Archive for the ‘Slates’ Category
June 29th, 2012
Apps are now fully ingrained in the psyche of the average marketer, so much so that it’s guaranteed apps will feature in a variety of campaign suggestions made by agencies and brands across the globe today.
Since the introduction of the app as we know it today, alongside the launch of the iPhone in 2007, there have been many good examples of useful and valuable apps, and many more poor examples.
As of June 2012, 30 billion apps have been downloaded from the (Apple) App Store and currently more than 650,000 apps are available. Furthermore, in May of this year, Google Play, which sells Android apps, achieved 15 billion downloads from its selection of 500,000 apps.
Therefore, it’s safe to say the app is still a huge success and a vital tool for relevant communications campaigns, but what is the reality of app retention?
To find out, Localytics a mobile analytics firm based in a Cambridge, Massachusetts, has just completed research on the behaviour of consumers on 60 million mobile devices in the U.S., including phones and tablets, across roughly 10,000 apps, as covered in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.
The research considered all major mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and HTML5 and didn’t distinguish between paid and free apps. It chose the metric of opening an app 11 times or more as the high-end metric because that it is the rate at which app publishers consider a user to be loyal or retained, according to Raj Aggarwal, chief executive of Localytics who headed up the research. Although this number seems a little low to me.
The company analysed users who downloaded an app in July 2011 and then counted how many times they opened up the app over a nine-month period ending in March 2012. They discovered around 31% of mobile users opened up their apps at least 11 times or more over a nine-month period, up from 26% a year ago.
However, 69% of users open an app 10 times or less, and over a quarter use the app just once after downloading it, which shows that high usage is the preserve of only the chosen few.
For example, recently Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe iPad book-app sold 20,000 copies in its first three days at Â£4.99 each, which covered its costs straight away. However retention is yet to be measured.
In terms of platforms, around 35% of Apple device users opened their apps 11 times or more, compared to just 23% of Android users.
Unsurprisingly, news apps like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal enjoy the highest retention rate, with 44% of users. Next in line are Gaming (e.g., Angry Birds), Entertainment (e.g., Netflix) and Sports, all of which had retention rates between 33% and 36%. Lifestyle apps, which include both e-commerce and life event planning tools, had the worst user retention with just 15% opening an app 11 times or more and 30% opening an app just once.
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.”
October 5th, 2011
A few weeks ago, I posted about a budget tablet launching, which was selling for just Â£129.00 called the Andy Pad. This week I can go one better and let you know about an Indian tablet called the “Akash” (“Sky”) which is priced at $45.00. The first 500 tablets will be handed over to Indian students after the launch.
Ministry spokeswoman Mamata Varma, confirmed:. “Initially, 700 Akash tablets will be made every day and we expect the production to pick up when more companies join in to manufacture the device,”
The specifications for the tablet are below.
- Running an Android 2.2 operating system
- 7 inch touch screen
- 32GB expandable memory
- 256-megabyte RAM
- Two USB ports
- Wi-Fi Internet access
- Video conferencing capability
- Internal media player
- Estimated battery life of 180 minutes
- 2GB SDÂ memory card included
Would you purchase one for $45.00?
August 25th, 2011
Tim Cook stepped up last night as the new CEO of Apple Computer, as Steve Jobs stood down, and if you were to find a better man to step into the shadow of the best company leader in the world, then you would be a genius.
Tim Cook has been joined at the hip with Steve Jobs since 1998 and probably mind-melded with the leader around 2003, when the retiring Apple CEO first found out that he had pancreatic cancer.
Tim is the son of an Alabama shipyard worker and at-home Mom. In the last financial year, he earned $59.1million (Â£36.3 million), including a $5 million cash bonus and $52.3 million in stock options. He has sold also more than $100 million of his stock options since joining Apple. He still rents his house in Palo Alto, California.
Tim Cook, Apple CEO: joined at the hip with Steve Jobs
To me, that means Tim is an Apple man body and soul, not an automobile salesman wannabe. He is the difference between Apple tanking and the company continuing to dominate and innovate. He comes from a different mould to the Apple CEOs who almost drove the company out of existence in the 1990s. He is a man I would trust with my last dollar.
