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Reports of the iPad’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

Mashable

The tablet is dead. At least, that’s what an array of breathless news reports would have you believe. Yes, it’s true that tablet sales are on the decline in many markets and growing slower than others. But don’t believe the unhype; the tablet isn’t going to suffer the same fate as the netbook.

Apple on Tuesday announced its third quarter 2014 earnings. And in what has become a trend, iPad sales failed to meet analyst expectations. Perhaps even more troubling, sales of the iPad were actually down year-over-year, a rarity in a growing market.

Looking at these figures, you can see that although the iPad is still boasting big sales — especially during the holiday quarter — it isn’t continuing to sell in the numbers many analysts predicted it would.

During the earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook attributed the slower sales in part to “market softness in certain parts of the world,” primarily in the United States and Western Europe.

Tablet growth is slowing in developed markets

Apple isn’t the only company seeing a year-over-year decline in tablet sales. According to IDC, the worldwide tablet market grew 11% year over year, but declined sequentially from the first quarter of 2014 by -1.5%.

At the end of May, IDC updated its 2014 worldwide tablet forecast to a growth rate of 12.1% year-over-year. In contrast, tablet sales worldwide grew 51.8% year-over-year in 2013. In other words, the big boom of tablet sales’ glory days are over.

At least, that’s what some pundits and analysts are espousing. And although its true that tablet sales aren’t growing at the same rate in which they were (and are contracting in certain markets, such as the U.S.), that doesn’t mean the category as a hole was a failure or is doomed.

During the earnings call, Tim Cook spoke at length about the slowing iPad sales. He made it a point to note that

“One other point I might add on this, because I think this is interesting,” Cook said. “The market’s very bifurcated on iPad. In the BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India and China] countries, iPad did extremely well. The growth was very high. Like in the China it was [about 50%], in the Middle East it was [about 60%]. Luca may have mentioned those numbers. In the developed countries like the U.S., the market is clearly weaker there.”

Part of the reason that growth might be slowing — or declining — in the United States may simply be a factor of faster market penetration.

According to the Pew Internet Project’s research related to mobile tech, 42% of adults own a tablet computer. That compares favorably with the 58% of American adults that have a smartphone. When once considers that the tablet market is much newer than the smartphone market, the fast adoption rate is likely one reason growth has slowed faster too.

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Worldwide Tablet Market Grows 11% in Second Quarter on Shipments from a Wide Range of Vendors, According to IDC

IDC PMS4colorversion  300x99 Worldwide Tablet Market Grows 11% in Second Quarter on Shipments from a Wide Range of Vendors, According to IDC

The worldwide tablet grew 11.0% year over year in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14) with shipments reaching 49.3 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Although shipments declined sequentially from 1Q14 by -1.5%, IDC believes the market will experience positive but slower growth in 2014 compared to the previous year.

“As we indicated last quarter, the market is still being impacted by the rise of large-screen smartphones and longer than anticipated ownership cycles,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets. “We can also attribute the market deceleration to slow commercial adoption of tablets. Despite this trend, we believe that stronger commercial demand for tablets in the second half of 2014 will help the market grow and that we will see more enterprise-specific offerings, as illustrated by the Apple and IBM partnership, come to market.”

Despite declining shipments of its iPad product line, Apple managed to maintain its lead in the worldwide tablet market, shipping 13.3 million units in the second quarter. Following a strong first quarter, Samsung struggled to maintain its momentum and saw its market share slip to 17.2% in the second quarter.  Lenovo continued to climb the rankings ladder, surpassing ASUS and moving into the third spot in the tablet market, shipping 2.4 million units and grabbing 4.9% markets share. The top 5 was rounded out by ASUS and Acer, with 4.6% and 2.0% share, respectively. Share outside the top 5 grew to an all time high as more and more vendors have made inroads in the tablet space. By now most traditional PC and phone vendors have at least one tablet model in the market, and strategies to move bundled devices and promotional offerings have slowly gained momentum.

