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The Web is Getting Slower

 

Source: CNN Money

The spinning wheel of death never seems to stop turning these days.

It’s not you. Web pages really are loading slower.

The average site is now 2.1 MB in size — two times larger than the average site from three years ago, according to data tracked by HTTP Archive.

There are a few reasons for this added weight.

Websites are adding more attention-attracting videos, images, interactivity plug-ins (comments and feeds) and other code and script-heavy features that clog up broadband pipes and wireless spectrum.

Sites also have ramped up their usage of tracking and analysis tools to learn more about their visitors. Inserting third-party data trackers not only increases a website’s weight, but also the number of separate data fetching tasks, which leads to slower load times as well.

Photos and videos continue to be the bulkiest part of websites, making up almost three-fourths their size. That proportion has stayed relatively constant over the past three years, even as the total size of websites has grown.

But as more smartphones, tablets, watches and other gizmos are built to go online, developers have to create even more versions of websites and Web components to fit evermore formats. Some websites, for example, have more than 50 different image sizes which can be called upon to load depending on device. This additional complexity requires more code to run, and adds to a website’s bulk.

“The shift from desktop to mobile requests and consumption have had the biggest impact on website performance,” said Craig Adams, VP of Web experience products at Akamai, a content delivery network that services 15% to 30% of all online traffic daily.

On top of all this, websites are using stronger encryption to make themselves more secure. Shielding themselves behind secured protocols requires more code and data crunching power, too.

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Worldwide Cloud IT Infrastructure Market Growth Expected to Accelerate to 21% in 2015, Driven by Public Cloud Datacenter Expansion

IDC

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, total cloud IT infrastructure spending (server, disk storage, and ethernet switch) will grow by 21% year over year to $32 billion in 2015, accounting for approximately 33% of all IT infrastructure spending, which will be up from about 28% in 2014.

Private cloud IT infrastructure spending will grow by 16% year over year to $12 billion, while public cloud IT infrastructure spending will grow by 25% in 2015 to $21 billion.

For the full year 2014, cloud IT infrastructure spending totaled $26.4 billion, up 18.7% year over year from $22.3 billion; private cloud spending was just under $10.0 billion, up 20.7% year over year, while public cloud spending was $16.5 billion, up 17.5% year over year.

For this second quarterly release of IDC’s Cloud IT market forecast, IDC has expanded its worldwide coverage to include detail for eight regions: Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Canada, Central & Eastern Europe, Japan, Latin America, Middle East & Africa, USA, and Western Europe. In 2015, Western Europe is expected to have the highest growth in cloud IT infrastructure spending at 32%, followed by Latin America (23%), Japan (22%), and the US (21%).

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Mobile ad spending to hit $100B in 2016 and become the biggest digital ad market

VentureBeat

Mobile ad spending is on a tear. It will top $100 billion in 2016 and account for more than 50 percent of all digital ads for the first time, according to market researcher eMarketer.

More than $101.37 billion will be spent on ads served in 2016 to mobile phones and tablets worldwide. That’s a 400 percent increase from 2013. From 2016 to 2019, mobile ads will nearly double again, rising to $195.55 billion. That figure will account for 70.1 percent of all digital advertising as well as more than one-quarter of total media ad spending worldwide.

It’s all about the number of consumers adopting mobile devices. As that number soars, marketers are chasing consumers into mobile markets. Next year, eMarketer estimates, there will be more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, more than one-quarter of whom will be in China.

The number of tablet users worldwide is growing more slowly than the global smartphone audience. But tablets will reach more than 1 billion users in 2015. eMarketer said that in many emerging and developing markets, consumers are often accessing the Internet mobile-first and mobile-only, driving marketers to mobile advertising.

The U.S. and China will drive mobile ads in the short term. In 2016, U.S. advertisers are expected to spend $40.2 billion on mobile ads, more than doubling the total from 2014. In China, advertisers will spend $22.1 billion next year, triple the amount spent in 2014. In both countries, mobile will become the majority of all digital advertising next year.

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Are Smartphones Taking Over?

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Are Smartphones Taking Over?

