle, Android, laptop, notebook…). If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be reading books on my mobile, I would have laughed out loud. How times change.
You can follow Robert Marcus on Twitter @RobertMarcus5W
February 27th, 2012
Robert Marcus and Collins Hemingway appear to know their shtick. They have just published an account of where we are going online and what this means.
The Fifth Wave: A Strategic Vision for Mobile Internet Innovation, Investment and Return was released today at Mobile World Congress 2012.
It blows part of the mind, i.e, itâ€™s really quite interesting, while it makes an informative case for us as we move through 2012-13, with the old economic order dissolving and the new struggling to take first breath.
Iâ€™d argue with Marcus and Hemingway on the creation of new value, which they position as deriving from opportunity. This is a superficial view to my mind and they need to look much deeper into value creation to make their case work.
Opportunity is just a secondary reflection of the market condition. The value is created in the primary area.
This is a strong account of where we are going in mobile and through our network. It needs a second read and report back.
Robert Marcus led a keynote and panel during the opening session today (February 27th) of the Mobile World Congress conference session on Mobile Cloud. You can get more info on MWC here.
February 20th, 2012
With a week to go before the Mobile World Congress starts in Barcelona, the number of pre-show announcements is growing rapidly.
Itâ€™s interesting to see that Firefox developer Mozilla plans to announce partners for its Boot to Gecko (B2G) project, a browser-based operating system for mobile devices. Mobile network operators are pretty certain to show strong support for this, offering as it does, the potential for new revenue streams.
Google, which stands to lose ground in mobile if B2G gains traction in the market space, is building a strong presence for Android at MWC so we can expect some good hooks.
Samsung has pulled back on the promotion of its new Galaxy handset, which was a surprise to many â€“ but not the company apparently. However, I hope the innovative vendor will be a strong presence at MWC and that some of the rumours around its Android tablets bear fruit.
As we all pretty much know now â€“ Apple does not do trade shows and so will not be gracing the Barcelona show. No need for them to find out more here, then.
Isnâ€™t it also really great that we can finally ditch the annual phrase â€œThis is the Year of Mobileâ€?
The show runs from Monday February 27th to Thursday March 1st.
January 11th, 2012
Forget all the talk of integrated TVs at CES and check out the new device from Polaroid.
Polaroid has just announced an Android-powered camera device called the Polaroid SC1630. It looks just like your everyday smart phone, that is apart from the fact you cannot make calls on it!
Because it has the Android operating system, Polaroid SC1630 users can download apps from the Android Market until that perfect shot appears!
The Full specifications:
A 16Mp CCD sensor and 3x optical zoom.
3.2in touchscreen display, used to access apps, as well as a host of production functions, various scene modes and editing tools.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and 3G connection too.
December 21st, 2011
Firefox has officiallyÂ launchedÂ 9.0, and it looks like it could now be a good fit withÂ AndroidÂ tablet devices. AdditionallyÂ Firefox also claim to haveÂ over 160 add-ons for mobile.
You can findÂ Firefox 9.0 on the Android Market here.
You can see some of the latest features in Firefox 9.0 in the following video:
Whats new in Firefox 9.0 for Android:
New Look for Tablets: Firefox has a new experience for tablets that leverages the large screen size and makes mobile Web browsing more intuitive. Popular Firefox features like tabs and the Awesome Screen are optimised for tablets.
Full-Screen Portrait Browsing: Firefox takes advantage of large tablet screens so you can use the full screen to browse the Web, even in portrait mode. Tabs are listed in a top left menu and easily hide when you donâ€™t need them.
Tab Optimisation: Tabs are shown as thumbnails in the left panel of Firefox, allowing you to easily switch between tabs while still viewing full websites on the right. You can swipe to the left to hide tabs for a full screen view.
New Action Bar with Quick Access Buttons: You can access Firefox Preferences, Add-ons, downloads and more in the new Action Bar menu (next to the Awesome Bar). The Action Bar adds back, forward and bookmark buttons for easy access.
HTML5 Input Tag for Camera Access: Developers can build mobile websites and Web apps that allow you to use the camera on an Android phone or tablet to take pictures, scan bar codes and more without leaving Firefox.
HTML5 Form Validation: Firefox supports the HTML5 Form Validation API which automatically validates website form fields like numbers, emails and URLs without developers needing to write a custom code or use a third-party library.
Have you tried it yet, is it any good? We would love to hear yourÂ experiencesÂ with Firefox 9 on Android tablet devices.
December 20th, 2011
YouGov has announced its 2012 predictions for UK consumers’ consumption and behaviour around Smart TV, smartphones, Facebook, digital newspapers and digital radio. The findings originate from a multi-country study, carried out in November 2011 with almost 13,000 respondents.
The headline statistics include:
o 15% of UK consumers say they will own a Smart TV within the next 12 months
o 86% of smartphone users ignore advertising on mobiles
o 60% of UK online population now use Facebook more than once a day
o 24% of tablet users access the web whilst in bed
o Just over one in five (22%) of 18-24 year olds have listened to the Radio via a portable radio set (including DAB)
As you can see, surprisingly only 15% of UK consumers said that they expect to purchase a connected, or ‘Smart’, TV within the next 12 months. However, that figure may not tell the whole story as people are already connecting their TV to the web via external devices, including games consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PS3, along with ‘plug in’ boxes such as Boxee.
