May 2014

Chitika Insight’s report on smartphone web usage

us-canada smartphone usage by os

Click the graph to see its source, Chitika’s Smartphone Usage Update report.

Chitika released their Smartphone Usage Report, which contains the following observations:

  • While Windows Phone usage remained flat, declining BlackBerry usage has propped it up to third place.
  • iOS users generate the most smartphone web traffic, accounting for 53.1% of it, even though there are about 4 times as many Android devices as there are iOS ones.
  • Android users generate the second-most web traffic: 44.5%.

You can download the report for free (you have to provide an email address) from Chitika’s site.

Canalys: Tablets disrupt business tablets and laptops

canalys graph PC sales 2014-05

Tablet shipments may be showing slowed-down growth in Q1 2014 due to a 40% drop in iPad shipments in the US, but the research firm Canalys doesn’t think the slowdown is a long-term trend.

They also see Apple as remaining leaders in the tablet space:

“Consumers, and increasingly businesses, are continuing to adapt, with tablets acting as disruptors and finding their place as desktop and notebook replacements. Apple’s ecosystem and the recent launch of Office for iPad should ensure it is well placed to remain a leader for some time.”

Good Technology: iOS still rules the enterprise, and the iPad really rules enterprise tablets

This news is from a couple of months ago, but the figures are still valid: the enterprise mobile technology firm Good Technology, based on the 2,000+ companies using their services, that iOS has an overall 73% share of enterprise mobile devices…

net activations

…and when you consider only tablets in the enterprise, the iOS share rockets up to 91%:

tablet activations

this article also appears in the GSG blog

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Google buys Divide

divide

Click the photo to read the article.

“Beautiful BYOD” is the tag line for Divide, the software for Android and iOS that splits smartphones into separate “work” and “personal” containers. As Re/code’s Ina Fried notes, Divide “allows businesses to manage their data even on devices they don’t own, and gives individuals freedom to still use their phone to run the kinds of apps they want to”. Google Ventures is a backer, and in a move that is likely meant to help increase Android’s enterprise adoption (which trails iOS enterprise adoption significantly), Google is buying Divide.

If you need a primer on Divide or their approach to the market, here’s a video (19 minutes, 12 seconds) featuring Ina Fried interviewing Divide co-founder Alexander Trewby and representatives from other mobile enterprise companies at Mobile World Congress 2012:

The Register’s praise for the Moto E — and one gripe

moto e - great but one flaw

Click the photo to read the article.

The Register doesn’t mince words. They’ve built their reputation on snark on not giving any quarter when it comes to criticism. So when they sing the praises of Motorola’s new fully-featured yet easy-on-the-wallet Moto E (which we wrote about last week), it’s worth noting. Their only complaint is that there’s no front-facing camera:

So has Motorola repeated the trick it pulled off with the Moto G? For just £90 you are getting a decent – no, make that a very decent – bit of kit, but come on guys, what’s with the missing webcam? That really spoils the soup for want of a pinch of salt.

How much would it have cost to add a VGA front camera to the Moto E? £2? Less? I’m guessing that the reason for the omission is to make the Moto G seem more attractive by giving the Moto E an Achilles’ heel. It’s possibly a trend as the £95 Nokia Lumia 520 lacks a webcam too, but for me it’s a deal breaker as I use the webcam on my Moto G regularly to video chat on Skype.

While others might not care so much about a front-facing camera, I find its absence actually annoys me and knocks some of the shine off a device that I’d otherwise be very enthusiastic about. As it stands, unless you are after a backup handset, are confident that you will never have a use for a webcam or are truly skint, I’d suggest saving up the extra £70 and buying the 4G Moto G.

No Skype video chat, no selfies, but for $129 in the US or £90 (US$150) in the UK, it’s a lot of smartphone for so little money. As we said earlier, we think it’s got potential as phones for businesses on tight budgets, and we hope that Motorola under Lenovo continues on this streak.

Samsung sold 500,000 smartwatches in Q1 2014

half a million smartwatches

Click the photo to read the article.

