Years ago there were always suggestions and discussion about whether Google would acquire a newspaper or yellow pages publisher. The culture of Google and those types of companies were so different -- which the proponents never fully understood -- that it was never going to happen. Now we have a similar argument going on in favor of Google buying the US operations of German carrier T-Mobile.
T-Mobile is struggling in the UK and US. In the UK the company has sought to form a joint venture with Orange and merge their operations. It has yet to be approved by regulators. In the US there have been persistent rumors that T-Mobile would have to do something similar or buy smaller carriers or merge with Sprint, etc. to advance its position in the market.
Android devices and aggressive pricing have not been able to move the needle for the company. The same is true for number three US carrier Sprint, however the company did lose a much smaller number of postpaid customers last quarter.
From Google's point of view, there's a certain logic to buying a carrier:
However, I'm still quite skeptical that this would happen because of HR issues (buying employees) and other questions (direct competition with carrier partners). But it's not as much of a stretch now, given Google's plans and strategy, as the "Google should buy a newspaper" arguments made in the past.
While Google is unlikely to buy a T-Mobile it's hypothetically possible that Google would make an investment in T-Mobile to gain access to its network, as it has with Sprint's Clearwire.
Based on activity of US mobile subscribers 13 and older, comScore put out data today that covers September through December 2009. While comScore counts 234 mobile subscribers, CTIA claims 271 million US mobile subscribers. The four major US carriers report approximately 250 million.
Here are the charts reflecting the comScore data:
Google/Android doubled its market share during the Q4 period, while Palm, RIM and Windows Mobile all lost share. These Palm devices, notwithstanding the "plus" versions debuting at Verizon have clearly stalled.
Here's "mobile content usage" according to comScore:
The 27% number for "used (Internet) browser" is very consistent with survey data well pulled in 2009.
What that number translates into in terms of "mobile Internet usage" depends on whether you think the base is 234 million or 250 million users. In the former case, the number of US mobile Internet users would be 64 million; in the latter it would be just over 68 million (a number consistent with Nielsen's figure).
The social network figure (15.9%) translates into 39.7 million social network users (with a 250 million base).
Brands, agencies and marketers of all stripes are increasingly interested in mobile advertising (or so surveys reflect), especially in the last six months. However "a fragmented landscape of different devices, operating systems and application storefronts" is confusing to many: What should we buy and how?
Companies such as Velti, Amobee and others aim to simplify mobile advertising with "end-to-end" solutions. But confusion remains.
Meanwhile the data continue to show that mobile outperforms online by almost 5X in terms of most brand performance metrics. Those that get in now will reap the benefits while others remain on the sidelines whining and scratching their heads.
Here are recent data from a broad survey of Insight Express-monitored and measured campaigns:
Here's what the press materials said about these metrics:
The study used norms developed in online ad testing as a benchmark to draw conclusions around the performance of advertising on mobile devices. InsightExpress compared the two using InsightNorms, the company’s normative database containing over one thousand online ad effectiveness campaigns and over one hundred mobile ad effectiveness campaigns . . .
InsightExpress found mobile campaign norms were 4.5 to 5 times higher than online norms against measures of unaided awareness, aided awareness, ad awareness, message association, brand favorability and purchase intent. “Online campaigns continue to offer exceptional reach, flexibility and variety,” said Joy Liuzzo, Senior Director of Marketing & Mobile Research at InsightExpress. “However, the high levels of engagement, the explosion in technical capabilities, low levels of clutter and the novelty of mobile advertising all likely contribute to increased brand impact.”
A comparison of three different mobile media types (Mobile Internet, SMS and Mobile video) revealed that Mobile Internet is the current powerhouse. Mobile Internet campaigns resulted in increases of 9 percentage points for unaided awareness, 9 percentage points for aided awareness and 24 percentage points for ad awareness . . . SMS campaigns generated increases of 5 percentage points for unaided awareness, 10 percentage points for aided awareness and 18 percentage points for ad awareness.
SMS offers the greatest reach, followed by mobile Web and then apps and video.
Rich media mobile ad network Greystripe announced that it's extending its support Nokia's Ovi Store. According to the release out today:
Although Greystripe has supported hundreds of millions of Java downloads, this is the first time they will be supporting apps in the Ovi store. Greystripe is beginning to migrate 1,200 Gamejump.com Java titles into the Ovi App Store. With this announcement, Greystripe now supports the top three smartphone marketplaces: the iPhone App Store, the Android Marketplace, and Nokia’s Ovi App Store . .
