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iMedia Brand Summit (Australia)

09/01/2014 - 09/03/2014 Gold Coast Australia

iMedia Brand Summit (India)

09/03/2014 - 09/05/2014 Adao Waddo, Salcette India

Data+: Analyze, Predict, Monetize

09/07/2014 - 09/09/2014 Phoenix AZ

iMedia Brand Summit: Marketing in an Always-On World

09/07/2014 - 09/10/2014 Coronado CA

Content Marketing World

09/08/2014 - 09/11/2014 Cleveland OH

Video Insider Summit

09/14/2014 - 09/17/2014 Montauk NY

Ad Age Digital Conference San Francisco

09/16/2014 San Francisco CA

Ad Age CMO Strategy Summit

09/17/2014 San Francisco CA

CSO Perspectives on Defending Against the Pervasive Attacker

09/17/2014 Boston MA

IT Roadmap Conference & Expo

09/17/2014 San Jose CA

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Tablets with voice calling functions take off in Asia

IDG News Service

Using a tablet to make a phone call may sound unorthodox. But in Asia’s emerging markets, vendors are increasingly shipping 7-inch tablets with voice call functions, according to research firm IDC.

During the second quarter, electronics vendors shipped 13.8 million tablets to the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, IDC said on Wednesday. Of those tablets, 25 percent were designed for voice calls over a cellular network. This marked a jump of 10 percentage points from the first quarter.

Voice call tablets are taking off in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, said Avinash Sundaram, an IDC analyst, who added that it had become a trend unique to Asia.

Although large screen phones are already popular, some consumers in the region have tighter budgets, and want a product that merges all their electronic needs into a single device, Sundaram said.

“They don’t want to walk around with a phone, tablet and PC,” he said. “This is basically addressing budgetary needs.”

Vendors releasing these products include Samsung, which early on incorporated voice call features into its tablets, along with Asus, Huawei and Lenovo. But smaller vendors such as India’s Micromax and Indonesia’s Advan Digital are also fueling the market with rival tablets.

“We definitely see this as a vendor strategy to help differentiate their products,” Sundaram said. Many of these tablets cost between US$100 to $300.

It’s still not known how many consumers in Asia use their tablets for voice calls. But vendors are marketing the features in their advertisements.

“If we look at advertising campaigns in India, Indonesia, they call it a tablet with voice option,” Sundaram said. Vendors could conceivably put cellular features into all their tablets. But bigger companies such as Samsung might refrain from doing so, to better position their smart phone products, he added.

“From a vendor perspective, they want to target every single kind of device, as opposed to selling one kind of device,” he said. “There are no technical hurdles. It’s more about product strategy.”

Majority Of Digital Media Consumption Now Takes Place In Mobile Apps

TechCrunch

U.S. users are now spending the majority of their time consuming digital media within mobile applications, according to a new study released by comScore this morning. That means mobile apps, including the number 1 most popular app Facebook, eat up more of our time than desktop usage or mobile web surfing, accounting for 52% of the time spent using digital media. Combined with mobile web, mobile usage as a whole accounts for 60% of time spent, while desktop-based digital media consumption makes up the remaining 40%.

Apps today are driving the majority of media consumption activity, the report claims, now accounting for 7 our of every 8 minutes of media consumption on mobile devices. On smartphones, app activity is even higher, at 88% usage versus 82% on tablets.

App Users

The report also details several interesting figures related to how U.S. app users are interacting with these mobile applications, noting that over one-third today download at least one application per month. The average smartphone user downloads 3 apps per month.

However, something which may not have been well understood before is that much of that download activity is concentrated within a small segment of the smartphone population: the top 7% of smartphone owners accounting for nearly half of all the download activity in a given month. Those are some serious power users, apparently.

But no matter how often consumers are actively downloading apps, they certainly are addicted to them. More than half (57%) use apps every single day, while 26% of tablet owners do. And 79% of smartphone owners use apps nearly every day, saying they use them at least 26 days per month, versus 52% for tablet users.

