Data And Forecasts

Last Year in Mobile, According to comScore

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:

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Pew: 89% of Those under 65 Have Mobile Phones

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.

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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.

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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):

  1. AT&T: 95 million
  2. Verizon: 94 million 
  3. Sprint: 49 million
  4. T-Mobile: 34 million 

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.

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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. 

Apple, RIM, Android Tied; Windows, WebOS MIA: Nielsen/NPD

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. 

Microsoft Privacy Survey Shows Effectiveness of LBS Ads -- 46% Took Action

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:

  • 60% reported being aware of LBS
  • 51% said they used LBS (this is much higher than the Pew and Forrester survey data reflect)
  • 35% in the US use LBS at least several times per week which is nearly 2x higher than most other countries surveyed.
  • Only 18% use location-based services to share their location with others: (US 20%, UK 19%, Germany 15%, Canada 21%, Japan 15%)
  • On average, more than 70% prefer to use free LBS applications. This preference is highest in Canada (80%) and lowest in the US (66%). 

Here are the most common LBS use cases:

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The most significant finding from the survey (beyond the privacy stuff) is about the efficacy of location-based ads:

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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:

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As iPhone Comes to Verizon and Android Spreads Others Shift and Stir

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.

See related: Verizon iPhone Demand Could Hit Nearly 25 Million, Theoretically


2011 Poised to Be 'Year of the Smartphone'

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.

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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. 

PC Email Drop Presages the Desktop's Decline

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.

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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.  

There's also considerable evidence that iPad usage is cannibalizing not only netbook and laptop sales but usage of existing laptops.

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. 

Survey Reaffirms iPhone Tops Loyalty Stack, Shows Weakness of Nokia, Windows & Palm

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. 

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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. 

Fig 3 Repurchase Behavior

How Many iPads Will Apple Sell This Year?

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. 

Apple Earnings Romp Recap

You've already seen the numbers. But if you haven't here's the top-line recap of Apple's impressive fiscal Q1 (holiday): 

The company reported revenue of $26.74 billion and net quarterly profit of $6 billion (both records). It sold the following number of units: 

  • iPhones: 16.24 million 
  • iMacs: 4.13 million
  • iPods: 19.45 million 
  • iPads: 7.33 million

Here the previous record quarter (Q4) figures for comparison purposes:

  • iPhones: 14.1 million 
  • iMacs: 3.89 million
  • iPods: 9.05 million 
  • iPads: 4.19 million

Simultaneously the iTunes store reached 10 billion app downloads. iTunes revenue for the quarter exceeded $1.1 billion. 

A few more tidbits:

  • There are now a total of 160 million iOS devices globally out in the market. 
  • Revenue grew $11 billion vs. the same period a year ago
  • iPhone sales were up 86% year-over-year; iPod touch sales were up 27%
  • Revenue from iPhone sales alone was more than $10.1 billion.
  • China stores generated the highest revenue among Apple's entire fleet of stores  . . . with revenue exceeding $2.6 billion.

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 Data Reveal Mobile Shopping and Media Opportunities

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:

  • 90% of mobile users have accessed mobile web while at a store
  • Nearly 50% of in-store mobile web activity is related to shopping
  • 48% of in-store mobile users take and/or send a picture of a product to a friend or family member
  • 51% of consumers indicated that they do make a purchase after doing research on their mobile device
  • 20% of mobile shoppers who have seen ads during in-store shopping say they "always look at it"


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. 

Android Surging, Potential iPhone Switching

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.

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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."

AdMob Now Seeing 2B Daily Ad Requests

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).

Here's more: 

  • Ad requests have grown 4X in the past 12 months
  • More than 100 million unique Android and iOS devices requested an ad each month, nearly doubling over the last six months.
  • Nine countries in the AdMob network generated more than a billion monthly ad requests in December 2010, up from just one country a year ago.
  • The strongest regional growth in monthly ad requests over the past year has come from Asia (564%), Western Europe (471%) and Oceania (363%)

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.

  • Google: 59%
  • Apple: 8.4%
  • Millennial: 6.8%
  • Yahoo: 5.6% 
  • Microsoft: 4.3%
  • Other: 15.9%

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:

  • Google: 19%
  • Apple: 18.8%
  • Millennial: 15.4%
  • Yahoo: 10.1%
  • Jumptap: 8.4%
  • Microsoft: 7.8% 
  • Others (including AOL, Nokia): 20.5%

Android Passes iPhone Market Share: comScore

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:

  1. RIM: 33.5%
  2. Android: 26%
  3. iPhone: 25%
  4. Microsoft: 9%
  5. Palm: 3.9%

Here are the Nielsen data

  1. iPhone: 28.6%
  2. RIM: 26.1%
  3. Android: 25.8%

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? 