The stock markets currently feel differently (bless!). They have given their totally rational, master-of-the-universe take on the news by selling Apple stock big-time. As an aside, if you were to search the ends of the earth for a CEO of the worldâ€™s biggest company by market value (Apple), you really would want to steer well clear of this highly-educated and terminally stupid class of people in your candidate selection.
The new Apple CEO comes into the job that effectively he has been co-owning for the past five years at least, with a clear understanding that the yo-yoâ€™s in the trading houses (a.k.a The Future) have marked him down.
I doubt whether he, or the Apple board, will lose too much sleep. In the time he has been shadowing Steve Jobs, Apple stock has gone from $6.56 to $403. Currently (Thursday afternoon BST), itâ€™s trading at $371.41. Time to buy!
That said, Steve Jobs does cast a long shadow. He rescued Apple from extinction and his rare genius in marketing has been a large part of the reason why the company has become the most powerful, influential and successful technology company of all time. Even â€˜The Really Stupidsâ€™ in the stock exchange houses could see, finally, that Steve Jobs = Money.
Now, while they flail around like non-swimmers (always out of their depth), Apple is simply moving on. The Succession Plan has been written and rehearsed, and is now being acted out. Apple, with the retreat by HP from the Tablet space (which it championed for three years), now owns the Tablet/Slate market and I cannot see a single effective competitor.
The Tablet Economy is so new, and with so much potential, that we can only guess and discuss, and help its development. I believe the iPad will fundamentally reshape the business and consumer device sectors globally over the next five years because it fulfils the needs and desires of people who live in these sectors â€“ indeed, they are the same people.
iPad in five years will be recognisable on the outside â€“ the same beautiful design but unrecognisable in the way it connects to, engages with, and learns from the people using the device.
With the Tablet space sewn up for the next 18 months at least, Apple has a bigger battle on its hands with the Smartphone market. Android handsets continue to eat into the iPhone market share and only the recourse to law has put some temporary obstacles in their way.
While the Tablet market can be further ring-fenced through innovation that might include closer tie-in with broadcast TV â€“ iPad link scanning of TV adverts, for example â€“ the iPhone challenge is much more complex but it is a battle that Apple can win.
Rumours of a budget-range of iPhones abound and the idea makes good commercial sense. The biggest mobile handset players have seriously lost the plot, yet continue to own the budget handset space globally. The move into this market, with a handset that delivers the classic usability of the iPhone, the cachet of the brand, and at a reasonable price point, should prove exceptionally profitable.
In the applications space, Apple still holds sway in terms of business and entertainment apps that users love, for the right reasons. This also gives Apple an opportunity to move from the consumer space into the new, more fluid environment that it has helped to shape â€“ where the lines between consumer and business device are being blurred.
Remember, Tim Cook was central to this movement and will be the leader of the brightest and best technology team in the world. The iPad and the iPhone resonate with our needs and untrammelled desires. The design and education sectors also respond, if not on price, certainly with desire to the unrivalled hardware and software that Apple continues to produce: Final Cut Pro, iTunes, MacBook, iMac, Mac Pro, iPod and iCloud.
There was a time, pre-Jobsâ€™ return, when Apple aficionados spent their time waiting for the next big Fail. Weâ€™ve got out of the habit over the past decade and, do you know, there is no chance of us joining that Loser queue again.
Best of luck to Tim Cook â€“ but I somehow think heâ€™s not going to need it, even with the long and generous shadow of Steve Jobs.
We will have time to reflect and understand more about this Quiet Man of Apple over the coming year but for now watch a rare video of Tim Cook here:
August 5th, 2011
Yesterday’s Ofcom report, which focused on smartphone data (Nearly one in three adults in the UK now uses a smartphone) confirmed what we probably already know: the smartphone is now firmly a part of our everyday life. After all, how would we stay in touch with our network, keep up to date with what’s going on in the world, listen to music, take/share photos or even find our way to a meeting without one? You can view the full report here.
Of course we also have the option of a tablet, as overviewed by my colleague Tim Greenhalgh in his piece â€˜Where the tablet market is heading and how iPad competitors can catch up‘ posted yesterday. Tablets perform a slightly different role, but for staying connected on the move and immediate access, we as a country are becoming fully dependant on our smartphones. OfCom’s report confirmed 37% of adults and 60% of teenagers described themselves as “addicted”.