Currently Greystripe supports over 1,400 Java handset models, in addition to iPhone and Android. Greystripe continues to expand its Java/Symbian app downloads, which account for approximately 250,000 app downloads on the network per day. Since Symbian is still a popular platform globally, this announcement is significant for brands that want to reach a wider audience by advertising on the Java/Symbian network, such as Navy and JC Penny.
We learned last week that Nokia's Ovi Store is seeing "more than 1 millions downloads a day." These numbers suggest that, at least outside the US, Ovi will be a force to be reckoned with.
Previously Greystripe did a deal with online ad network Tribal Fusion to automatically translate IAB ad units into mobile:
Greystripe takes Flash ads and transcodes them using their award winning technology so the ad is compatible on the iPhone. With this process, advertisers are seeing 10-20x higher performance with the mobile ad compared to the same online campaigns, with average CTRs well above 1%.
This model is the future of much of mobile display advertising -- one buy across platforms, or an "extension" into mobile of an existing campaign -- and will accelarate the movement of ad dollars into mobile. Mobclix offers something similar with Advertising.com but on a smaller scale. Google will likely be doing this with AdMob if that transaction gains approval.
And, in an effort to grow and protect its distribution vs others., last June Greystripe launched what it calls a CPM protection program that guarantees iPhone developers a minimum CPM.
Firefox agrees with Google that HTML5 and mobile Web development will ultimately "kill" app stores. There's a logic here that makes sense, but I don't think that app stores -- or at least the iTunes store -- will die any time soon. What you may get is iPhone apps and then mobile "Web apps" for nearly everyone else. Android has apps but Android handsets are much more about the mobile Internet than apps -- at least that's true for the Nexus One.
Examples of terrific "touch" Web apps that are almost as good as true "native apps" include:
These prove that you can develop highly functional "apps" for the mobile Web and avoid the app store "tsarus," to use the Yiddish word for grief/trouble.
Somewhat ironically, however, Mozilla sees Firefox as a development platform for third party "add-ons" (as exist on the PC). The parallel between add-ons and apps is pretty direct.
Mozilla just released Firefox Mobile for Nokia's Maemo and the N900. But the real sink or swim platform for Firefox Mobile will probably be Android (at least in the US), unless WinMo dramatically improves with 7's release. Apple locks out browsers other than Safari and RIM isn't compatible with Firefox because of its architecture. That leaves:
But Android has a webkit browser. You can get Opera Mini on Android today; however I suspect there haven't been tons of Opera downloads because of the otherwise decent built-in browser. On Android, Firefox will be going up against the lesser known and unattractive but functional Dolphin browser, which provides multi-touch where Android's own webkit browser does not (see Droid, Nexus One).
There are also other independent browsers in the market, such as Skyfire, that Firefox will compete against. The company has the advantage of a huge installed base of PC users and trusted brand recognition. But it's a late-comer and will need to produce something pretty compelling to surmount the Android handset's built-in browser advantage.
Millennial Media's December/Q4 SMART report reflects some interesting trends, but mostly incredmental changes from November. The top ad spending category is now "portals and directories," which includes major Internet players (e.g., Yahoo, MSN). Travel moved up from category number 10 to number eight, as well.
Here are the highlights, as reported verbatim by Millennial:
We don't know all the specific advertisers in these categories but I would argue that at least five (maybe six) of these categories are substantially or mostly concerned with local "on their face":
Turning to handsets and OS market share, here's what Millennial is seeing on its network:
Compare AdMob's smartphone share numbers (North America) from December:
In both cases the iPhone is has the largest share, but on Millennial RIM is second, while AdMob's network shows Android handsets second to the iPhone. Among the top 20 mobile handsets appearing on Millennial's network, the G1 is the only Android handset reflected to date.
Before IDC Gartner made the same prediction, but by 2012. Both of these firms could turn out to be wrong -- very wrong.
It makes sense that Android will continue to gain, given the number of OEMs building and releasing devices with the OS. Indeed, Google SVP Jonathan Rosenberg, on the Q4 earnings call, said "Android started 2009 with just one device and is now at 20 in 48 countries." And the Verizon Android Droid is credited with dampening some of the iPhone's recent sales momentum: the iPhone sold "only" 8.7 million units vs. the 9.1 - 9.5 million that some of the most bullish Wall Street analysts had anticipated.
OK, Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones in the most recent quarter, but it also sold sold 21 million iPods. The company doesn't break out iPod Touch sales. But while iPod sales are declining, iPod Touch sales are up. At the end of the last quarter there were almost 60 million iPhone OS devices around the globe (including the iPod Touch). Morgan Stanley estimated the number at 57 million in early December.
