The smartphone industry is full of jargon that is difficult for non-insiders to understand. Charles Arthur at The Guardian recently posted a comprehensive explanation of a few terms that are the most confusing to casual observers, including “market share,” “installed base,” and “shipments.”
It’s easy to get caught up in headlines that point to Android phones having a dominant 80% “market share” in the global smartphone market, and Arthur wants people to dig deeper into that number by understanding what it really means, rather than take it at face value.
His article is a great read but at BI Intelligence we thought it would be useful to summarize his main points, with our definitions in bold:
1. Market share numbers are usually only a snapshot of smartphones shipped by manufacturers in a given quarter. Quarterly market share updates are not very useful on their own.
An example is IDC’s announcement Nov. 12 that phones running the Android operating system account for an 81% share of the global smartphone market.
It’s wrong to extrapolate from these quarterly market share numbers and think that 81% of phones in people’s hands are Android phones. The number just means that 81% of phones shipped in the quarter were Android devices. As Arthur explains, it’s ultimately sales that impact the installed base of devices, but most research firms and press reports actually discuss shipments.
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Apple made waves during Tuesday’s media event when the company announced that its iLife and iWork suite would be free for customers who buy a new Mac or iOS device. But the apps are also free for users who already have the apps installed, and one app is free, period. Here’s our guide to demystifying Apple’s new pricing structure on its iLife and iWork apps.
How “free with purchase” works
When Apple first announced that its iOS apps would be free with the purchase of a new iPhone, I theorized that Apple might include a notification alert after you first activated your new device, with a link to download your free apps. Instead, there’s no link or alert to be found. If you want your free iWork and iLife apps—on OS X Mavericks or on iOS—you have to first visit the Mac App Store to do so. When you do, however, the “Buy” button for those apps will be replaced with “Download” or “Update” (or the iCloud icon on the iOS App Store). I’ll note that iWork and iLife apps only come free for the kind of device you’ve purchased—you won’t get the OS X versions of iLife and iWork for free because you recently purchased a new iPhone or iPad.
Though I can’t yet confirm it (I asked Apple for more details but have yet to receive a response), I suspect that Apple associates the iWork and iLife suite with your Apple ID when you first activate a new device. That way, when you visit the app’s page, it shows up as already “purchased” on your account, and you can download away.
Almost half (47%) of U.S. smartphone users ignore in-app ads, and 43% find them disruptive, according to a new Forrester study. Only 28% found these ads to be relevant — and just a quarter said the ads were inventive or creative. Based on these findings, the report concludes that marketers are not crafting ads carefully enough to suit the smaller smartphone screen and appeal to the task-oriented mindset of on-the-go consumers. But it also underscores the potential for in-app ads as 40% recall seeing ads for an app, app upgrade or brand and product in an app.
Plus, half of smartphone owners who use apps and have seen at least one in-app ad have researched and/or made a purchase after seeing an ad. Ads for app upgrades are the most likely to result in a purchase (20%), while those for products or services saw the lowest conversion rate, at 11%.
In-app ads for new apps or apps related to ones they are using were the most pervasive type of ads — seen by 47% — followed up ads for app upgrades (40%), and brands or products (37%). The balance included either none of the above or survey participants couldn’t recall the ad type.
The Forrester study emphasizes the importance of getting advertising right in apps, given the growing adoption of mobile devices and apps generally. Last year, about two-thirds of all mobile phone users had apps, up 22% from 2011. And 80% of mobile time takes place in apps rather than the mobile Web, according to comScore.