In Q4 and for the past six months Android handsets have outsold Apple's iPhone. However Apple still commands leadership in several areas, including mobile Web OS share in Europe and the US. And if you look at mobile app revenues the gap between iOS and Android is staggering.
The headline being trumpted today is "Android app store revenues grow 861 percent." But take a look at the 2010 actual share of revenues generated by the various app stores:
This again reflects the relatively poor monetization performance of paid apps in the Android market.
Security firm Lookout has put out its "App Genome Report" for February. There's a lot of interesting data about iOS and Android apps and apps stores in there. However I want to focus on two areas of the findings: location and advertising.
Under the heading "personal info," Lookout reports the following about apps that seek user contact information and location:
Apple apps individually request location at the time they're launched or initiated. Typically Android apps notify users of an intent to access location at the time of installation or an update. I would expect the Apple model (or something even more transparent) to become a standard that forthcoming privacy regulations seek to enforce.
Turning to advertising, Google's AdMob dominates monetization for both iOS and Android. However iAd seems to be growing for iOS.
It's striking to see how much more highly penetrated AdMob is than other networks, especially in the Android Market. Accordingly one could argue that Google owns both search and display in the two most important smartphone marketplaces.
Millennial Media put out its monthly "Mobile Mix" device and OS report reflecting the top operating systems and devices accessing publisher sites on its network. The report showed a renewed surge by Apple devices, but Android remained the top smartphone OS. The company also exposed some global OS metrics from Stat Counter.
Here are the highlights:
Here are the smartphone and OS share figures on Millennial's network for January:
Compare November, 2010:
Smartphone penetration has grown and Android has dramatically grown. Apple's OS now accounts for slighly more than half of the ad requests on Millennial's network. Below, however, is global OS market share, showing Android with about half the penetration of iOS.
Velti's Mobclix put out some data a couple of days ago that shows iPhone users are more "valuable" than Android users. Some apps categories are more valuable than others. But across the board, iPhone users buy more and spend more than Android users on apps. Part of that is the lack of a widely penetrated and easy to use payments infrastructure for Android however.
Here's the Mobclix "infographic" showing the differences in value between iPhone and Android users in various app categories:
Once again, it's iTunes that is largely the explanation behind the discrepancy here.
As a kind of related aside, I've seen it reported in several places that Android users "click more" than iPhone users. Mobile ad mediator/exchange Smaato reports on the display ad CTRs of the users of the various operating systems. (Note: CTR is the wrong metric to use to evaluate the efficacy of display ads.)
In December Smaato found that iOS users clicked much more than Android users. But mid-2010 data shows the opposite. Has Smaato has changed its methodology? Are iAds responsible for higher clicks/engagement on iPhones? Or, as Android has grown have CTRs simply become diluted?
It's a curious change. All the operating systems are in roughly the same position except iPhone and Android users, which changed places:
GSMA, the organization behind the Mobile World Congress, commissioned research in January that showed mobile apps generally beating the browser for time spent. The research had a global scope and was performed by European mobile analytics company Zokem.
However apps vs. browser access differed by category according to the findings:
News, search and commerce apps and sites receive much more usage still from mobile web browsers, with 86%, 85% and 66% of mobile web browser users using them monthly. Only 22% of web browser users access web-based email services, and only 18% use games through a web browser. For email, native apps reach 76% of smartphone users monthly, and games reach 45%.
Multimedia related services, like online music and video, are predominantly used through native apps rather than a smartphone web browser. Apps and web browsing usage patterns, therefore, are quite different, and the usage balance between browsers vs. native apps is driven by the type of app in question.
Mobile apps are responsible for 667 minutes of use per user each month according to Zokem. Compare messaging (671 minutes), voice (531 minutes) and web browsing (422 minutes).
Social networking apps (the category is not clearly defined) consume "almost 10 percent of all smartphone 'face time.'" Facebook and YouTube are the most heavily penetrated social media apps. (I disagree with YouTube being characterized as social media.)
The study found that iPhone and Android owners used roughly 15 apps per month; BlackBerry and Nokia owners used about half that number (8). The iTunes store and Android Markets enjoyed 95% reach with their users, while Blackberry App World has 50% reach and Nokia's Ovi store reached less than 30% of Symbian users. The data also showed that "iPhones generated more than 200 percent more traffic per month on average than Android devices."
Contradicting some other data and claims in the market the study found smartphone usage declined on weekends but "averaged more than 70 minutes per day with apps capturing more face time than any other activity at weekends."
Opera's state of the mobile web report is back. The company says that in January it had nearly 100 million users globally. It's interesting to note that no Android phone is in the top 10 in any of the three markets I present below. However this may only reflect Opera Mini and not Opera Mobile usage.