So let's assume that 5 million of those 21 million iPods are iPod Touch devices. That would put the combined sales of the iPhone OS units at more than 70 million today. So the iPhone OS (not the iPhone itself) has already beaten the IDC Android unit sales projections for 2013.
What happens tomorrow with the iPhone is important for the future success of the platform in the US market. Regardless of whether there's a new iPhone OS or 4G device, if Apple announces that AT&T exclusivity is through and that the handset will be available from Verizon and/or others, we're likely to see Android momentum falter. If not, Android will continue to gain steam.
Apple executives made some comments yesterday, however, that suggested AT&T exclusivity may not be done. They expressed confidence in AT&T and its ability to "fix" network problems that have frustrated and infuriated iPhone users. That kind of remark doesn't sound like one from a company about to walk away from its exclusive relationship with AT&T. But we'll see.
If Apple fails to "cut the chord" tomorrow and broaden iPhone distribution in the US it will cede millions of users to Android. I would be happy using the Nexus One rather than switching to AT&T, with its network's mortally wounded reputation, to get the iPhone (I have an iPod Touch). And while it's not as intuitive or "elegant" as the iPhone, and the apps are not as polished, the N1 generally substitutes. Its speed and screen are better than the current iPhone as well. And the voice-text input features are compelling.
Apple may not see this timing issue as critical. It will exit AT&T exclusivity at some point. If it does so now, it will establish itself on a trajectory to become the dominant smartphone in the US market and Android's rise will be blunted (though perhaps not RIM's, the current market leader). If it waits for 2011, US iPhone prospects will likely have moved on or set their sites on other handsets. All the defectors that are going to head to AT&T for the iPhone have already done so.
As suggested, RIM is a wild card in this discussion and so is Windows Mobile, which is declining now but could get a big boost from WinMo 7. Nokia, regardless of Symbian UI upgrades, will continue to lose share in the US and Europe in the coming 12-18 months. It will remain strong in Asia, Latin America and Africa -- emerging markets that seek lower-cost handsets. Palm, I'm afraid, will be largely an also-ran in this race.
The market for smartphones, however, is very much evolving and in flux. What happens tomorrow (from Apple) could be very significant for both the iPhone and for Android's future in the US. It might be that Apple makes the wrong choice, falters and Android benefits. The thinking that Android will automatically grow to be the world's number two, however, is simplistic.
App store analytics provider Distimo has released its latest report profiling activity in the various app stores. The report points out, among other things, that app prices are highest in Europe and on the BlackBerry. It also shows that the majority of apps in the Android market (65%) are from US developers, presumably catering to the US market. However that will change as Android gains momentum in other markets.
Interestingly, the charts reflecting the top free and paid apps don't show much overlap on the major platforms. Below are graphics from the Distimo report about the top free apps:
Here are a few casual observations. Facebook is universally popular, voice search tools show up across platforms (Bing, Vlingo, Nuance/Dragon). Weather is there a couple of times (RIM and Android). Barcode scanners are also popular. Not reflected above, RedLaser is the top paid app for the iPhone, and two scanners are in the top 10 for Android, according to these data.
Some of the differences in app popularity may have to do with timing. Pandora was released first on the iPhone and was the most popular app that year. Later it rolled out to other platforms and became popular accordingly, while its popularity in the iTunes store declined.
The release is just out, here are the numbers:
Listen in on the earnings webcast at 5 Eastern if you're hungry for more.
Selected bits from the call:
It's always important to point out that AdMob's data come from its network, which is not the same thing as the mobile Internet as a whole. Certain trends may be exaggerated or underrepresented accordingly. But I believe that directionally the data capture what's going on in the broader market. With that caveat, AdMob has released its December, 2009 metrics report.
This report captures handset and smartphone operating system share around the world. Here are some of the regional bullets the company has released:
Here are the market share graphics . . .
Global manufacturer and smartphone operating system share:
Devices Western Europe:
Devices North America:
North America shows strong Android growth above (though it's off in Europe), while Palm is fading. In particular Droid showed significant growth vs. the previous quarter. In AdMob's data BlackBerry is flat or off (BlackBerry had huge international sales last year, which should show up at some point in AdMob's data). Finally Windows Mobile is MIA in these data.
Nokia should see these data (as well as others in the market) as alarming. Symbian will get an update and new UI upgrades this year but it may not be enough in the face of iPhone, RIM and Anroid competition. Nokia has a very strong position in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe but it's losing momentum everywhere else according to AdMob.
