Ronnie05's Blog

Mobile Browsing and App sales on Android has not been linear with its popularity and growth

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems, Industry updates, Mobile Computing by Manas Ganguly on April 2, 2011

Android’s march to prominence in smartphones has been inexorable and awe-inspiring. Furthermore ABI research believes that Android will dominate the smartphone scene with 45% marketshare by 2016. However, in the present context, Android’s market share gains may be illusory and Google’s OS has serious shortcomings.

Mobile Browsing and App sales on Android has not been linear with its popularity and growth

A broad sample of millions of website visitors detailed by Google Analytics indicates that the entire Android ecosystem combined, while slightly ahead of Apple’s iPhone 4, continues to be outpaced by Apple’s iOS, largely due to the rapid growth of iPad. This mirrors additional data that underlines Apple’s lead in both mobile browsing and app sales, refuting recent reports that claim Android is displacing iOS. Despite regular reports that Google’s Android platform has passed iPhone 4 in both installed base and growth, Android’s share of web visits over the iPhone is very slight and has not grown much over the past quarter. Recent SEO reports from ROI365 places 2.89% of the website visits coming from Android vs 2.62% coming from iPhone for

Q1,2011.However, in terms of a big picture, Android has never come close to passing iOS as a whole which is current 4.97% and includes three devices: iPod,iPad and iPhone. The stats don’t just stop there, as the iOS (41.5%) growth rate tops that of Android (40.98%). So while the entire Android platform with all of their partners, models, phones and tablets has outgrown the single iPhone 4 by 40.98% to 30.35% the past 4 months, iPad is outgrowing the entire Android ecosystem so significantly [that] it more than makes up for the iPhone deficiency plus some. And it just launched 3 weeks ago and millions of people who want them can’t get their hands on them yet.

Android has multiple issues which make the eco-system a discontinuous one and Developers/Programmers writing for Android are finding the ecosystem to be perilous as far as effort-monetization and returns is concerned. Developing Apps for multiple device, multiple store is increasingly a game of diminishing returns. This compares unfavorably against Apple App Store, which provides a single store seamless and unified experience. What complicates matters for developers is also the monetization conundrum.

to be continued

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Oracle: Staking a claim at the Mobile apps pie

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces by Manas Ganguly on March 17, 2011

As mobile apps gradually gain mainstream, companies are already beginning to take poll positions in terms of promoting their standards as the default industry standard.Here’s an article from zdnet by Ben Woods, which speaks about Oracle’s app development framework for Java apps that can also be featured on other mobile platforms.This effort would also help Oracle to get more developers on the Java Apps and enable the development effort.

Oracle has launched an extension for its app development framework that provides tools for developing Java-based apps on a variety of mobile platforms.

The Mobile Client is an extension of Oracle Application Development Framework ADF and can be used to design apps in a mix of design and Java code view. Oracle said the new toolkit allows developers to quickly build enterprise applications for a range of mobile devices without the need for future redevelopment.

“It simplifies application creation and deployment using a single, standard Java user interface (UI) framework and tooling for all supported devices. Developers can build once and deploy to multiple devices – and as support for new devices is added in Oracle ADF Mobile Client, applications can be deployed to the new platforms without redevelopment,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

The mobile client will support development of Java-based apps, which can then be run as local applications on a mobile device. Currently, apps can be deployed directly to Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices.

Oracle said that deep data service integration and the ability to access real-time and offline data sources make it well suited for developing apps across many enterprise sectors. The tools provide Oracle Database Lite Mobile Server for configurable data synchronisation tasks.

The software is designed to work with the Oracle Fusion framework but can also be used with other web services, Oracle said.

Apps built using the client can also access certain parts of a device’s hardware, such as the camera, GPS or barcode scanner using natively embedded Java code, in order to provide extra functionality.

The package also includes the ADF Mobile Browser, which is based on Java Server Faces technology. This element ensures compatibility across a range of mobile browsers which can have varying levels of CSS and JavaScript support, Oracle said.