According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, the combined total market of smartphones, tablets plus 2-in-1s, and PCs is set to grow from 1.8 billion units in 2014 to 2.5 billion units in 2019. During that time, smartphones will grow to represent the overwhelming majority of total smart connected device (SCD) shipments, dwarfing both tablets and PCs in terms of shipment volumes.

As recently as 2010, PCs still made up the lion’s share of the total SCD device market, with the combined desktop and notebook categories accounting for about 52.5% of shipments versus 44.7% for smartphones and 2.8% for tablets. By 2014, smartphones had grown to represent 73.4% of total shipment, while PCs had slipped to 16.8% and tablets had increased to 12.5%. By 2019, IDC expects the distribution to be 77.8% smartphones, 11.6% PCs, and 10.7% tablets.

“Smartphone growth continues at an astounding pace, while growth in the PC and tablet markets is proving to be more challenging,” said Tom Mainelli, Program Vice President for Devices at IDC. “There are clearly some bright spots in both markets: Detachable 2-in-1s show strong growth potential in tablets, and convertible notebooks are beginning to gain traction in PCs. But ultimately, for more people in more places, the smartphone is the clear choice in terms of owning one connected device. Even as we expect slowing smartphone growth later in the forecast, it’s hard to overlook the dominant position smartphones play in the greater device ecosystem. And it’s not likely that anything—including wearables—will unseat it from this dominant position anytime soon.”

“Not all smartphone growth will be equal. Going forward, the future of smartphones lies in emerging markets, sub-US$100 price points, and phablets,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager for Mobile Devices. “In 2014, 73% of smartphones were shipped to emerging markets, 21% were priced below US$100, and 12% had screen sizes between 5.5 and <7 inches. By 2019, these categories will all increase – 80% of smartphones will be shipped to emerging markets, 35% will be priced below US$100, and 32% will have a 5.5–<7-inch screen size. So far the market has very much focused on premium models and brands, but emerging market consumers are looking for greater value from a single device.”

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Worldwide Tablet Shipments Experience First Year-Over-Year Decline in 4th Quarter

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Worldwide Tablet Shipments Experience First Year Over Year Decline in 4th Quarter

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., February 2, 2015 – Worldwide tablet shipments recorded a year-over-year decline for the first time since the market’s inception in 2010. Overall shipments for tablets and 2-in-1 devices reached 76.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14) for -3.2% growth, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Although the fourth quarter witnessed a decline in the global market, shipments for the full year 2014 increased 4.4%, totaling 229.6 million units.

“The tablet market is still very top heavy in the sense that it relies mostly on Apple and Samsung to carry the market forward each year,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. “Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of $249, it still wasn’t enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new iPhones. Meanwhile, Samsung’s struggles continued as low-cost vendors are quickly proving that mid- to high-priced Android tablets simply aren’t cut out for today’s tablet market.”

Apple’s lead over other vendors has yet to be truly challenged as it shipped 21.4 million tablets, accounting for over a quarter of the market with 28.1% volume share. Despite Samsung’s woes, it managed to hold on to the second place with 11 million units shipped. Lenovo (4.8%), ASUS (4%), and Amazon (2.3%) rounded out the top 5 although only Lenovo managed to grow annually when compared to Q4 2013. Lenovo maintained its tight grip on the Asia/Pacific market thanks to its massive scale in the PC business and the success of its low-cost tablet offerings.

“Despite an apparent slow-down of the market, we maintain our forecast about tablet growth in 2015,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets. “Microsoft’s new OS, a general shift towards larger screen form factor and productivity focused solutions, and technology innovations such as gesture interface that could be introduced in tablets will help the market maintain positive growth in 2015.”

 

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PC market sending mixed messages

The Columbus Dispatch

SAN FRANCISCO — The personal-computer market is still ailing, despite showing some signs of recovery in several key markets.

PC sales in the third quarter rebounded in the U.S. and western Europe. But shipments continued to fall in China, Japan and other Asian countries, where more people with smartphones and tablets apparently see little reason to buy laptop and desktop machines.

The contrasts emerged in two separate reports released Wednesday by research firms International Data Corp. and Gartner Inc.

IDC estimates worldwide PC shipments during the three months ended in September totaled 78.5 million units, a 2 percent decline from last year. Gartner pegged sales at 79.4 million units, a decrease of less than 1 percent.