Nonetheless, it's curious that Android is now so large in the US but not among the top handsets for Opera. Opera Mini and Mobile are available on Android.
Does this reflect the sufficiency and general satisfaction with the Android browser or simply inertia on the part of Android users?
Comscore's newly released "digital year in review" report contains a number of charts and data points about mobile. It's basically a compilation of the material and data they regularly put out about market share and common mobile user activities.
There's no new or startling information here. It's merely a summary of the most recent data at the end of 2010 about OEM, mobile OS and carrier market share. The data should not be taken as completely accurate but rather directional and reflective of trends.
Here are a few of the charts:
The latest Pew Internet report tells us a good deal of information we already know about device ownership and penetration among US adults. Based on a Q3, 2010 telephone survey of roughly 3,000 US adults the chief value of the survey its demographic information and the historical tracking of the same questions and responses over time.
I've pulled out a few of the charts below. The first one shows the penetration and growth of various categories of devices during the past four years. The noteworthy data point here is the decline of the desktop PC.
At this point mobile phone ownership among adults is at or above 90%. According to Pew, it's 89% on average among US residents under age 65. Among those under 35 the numbers are 95% or more (if teens were to be included). Unfortunately Pew stubbornly doesn't seem to ask about feature phone vs. smartphone ownership.
There are roughly 238 million US adults according to the 2010 Census. If we extrapolate the Pew figures it means that just over 200 million US adults (using the 85% overall average) have mobile phones. However these figures are probably low.
CTIA puts the number (including teens) of wireless subscribers at 293 million. While it's true that some people have two phones (e.g., BlackBerry, iPhone) most people do not have multiple subscriptions.
The four major US wireless carriers report roughly 272 million subscribers according to their most recent filings (rounded):
The iPad/tablet findings are also interesting. There is a separate chart and question for eReaders like Kindle; these data don't include Kindle or other, comparable eReaders accordingly.
A major caveat here is that these figures don't include Q4 2010 (holiday buying). About 15 million iPads have been sold globally to date, a majority of which are still in the US.
The latest missive in the never-ending "who's winning the smartphone wars" discussion came yesterday as Nielsen released US smartphone OS data. In addition to general market share, the firm sliced the data by race and ethic group.
Apple is the leading platform among Asians/Pacific Islanders, while Blackberry is the leader among African-Americans. The numbers are not so significant as to enable demographic targeting by race or ethnicity on the basis of handset ownership -- although non-whites have higher smartphone penetration rates according to Nielsen.
More significantly the company now says that there's a "three-way tie" between Android, RIM and Apple in the US smartphone market. Essentially Apple/iPhone is flat, while RIM has lost significant momentum and Android has gained dramatically.
However in the past six months it's all about Android, reflecting the barrage of new handsets and the broad distribution of those units across all the major US carriers and, increasingly, the pre-paid carriers too.
It will be quite interesting to see what happens at Verizon with the iPhone over the next month. Online orders begin tomorrow. Assuming some lift/growth for the iPhone the question becomes: what's going to happen with RIM? The Canada-based company continues to sell lots of handsets and see growth outside North America but its outlook continues to worsen in the US market.
RIM may maintain healthy revenues but investors will flee if they sense that the trajectory is negative and that BlackBerry is losing ground, which these and other numbers indicate.
Regarding Windows Phones, we had heard Microsoft report that OEMs had shipped lots of devices to carriers. The company was under pressure to reveal some numbers as tech journalists interpreted the company's silence as an admission of poor sales performance. However, when it released the OEM-carrier numbers consumer sales figures were not reported. Now, according to data from NPD, Windows Phones were reportedly outsold by predecessor Windows Mobile devices (which is kind of amazing because of their inferiority):
Apple iOS share declined 4 percentage points to comprise 19 percent of unit sales in Q4; RIM OS fell 2 points to tie Apple’s 19 percent; Windows Mobile, Microsoft’s legacy OS, fell 3 points to 4 percent, as the new Windows Phone 7 OS debuted at 2 percent; and Palm’s WebOS held at 2 percent.
These numbers may be a statement about brand awareness or the degree to which Apple-Android-RIM attention is crowding out everything else in the US market. (Nokia's not on the radar but will likely be embracing Android soon to try and get back into the US market.)
Microsoft has continued to invest in its Online Business Services unit despite losing money quarter after quarter. Will the company be similarly patient with the mobile OS or will it, after several lackluster quarters, feel compelled to make a move on RIM or even Nokia? Today RIM's market cap is $31 billion, Nokia's is roughly $40 billion.