Apple still rules the world of Apps

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces by Manas Ganguly on February 16, 2011

Apple notched up 82.7% of revenues from Apps stores globally in 2010. While this figure is marginally down from Apple’s 92.8% market share in 2009, it is testimony to the fact that in terms of mobile application stores, Apple remains far ahead of the competition, with the other stores so far unable to replicate Apple’s success in generating revenue from users. Apple, in contrast, has been able to maintain advantage by leveraging its tightly controlled ecosystem—combining compelling hardware and content with the capability to offer consumers a trusted, integrated and simple billing service via iTunes.

Revenue for the Apple App Store rose 131.9 percent to $1.8 billion in 2010 from $768.7 billion in 2009.Global revenue for the total mobile application store market in 2010 increased by 160.2 percent to reach $2.2 billion, up from $828 million in 2009. Helping Apple’s cause in terms of profitability was iPad, which even with a smaller installed base made more margins per app, disproportionately impacting Apple’s Revenue. By 2014, about 50 percent of Apple App Store revenues in the United States will be generated by iPad users, up from less than 20 percent in 2010. Apple is expected retain more than half of market revenue at least through 2014.

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry App World retained its No. 2 rank with 360.3 percent growth. The company’s share increased to 7.7 percent in 2010, up from 4.3 percent in 2009.

Nokia’s OVI Store posted the second strongest growth in 2010, with revenue rising by 719.4 percent, giving it 4.9 percent share of the application market business, up from 1.5 percent in 2009.

Google’s Android Market made the most dramatic advance, with revenue soaring 861.5 percent for 2010. This allowed Android Market to take 4.7 percent share of global mobile application store revenue in 2010, up from 1.3 percent in 2009.

Source: IHS Screen Digest February 2011

OS and Device agnostic Application platforms

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on February 2, 2011

Openwave (provider of context-aware mediation and messaging solutions) has announced Amplicity, a new browser-based concept, which would deliver apps seamlessly across different OSs and devices in an operator network. This is designed to enable developers to leverage valuable mobile operator network assets to more rapidly create and deliver applications within the browser. The intent is to enable developers to address hardware and software fragmentation through the use of web technologies, including HTML5. In order to improve the distribution process. Developers have always been making an effort to reach out to as many end users and devices as possible. The ability to build one application and have it reach as many users as possible without having to write different versions for different platforms and devices would benefit developers. Operators have always been an essential part of the internet ecosystem, and the data they possess is the key to beating over-the-top players in the battle for consumer mindshare. Openwave Amplicity allows operators to open up their networks to developers and third-party content providers to ultimately create smarter applications that rely on contextual information.

Using Openwave Amplicity, developers will be able to market their applications to consumers and enterprise customers across a number of platforms, which will enable them to monetize these applications through contextual advertising. The Operating System (OS) application development scenario is currently heavily segmented, which poses huge challenges to mobile application developers. Various versions of the same OS keep arriving into the market with continuous development of the platforms, while the developers also find it difficult to design applications compatible with all the mobile devices due to a vast difference in form factors and capabilities of hardware available today. Openwave Amplicity offers a cross-platform footprint based upon HTML-5 to address this issue and provides developers with enhanced OS, hardware and software compatibility. It also offers a more customized browsing experience to the consumers, who will be able to receive contextually relevant advertising and marketing offers on their mobile phones.

Comscrore: State of US telecom markets (Exit 2010)

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems, Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on January 12, 2011

The US telecoms are a study becuase the trends established in US are largely cascaded around globally. Android gets ahead of iPhone.Verizon-iPhone deal may to cut celebrations short. Applications rule!

In a recent report summarizing usages of mobiles and mobile Oss over a 3 month period (SON 2010), comScore has ranked Samsung as the top OEM and RIM as the top smartphone OS in US. Samsung ended up 0.9 percentage points from the three month period ending in August. LG ranked second with 20.9 percent share, followed by Motorola (17.0 percent), RIM (8.8 percent) and Nokia (7.2 percent).