This marks the ninth time in the past 10 quarters that worldwide PC shipments have dropped, a slump driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices for work, entertainment, information and communications.

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Infographic: Enterprise Mobility in Asia/Pacific

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 Infographic: Enterprise Mobility in Asia/Pacific

Improving employee productivity, business agility and customer experiences are the top three reasons companies are supporting enterprise mobility. However, despite the relatively low increase in cost, IDC sees that more organizations testing mobility management are opting for Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions rather than more holistic Mobile Enterprise Management (MEM) ones. IDC examines the state of place in Asia/Pacific.

For more IDC infographics, click here

APAC enterprise mobility infographic1 Infographic: Enterprise Mobility in Asia/Pacific

 

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.”

Infographic: The Multiscreen World

By Nick Rojas

Over the past decade, the amount of technology available to the public has gradually changed the way that people live their daily lives. More importantly: the versatility of these technologies have allowed people to become more efficient, revolutionizing market consumption, and creating demand for things that had never really been considered before.

As people grew more and more reliant on these devices, more and more of them became available. Laptops and televisions, smartphones and tablets,all permitted their users to do things that they hadn’t thought they needed to before, and this all pointed towards one thing: how users consumed media. Before, television viewers were at the mercy of the networks, watching commercials because they had to. While DVRs changed that for many viewers, it was smartphones and tablets that took them to a different place entirely. With the technology available, users began using their devices while they watched television. This trend towards multi-screen usage was seen by many as an overindulgence in entertainment, at first, but as the trend continued to grow and grow, it became readily apparent that it was more than just a trend.

Mult-screen usage indicates a shift towards multitasking, something that consumers have grown to love. This infographic, provided by TollFreeForwarding.com, is an exploration into the ways that users are consuming information, and why cross-platform development is becoming a key component of not only user experience, but for content marketing, as well.

TFF M5 Multiscreen Infographic: The Multiscreen World

“The tablet magazine has been flawed from the start”

Digiday

Magazine publishers have a tablet problem. According to one designer, they always have. Four years after Apple introduced the iPad, tablet apps are stagnating. A combination of design, pricing and discovery issues has made tablet magazines a hard sell, both for publishers and the digital readers they’re trying to reach.

“There are still a lot of issues,” said Joe Zeff, vice president of tablet app software company ScrollMotion, who helped launch apps for Fast Company and National Geographic.”These magazines are too hard to deliver, issues take a long time to download, and Apple’s Newsstand doesn’t make them easy to find. There are just too many things that have to go right.”

There was a time, not so long ago in the grand scheme, when the iPad was thought to be the savior of digital publishing. Magazines rushed out digital editions, many of which were flawed in both their pricing and in technology. The promised manna did not materialize. And now tablet sales are plateauing.

Zeff said that while publishers still have a lot of work to do with tablet apps, hope isn’t lost. Digiday spoke to him the magazine app’s successes, its failures, and why publishers should think of themselves as utilities.

Tablet magazines were supposed to save publishing. What went wrong?
The tablet magazine has been flawed from the start. They were conceived based on what publishers wanted and not what consumers wanted, so there was a lot of emphasis on extending old work flows and old reading habits rather than creating new products. We had the opportunity to put magazines on computers, which should have made magazines smarter. And that hasn’t really happened.

Are there any success stories?
There are some tremendous ones being created, yes. Wired is always a lot of fun, and Hearst, overall, seems to be doing a pretty good job at selling subscriptions, but I’d say that the success stories are few and far between.

Is this something that publishers can turn around? What are the opportunities?
There are some real opportunities to rethink the idea of a tablet magazine in order to recreate something that’s compelling. A tablet magazine should be smarter than the current set of publications. They should give me options about what content I receive and how and when it’s delivered. To do that, content has to be more modular. Today content is wrapped up in a magazine format, where everybody gets the same product. It really should be mixed and matched based on what works for me, not what works for the publisher. Content should be tied to where I am and what I’m doing, and become much more part of my regular routine.

That’s not happening now. Now, I’m getting a magazine that is very similar to what I can get anywhere else, and it’s not been created for me. It’s been created and looks in a way that suits the publisher, not the consumer.

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