“Until recently, Apple, and to a lesser extent Samsung, have been sitting at the top of the market, minimally impacted by the progress from competitors,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. “Now we are seeing growth amongst the smaller vendors and a levelling of shares across more vendors as the market enters a new phase.”

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Mobile gadgets outnumber people in these 7 countries

IDG News Service

Wireless broadband subscriptions now outnumber people in seven countries as consumers continue to snap up smartphones and tablets, according to a new report.

Finland, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, South Korea and the U.S. had wireless broadband penetration of more than 100 percent as of December 2013, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Tuesday. That means there was more than one wireless broadband subscription per person, usually because consumers have more than one mobile device that can go online. The U.S. just barely crossed the bar, while Finland led the group with more than 123 percent penetration.

Across all 37 OECD countries, wireless broadband penetration rose to 72.4 percent as total subscriptions grew 14.6 percent. The group spans North America, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Europe, as well as Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Israel, Mexico and Chile. It’s sometimes treated as a barometer of the developed world.

Wired broadband subscriptions also grew in 2013, reaching an average of 27 percent penetration. That means there was just over one wired subscription per four people: Wired broadband services, such as cable and DSL (digital subscriber line), typically are shared. Switzerland led in that category with 44.9 percent penetration, followed by the Netherlands and Denmark. The U.S. had just under 30 wired subscriptions per 100 people, while Turkey came in last with just over 11.

DSL still makes up a majority of wired broadband subscriptions, at 51.5 percent, followed by cable with 31.2 percent. Fiber-optic grew to a 16.7 percent share, gradually replacing DSL services. Fiber more than doubled its share of the market in the U.K. and also gained strongly in Spain, Turkey and France. While those countries still have relatively low fiber penetration, Japan and Korea continued to lead the OECD for that technology. Nearly 70 percent of all wired broadband in Japan goes over fiber, and almost 65 percent in Korea.

The OECD has compiled some of its broadband statistics on a portal page. For all the technologies it tracks, the group uses a generous definition of broadband as a service capable of at least 256K bits per second downstream.

Smartphone Commerce: Visits, Revenue, Orders Increase

MediaPost

More retail activity is starting with mobile devices, which is growing dramatically across the board.

While most actual purchasing still happens in stores and most online buying is from desktops, mobile continues to increase its influence on all areas.

Two separate studies out this week provide yet another snapshot of the scope of activity.

Revenue from dedicated mobile commerce sites of more than 350 retailers jumped 114% from a year ago, based on an index from Unbound Commerce. The average value of a mobile order increased 31% to $109 in that tally.

The monthly Mobile Commerce Index for June by BrandingBrand also found the mobile market marches on.

Smartphone activity is growing across the board, with the highest percentage growth in the area of revenue. Here’s the smartphone activity growth compared to the same month a year ago, according to Branding Brand.:

  • 110% — Revenue
  • 84% — Orders
  • 74% — Page views
  • 57% — Visits

The data is based on a sample of 26 of its retail customers comprising 109 million Web page views, 873 million page views and 2 million orders with total revenue of $291 million.

Traffic from mobile devices continues to increase, with almost half (49%) now coming from smartphones and tablets.

However, the majority (72%) of orders are non-mobile orders, though the market share of smartphone orders increased 68% from a year ago.

Many studies show commerce from tablets being much higher than those form smartphones.

However, in what may be an early indicator, the BrandingBrand index shows the gap narrowing, with 15% coming from tablets and 14% from smartphones.

As a source of revenue, mobile orders also continue to grow, now accounting for a quarter of revenue, up from 20% a year ago.

These and similar recent studies continue to document the import of mobile commerce. This presents the question of how well merchants and marketers can keep up.

All the major issues relating to mobile commerce will be discussed at the MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference in New York on Aug. 7. Hope to see you there. Check out the agenda.