Apple’s iPhone has probably done more than any other to change the way we view our mobile phone, picking up from the Blackberry, and unsurprisingly it is the most popular device among adults. Teenagers favour RIM’s Blackberry devices, probably because of its excellent messaging service: BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).
When it was launched the iPhone offered users access to the social web like we had never experienced before, connecting via a Blackberry simply didn’t/doesn’t compare, at least in my opinion. To clarify that statement I’ve been a Blackberry user since its launch, which I was lucky enough to work on, so I hope I can speak with some experience.
However, like many others (well many other adults) I have moved over to other devices that focus more on accessing the Web – in my case an iPhone. RIM has done well to capture the teen market with BBM, and I also feel the Blackberry has benefits over the iPhone in terms of email, which cannot be overlooked. However, recent financial results show both it and the more traditional mobile phone brands are beginning to creek under the mighty weight of trying to keep up with the iPhone.
If we look at the historical data, we can truly appreciate our change in mobile-based purchasing habits. Smartphone sales have rocketed up to claim nearly half of the mobile sales market during the first three months of this year. In 2005 Q1 smartphone sales accounted for 4% of all mobile sales, in 2011 Q1 it was 48%.
This has also had an effect on our digital habits. The biggest decline for adults and teens using smartphones has been in taking photos with a traditional camera. For teens 30% also claim to spend less time playing games on a PC/console.
The importance of the mobile internet cannot be overlooked, as it is a key reason for the success of the smartphone. After all, what Apple, RIM and the many other manufacturers have done is simply give us more of what we want, when we want it: access to the web. Or in some cases an unending appetite for access to Facebook, which was the most visited website on handheld devices, with 43 million hours spent on it in December 2010.
According to a study by IHS, shipments of mobile broadband devices in 2011 are projected to climb to 157.9 million units, up from 100.1 million units in 2010, (See Tim’s post for more info) so we only want more of the same, or in fact simply more access to everything: music, conversation, communication and information, through one easy to use device, that can be accessed anywhere, well almost anywhere…
More on this story from:
December 13th, 2010
Workarounds only work for a short time, until we find a more elegant and cohesive way of doing things online. In this case, itâ€™s the way we engage with web users through mobile devices.
Weâ€™ve had to work with a host of dodges, good-enoughs and missed opportunities over the past three years (and more). Itâ€™s been exhilarating and frustrating in equal measure.
Now, we have the structurally coherent means to engage on mobile, in a way that should address every mobile device â€“ and so help us to engage more effectively with customers, partners and clients.
HTML 5 will deliver its promise in 2011. The coding is a no-brainer but the execution needs careful, strategically-focused thought.
Iâ€™ve been waiting for this moment since the HTML 5 specifications were first announced. HTML 5 will fundamentally change the ways in which we communicate, share, buy and sell on mobile.
Mobile apps will have a share of this engagement market but there is no real reason to use them when HTML 5 mobile sites are ubiquitous. The only reason we use them, is that most websites are not mobile enabled, do not have mobile specific portals and are generally beyond awful at engaging with mobile users.
Giselle Tsirulnik, Mobile Marketer Senior Editor explains this future well in her video:
Imagine a lean, rich-media enabled website that delivers well-designed content to all mobile devices. Thatâ€™s HTML 5. How many client, customers, purchases, and partners could you engage with?
While we wait for our HTML 5 Christmas gifts, enjoy this utterly brilliant video from Mobile Future â€“ Iâ€™ve yet to see a better explanation of why this year was â€œThe Year of Mobileâ€.
2011 promises so much more but what do you think?
December 10th, 2010
Ronan Shields has posted a strong opinion article on New Media Age around the challenges and opportunities offered by the new Orange Partner Connect Scheme, which point the way for mobile operators to insert themselves into, and own, the mobile app buyer chain.
The scheme is fuelled by Orange embedding its app shop on the Android devices it sells to subscribers. Brands can also harness the Orange reach into 32 markets and it will enable brands to charge for downloads through the phone bill.
The Orange billing USP is clearly a winner. Who wants to key in their card details on mobile?
Does it also offer network operators a wider opportunity of providing mobile payment systems for consumer shopping through a single monthly bill? The logistics would be a challenge but nothing is impossible.
That also points to wider questions about mobile consumer and usability/confidence.