Android Beat reports that Samsung now has the lion’s share — 71% — of the global smartphone market. Citing Strategy Analytics’ $7000 Global Smartwatch Vendor Marketshare: Q1 2014 report, Samsung sold 500,000 out of the 700,000 smartwatches sold globally in the first quarter of this year, thanks to their big marketing push (which includes this very good ad, and the hilariously painful “Jack and Aimee hit the slopes” video) and bundling it with their Galaxy Note 3 “phablet”. These sales numbers may need to be tempered with the fact that late last year, the return rate for Samsung’s smartwatches was an embarrassing 30%.

this article also appears in the GSG blog

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moto e

Motorola’s Moto E was designed as a smartphone for the “next billion” — people in the developing world who have yet to purchase their first smartphone and can’t afford iPhones or Samsung Galaxy devices — but we think that it, along with its emerging category of smartphones, also has an interesting First World use case. It may be the first of a new generation of company-provisioned mobile devices living in the sweet spot where low price, power, and good design all meet. An enterprise with a limited budget looking to provide mobile devices for its employees may find that the Moto E is cheap enough to fall within their budget, yet with enough power and features so that employees will actually be able to (and want to) use it for both work and personal purposes.

Low price

moto e 2

The $129 (without contract!) price puts it inside the budget of even the smallest of First World businesses, and we suspect that a volume purchase may lower the price even closer to the $100 point. Equipped with a point-of-sale app and a credit card reader, it can become an inexpensive cash register that’s useful for businesses of all sizes, from a global retail operations down to the solo farmer selling his or her crop at the Saturday market. A hospital that wanted to equip its staff with mobile devices but couldn’t afford a fleet of Apple or Samsung devices might consider deploying Moto Es instead. And while the Moto E isn’t ruggedized, it may still find a home as a mobile device for manufacturing and industrial settings thanks to its low replacement cost.

Power

moto e 4

It be the first phone at its price point to feature a dual-core processor: a dual-core Snapdragon 200 running at 1.2 GHz with 1 GB of RAM. An Adreno 302 single-core GPU handles graphics tasks. This combination yields decent performance, especially since the device comes with a mostly-stock Android, free of all the extra window dressing and bloatware like Samsung’s TouchWiz. It won’t run the latest 3D shooters and might fall down with Grand Theft Auto, but from TechGeek’s report, it handles Angry Birds: Star Wars just fine, which suggests that it’ll be able to take on most workplace and lifestyle apps. While the device has only 4 GB of storage space, a MicroSD slot allows for an additional 32 GB of space for photos, music, videos, and apps. Its networking capabilities are decent, but not spectacular: cellular access is limited to 3G, which is only a little disappointing; its being limited to only 2.4 GHz wifi isn’t a great loss.

Good design

moto e 3

From all reports, the Moto E doesn’t look or feel like a cheap phone. The front is made of Corning’s Gorilla Glass, rather than plastic, and the interchangeable back covers — called “shells” — are made of something that feels like matte-finish rubber, and come in several colors. The glass is oleophobic to resist fingerprints, and the whole phone is covered in a “splash guard” coating to make it water resistant, a feature that doesn’t appear in phone selling for three, four, or even five times as much. The 960-by-540 screen resolution is the same as the iPhone 4 and 4S, and the 256 pixel-per-inch density, while not at a Retina-like 325 ppi, is far better than that of other phones in this price category (typically 165 ppi).

The only disappointment on this phone is the camera: a single rear-mounter 5 megapixel camera that takes so-so shots that are all too easy to blur with the slightest hand motion. There’s no front-facing camera, so it’s not a phone for selfies, and if your line-of-business app requires that front-facing camera, this may not be the cheap COPE phone for you.

The verdict

moto e 5
Here’s what a couple of early reviews have to say about the Moto E:

Forbes: “…at $129.99 the Moto E is the first truly bargain basement smartphone that has ever impressed me. Its design, features, speed and battery life at better than rival phones twice the price and while the camera is merely average for the price point the Moto E should sweep all before it.”

The Street: “…I found the Moto E to be a highly usable and enjoyable smartphone. It was adequately fast at 3G data speeds but an even better performer on Wi-fi connections. Surfing the Web was great. Streaming video (YouTube,Netflix and Time Warner Cable apps) or audio (Spotify, WiMP) provided flawless entertainment. Plus, the Moto E’s battery lasted more than a day on a single charge. That means morning, noon, night, overnight and most of the next morning. That’s pretty amazing for any smartphone, no less a ‘bargain’ model. I never felt I was being held back by using a $129 handset.”

Pocket Lint: “First impressions of the Motorola Moto E are good: it feels like a solid device and that’s important, because it avoids the normally plasticky finish that often plagues devices at this price point. It will be available in black or white, with a range of coloured shells to let you customise the phone to your liking. For just £89 it looks like a bargain and we can’t wait to put it through its paces in a full review. The Moto E could be the smartphone that hammers the nail into the feature phone coffin and we’re expecting great things from it.”

A solid smartphone with decent features and few disappointments, for a mere $129. We see a lot of COPE opportunities here.

this article also appears in the GSG blog

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how do i query the database

Click the comic to see it at full size.