Sharing On Twitter And Pinterest Leans Mostly Mobile

MediaPost

By now it’s clear that mobile and social have become more than a shotgun marriage.Findings from comScore last month showed that more than 70% of time spent in social media takes place on mobile devices (including tablets). And total mobile engagement on social is up 55% in the last year.

In its latest quarterly report, ShareThis took a closer look at sharing activity among top social platforms on mobile. Twitter and Pinterest emerge as the most mobile-centric networks, with 75% of all content sharing on those platforms happening in mobile. By comparison, half of sharing activity on Facebook is mobile.

However, because of Facebook’s size (1 billion monthly mobile users), it accounts for 72% of sharing on smartphones, versus 14% for Twitter, and 12% for Pinterest. On tablets, Facebook’s share falls to 64%, and Twitter’s to 7%, while Pinterest sees a bump to 22%. “There is a clear preference for channels based on different devices. Pinners are more active on tablets whereas tweeters flock to smartphones,” states ShareThis blog post today.

Furthermore, Facebook is where people go to share content about politics and parenting, while Twitter — because of its real-time DNA — leans toward sports and business, and Pinterest sharing is focused on shopping. That’s a natural outgrowth of Pinterest’s emphasis on visual presentation and consumer products.

In that vein, mobile users are twice as likely to interact with desktop content as any other category.

When it comes to mobile operating systems, Android users are more active on Facebook, while iOS users are more likely to share material on Twitter and Pinterest. In terms of demographic trends, sharing on tablets among people 55 and over nearly doubled over the first quarter. And 43% of social activity on tablets is driven by people in that age group.

Social interaction on mobile devices also grew 13% among African-Americans and 6% among Hispanics in the quarter. Overall, sharing from smartphones and tablets grew more than 30%, while that on the desktop fell 5% between the first and second quarter. The mobile gain was driven mainly by activity on smartphones, which was up about 28%.

Across desktop and mobile, Facebook accounted for almost two-thirds (64%) of sharing, with Twitter and Pinterest each claiming 9%. But the two smaller competitors together gained 2% share on Facebook from the prior quarter.

Coming soon: Mobile devices that can beam 4K video directly to TVs

IDG News Service

Smartphones and tablets will be able to transmit 4K video directly to big screens next year now that mobile chip maker Qualcomm has acquired Wilocity.

Wilocity makes chips based on WiGig technology, which wirelessly transfers data between devices at speeds of up to 7Gbps (bits per second) over a limited distance.

Qualcomm will integrate that technology in its 64-bit Snapdragon 810 mobile chip, it said Wednesday when it announced the acquisition. The first smartphones and tablets with WiGig will ship in the second half of next year, said Cormac Conroy, vice president of product management and engineering for Qualcomm’s Atheros division.

Device makers will ultimately decide if they want to use the WiGig chip in smartphones and tablets, a company spokeswoman said.

WiGig could spell the end of HDMI ports in mobile devices and also eliminate clutter and connectors required to transfer data or 4K video. WiGig is faster than Wi-Fi 802.11ac and LTE mobile broadband technologies, which are already in Snapdragon chips.

Qualcomm officials declined to say how much the company paid for Wilocity.

4K content is growing by the day and faster wireless data-transfer technologies are needed in mobile devices, Conroy said, adding it is the right time to integrate WiGig into Snapdragon.

Netflix has started streaming 4K video, and WiGig can turn mobile devices into media stations so streams can be dispatched to 4K TVs and displays. 4K video has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is four times that of 1920 x 1080 pixel, high-definition video.

The utility of WiGig goes beyond 4K video. Intel wants to free PCs of wiresby 2016 with the use of WiGig to connect desktops to displays, wireless keyboards and mice. Intel also views WiGig as a preferred data-transfer technology for mobile devices over low-power Thunderbolt, which would involve connectors and wires.

Dell is using WiGig technology in a wireless laptop dock.