Facebook Still #1

Here’s another notable tidbit: 42% of all app time on smartphones takes place in that individual’s single most used app. 3 out of 4 minutes is spent in the individual’s top 4 apps. The top brands, which account for 9 out of the top 10 most used apps, include Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay.

Facebook is the most used app, in both audience size and share of time spent among each demographic segment.

Social Networking, Games and Radio contribute to nearly half the total time spent on apps, indicating mobile usage is heavily centered around entertainment and communication.

On iPhone, users prefer spending time consuming media, with news apps, radio, photos, social networking, and weather as the highest-ranking categories, while Android users spent more time in search (Google) and email (Gmail).

Click to see charts 

Mobile users focus on just a few apps

Warc

American smartphone owners use their favourite app for 42% of all the time they spend accessing apps, a new report into iPhone and Android behaviour has revealed.

According to the US Mobile App Report from comScore, the internet technology research firm, app usage now accounts for over half (52%) of all digital time in the US, but only a few well-known app brands dominate overall usage.

As reported by MediaPost, six big tech brands – Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay – account for nine of the top 10 most-used apps, 16 of the top 25, and 24 of the top 50, with Facebook leading for both the largest base of users and the most time spent.

Nearly three-quarters of the time US smartphone users spend with apps is concentrated on just four apps, the report also found, while more than half (57%) access apps every day.

While Facebook and some other brands remain dominant, smaller apps can still achieve success, said Adam Lella, a marketing insights analyst at comScore.

“It certainly means there might be some challenges for smaller players on this medium, but success is also very possible,” he said in comments reported by AdExchanger.

He explained: “We have seen some standalone apps achieve huge audiences on mobile, for example SnapChat and Pandora, while others have found ways to monetise through non-advertising business models that don’t require competing with the larger companies on audience size, like Uber and certain gaming apps.”

The report also noted some behavioural and demographic differences between iPhone and Android users with the former being younger and wealthier.

The median iPhone user earns $85,000 a year compared to $61,000 for Android users, and 43% of iPhone users are aged 18 to 34 versus 39% of Android users.

iPhone users are more likely to use apps to consume media, such as general news and social networks, while Android users focus more on apps for search and email, which comScore attributed to the strong presence of Google Search and Gmail on the platform.

US media groups rely less on ads

Warc

A number of major US media groups have taken a strategic decision to reduce their reliance on advertising revenues, according to new analysis.

After studying the Q2 2014 results and earnings conference calls of CBS, Walt Disney and several other media conglomerates, financial analysts SNL Kagan concluded that some want to boost other sources of revenue, including subscriptions.

Among the examples highlighted in the study, CBS CEO Les Moonves told investors that the company is now “much closer to a 50/50 split of advertising and non-advertising revenue”.

Revenues in its entertainment division fell to $1.84bn in Q2 2014 from $2.01bn in Q2 2013, and CBS intends to earn more from licensing and syndication revenues.

“One of the things that clearly has changed about our businesses is that the back end of the show’s revenue is now as important, if not more important, than the front end from advertising,” Moonves said. “Ownership of content is the key to our success.”

Similarly, Walt Disney is moving to diversify its revenue streams, SNL Kagan said, pointing to recent comments from Disney CEO, Bob Iger.

“We’ve made a conscious decision as a company to essentially not be as reliant on advertising as we were in the past. So it represents probably somewhat in the neighbourhood of the low-20% range of our total revenue,” Iger said.

Disney has become less reliant on advertising partly because of increased revenues from other sources, such as its theme parks.

Despite this, Iger said Disney will continue to participate in digital advertising although he thought traditional advertising platforms would continue to come under pressure.

When looking at some other media groups, the report said NBCUniversal Media had a weak quarter in terms of advertising revenue, which fell 2.2%.

And there was a mixed picture for 21st Century Fox, which posted both big declines in advertising revenue in its TV segment but large increases for its cable networks.