After several months of strong growth, Google Android captured the #2 ranking among smartphone platforms in November with 26.0 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers. Apple accounted for 25.0 percent of smartphone subscribers (up 0.8 percentage points), followed by Microsoft with 9.0 percent and Palm with 3.9 percent. However, Android’s happiness may be shortlived because of yesterday’s announcement about the Verizon-Apple tie up to sell the iPhone on the Verizon network 10th February 2011 onwards. Given that Apple’s 25% of the OS share is only its AT&T number, the Verizon tie-up would be significant in terms of a quantum increase in Apple’s numbers. It is very possible that the Verizon tie up and shipments may have Apple leap-frog both Android and RIM to be the number 1 OS in US. Given Android’s progression month on month the one loser here would be RIM who have steadily been loosing gas on market share.

Usage
67.1 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 0.5 percentage points versus the prior three month period, while browsers were used by 35.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 0.8 percentage points). Subscribers who used downloaded applications comprised 33.4 percent of the mobile audience, representing an increase of 1.1 percentage points. Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 1.0 percentage points, representing 23.5 percent of mobile subscribers. Playing games attracted 22.6 percent of the mobile audience while listening to music attracted 15.0 percent.

The interesting thing to note in these figures is that App usage actually could actually be significantly higher in terms of games on the smartphone, social networking site/blog access and use of downloaded app. While comScore isn’t vocal about the app contribution to these numbers, I suspect that apps usage would be around 50% or more users.

Impact of HTML5 based browsers on the Mobile Applications eco-system and marketplace

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on November 16, 2010

The proliferation of HTML 5-based browsers in 2011 will likely change the way content providers approach the mobile application marketplace.

Content providers today are spending too much of their resources building specific mobile apps for different platforms on different devices. Every time there is a new platform and a new device introduced to the market, a content provider needs to build a new app using different specifications to fit the operating system (OS) and device screensize. This is not an efficient way forward for content providers as there are hundreds of phones in the market with different form factors, making it time consuming and resource-intensive. The tide is expected to change for content providers with the wider use of HTML 5.

Interoperability across devices, platforms

With HTML 5, content providers need not build an app for each different OS and each different screen-size. Instead, developers will only need to build a ‘smart bookmark’, which is a link that will effectively call out a device’s browser and direct it to a content provider’s Web site. Because a HTML 5-enabled browser can access a device’s features through APIs (application programming interfaces) and can call out features, such as geo-location to contextualize the content, the browser can now have the same features available in the mobile app

For example, a mobile user can click on a smart bookmark and activate his device’s HTML-enabled browser, which can then provide localized news and weather reports, emulating what specific mobile apps can do today. This will fundamentally change the game for content providers as there is no need to rebuild an app over and over again just because a new device with a new operating system has come into the market.

With the use of smart bookmarks, purchased apps will no longer be locked into a specific platform. If a user buys an app meant for an Apple iPhone, he would need to buy it again if I had a Google Android phone. With HTML 5 and smart bookmarks, users can have access to my content regardless of the platform because access to content [will be] based on a subscription and not a download model. However, the business model will require Content providers and operators will need to work out details regarding revenue-sharing.

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Apps Stores (Part 1): Defining the global opportunity

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on November 8, 2010

Apple Apps store and the Google Marketplace are expanding both in terms of number of apps featured, apps downloads and user numbers. The increasingly popularity of apps store is perhaps reflected by the growing numbers of device makers and carriers who are riding the Apps store to deliver customized services or products to the consumers.

Estimating the size of the Mobile Apps opportunity
Consumers will spend $6.2 billion in 2010 in mobile application stores while advertising revenue is expected to generate $0.6 billion worldwide, according to Gartner, Inc. Analysts said mobile application stores will exceed 4.5 billion downloads in 2010, eight out of ten of which will be free to end users. Furthermore, Gartner forecasts worldwide downloads in mobile application stores to surpass 21.6 billion by 2013.Free downloads will account for 82 per cent of all downloads in 2010, and will account for 87 per cent of downloads in 2013. Worldwide mobile application stores’ download revenue exceeded $4.2 billion in 2009 and will grow to $29.5 billion by the end of 2013. This revenue forecast includes end-user spending on paid-for applications and advertising-sponsored free applications. Advertising-sponsored mobile applications will generate almost 25 per cent of mobile application stores revenue by 2013.