Mobile device users will be able to sync data with the cloud faster through WiGig, said Tal Tamir, vice president of product management at Qualcomm Atheros, and formerly CEO of Wilocity.

Data exchange between mobile devices and the cloud is heavier in the enterprise, and WiGig will provide low-power, multi-gigabit throughput, Tamir said.

With PC-like data transfer capabilities, mobile devices could come close to becoming full-fledged computers, Tamir said. But WiGig won’t replace wired connectors like USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, which are widely used in computers, external storage devices, monitors and other peripherals.

WiGig has been around for years, but adoption has been slow. Qualcomm’s integration of the technology into smartphone and tablet chips should push adoption of the technology.

Mobile Facts To Keep In Mind – Part 1

Monday Note

By the end of 2014, many news media will collect around 50% of their page views via mobile devices. Here are trends to remember before devising a mobile strategy. (First of a two-part series.)

In the news business, mobile investments are on the rise. That’s the pragmatic response to a major trend: Users shift from web to mobile. Already, all major media outlets are bracing for a momentous threshold: 50% of their viewership coming from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Unfortunately, the revenue stream is not likely to follow anytime soon: making users pay for mobile content has proven much more difficult than hoped for. As for advertising, the code has yet to be cracked for (a) finding formats that won’t trigger massive user rejection, and (b) monetizing in ways comparable to the web (i.e. within the context of a controlled deflation). Let’s dive into a few facts:

Apps vs. WebApps or Mobile sites. A couple of years ago, I was among those who defended web apps (i.e. encapsulated HTML5 coding, not tied to a specific OS platform) vs. native apps (for iOS, Android, Windows Phone). The idea was to give publishers more freedom and to avoid the 30% app store levy. Also, every publisher had in mind the success enjoyed by the FT.com when it managed to put all its eggs in its web app and so retain complete control over the relationship with its customers.

All of the above remains true but, from the users’ perspective, facts speak loudly: According to Flurry Analytics, apps now account for 86% of the time spent by mobile users vs. 14% for mobile sites (including web apps.) A year ago, the balance was 80% for apps and 20% for mobile web.

Trend #1: Native apps lead the game
at the expense of web apps and mobile sites 

One remark, though: the result must take in account the weight of games and Facebook apps that account for 50% of the time spent on mobile. News-related usage leans more to mobile as there is not (yet) demand for complex rendering as in a gaming app. But as far news applications are concerned, we haven’t seen major breakthroughs in mobile web or web apps over the last months and it seems development is stalling.

News vs. the rest of the app world. On a daily total of 2hrs 50mn spent by mobile users (source: eMarketer), 2% to 5% of that time is spent on news. Once you turn to growth, the small percentage number starts to look better: The news segment is growing faster (+64% Y/Y) than messaging and social (+28%) or gaming and entertainment (+9% each); the fastest usage segment being the productivity apps (+119%) and that’s due to the transfer of professional uses from the desktop to the mobile.

Trend #2: On mobile, news is growing faster
than game or social 

…And it will grow stronger as publishers will deploy their best efforts to adjust contents and features to small screens and on-the-go usage and as mobile competitors multiply.

Click to read more…

Total US Ad Spending to See Largest Increase Since 2004

eMarketer

Total media ad spending in the US this year will see its largest increase in a decade, according to new figures from eMarketer. On the strength of gains in mobile and TV advertising, total ad investments will jump 5.3% to reach $180.12 billion, achieving 5% growth for the first time since 2004, when ad spending increased 6.7%.

174134 Total US Ad Spending to See Largest Increase Since 2004

Mobile will lead this year’s rise in total media ad spending in the US, and advertisers will spend 83.0% more on tablets and smartphones than they did in 2013—an increase of $8.04 billion. By the end of this year, mobile will represent nearly 10% of all media ad spending, surpassing newspapers, magazines and radio for the first time to become the third-largest individual advertising venue, only trailing TV and desktops/laptops. Though investments in TV advertising will rise just 3.3%, advertisers will spend $2.19 billion more on the medium than they did in 2013, making it the second-leading category in terms of year-over-year dollar growth.