It would seem that WebOS (HP) is all but dead and, notwithstanding the promise of tablets and new handsets, will have difficulty reviving consumer interest.
In December Microsoft sponsored a "Location Based Services Usage and Perceptions Survey." Last week in honor of privacy day it released results, which were widely reported -- mostly with a focus on the privacy issues and questions. Yes, people are concerned about location sharing and privacy. Those data, however, are less interesting to me than some of the other findings in the survey.
The online survey was conducted in December with 1,500 total respondents from the US, UK, Germany, Canada, and Japan. Here some of the more interesting findings from my perspective:
Here are the most common LBS use cases:
The most significant finding from the survey (beyond the privacy stuff) is about the efficacy of location-based ads:
The data in the tables above show that an average of 46% of those seeing location-based "retail" ads took action after exposure. The percentage is highest in the US: 55%.
Among those using LBS services to share location, here are the services they used:
Microsoft announced that it "shipped more than 2 million copies of the Windows Phone 7 operating system last quarter." But this doesn't represent consumer sales figures so we don't really know how the handsets are doing. The data can be spun as a positive start or a lackluster one for the new smartphone OS. For example, Gartner says that Microsoft's smartphone share stands at 2.8% in the US market.
The "battle" between the iPhone and Andoid is crowding out other handsets. At left (and here), eMarketer rounds up third party estimates of US smartphone share, though the figures don't explicitly show Microsoft's numbers.
There's some evidence that the iPhone's presence at Verizon -- pre-orders begin next week -- will weigh on Android sales, as well as RIM. Anticipation of the device had a negative impact on Motorola's Q4 DROID sales. According to CNET's coverage of Motorola's earnings call yesterday:
During the fourth-quarter conference call with analysts and investors on Wednesday, Sanjay Jha, the CEO of Motorola Mobility, said the company saw a slowdown in sales during the fourth quarter due to anticipation of the iPhone at Verizon. He said he expects sales to be slightly down as the company will now compete head to head with the iPhone at its strongest carrier partner, Verizon Wireless.
In its final exclusive quarter with the iPhone AT&T reported strong revenues for Q4, including 2.8 million new subscribers and 4.1 million iPhone activations. AT&T and Verizon are set for a "cage match" as they compete for iPhone customers. One example Verizon is offering a trade-in program to try and get recent handset purchasers (read: AT&T iPhone owners) from other carriers.
Meanwhile Nokia lost more smartphone share and saw profit fall 21%. CEO Stephen Elop hinted that it's open to Android -- indeed it will be all-but-compelled to adopt Android for some handsets even though it angrily rejected such suggestions in the past. RIM may be considering something similar, or at least allowing its handsets and forthcoming Playbook tablet to run Android apps.
Business Insider makes the excellent point that there's a lot of headroom for smartphones at Verizon. That's equally true at the other US carriers. At Sprint and T-Mobile that's going to be mostly about Android and to a much lesser extent RIM. AT&T and Verizon will sell a lot of iPhones, perhaps a combined 15 million or more.
Verizon said this morning that (only) 26% of all its 94 million subscribers are smartphone users. Interestingly, however, 75% of contract subscribers are buying smartphones. Thus overall smartphone penetration will grow dramatically this year at Verizon. AT&T has a higher percentage of smartphones, in excess of 35% penetration.
Nielsen said in November that 28% of US mobile subscribers had smartphones and projected that number would rise to 35% at the end of Q4 2010. Given that the majority of new handset sales globally are from the ranks of smartphones it's likely that by the end of 2011 we will be very close to the anticipated "50% threshold" (overall US smartphone penetration).
When this happens it radically changes the entire marketing proposition for everyone. That would mean about 150-160 million smartphones. That would compare with just over 200 million US Internet users. General Internet growth is very small on a percentage basis year over year.
Morgan Stanley has projected that mobile Internet access will exceed fixed-line Internet access globally by 2014. I had thought it would take much longer for that to happen in the US . . . but perhaps not.
Yesterday measurement firm comScore released data on the decline in usage of web-based email and the rise of mobile email. This struck me as a reflection of the larger trend and migration from PC to smartphones (and tablets).
Many publishers and metrics firms have argued that mobile and PC are entirely complementary: mobile usage spikes at home and on the weekends; the PC is used during the day and at work.
I believe, however, as the comScore data seem to indicate, that people will increasingly substitute mobile for some of their PC usage. Beyond email news is another case-in-point. Recently surveys by Handmark and Pew show the degree to which mobile has become an important and even preferred news medium, especially for breaking news. According to the Handmark survey (n=300,000):
Mobile has pulled ahead of the desktop web as the preferred medium to access breaking news information. More than 30% of respondents surveyed feel mobile is the most important medium to access breaking news, compared to 29% who prefer the desktop web, 21% who prefer television, and a mere 3% who chose newspapers as their the most important medium for breaking news.