Found via Mike Beltzner.

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The latest strip from the webcomic CommitStrip:

commitstrip take on apple - beats

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Mobile is the biggest platform - GSGtelco

Click the chart to see it at full size.
Feel free to use this in your presentations and articles; just credit GSG, Global Nerdy, or Joey deVilla!

The number of mobile subscriptions worldwide is now about the same as the number of people worldwide. According to mobile analyst and pundit Tomi Ahonen, the worldwide mobile subscription rate is at 100%, and as an article of ours from last week pointed out, that rate is even higher in the Americas, Arab states, and Europe, and it’s highest in the CIS (former Soviet republics), where there are 141 subscriptions for every 100 people.

Tomi’s latest article on his blog, Communities Dominate Brands, has a lengthy title — Let’s Do 2014 Numbers for the Mobile Industry: Now we are at 100% Mobile Subscription Penetration Rate Per Capita Globally — but it spells out his thesis quite clearly. In his article, he looks at the size of the mobile market and compares it to numbers we think of a “big” but are dwarfed by mobile: TV, PCs, landlines, and cable/satellite. We’ve taken his numbers and turned them into the graph above (and we’d like to thank him for sharing his data so freely).

The article also looks at other numbers, such as:

  • Money generated by the worldwide mobile industry. It’s currently worth 1.5 trillion this year, with 1.15 trillion of that coming from service revenues).
  • Number of handsets sold: 1.8 billion mobiles sold in 2013, and nearly 1 billion of those were smartphones.
  • Internet users: there are 2.9 billion worldwide, with 42% of them — that’s 1.2 billion — accessing the ‘net via mobile, whether smartphone or feature phone.
  • The digital divide. In the developed world, there are 2.1 billion mobile subscriptions and a 175% mobile penetration rate (or: the average person in the developed world has 1.75 mobile phones). In the developing world, there are 5 billion subscriptions and an 85% mobile penetration rate (or: for every 100 people in the developing world, there are 85 mobile phones).
  • The biggest companies in the world, when you count only their mobile business. The top three are Apple ($112 billion), Samsung ($103 billion), and China Mobile ($91 billion).

If you’d like to see more of Tomi’s insights and be entertained at the same time, watch his presentation, The Platform of the Future?, which he gave at the 2012 NZ Marketing conference in New Zealand in 2012.He rattles off all sorts of interesting observations about mobile technology, and provides statistics aplenty, delivered in his very animated, very amusing style. If you’re looking for some mobility-related lunchtime viewing or want some stimulating “background noise” while you work,  this one’s for you:

this article also appears in the GSG blog

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Two-thirds of emails are opened on mobile devices

66 percent of emails on mobile

Click the photo to read the article.

According to marketing company Movable Ink, 66% of emails were opened either on a smartphone (47.2%) or tablet (18.5%), with the remaining 34% being opened on a traditional PC. Breaking down the numbers even further, Apple mobile device users make up the majority of email openers:

email platform breakdown

Click the photo to read the article.

They also noted that the opening of email on smartphones experiences a peak in the early morning, providing further evidence for the observation that the first thing many people reach for when they wake up is their smartphone. There’s also a noticeable peak in tablet-based email reading at night:

smartphone usage time

Click the photo to read the article.

The big take-away from Movable Ink’s observations is that you should assume that any email you send has 2-to-1 odds of being opened on a mobile device. That means you should make sure that any email you send, along with any landing pages that those emails point to, are mobile-friendly.

Lenovo: Playing mobile Moneyball

lenovos-treasure

Click the photo to read the article.

Bloomberg Businessweek summarizes Lenovo’s approach succinctly: as “consumer electronics version of the Moneyball strategy: Instead of ballplayers, Lenovo hunts undervalued businesses in sectors others are desperate to escape.” Over the past ten years, they’ve been taking other tech manufacturers’ cast-offs — most notably IBM’s line of desktops and ThinkPads — rebranding them as their own, and turning them into profitable products. With the global PC market slowing down, and the mobile device market heating up, they purchased Motorola from Google for just under $3 billion and are looking to take on Apple and Samsung.

Nokia’s “History in the Making” ad

It has yet to be seen whether Microsoft’s absorbing Nokia will be a significant event in mobile history or a historical footnote, but the Rube Goldberg machine-themed ad commemorating the event is pretty noteworthy:

Brett Doar was the engineer behind the contraption in the ad; you may have seen his work in the ad for the girls’ engineering toy Goldieblox or indie rock band OK Go!’s video for their number This Too Shall Pass. Nokia have a blog post covering the making of this ad.

this article also appears in the GSG blog

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