Brands will need to engage much more closely next year with their customers to convince them that mobile shopping is secure. The just-announced OFT initiative reflects that, as does recent mobile research by client Tamar.
Meanwhile, at the developer layer, the Wholesale Applications Community is gearing up to provide members with new specifications that will enable them to write applications that can be deployed across multiple platforms and operators.
WAC believes that this will help to reach a potential global market of 3.5 billion customers. It expects to release version 2 of its spec early next year while continuing its aim to sign up all the industryâ€™s major device vendors as members.
At the same time, this week, Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced that manufacturers such as Dell, Asus, Lenovo and Toshiba have agreed to use Intel chips in 35 Tablet models, including a few already on the market. Caveat here â€“ as in my previous post, the term Tablet can refer to a wide range of devices, not simply the Slates we know as iPad and Samsung Galaxy.
Paul called Intel’s pursuit of the smartphone market “a marathon, not a sprint,” and said that the company’s second-generation Medfield smartphone chip is now being sampled by customers and should ship next year.
He said: “You will see smartphones from premier branded vendors in the second half of 2011 with Intel silicon inside them â€¦The consumer [tablet] products will roll out over the first half of next year,”
Thatâ€™s very good news for the expanding Smartphone market and the nascent Slate sector.
On the other side of the mobile universe, European mobile network operators have demanded this week that companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook should pay to help them keep up with growing demand for data on their networks.
Bloomberg News reported that France Telecom-Orange, Telecom Italia, and Vodafone Group would like to charge content providers fees linked to usage to help cover the cost of upgrading wireless broadband networks.
France Telecom-Orange Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard discussed the issue at the “Le Web” conference in Paris on Wednesday. Stephane said the current mismatch between revenue and investment for Internet infrastructure providers is not sustainable.
All network operators are facing the same challenge â€“ falling revenues and rising costs.
IDC estimates that the number of mobile data connections in Western Europe is expected to grow 15 per cent a year to 270 million in 2014. By then revenue is expected to fall 1 per cent. Meanwhile, carriers are expected to increase capital spending by 28 per cent to $3.7 billion, according to Canalys.
Does this signal the end of the â€œfree rideâ€ for content providers, and if so, how will the increased delivery costs distort the content market over the next 2-3 years? The network operators are also losing patience with the flat-fee model and are discussing ways to implement the more flexible, â€œpay-per-useâ€ model.
It seems that the people who own the mobile highways are about to place a range of toll booths along the network, which means that the commodity of information is about to become much more expensive in 2011.
I’ll leave you with this rather splendid, and relevant track from Elastica. Have a good weekend, all.
December 9th, 2010
Tomorrow (December 10th 2010), Nokia is launching a global campaign to promote its N8 smartphone. The dominant mobile manufacturer is fighting back strongly against the Apple and Android assaults on a market that it once considered its own.
Nokiaâ€™s promotion is most welcome. Itâ€™s about time that the market had some strong input from the company that defined mobile for more than two decades, along with its competitor cousin, Ericsson. These two companies led the way in mobile innovation and the delivery of handsets that were the first choice for professionals globally.
Both worked hard to develop the one thing that, I think, helped to redefine the mobile market â€“ the ability to write on screen. I still miss my Sony Ericsson P910 for that reason. I could write an email, an instant message, a blog post on the P910 with an ease that I do not have with my Blackberry. And Iâ€™m a veteran keyboarder.
The N8 does not have stylus text input. Itâ€™s out of fashion.
Nokia is not alone. Find me a Smartphone or Slate that gives users this facility and I need will wake you up rudely. None exist – and that’s a commercial crime.
If I was a Smartphone/Slate producer, I would be refining the onscreen stylus text input function. Why? Well, Iâ€™ve used keyboards all my life but I know many people who have not touched a keyboard. The keyboard is a design disaster â€“ we use a form that was designed to slow down the application of keystrokes. It makes no logical or aesthetic sense. Worse still, itâ€™s an obstacle to communication.
So, if you are a neophyte and are being told that Slates (or Smartphones) make everything easy â€“ you will come up against the big challenge of trying to talk to family, friends and contacts through the most idiotic communications tool ever developed â€“ the QWERTY keyboard. Hours of fun.