What's very clear is that digital world is further fragmenting as mobile Internet usage is increasingly mainstreamed. Tablets compound the challenges for marketers and publishers by creating a third category that is neither truly mobile nor a standard PC/laptop.
Welcome to the future. Pass the aspirin.
A globaly survey of roughly 1,500 mobile users by Zokem shows what many other similar surveys in the past have also shown: the iPhone and then Android have the highest loyalty and lowest churn of the smartphone platforms. The data also reflect the "vulnerability" of Nokia, Windows and WebOS devices. It's not clear, however, whether any of the new Windows Phones were considered in this survey.
What the two figures immediately below reflect is the relative loyalty that consumers show toward the platforms included and their corresponding propensity to abandon them for other competing platforms. The order is generally inverted. In the first chart users show the greatest loyalty to the iPhone with Android second and Nokia's Maemo last. In the second chart respondents expressed a low likelihood of churn from the iPhone. The Pre and Symbian S60 showed the highest consumer inclination to churn.
The bottom chart shows the inclination to buy the same type of handset in the future. Here Android beats the iPhone by a narrow four percentage points. Symbian S60 owners show the lowest inclination to buy another Symbian S60 device followed by Palm Pre owners, only 15% of whom would buy another Pre. There's little new "news" here but it's interesting to see more evidence of the OS hierarchy out there.
In 2010 Apple sold 14.79 million iPads around the world. The iPad is now available in 46 countries. It started the year as a US-only product. According to IDC estimates Apple controls almost 90% of the tablet market at the moment, while the stand-alone eReader market is somewhat more competitive with Amazon controlling just over 40%.
There are lots of estimates out there, some very large, about how many tablets will sell in 2011. Also entering the market this year are Android 3.0 tablets (e.g., Xoom), a WebOS tablet and the RIM Playbook, among others. So the market will be full of choices. Price will be a driving factor of purchase decisions, so will size in a number of cases. I've argued that the smaller 7" segment is up for grabs because Apple has declined to offer an "iPad nano."
IDC is projecting 44.6 million tablets will be shipped/sold in 2011. On a global basis that number could turn out to be low. It's very likely that Apple will sell between 25 million (on the low end) and 35 million (on the high end) iPads by the end of 2011. If the IDC global tablet projection is correct and I'm not wildly off then Apple would have between 60% and 80% of the tablet market at the end of this year.
I can't comment on the viability of the WebOS tablet or the RIM Playbook, neither of which I've used. However, unless relatively less inexpensive (sub-$500), it's unlikely that Android tablets will make significant inroads (beyond 15%-20%) in the 9-10" tablet category. Where they're likely to sell well is the 7" category. Running Flash is not going to be a significant competitive advantage for Android tablets.
It's worth mentioning that the Playbook is a 7" device, which gives it an opening it might not have had as a 10" device. The iPad2 is rumored to be on the way in April.
The company reported revenue of $26.74 billion and net quarterly profit of $6 billion (both records). It sold the following number of units:
Here the previous record quarter (Q4) figures for comparison purposes:
Simultaneously the iTunes store reached 10 billion app downloads. iTunes revenue for the quarter exceeded $1.1 billion.
A few more tidbits:
On the earnings call COO Tim Cook was dismissive of Android tablets and Windows-based tablets. While Apple may "own" the larger 9" and 10" tablet category it doesn't have an offering in the 7" category where Android may find success, suggested by the positive sales numbers of the Galaxy Tab.
Overall a massive quarter.
Yahoo released mobile consumer data last week, based on an online survey of 8,384 people in the US (13-64). The published data focus on mobile shopping behavior and use of mobile devices while watching TV. While the findings reinforce existing data and consumer insights, they throw several opportunities into higher relief.
Mobile use in stores during shopping:
According to Yahoo, consumers want shopping-related mobile ads to include the following information: price, product features, benefits. Last year, InsightExpress reported that 82% of mobile phone owners in the US used their devices (in various ways) in stores.
What emerges from these data is a picture of a highly engaged consumer very close to the point of sale but also open to influence. They're looking to confirm the value and appeal of products both with data and with friends and family members. And they're going to look at relevant ads they encounter.
Mobiles & TV viewing:
Perhaps the more provocative findings released reflect simultaneous usage of TV and mobile devices. According to the research, "86% of mobile Internet users (and 92% of 13-24s) are using their mobile devices simultaneously with TV." This is mobile Internet users and not all TV viewers, obviously but it's a significant number. Moreover, 25% of respondents reported that while doing this (mobile Internet access) they are browsing content tied to the programming in some way.