The surge in mobile advertising is chiefly attributable to the fact that consumers are spending more and more time with their tablets and smartphones. According to eMarketer’s latest estimates, US adults will spend an average of 2 hours 51 minutes per day with mobile devices this year. In 2013, daily time spent on mobile devices and on desktops and laptops was equal, totaling 2 hours 19 minutes, but this year, time with desktops and laptops will drop slightly to 2 hours 12 minutes, while mobile time will increase significantly. TV remains by far the largest beneficiary of adults’ media time, at 4 hours 28 minutes in 2014, hence its persistent lead as the top category for advertising spending.

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2015 set to be the year of the tablet

Marketing Week

In 2015 tablet sales will reach more than 320 million units and 316 million PC units are expected to be shifted globally, Gartner predicts.

While tablet sales are set to overtake PC sales, the tablet market is expected to experience a “relative slowdown” in growth this year to reach 256 million units, an increase of 23.9 per cent from 2013. The slowdown in penetration has been pinned partly on lower demand from users for tablets in smaller screens in mature markets and the shift towards phablets in South-East Asia.

Gartner’s forecast of a slowdown echoes CCS Insight’s predictions earlier this year, estimating that the UK tablet market is set to slump in 2014 as “buyer’s remorse” strikes consumers who initially bought low quality devices.

Gartner predicts the next wave of tablet adoption will be driven by lower price points, rather than “superior functionality”.

While the traditional PC market continues its decline, 2014 will mark a “relative revival” for the sector. After declining 9.3 per cent in 2013, the global PC market is on pace to shrink just 2.9 per cent in 2014, Gartner estimates. Sales are then expected to increase 2.7 per cent year on year in 2015.

Ranjit Atwal, Gartner research director, says: “Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe. This year we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets.”

Elsewhere, Gartner estimates smartphone sales will represent 88 per cent of global mobile phone sales by 2018, up from 66 per cent this year. Sales of mobile phones are expected to increase 3.1 per cent year on year to 1.9 billion units in 2014.

Android and iOS are driving smartphone sales spike, but Gartner predicts Windows Phones will also exhibit strong growth from a low base in 2014 and are projected to reach 10 per cent market share by 2018 – up from 4 per cent in 2014.

Microsoft, which owns Windows Phone, recently completed its acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business , a move it hopes will strengthen its position in the competitive smartphone market.

Major Mobile Milestones in May: Apps Now Drive Half of All Time Spent on Digital

ComScore

May turned out to be a banner month for mobile as it delivered on some huge milestones which underscored just how impressive the medium’s ascendance has been in the past few years. Mobile platforms – smartphones and tablets – combined to account for 60% of total digital media time spent, up from 50% a year ago. And perhaps more impressively, mobile apps accounted for more than half of all digital media time spent in May, coming in at 51%.

Screen Shot 2014 07 02 at 10.15.29 AM Major Mobile Milestones in May: Apps Now Drive Half of All Time Spent on Digital

Internet Radio Leads Categories Generating Majority of Activity from Mobile

While the mobile platform shift continues unabated, not every content category has experienced the shift at the same speed. An analysis of the leading content categories (based on those with at least 10 billion minutes of total engagement in May) showed which have seen the most pronounced shift to mobile. Amazingly, but perhaps not altogether unexpectedly, a couple of important categories have shifted almost exclusively to mobile. Digital Radio, led by category leader Pandora now generates more than 96% of its total engagement from mobile devices. Meanwhile the Photos category, with key players such as Instagram and Flickr leading the way, also attracted 96% of its activity from mobile. Other categories getting at least 90% of their engagement from mobile include Maps (thanks to Google Maps, Apple Maps, and others) and Instant Messengers (led by Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber and others).

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