Nielsen: Android Momentum Continues, iPhone Barely Leads, RIM in Decline

Nielsen put out some new US smartphone data showing Android's continued momentum, especially among new smartphone buyers. The iPhone is flat and RIM is in decline according to these data. There are two storylines here: "Android is unstoppable" or one that recognizes that everyone who's going to buy the iPhone from AT&T has already done so. In the latter storyline, it's Android vs. RIM across the three other carriers.  

Both however are true to some degree. My view is that these numbers would be different if the iPhone and Android were equally available from all US carriers. We would see quite a bit less demand across the board for Android devices. That theory will be put to the test when the iPhone finally becomes available through Verizon. 

However Apple's prolonged exclusive relationship with AT&T has clearly hurt the iPhone and given Android a chance to develop this momentum. Had the iPhone been more widely available it's very unlikely that we would see these same numbers. Yet the Android platform has matured. It is now a strong, competitive OS that excells in certain areas (e.g., voice actions, navigation).

Compare share among recent smartphone buyers (top) to smartphone share overall (below), where the field is much tighter. 



Here are the most recent US smartphone share data from comScore for comparison. They show RIM still comfortably out front, with Apple and Google in a virtual tie. 

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Sumsung Gunning for Top Android Spot, Android in Spotlight at CES

Samsung has reportedly sold more than 10 million "Galaxy S" Android handsets globally (in seven months), according to several reports. The company is selling roughly 1.4 million units per month. The largest market is North America, followed by Europe and South Korea.

Late to the smartphone party, Samsung is on pace to become the dominant Android OEM globally. Motorola would seem to be the most vulnerable of the OEMs to the Korean electronics giant's Android gains.

Below are the most recent global and US OEM sales and market share figures according to Gartner and comScore:

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Of course the Consumer Electronics Show is this week and we're going to see lots of Android devices. Verizon is set to announce the first 4G Android handsets for its LTE network. There will also apparently be a million and one Android tablets on display, from Lenovo, Toshiba, Motorola, Vizio and others.

As with Android handsets it will be a battle to differentiate on hardware features and price. Most of the new Android tablets will run Honeycomb, making the Samsung Galaxy Tab obsolete unless it gets the software upgrade. (Samsung says it has sold 1.5 million Galaxy Tabs, largely because of the smaller form factor; the UX is mediocre compared to the iPad.) One thing to keep an eye out for is sub-$200 tablets of reasonable quality. 

The Verizon iPhone apparently won't be announced at CES and will instead be presented at a special Apple press event in February. At that time the company may also introduce its anticipated iPad 2 to respond to the Android tablet tsunami. 

We're not attending CES and because it's such a "noisy" show, we'll only be selectively reporting on announcements coming out of it. 

Millennial: Financial Services a Top Mobile Ad Category

Millennial Media is out with its November SMART report. This month there's a focus on the financial services vertical.

Despite the rise in mobile banking it's not a category that one would automatically assume is well suited to mobile advertising and marketing. However Millennial reports that the category has seen more than 800% YoY growth in ad spending on the Millennial network. Perhaps that speaks to the versatility of mobile as an advertising medium.

Below is a graphic that reflects the breakdown in ad spending by sub-category. 

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What's also interesting is the wide mix of actions that these advertisers were trying to elicit from users. Top actions were "place call" followed by form submissions (lead gen) and application downloads. However the range of objectives and actions is very broad, including driving to fan pages, video and store locators/maps. 

Turning to the broader mix of campaigns about half of those appearing on the Millennial network were targeted in some fashion with geo-targeting (broadly defined) being the most common form. 

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Compare June, 2010, when targeting was somewhat less on a percentage basis:

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It may also be the case that on landing pages the broad reach campaigns are also refining or assisting targeting in some way -- for example with store locators.

According to IDC's revised US mobile ad numbers Millennial is third in mobile display, with a 15.4% share:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. Millennial
  4. Yahoo
  5. Jumptap
  6. Microsoft
  7. Nokia
  8. AOL
  9. Other 

Millennial says it reaches 8 out of 10 mobile Web users.

Story of the Day: The Explosion of Cheap (Android) Smartphones

A story getting a lot of comments and play this morning is last week's Fortune article: 2011 will be the year Android explodes. The story is about how cheaper chips will likely bring down prices of smartphones to under $100 and Android handsets in particular. The story, using analyst and OEM estimates, argues that Android growth next year will be explosive. 