Apps: A sure-fire way to reach the consumer provided content is sticky enough
As Apple loves to remind people, there’s an app for just about everything. However, discovering apps that work–and that the user would actually use–can be a daunting task. According to another poll by Harris Interactive Mobile users download apps based on recommendations from other users, not basis brand recognition. Twenty-nine percent of the apps users downloaded were based on recommendations from other users, it said, and 66 percent said they purchased an app because of a review. The results of our survey are quite telling, and further proof that organizations must invest more in the user experience of their mobile apps, rather than rely solely on the brand. Users download mobile apps by their own volition. The Apps content needs to be compelling enough to create stickiness around the app such that users spend time on the app. That way, the application will be able to deliver what it is meant to deliver to the user and have mobile ads piggy-backing them to the user and thus make more money for the store, developer and the carrier. That way, mobile applications are the surefire way to extend a brand. It’s time for organizations to understand how to fully leverage the mobile channel and optimize a user-centered approach to drive adoption, as well as reinforce and drive brand loyalty. According to the study, 73 percent thought that a company’s app should be more user-friendly than its Web site. It found that users take the following criteria into consideration when downloading an app: 74 percent think an app should be to be easy to use, 75 percent think it should do exactly what they want or need it to do, and 57 percent think it should be well designed.

Continued here

Mobile Apps: Status check in Emerging countries

Posted in Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on August 13, 2010

Reproducing a report about Mobile Applications and its impact in Emerging Markets (Afro-Asian markets)

Emerging markets will drive the growth of global mobile value-added-service (VAS) revenues from $200bn in 2009 to $340bn in 2014. With China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Poland and the Ukraine expected to account for 36 per cent of such revenues at the end of the forecast period.These numbers were released by Informa Telecoms & Media, which has been monitoring the high growth potential for VAS in emerging markets as high market saturation limits growth prospects in developed countries.

In fact, operators and service providers in emerging markets have been more innovative and proactive in developing and deploying mobile VAS than their counterparts in the developed world, especially in the areas of mobile payments, P2P funds transfer and agricultural information services. The reason being that these services are having a big impact on the day-to-day lives of the local population and are contributing to the social and economic development of the population in these markets, Informa said, citing services such as M-Pesa from Safaricom in Kenya, the Rural Information Service from China Mobile, the Please Call Me service from MTN in South Africa, and the CellBazaar service from GrameenPhone in Bangladesh.

“Compared to the developed world, there are very different economic, social, demographic and cultural challenges in the emerging markets. In many countries, 3G services are still not available, or are limited to mobile subscribers in larger cities. Therefore operators have to depend on 2G services such as SMS, USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems, to be able to drive mass market adoption of their mobile value-added-services, and to successfully reach subscribers in smaller towns and rural areas,” said Shailendra Pandey, senior analyst at Informa.

Pandey adds that mobile social networking is beginning to see strong growth in emerging markets but most of the services are instant messaging chat applications. One of the most successful service examples is China Mobile’s IM service called Fetion, which has over 100 million registered users. The addressable market for the Fetion service is large as it can work using IVR, GPRS and SMS access modes. Also, mobile app stores have so far not received the same attention from the operators in emerging markets as they have in the US and Western Europe, although some large operators like China Mobile have already launched – or are considering launching – their own app stores. Earlier this year, China Mobile collaborated with Nokia to launch a joint mobile app store MM-Ovi and it has been reported that over four million mobile apps had been downloaded from this app store by March 2010.

The Future in Mobile Applications (Part II)

Posted in Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on August 11, 2010

Continued from an earlier post

So what’s driving applications as the future of applications?

Operators need to re-cover costs and investments in 3G through data revenue.App centric business model drives higher profits for Telcos

The cost of advanced wireless networks and 3G infrastructure investments recovery by 3G operators are a negative drag on the balance sheets of customers.Very few companies have recovered their costs and investments in 3G business. More telling is the fact that the profitable operators have a significant play in the application business. The hyper-competition in the voice space isnt helping the cause either. The case study of NTT Docomo which pioneered the apps-centric model by offering iMode service with optional adds ons such as Osaifu-Keitai mobile wallet,i-motion multimedia services, i-area location-information services. Connectivity and high speed data transfers are sold as enablers of various i-Mode packages and not the as the principal offering.