Majority of Latin America’s Smartphone Users Buy via Mobile

eMarketer

Where are smartphone users most likely to report purchasing products or services on their handsets? The answers may surprise you—especially the answer to the question, “Where aren’t they?”

176331 Majority of Latin Americas Smartphone Users Buy via Mobile

May 2014 polling by IDG Global Solutions found that 78% of smartphone users in Asia-Pacific had made a mobile commerce purchase, compared with 70% in North America. It makes some sense that a relatively less developed ecommerce market would place high according to this metric, however: Overall, smartphone penetration in Asia-Pacific is relatively low, meaning the share of such users who have made a purchase is likely to be high. Across a broader swathe of the population, mcommerce penetration would look lower.

Latin America is another standout by this metric—an outright majority of smartphone users reported making a purchase. That compares with significantly lower penetration rates across the population of consumers and internet users who make ecommerce purchases at all (including on the desktop).

And while Latin America is behind the Middle East and Africa—another region where smartphone penetration reaches a fairly small share of the overall population, and smartphone users are therefore a select and advanced portion of the market—it placed ahead of both Eastern and Western Europe, places where smartphone penetration is higher, according to eMarketer’s estimates.

With Year-on-Year Growth of 84% in the Second Quarter, India Smartphone Market Still Has Immense Potential, Says IDC

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 With Year on Year Growth of 84% in the Second Quarter, India Smartphone Market Still Has Immense Potential, Says IDC

The smartphone market in India has maintained its growth impetus with smartphone shipments achieving year-on-year growth of 84% in Q2 2014 and a quarter-over-quarter growth of 11%. The potential for future growth in the smartphone market remains quite high as 71% of the market continues to be on feature phones.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the overall India mobile phone market stood at 63.21 million units in Q2 2014, a 5% increase over Q1 2014. The quarter-over-quarter growth can be attributed to both product categories (i.e. smartphones and feature phones).  Back-to-back volume growth in the smartphone market is also being noted due to the re-defined, low-price smartphone models and continuous migration from feature phones to smartphones.

The Indian smartphone market grew by 84% year-on-year in Q2 2014. According to IDC Asia Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker (excluding Japan),vendors shipped a total of 18.42 million Smartphones in Q2 2014 compared to 10.02 million in the same period of 2013. The sub-$200 category of the smartphone market is increasing in terms of new shipment share as the contribution from this category stood at 81% in Q2 2014. With the influx of Chinese vendors and Mozilla’s plans to enter the smartphone category at the $50 price level, the low-end segment of the smartphone market will become crucial in the coming quarters.

The shipment of “Phablets” (5.5 inch – 6.99 inch screen size Smartphone) in Q2 2014 was noted to be 5.4% of the overall smartphone segment. The phablet category grew by 20% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in terms of sheer volume. More than half of the phablets shipped were in the under-$250 price band and Indian vendors are dominant in the noted price segment.

Jaideep Mehta, Vice President and General Manager – South Asia, IDC says, “While Samsung has held on to its leadership position in the market, it is noteworthy that Micromax is growing faster. Samsung needs to continue to address the low-end of the market aggressively, and also needs a blockbuster product at the high end to regain momentum. Given the current growth rates, there is a real possibility of seeing vendor positions change in the remaining quarters this year.”

“IDC observes that a new entry level price point is being breached by the Indian home grown vendors every quarter. These devices are not equipped with high end specifications and RAM is typically 256 MB. This ultra low cost segment may not sound a viable option to the repeat buyers, but it works well on the targeted segment,” says Karan Thakkar Senior Market Analyst at IDC India.

Q2 2014 has been an exciting quarter for the players in the mobile phone market.  Among the top five vendors, Micromax and Lava were the only ones to have outstripped the market growth. The former grew by 18% and the latter by 54% in the overall phone business.  Micromax not only toppled Nokia to clinch the number 2 spot, but also created a gap between the second and third spot.

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iPhone 6: mass production of new sapphire screens begins

The Guardian

Near-unscratchable screens that are expected to be one of the biggest selling points of the iPhone 6 when Apple unveils the latest model in September are to go into large-scale production this month.