As was reported yesterday Google has added some new targeting capabilities to AdWords for mobile devices:
If you've chosen to show ads on iPhones and other mobile devices with full internet browsers, you can now target specific mobile devices or carriers.
This feature makes it easier for you to reach the right users if you have a carrier- or device-specific message. This includes landing pages that have been optimized for a specific device, billing relationships with certain carriers, or mobile apps developed for a specific platform . . .
We're also making sure that ads linking to mobile app downloads will automatically appear only on devices that offer those apps. Plus, the ad will display a 'Download' link instead of a URL. Simply include 'itunes.apple.com/' or 'market.android.com/' followed by the app name in the ad's visible URL, and it will automatically display as 'Download iPhone App' or 'Download Android App.'
Here's what the screen looks like:
As the Google AdWords blog points out this is helpful if the advertiser is targeting a specific type of handset or specific carrier's users for a promotion. But there's also proxy demographic information here too. Ad networks such as JumpTap that work directly with carriers actually provide that data ("by age, gender, context, demographics, location, ethnicity, finance, occupation, handset, and language") to advertisers at varying levels of anonymity. Presumably Microsoft is also getting access to some of that data through its deal with Verizon.
However, the profiles of users of MetroPCS and Cricket are going to be quite different than Verizon for example. Much of this information is out in public.
What's also interesting is that Google is adding carriers for whom there are effectively no smartphones. Boost/Nextel (Sprint) just added its first BlackBerry device and MetroPCS and Cricket have very limited smartphone selection. The prerequisite here for the showing of AdWords in mobile is the presence of a full Internet browser on the handset. This anticipates, in my view, Android devices for these carriers.
This list of check boxes in the screen above will likely become more elaborate and precise over time. For example, the ability to target BlackBerry users (ultimately) might be important for advertisers wanting to reach an enterprise audience or more affluent users in certain cases.
Google's mobile AdSense units have a range of targeting options, including location (which also exits for AdWords). AdMob, which Google is seeking to acquire, offers more elaborate targeting including by gender and age.
According to the Associated Press Google is holding off its formal launch of Android in China:
"It is postponed," Google Inc. spokeswoman Marsha Wang said. She said a launch ceremony planned for Wednesday was canceled but declined to give a reason for the decision or to say when the launch might be rescheduled.
I had thought incorrectly that there were already Android handsets in the market, the world's largest with an estimated 700 million mobile phone subscribers. (Dell's showed/demo'd its Mini 3i handset). When Google announced its bold new policy to no longer comply with Chinese government censorship, we asked how that would affect Android in China.
While Android and Google's search and services can be uncoupled, that hasn't happened on any Android handsets to date. Carriers China Mobile and China Telecom are part of the Open Handset Alliance that supports Android. And HTC had formally announced it intended to introduce two Android handsets into the market this year. Samsung and Motorola are also planning China Android launches. This "standoff" between Google and China is quite significant for Android's future there, as well as the fortunes of all these OEMs banking on the operating system.
Assuming no settlement between Google and China, this means that HTC, Dell and others will need to "strip out" Google search and other services from the Android OS (part of their appeal) in order to continue to operate in the market. Absent such a move it might mean that Android wouldn't enter China (except illegally). But a Google-less Android diminishes the handset/OS somewhat for users -- and certainly for Google.
The iPhone (with Google search) current is in China. The potential withdrawal of Google from China won't necessarily impact the iPhone, which can or could substitute other search and services on the device.
CBS is smartly launching stand-alone apps for local TV affiliates (for the iPhone/iPod Touch) that complement its several national CBS News apps. According to the release, the apps will feature:
Thirteen markets are covered:
WCBS-New York, KCBS/KCAL-Los Angeles, WBBM-Chicago, KYW-Philadelphia, WBZ-Boston, KPIX-San Francisco, KTVT-Dallas/Fort Worth, WCCO-Minneapolis/St. Paul, WFOR-Miami, KCNC-Denver, KOVR-Sacramento, KDKA-Pittsburgh and WJZ-Baltimore.
The analogy in a local directory context would be a flagship "horizontal" app complemented by more vertical apps covering specific categories -- as AT&T has tried to do with YP Mobile and its "Have2" verticals.
When is Windows Mobile 7 coming out? Is it 2011 or . . . next month? The rumors are all over the place. Just last week we heard that Windows Mobile 6.5.3 would soon be available. And now Bloomberg is speculating that in fact the new OS may be shown next month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona:
Microsoft Corp. plans to unveil its new mobile-phone operating system next month, a bid to reverse market share losses to Google Inc. and Apple Inc., according to a person familiar with the matter.