This kind of simultaneous media usage pattern is well established already (especially among younger viewer-users). However historically it has been the laptop paired with TV. Over time I suspect mobile devices and tablets will uniformly replace laptops during TV viewing.
As with in-show voting via SMS, TV programs have the opportunity to offer ways to engage and capture users with mobile devices (send a text to receive more information, etc.). And as we've discussed extensively in the past, mobile can also be used partly as an analytics tool to measure the effectiveness of ads or promotions on traditiona media. Indeed, this scenario around mobile enhancing traditional media engagement/measurement is also true of radio and digital OOH.
Related to that, Yahoo discusses opportunities with mobile and impulse buying as well:
Mobile becomes critical for impulse, time sensitive buys and when a PC is just not available. 56% said it’s great when I am not near a PC/laptop, 45% said it’s great to research unplanned purchases and time-sensitive research, 41% use it for impulse buys.
A very personal experience and example of this came after I was listening to an author interviewed on the radio while driving. I was intrigued by the book and so, after I stopped, I pulled out my Android EVO and bought the e-Book through Kindle (via a single click). I later accessed and read the book on the Kindle app on my iPad.
If I hadn't had the phone with me and been able to respond while my interesting was high I would probably not have later bought the book online and certainly not made a special trip to seek it out in a physical bookstore.
On the heels of Verizon's embrace of the iPhone and speculation over how it may impact Android handset sales, ad network Millennial Media released December data showing that ad requests coming from Android handsets were now generating more impressions (and revenue) on Millennial's network than the iPhone.
This is consistent with sales data from comScore and Nielsen showing that Android has surged among recent smartphone purchasers. It's the first time that Android has collectively surpassed iOS devices on Millennial's network. However the iPhone remained the top single device, followed by the BlackBerry Curve.
Android's growth represented a 13% increase quarter-over-quarter, according to Millennial. Since January, Android has grown a massive 3130%. Smartphones now represent 60% of devices on Millennial's network (compared to 48% in May, 2010).
Simultaneously ChangeWave released some survey findings about potential switching to a Verizon iPhone.
The chart above indicates the percentage of mobile subscribers who plan to switch carriers without regard to any particular device. However the chart below shows that 16% of AT&T customers are stongly considering a switch to Verizon for the iPhone. Another 23% are ambivalent. The chief reasons for considering leaving AT&T were "poor reception" and "dropped calls."
If we interpret "don't know" in the chart above as "maybe," it suggests that almost 40% of AT&T customers surveyed may leave for the iPhone. If even the 16% make good on their impulse it would be significant.
The early evidence is that people are quite excited about the Verizon iPhone and we're likely to see high initial sales figures. A not-so-hidden benefit in all this for Apple is that a VZW iPhone blocks or will dilute some of the Android brand advertising.
Of course Verizon will continue to promote Android devices but without the hard-charging and almost offensive ads that attacked the iPhone as "feminine."
Now that AdMob is part of Google we're not getting the great monthly data and reports that we used to see from the company. But Google has just put out some new data on impression growth. The headline (literally) is that AdMob is seeing 2+ billion ad requests per day (on a global basis).
Google previously said that it had a $1 billion mobile advertising run rate. I did a quick analysis of how that billion might break down, assuming that mobile ad revenues were distributed along the same lines as paid-search revenue generally speaking.
IDC's revised US mobile ad numbers show Google as totally dominant over the rest of the field in terms of market share.
These figures below include search, which is 56% of mobile ad revenue in the US according to the firm. Almost none of the competing mobile ad networks and platforms have search ad revenue, which is why it's so lopsided in Google's favor. Just looking at display the IDC numbers look somewhat more balanced:
Somewhat at odds with recent Nielsen numbers, comScore officially reported this morning that Android had pulled ahead of the iPhone as the number two smartphone platform in the US. Nielsen and comScore agree that Android has the "mo," but Nielsen shows a different lineup with the iPhone in the lead followed by RIM and then Android.
Here are the comScore data:
Here are the Nielsen data:
There's a huge discrepancy regarding the RIM share figures. But the two agree on the Android numbers, which are 26% on both lists. The comScore data don't cover iPads or iPod Touch devices, which would probably boost Apple well above Android handset numbers today. However the Google OS is surging with scores of new devices being previewed at CES.
It will be very interesting to see what happens when the iPhone comes to Verizon. Is there pent up demand, as past suveys suggest, that will be unleashed or will Android continue to sell well after the introduction of a Verizon iPhone?