To create industrial quantities of man-made sapphire, the material already used to cover the fingerprint-sensing home button and camera lens on its phones, Apple has a $578m (£350m) deal with manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies, which has built a plant powered by renewable energy in Mesa, Arizona.

The iPhone 6 will make its first public appearance on 9 September, when Apple has scheduled a big media event. “You should be good without a screen protector on your next iPhone,” predicted technology blogger Marques Brownlee, who has subjected what he claimed was a leaked prototype of the new screen to his own durability tests on video:stabbing it with a hunting knife and trying to snap it while standing on it.

Until now Apple has relied on toughened glass, which can however easily be shattered and marked. But screens already demonstrated by GT can withstand scratches from concrete. Its thin sapphire layers, which could also find their way onto Apple’s rumoured smart watch, are flexible, potentially improving resistance to knocks and falls. In March 2012, Apple patented a concept for laminating thin layers of sapphire to each other and to glass, producing surfaces that are strong and resist chipping.

Apple is said to be preparing two new iPhone models, both of which will have larger screens than their predecessors. The biggest will measure 5.5 inches corner to corner, while the smaller iPhone will have a 4.7-inch screen, according to reports.

The Wall Street Journal claims Apple has ordered an initial batch of between 70m and 80m handsets, its biggest first run production ever, to be sent out from factory gates in time for Christmas and New Year. Last year’s initial order for the iPhone 5S, which introduced Apple’s first fingerprint sensor and had a 4-inch screen like its predecessor, the iPhone 5, was for between 50m and 60m devices. But Apple is preparing for a ramp in sales from China, where its recent distribution partnership with China Mobile should boost demand.

GT chief executive Thomas Gutierrez told investors on a call this month: “The build-out of our Arizona facility, which has involved taking a 1.4 million square foot facility from a shell to a functional structure and the installation of over 1 million square feet of sapphire growth and fabrication equipment, is nearly complete and we are commencing the transition to volume production.”

GT’s new plant will reach full operational capacity in early 2015, but the company is expecting to collect a final $139m payment for its construction from Apple in October.

Ever Wonder Why Consumers Don’t Click on Mobile Ads?

eMarketer

Mobile users see a decent amount of ads: March 2014 polling by Nielsen for xAd and Telmetrics found that 70% of US adults who used smartphones, tablets or both had encountered mobile ads in the past month. Of course, getting an ad in front of a target doesn’t guarantee interaction, and the majority of mobile device users hadn’t clicked on an advertisement in the month leading up to polling. Smartphone owners were slightly more likely to click on a mobile ad, with 43% saying they had, compared with 37% of those with tablets.

177395 Ever Wonder Why Consumers Dont Click on Mobile Ads?

March 2014 research by Survey Sampling International (SSI) for Adobe found that the platform used to serve mobile ads also made a difference in interaction. While apps claim far more time spent with mobile, mobile device users in North America were more likely to click on mobile website ads. More than one-third had done so in the past three months, compared with 26% who had interacted with an in-app mobile ad. Mobile devices used by respondents in this study included ereaders, mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and wearable devices.

But what about ads that don’t get clicked on? How can advertisers tweak them to drive more interaction? According to xAd and Telmetrics, the most popular reason smartphone and tablet users hadn’t clicked on mobile ads in the past month was because they just weren’t interested in the offering, cited by 47% and 43%, respectively—and suggesting advertisers may need to amp up targeting efforts. Irrelevant advertisements and users simply ignoring them ranked second and third.

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World Tech Update- August 14, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU Microsoft and Samsung introduce new smartphones, a high tech helmet goes on sale and tech CEOs join the ice bucket challenge.

