For Americans, cell phones are omnipresent. Many check their Facebook page multiple times a day. Access to WiFi is not a problem for most. Technology use in the U.S. has risen over the past two decades as products and service became more sophisticated and affordable.
A new Pew Research Center report provides a fascinating snapshot of how, within a remarkably short time, some developing nations are catching up – especially when it comes to mobile devices and social media. In other cases, the data are a reminder that some countries still have a technology profile that is 20th Century. Here are some of the key comparisons.
Cell phone and smartphone usage
Recent surveys at Pew Research show that 91% of American adults have cell phones and that smartphones have overtaken simpler “feature phones” in popularity. The adoption pattern of cell phones in emerging countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Chile do not look very different from America. China and Russia have even nudged ahead of the U.S. But other countries lag. In Pakistan, slightly more than half have a cell phone and in Mexico, it’s just above six-in-ten. Still, the rapid rise in cell phone ownership is quite breathtaking and might be due to the fact that many nations, unlike the U.S., have skipped landline technology and moved straight to mobile.
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.
Global mobile advertising is projected to rise 37.4 percent in 2014 to reach spending of $18 billion.
Brazil and Russia will be among the front-runners of this growing industry, as technology advances and large emerging economies stabilize. Meanwhile, mobile advertising in China and India will increase heavily due to expansion of the middle class.
Here’s an overview and some tips on mobile advertising opportunities in BRIC nations.
The number of smartphone users continues to grow in Brazil. Almost 16 million smartphones were purchased in Brazil in 2012 and another 21 million bought in 2013. It was projected that 5 million tablets would be purchased in 2013 and that about 67 million Brazilians would utilize the mobile Internet.
This evidence clearly shows the importance of implementing mobile advertising campaigns in Brazil.
When delving into a mobile campaign in Brazil, take note that the leading operating system for smartphones is Android. Android dominates the industry by making up 56 percent of the market share with Nokia following with 31.5 percent of market share.
Brazilians are receptive to mobile advertisements, according to Nielsen’s Mobile Consumer: A Global Snapshot study. Brazilians enjoy ads that: Contain geographically relevant information Don’t send them to a website out of the app. Give them access to free content. Use simple text or multimedia.
Most Brazilians use smartphones for gaming apps, social media apps, and maps.
SAN FRANCISCO — Google and VSP, the nation’s biggest optical health insurance provider, have struck a deal to offer subsidized frames and prescription lenses for Google Glass, the Internet-connected eyewear.
The announcement could take wearable devices, which tech analysts say are the next wave of computing, out of the realm of science fiction and into the mainstream by making them more affordable and giving them a medical stamp of approval. And it opens the door to a new level of cooperation between the health care and consumer electronics industries, which could lead to a world in which people wear or even ingest computers.
“The key business model of the year for wearables is becoming embedded into the health care system,” said J. P. Gownder, an analyst studying wearable devices at Forrester, which predicts that computers that people can ingest, tattoo on their skin or embed in a tooth are three to five years from being a medical reality.
“Selling wearable consumer electronics one-on-one to individual consumers is kind of a tough business,” Mr. Gownder said. “By embedding them into the health care system, you can reach a mass market.”
The agreement with VSP, which insures one-fifth of Americans, is also a coup for Google, which plans to begin selling Glass to the public this year. Resistance to Glass has grown from privacy fears that the devices could be used to secretly record conversations or take photos. Some establishments have banned Glass wearers, and just this month, a man in Ohio was removed from a movie theater and interrogated after wearing Glass to a movie. With traditional-style frames and prescription lenses, which Glass did not have before, the computer and screen for the device are less evident and the device looks more typical — and is available even to people who wear glasses.
Mobile device use is off the charts but marketing to users lags well behind. In Sweden, IDG has shown tech marketers how to use mobile and tap into the large audiences. Angelica Lundin explains how IDG Sweden is overcoming marketer reluctance to make mobile a part of a campaign. Lundin told IDG Communications Howard Sholkin that once advertisers try it they come back for more…
Mobile technology and communications appear to offer some bright prospects for Latin America in 2014, helping the region to accelerate its business infrastructure capacity as well as serving to improve education, healthcare and other services.
Unsurprisingly for what is perhaps the world’s most geographically and socially diverse region, the modern picture is mixed. In 2009 for example, Latin American countries were some of the lowest-ranked performers in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a survey of learning systems all over the world. The effect on output, argued Stanford University senior fellow Eric Hanushek, was that Latin America was bumping along the bottom of the economic growth rankings along with Sub-Saharan Africa.
But Latin America is already a growing market that is attracting more attention from the traditional giants and others.
“Increased activity in the Latin American market has continued throughout 2013,” says analyst Jeff Paschke of analyst firm 451Research. “Technology providers such as IBM and Uruguayan Antel will continue to expand their datacentre footprints in the region to address a clear supply/demand imbalance.”
One fast track to improvement will be mobile. In November 2013, mobile industry trade body the GSMA revealed that 3.7% of Latin America’s GDP is generated through mobile technology, contributing $211bn to the region’s economy.
The problem is that mobile telcos are facing 2014 with a disincentive to invest. The voice services market is near saturation in some Latin American countries, limiting the scope for market growth, according to analysts. One of the steady sources of income for Latin American operators, the termination charges made for carrying calls from other networks, was recently stifled. When regulators recently slashed mobile termination rates, they took away up to a quarter of the revenue of some telcos, limiting the amount of money they have to invest in growth.
35 winning products represent the best in information technology today, from cloud to data center to mobile computing Framingham, Mass. – January 15, 2014 – IDG’s InfoWorld, the technology media brand devoted to modernizing enterprise IT, has announced the winners of its 2014 Technology of the Year Awards (click to Tweet). Selected by InfoWorld Test Center editors and product reviewers, InfoWorld’s annual Technology of the Year Awards celebrate the best and most innovative products across the IT landscape.
The 2014 awards recognize 35 products from nearly every corner of information technology including application development, Web and database technologies, cloud computing and software-as-a-service, business intelligence and big data analytics, mobile computing and desktop productivity, and data center hardware. These winning products represent not only the best hardware and software available to IT professionals, but the most important information technology innovations to businesses today.
“InfoWorld’s Technology of the Year Award winners are the best products we know, but they’re more than great products,” said Doug Dineley, executive editor of InfoWorld’s Test Center. “These are the tools that point the way to the data centers, clouds, and applications of tomorrow. They’re the innovations that are changing the way we work and do business.”
Innovation certainly was on display at CES 2014—4K HDTV hardware reached affordable prices, there was a tsunami of wearable fitness and health tech, 3D printers popped up everywhere, and smart cars made their mark, just to name a few of the major trends we spotted.
Our team patrolled the International CES show floor all week at searching for the devices and services you need to know about. In the process, we chose 10 winners for our Best of CES awards.
We also had our usual fun selecting other gear, trends, and innovations that caught our interest, which we showed you in our Picks slideshow. And we poked some gentle fun at some of the weird items displayed at this giant trade show in our Pans slideshow.