Before shouting in the social streets that the world’s largest tech company has a lower Klout score than you, take into consideration that Apple isn’t really on Twitter. The handle with its name has never tweeted, followed a user, filled out a bio or updated the default avatar. For all we know, the inactive account doesn’t even belong to Apple.
Why does the most valuable U.S. company by market cap insist on not joining Twitter?
For the record, Apple manages Twitter accounts that represent divisions within the company: @iTunesMusic has 5.4 million followers; @AppStore has 2.4 million; @iTunesTrailers has 2.3 million; and another nine accounts have a combined 2.5 million followers.
Some of the largest Internet companies — including Apple, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft — are rushing to either acquire or strike licensing deals with smaller, location-based mobile platforms. The trend underscores the importance of location data for ad-targeting purposes and illustrates how large platforms are trying to avoid being left behind as the Web becomes increasingly mobile.
Local advertising spend on digital, for instance, is expected to grow to $35.3 billion in 2015 from $30.7 billion in 2014, a 14.9 percent increase, according to a November 2013 BIA/Kelsey study. Those figure don’t even account for the $105 billion local ad dollars that will keep going to traditional media annually from 2014 to 2017.
Here are the acquisition and data licensing deals you need to know about:
Yahoo and Yelp
Marissa Mayer’s quest to make Yahoo mobile first most recently entailed striking a deal with local business review site Yelp. The partnership, arranged last week, will mean Yelp’s local business listings and accompanying customer reviews will start appearing in Yahoo’s search results.
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The smartphone market passed an important milestone in 2013 when worldwide shipments surpassed the 1 billion mark for the first time, driven by continued momentum from Android and iOS. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC)Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Android and iOS accounted for 95.7% of all smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13), and for 93.8% of all smartphone shipments for the year. This marked a 4.5-point increase from the 91.2% share that the two platforms shared in 4Q12, and a 6.1-point increase from the 87.7% share they had in 2012.
“In 2013 we saw the sub-$200 smartphone market grow to 42.6% of global volume, or 430 million units”
“Clearly, there was strong end-user demand for both Android and iOS products during the quarter and the year,” says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “What stands out are the different routes Android and Apple took to meet this demand. Android relied on its long list of OEM partners, a broad and deep collection of devices, and price points that appealed to nearly every market segment. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, relied on nearly the opposite approach: a limited selection of Apple-only devices, whose prices trended higher than most. Despite these differences, both platforms found a warm reception to their respective user experiences and selection of mobile applications.”
While smartphone market growth remained strong in 2013, it should be noted that the era of double-digit annual growth has only a few years remaining. In the meantime, handset vendors are doing all they can to capture demand while it is still present. Worldwide smartphone marketing campaigns continue to stay focused on flagship devices like the iPhone 5S, Galaxy Note 3, and the HTC One, yet research shows that consumer buying is rapidly shifting toward products with significantly lower price points.
The smartphone market’s been kind of a mess lately.
Between Apple’s big iPhone shortfall, the slowdown at Samsung and the financial messes at HTC, BlackBerry and Motorola, there just hasn’t been much good news out there.
If that sounds depressing, then stop reading now because the tablet market looks like it just hit the skids, too.
Before we go further, let’s remember that we’re dealing with a single data point here, so take any associated doom-and-gloom forecasts you may hear with a grain of salt.
Let’s get to it.
So Wednesday morning, our friends at IDC reported that the tablet market grew by just 28.2 percent in Q4.
IDC filled us in on the problems:
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the US are reaching high levels of consumer saturation, and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth, this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past,” said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets, at IDC. “We expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate in mature markets, but softness in the consumer segment — brought about by high penetration rates and increased competition for the consumer dollar — point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond.”
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – The worldwide smartphone market reached yet another milestone, having shipped one billion units in a single year for the first time. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 1,004.2 million smartphones worldwide, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million units in 2012. This aligns with IDC’s most recent forecast of 1,010.4 million units, making for a difference of less than 1%. Smartphones accounted for 55.1% of all mobile phone shipments in 2013, up from the 41.7% of all mobile phone shipments in 2012. In the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13), vendors shipped a total of 284.4 million smartphones worldwide, up 24.2% from the 229.0 million units shipped in 4Q12.
In the worldwide mobile phone market (inclusive of smartphones), vendors shipped 1,821.8 million units, up 4.8% from the 1,738.1 million units shipped 2012. In 4Q13 alone, vendors shipped a total of 488.4 million units worldwide, up 0.9% from the 484.0 million units shipped in 4Q12. This is 2.8% lower than the 502.4 million units that IDC had recently forecast.
“The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone’s continued popularity in 2013,” says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phoneteam. “Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones.”
“Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference maker. Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume. Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.– International Data Corporation (IDC) today offered the first of its annual predictions for the coming year in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. IDC’s predictions for 2014 were heavily influenced by the 3rd Platform, the industry’s emerging platform for growth and innovation built on the technology pillars of mobile computing, cloud services, big data and analytics, and social networking.
“The 3rd Platform’s impact was felt throughout the ICT industry in 2013 as a high-profile CEO lost his job, a major IT player went private, numerous vendors endured cash cow stagnation, and billion-dollar bets were placed on 3rd Platform technologies,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. “In 2014, we’ll see every major player make big investments to scale up cloud, mobile, and big data capabilities, and fiercely battle for the hearts and minds of the developers who will create the solutions driving the next two decades of IT spending. Outside the IT industry, 3rd Platform technologies will play a leading role in the disruption (or “Amazoning”) of almost every other industry on the planet.”
IDC’s predictions for 2014, presented by Gens in a Web conference today, include the following:
1. Worldwide IT spending will grow 5% year over year to $2.1 trillion in 2014. Spending will be driven by 3rd Platform technologies, which will grow 15% year over year and capture 89% of IT spending growth. Sales of smartphones and tablets will continue at a torrid pace while outlays for servers, storage, networks, software, and services will fare better than in 2013. The PC market will remain under stress, with worldwide revenues down -6% year over year.
2. Emerging markets will return to double-digit growth of 10%, driving nearly $740 billion or 35% of worldwide IT revenues and, for the first time, more than 60% of worldwide IT spending growth. In the BRIC countries, IT spending will grow by 13% year over year, led by an economic recovery in China. In dollar terms, China’s IT spending growth will match that of the United States, even though the Chinese market is only one third the size of the U.S. market. Elsewhere, emerging market growth will be uneven, ushering in the beginning of a new “Post-BRIC” era.
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.