Worldwide IT Market Showing Tentative Signs of Improvement, According to IDC

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 Worldwide IT Market Showing Tentative Signs of Improvement, According to IDC

According to the newly published International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Black Book (Doc #250222), recent volatility will gradually give way to a more positive outlook for IT spending in the second half of 2014. With the U.S. and other mature economies mostly heading in the right direction and a significant commercial PC refresh cycle already underway, improvements in business confidence are set to drive a moderate infrastructure upgrade cycle over the next 12-18 months, while investments in software and services will continue to accelerate.

  • ClicktoTweet:  According to @IDC #WorldwideITMarket showing signs of improvement – spending forecast to increase by 4.5% at constant currency 2014

Worldwide IT spending is now forecast to increase by 4.5% in 2014 at constant currency, or 4.1% in U.S. dollars. A significant proportion of this growth is still being driven by smartphones – IT spending excluding mobile phones will increase by just 3.1% this year in constant currency (2.8% in U.S. dollars). Aside from smartphones, the strongest growth will come from software, including rapidly expanding markets such as data analytics, data management, and collaborative applications including enterprise social networks. The 3rd platform pillars of Big Data, Social, Mobile and Cloud will continue to drive virtually all of the growth in IT spending, while spending on 2nd pPlatform technologies will remain effectively flat.

Meanwhile, although some emerging markets remain constrained by macroeconomic and geopolitical wild cards, there is now significant pent-up demand for IT investment that will drive stronger growth next year in markets including India, Brazil, and Russia. Pent-up demand has already driven a significant rebound in both consumer and enterprise IT spending in China this year, as confidence stabilizes. While mature economies are still driving the upside in 2014, emerging markets will once again dominate in 2015.

Cold Snap and Wild Cards Impacted IT Spending, But Underlying Demand is Strong

Some IT market segments performed weaker than expected in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), in line with the weather-related slowdown in U.S. output and the impact of wild card events including the conflict in Ukraine. In particular, an overdue enterprise infrastructure refresh cycle was disrupted by short-term declines in business confidence. However, strong underlying demand for this investment cycle will drive improvements in the server, storage, and network infrastructure markets in the coming months.

“At the beginning of 2014, we asserted that businesses would choose to fix the roof while the sun was shining,” said Stephen Minton, Vice President in IDC’s Global Technology & Industry Research Organization (GTIRO). “Unfortunately, the weather was literally much colder than expected during the first quarter. The good news is that the U.S. economic outlook has already brightened and this will drive a period of moderate but long-awaited investment in mission-critical infrastructure over the next year. However, accelerating adoption of cloud services will continue to impact sales of traditional on-premise equipment, packaged software, and IT services. This capital spending cycle will be mild by historical standards.”

PC Refresh Stronger than Expected in Mature Economies, Tablet Shipments Weaker

The commercial PC refresh has proven stronger than originally forecast. As a result, IDC now forecasts PC spending will increase by 3.5% in 2014 (the fastest pace since the post-financial crisis rebound of 2010). Western Europe has also seen an improvement in PC shipments, although PC spending in Europe will still be down by 1% due to average price declines. The PC cycle has already driven a market upturn in Japan, where economic growth and upcoming tax increases drove a surge in capital spending in 2013 (PC spending in Japan increased by 6% last year, but will decline by -4.5% this year).

“The end of support for Windows XP is obviously part of the story, but there has also been a transition of some spending from tablets to PCs as consumers and businesses have allocated disposable income and IT budget to replacing older notebooks and desktops rather than upgrading their relatively new tablets,” said Minton. “The tablet market is also more sensitive to economic wild cards and price competition, now that penetration rates have increased. There’s still plenty of growth ahead for tablets, however, and it would be premature to say that improvements in the consumer PC market represent anything like a reversal of the long-term shift to tablets and hybrids over the long term.”

The U.S. tablet market is now forecast to increase by just 2% this year, but will rebound to 7% growth in 2015 as the PC cycle begins to wane. Worldwide tablet spending has slowed from 29% year-over-year growth last year to 8% in 2014, but will accelerate back to double-digit growth next year (10%). Penetration rates in emerging markets such as China will continue to increase, while some enterprise spending will shift back to tablets.

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