Instead, imagine if you picked up your Slate (or Smartphone) and just started writing on the screen. Even with the need for corrections, it would be intuitive, tactile and rewarding. I will wager a Â£100 bet with anyone who can show that a beginner can learn to type faster than they can write and communicate on screen using a stylus.
But thereâ€™s a problem with onscreen stylus communication. It is often called Steve Jobs.
Steve, bruised, battered and bewildered by the failure of the Newton, has decided that styluses suck, big-time. Never mind that the Newton introduced more complexity by requiring users to learn a new alphabet.
This is what Steve has to say about stylus screen input:
â€œOh, a stylus, right? We’re going to use a stylus. No. Who wants a stylus? You have to get â€˜em and put â€˜em away, and you lose â€˜em. Yuck. Nobody wants a stylus. So let’s not use a stylus. We’re going to use the best pointing device in the world. We’re going to use a pointing device that we’re all born with – born with ten of them. We’re going to use our fingers. We’re going to touch this with our fingers.â€ [source]
Iâ€™ve just measured my fingers against my old Sony Ericsson P910 stylus â€“ and the difference is frightening. The point of the stylus (the business end) is roughly 500 times smaller than the point of my digits. Steve, there is no way that my fingers are going to do the talking.
More than that, the stylus replicates the way we have learned to write. Only a numpty would consider the finger as the primary communications device of the future.
And so, while we await the roll out of an amazing array of Smartphones and Slate in 2011, hereâ€™s my Christmas wish-list for my ideal Slate and Smartphone:
- Stylus text input
- Voice input
- Social media apps onboard
- Open apps market
- Camera to match the N8
- Touchscreen to match the iPad
- Easy purchase process
- Film studio network
- Image studio network
- Smaller, more precise social network app
As for the N8, whether it will gatecrash the iPhone and Android party is moot. TechRadar will give you a full briefing with its fearsome and quite brilliant review but there is a significant point in its narrative when it says: â€œNokia is all about connecting peopleâ€. That is, surely, the point of mobile – and Nokia has the experience, knowledge and expertise to deliver that.
At Liberate Media mobile HQ, we have to work with many handsets because the delivery and display of web, mobile web â€“ and mobile apps â€“ varies so greatly. Our clients need to know the details of how their messages are being seen.
The N8 looks beautiful â€“ and matches iPhone on design. Thatâ€™s to be expected. Apart from a few design Fails, Nokia has consistently delivered desirable, usable devices.
If Nokia, or Ericsson, revisits the stylus-input function with the Slates that they are planning, and deliver the joy of onscreen writing, I will be the first to buy and evangelise. This is much needed and, I think, would be a definitive USP for players in the Slate and Smartphone markets. But let me know what you think.
And if you believe that Nokia is a crusty old has-been, just enjoy this video, showing what you can do with the N8. Pure class:
December 3rd, 2010
This is a brief rant, because itâ€™s Friday evening and the weekend beckons. I spent last year (2009) talking about the incoming anywhere, anytime devices being championed by HP. We called them Slates then. What a brilliant brand concept name! Come the iPad and suddenly we were talking about Tablets. How did that happen?
Just search for Tablet online. Hours of fun guaranteed. I think this is what marketers call â€˜creative confusionâ€™. The name Tablet now covers a multitude of devices and pills, as well as a highly-respected religious publication. Iâ€™m certainly confused, creatively.
Is it too late to start describing the wonderful Apple iPad (version 2 coming to an online store near you very soon) and the equally spellbinding Samsung Galaxy as Slates? It would only take some hard SEO graft and social media engagement to win a new online market space for these types of devices.
And then we could really begin to understand the unique qualities of a portable Slate. Weâ€™ve got the Blackberry Playbook (thatâ€™s a Slate, not a Tablet), Motorola Droid (well, not really Slate), the HP Slate (ah – with added Tablet), the Fujitsu (Slate Tablet PC, apparently) and, I can guarantee, many more coming in 2011.
So, from now, Iâ€™m going to call them Slates â€“ because that is what they are. Theyâ€™re not Tablets. Tablets are funky laptop PCs with detachable bits. They’re pills that can make you feel better.
I admit that I dropped into the Tablet trap this year but I crawled slowly back out of that dark pit â€“ and it feels good.
Instant poll: Slate or Tablet?
Have a great weekend.