Following the success of the Apple and Android Marketplace, operators are making a bee-line for apps stores. However, a thoughtless approach to Apps Stores can be more harmful than being just the dumb content carrier.

Understanding and meeting the needs of the emerging digital consumer may be the starting point of the journey towards mobile lifestyle enablement.

Users are demanding more and more applications

Consumers are increasingly taking to internet services. An example to this effect is 170 million application downloads in one month (November 2009). The ubiquity of mobile devices has driven adoption of internet based services. Consumer inspired innovation and a falling cost of acquisition of feature and smart-phones are the sub factors powering users adopting and accessing more and more services and applications through their mobile phones.

Mobile ubiquity will compensate for the functional limitations imposed by the small screens of handheld screens.this trend is already visible. Value added services account for almost 30% of telecom revenues in China and Japan and 20% in Europe.

Developer-innovator networks are lending impetus to applications
The robust demand for versatile mobile applications is matched by the push of developer networks that have proven their innovation potential on the internet. Leveraged effectively, these two forces create the suply and demand cycle that work in tandem to put an increasing number of innovative applications into the hands of end users faster than ever before.

All these trends point to a dramatic transformation in the role of the operator and a clear opportunity to lead the way with new applications and services are delivered to subscribers in an Internet-like “have it your way” model.

The Future in Mobile Applications (Part I)

Posted in Revenues and Monetization, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on August 9, 2010

This post talks about shifting the focus on innovation for apps and services to customer centric models amidst larger value creation templates with more stakeholders. It also shows the roadmap and indicators for value creation.

Connectivity and Mobility have become commonplace and commodities globally. The Voice ARPUs have seen deadweight drops amidst serious hyper competition. In that context data is being referred to as the King as Data ARPUs start taking off in India. The Data surge is powered by increasingly large number of users who are beginning to use their mobile phones as more than just voice and SMS device. They are accessing the internet, applications and more services through their mobiles.

Making the Moolah from Mobile Applications will involve changing the business models, shifting the perspective and defining value in a broader context for the mobile communication provider.

1. From device and network centricity to user centricity
The change driver in this domain is Internet’s personalization level for the user. The Internet led approach puts the user first and then allows the user to choose their own devices and the mode of interaction. Thus the game has shifted from customer empowerment to customer led personalization, whereby users can determine the level and context of their experience.

2. Re-arranging definitions of the marketplace and ecosystem: Innovate in partnership
Earlier the definition of a market used to be the service provider, the operator and the consumer. However, Mobile Apps and Telecom operators now need to create value by expanding the boundaries of their market to a much broader view of application driven commerce, content, delivery for the digital consumer. This may also include taking into account other influencers and stakeholders in the value chain for the consumer. Value thus would be created at all levels: Developer, Consumer segmentation approach, Internet Applications, Mobile Device companies, Operators and the final point of contact where “Consumer Need” is created.

Mobile operators must render their platforms,infrastructure and networks capable of supporting a massive innovation network comprising of thousands of partners in the eco-system.

3. Know Your Customer

The real power vested in the operators is the knowledge of their consumers, their habits, trends etc. It is not the data or voice pipeline to “faceless consumers”. The secret today is to identify consumer niches, derive insights and design/engineer services around these niches which are differentiated in terms of need appeasement.

Application richness and relevance will rely on powerful personalization, based on customers’ past usage,purchase, browsing and mobile habits. Also the discovery, purchase and use of applications will have to be de-cluttered and simplified.

The indicators in the picture above are roadmap constructs for building a future in Mobile Apps.Telcos will need to be mindful of these as tennets/ Strategy pillars for their mobile applications strategy.

4. Power Apps penetration through Internet

Telcos need to learn the art and science of “social merchandising”- Leveraging the power of social networks to act as a marketing “force multiplier”. By dynamically sharing browsing, recommendation and sharing history, social networking can evolve from an internet tool to a force that drives the adoption and use of entire new categories of applications and services.

The capability to build a strong consumer centric strategy powered by Apps is not just a tactical move (much to what is likely to be believed by Telcos). It will involve a fundamental re-think of consumers, services, innovation and value networks and the role that the Telcos can play in value creation.

(Discussion to be Continued)

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