If the prices do in fact come down to $100 or less -- or handsets are fully subsidized by carriers -- we will see huge growth as the article suggests. Unless AT&T and (soon) Verizon are willing to be extremely generous with their subsidies, the iPhone will not be able to compete for the low-end of the market with Android -- although today you can get a refurbished iPhone 4 from AT&T for $99 and 3GS models for as little as $44. 

Nielsen has long predicted that 2011 (now Q4) will be the year that smartphones cross the 50% threshold in the US. Morgan Stanley famously predicted earlier this year that 2014 would see mobile Internet access surpass PC access.

If nothing else this blog is dedicated to the idea that there are radical implications flowing from these developments and we've been discussing and speculating about many of them for that past few years. We also argued that Nokia, the dominant handset maker in the developing world, had much more to fear from Android than from Apple's iPhone:

Apple can't and won't offer low cost handsets to the market in these places; it's the premium brand and wants to ensure a uniform experience. Eventually we might see a single lower-cost handset from Apple (something like the iPhone Nano perhaps). But that won't be coming very soon, if ever. 

Google by contrast doesn't have any of those same brand-related concerns. If there are lousy Android handsets in the market it doesn't really diminish Android the OS as a whole. There's room for much more experimentation on Android.

Apple has charmed and captured the "high end" of the market. Google and its OEMs are competing there but can also compete at the lower end with lower price points. That's the area where Nokia is dominant. But for how much longer? 

Nokia may wind up adopting Android itself, but that remains to be seen. 

Android is the "Windows of the mobile world." Apple is, well, the Apple: a premium brand that seeks to maintain higher price points and margins accordingly. Just as there are lots of generic and "crappy" PCs we're going to see plenty of crappy low-end Android handsets. The image above is of the Samsung Intercept, one of these lesser Android devices. But to someone coming off a flip phone it's a revelation. 

If these low-cost Android handsets flood the market and become widely available, we'll see people trying to pair the best of lower-end Android handsets with the cheapest plans (i.e., Boost, Virgin). The only way for carriers to maintain the prices of their plans will be to limit the availability of the best handsets to their post-paid subscribers. Lesser phones on slower networks will be available to pre-paid subscribers. 

Regardless, there's enormous room for growth in the US market from non-smartphone users. If we accept the Nielsen figure that 28% of US mobile phone subscribers have smartphones that means (of course) that 72% do not. Cheap smartphones paired with cheap data plans will drive a huge number of that 72% into the smartphone -- and mostly Android -- camp over the next two years. 

One can never overestimate the impact of price on markets and consumer behavior. 

Report: 42.5% of US HHs Are Mobile Only or Primarily Mobile

The latest US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report on "wireless substitution" (for landlines) finds that "26.6% [of US homes] had only wireless telephones  . . . during the first half of 2010. In addition . . . 15.9% received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones despite having a landline." 

What this means is that 42.5% of US homes are mobile only or mobile centric. For the 16% that relies primarily on mobile phones, the landline has become a kind of "spam catcher" for unimportant calls. 

Landline abandonment is not correlated with income status according to the CDC; "not poor" was the group that had the largest percentage of non-landline users. Note in the second graph below, 53% of those "not poor" have abandoned landlines.

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There are all kinds of implications for market research and political polling, as well as telephone sales and marketing. Indeed, "robo calling" is not permitted to mobile handsets under law. Humans must initiate calls to mobile phones, making them much more expensive.

Performics: Mobile Search = Higher CTRs, Lower CPC

Search marketing firm Performics wrote a post earlier this month that features some interesting data about mobile search and mobile click patterns. Here's the very condensed and edited version of that post:

  • Clicks from mobile devices increased 400% from Jan. to Nov . . . At this rate, 10% of all of [ ] Google search clicks will come via mobile within 3 months. By the end of 2011, that figure may be greater than 16%
  • Mobile CPCs are, on average, 59% lower than desktop CPCs and continue to fall month-over-month (read: mobile is a bargain)
  • Traditional paid search weekday profiles typically post the strongest traffic during Mon/Tues with gradual drop-off through the end of the week and then lower volume on weekends. However, mobile shows an opposite and complementary profile.  
  • Oct. was the first month in which mobile CTR outpaced search CTR

More evidence of the complementary nature of mobile and PC search:

Mobile search users rely on their handsets away from their desks, typically between the hours of 9-11AM and 6-9PM.

Mobile impressions tend to peak during the morning commute/early lunch period. Clicks, however, peak following work hours—between 6-9PM. This is also when mobile CTR peaks . . . users appear to be performing mobile searches for different purposes at different times of the day—searching for content earlier in the day and completing transactions later

What these data forcefully argue is that marketers should be trying mobile search now while it's still a bargain. The ROI is going to be higher than comparable PC-search campaigns.