The biggest driver for adoption of Smart TV is the availability of content, as YouGov reports 36% of UK respondents aged 18-24 said that they would make a connected TV purchase if they could watch their favourite TV content on-demand.
Dan Brilot, media consulting director at YouGov, said: “Smart content producers must continue to develop their services to make it increasingly easier for people to watch what they want, when they want, wherever they want.”
Moving onto smartphones, 40% of people own smartphones in the UK, increasing to 68% within the next upgrade cycle. However, YouGov say 86% of smartphone users ignore advertising on mobiles, meaning engagement via mobile must be useful and relevant – not broadcasted, or in other words: advertising.
In terms of digital newspapers and tablets, Russell Feldman, associate director of technology at YouGov says: “The decline of print media sales will only accelerate during 2012. Tablets and apps will increase the digital cannibalisation of paper copies as they erode more of those previously inaccessible locations to digital devices; for example, nearly one quarter (24%) of tablet users access the internet whilst in bed.”
Tablet usage is still small (currently only 4% of the UK population own one) but that number is growing and, as the market develops and new entrants such as the Kindle Fire gain traction, newspaper and magazine publishers will focus more effort on specific tablet versions of their publications.
Finally, DAB take-up hasn’t quite lived up to the initial hype. To make this happen, Dan Brilot, media consulting director at YouGov says: “The radio industry needs to educate and support consumers as they become accustomed to new ways of listening and to ensure that reach and frequency opportunities are truly maximised – not lost – in the digital age.”
December 14th, 2011
Ofcom’s sixth International Communications Market Report was announced today and it shows Britain’s digital culture is developing well against other countries.
According to the report, covered in the Guardian, the British spend more time online, own more Smartphones and digital video recorders and watch more television over the internet than any country on the Continent.
Breaking down the statistics, apparently the British spend an average of 746 minutes (more than 12 hours) a week online, longer than any of the world’s major economies except the U.S.
However, the UK tops the charts in terms of Smartphone use and online and digital TV viewing, as 46% of all British mobile subscribers are Smartphone users, more than in Europe and the US and up from 24% the year before. The next highest was Spain, with 45% penetration.
61% of young mobile subscribers have been able to acquire Smartphones, and one quarter of 55 to 64 year olds claim to access the internet from their phones.
The UK also tops the online TV viewing figures with 27% of Britons watching TV online every week, higher than the U.S., where the total is 23%. UK digital TV penetration is also the highest in Europe, with 97% of households receiving more than the five basic channels. France is the second highest, with 93%, and America at 87%.
The UKÂ leads the field in buying online, as 79% ordered goods and services. The Dutch are the next most likely to make it to the checkout, with 74% spending online.
Considering our lower broadband penetration (The UK’s broadband penetration is 74%, where as France has reached 77%, Canada 83% and the Netherlands 89%) and often patchy mobile service outside of urban centres, the figures show that the British as a nation have not only accepted digital, but are making it a strong part of our culture in terms of communication, leisure and retail habits.
November 30th, 2011
It’s about that time of the year when we start seeing predictions for the year ahead. Top of most predictions lists for the last 5-6 years, if not longer, has been “the year of mobile” and of course that hasn’t quite come to fruition. However, next year…
Joking aside, we are certainly getting closer to the much heralded explosion of mobile, and it’s perhaps supporting services such as â€˜digital money‘ that will make it more of a reality than the development of handsets alone.
As you might have seen, PayPal recently predicted that we won’t need cash in its traditional form by 2016, as our mobile will handle the payments for us. In fact, Carl Scheible, managing director of PayPal UK commented in the ‘Money: The digital Tipping Point‘ report that: “Children born today will become the UK’s first ‘cashless generation. It will be completely natural for them to pay by mobile.”
Now of course this is nothing new, mobile payments have been talked about almost as long as the â€˜year of the mobile‘ but if anything this timeframe seems a little excessive, after all we can already pay for our food at Pizza Express using an iPhone app, and there are many more examples coming. We’re a long way from abandoning our wallets, but the change can be implemented relatively quickly from here.
Most of us can now swipe our cards over a terminal in a shop to pay for anything up to Â£15, and from January this will include Oyster card readers, which will accept direct payment. Therefore, bringing contactless card technology and mobile technology together is hardly a major leap, especially as the next generation of mobile phones are being built with near-field communication (NFC) chips, which will also enable contactless payment and offer the advantage of digital loyalty cards, promotional offers and receipts held on phones.
PayPal offers further evidence of the move to leave our wallets at home with stats that show 45m people in the UK use a mobile phone and over a third of mobile users surveyed have used the mobile internet to buy something from a retailer’s website.
The big issue beyond the technology is of course the security, but with advances in device-based, or embedded security, i.e. security built into the device and not sat on top in the form of after sales software, the future is bright. I would estimate that we will be ditching our wallets before 2016, and who knows the year of mobile may have even arrived by then.