The company may use the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to demonstrate the new software, called Windows Mobile 7, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because the plans are confidential. The decision isn’t final, the person said.
Now there's a difference between showing and releasing the software, but showing it in February would probably mean releasing it no too many months later. Windows Mobile is in something of a race against time to generate more excitement among OEMs and consumers for the operating system. The OS's market share is clearly under tremendous pressure:
Source: StatCounter, Jan 2010
Source: AdMob, November 2009
There's also considerable speculation this morning that it's not 7 but "6.6" that will show up in Barcelona. Regardless, I'm hopeful that Windows Mobile X (next one) is enough of an improvement to get Microsoft back in the mobile OS game.
Mobile app and games discovery provider Mplayit published a comparative list of most-popular apps on the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms. It's based on a survey "of 42,000 visitors to Mplayit on Facebook between 20 December 2009 and 5 January 2010." One question to ask is whether these apps are in fact intrinsically the strongest in their respective categories or whether other factors are fueling their popularity.
The Mplayit release doesn't attempt to answer the question or explain why certain apps may be popular across platforms. In the case of a Yelp, Facebook or Pandora, there's a strong brand there that transcends the mobile OS and that people are responding to, for example. But the fact that some "no-name" apps beat out brands such as "Buddy Mob" on beating Facebook or Aloqa beating Yelp on Android (during the survey window) suggests that a compelling or engaging app can drive adoption without substantial brand equity or recognition.
Here's the chart:
Google has said that its infrastructure was hacked in an apparent effort to get at Chinese dissidents' GMail accounts. The implication is that the Chinese government was behind the attacks. The company has taken a laudable and very strong stand and said it will no longer comply with Chinese government censorship. It also said that if it cannot operate in an uncensored way going forward it may exit the market entirely.
According to the Google blog post:
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
China is the world's largest mobile market with 700 million subscribers, more than twice as large as the US population as a whole. The Internet advertising market in China is less mature than in the US and Europe, but over time it would be worth many billions off dollars. Baidu currently dominates search on PCs with roughly 65% - 80% market share.
This is a very gutsy move on Google's part. There's no reason to believe the Chinese government will allow Google to operate on an uncensored basis. So that may mean -- if Google is true to its public word here -- that it must say goodbye to the world's largest Internet market.
Presumably Android handsets would still be available in China (e.g., the Dell Mini 3) but they would likely have to be stripped of Google Search and other services.
Windows Mobile 6.5.3 will reportedly be available soon. The OS is more "finger friendly" and adds some clear keyboard improvements. The video below offers a nice walk-through including the keyboard demo.
Many people were surprised that Windows Mobile was so little discussed by Steve Ballmer in his keynote at CES last week. It remains to be seen whether Windows 7 can address all the "issues" with the mobile OS that make it less competitive among consumers than Android and the iPhone. However the 6.5.3 upgrades appear to be moving in the right direction.
Here's an eWeek visual tour of "10 must see windows mobile smartphones from CES."
Microsoft believes that its three screens + cloud strategy will help it with consumer mobile phone sales. Microsoft's Robbie Bach also raised expectations for WinMo 7 in a recent discussion with financial analysts:
I have had the pleasure of seeing [Windows Mobile 7], looking at it and playing with it. I am certainly confident that we are going to see it as something that is differentiated and sets the bar forward, not in an evolutionary way from where we are today, but something that looks, feels and acts and performs completely different.
Separately LG, a WinMo partner, said that about 50% of its handsets will be Android phones going forward:
Nam Yong, LG's chief executive officer, said the firm's smart phones will focus on Android, an operating system for the mobile devices provided by Google. Smart phones, which allow access to wireless Internet, differ from traditional cell phones in that they require an operating system.
"We will have smart phones running on Windows Mobile, but about 50 percent of our smart phone models will run on Android," Nam told reporters at a trade show in Las Vegas.
As we've argued Windows Mobile and Android compete more directly than Android and the iPhone because of the positioning of the two operating systems. All of Microsoft's major handset partners, LG, Samsung, HTC, Sony, are making (or "diversifying into") Android phones as well. Former partners such as Motorola and Palm are no longer using the platform.
A great deal is riding on the success of Windows Mobile 7. Microsoft needs it to do what Windows 7 did vs. Vista: redeem the platform.
Mobile analytics company Flurry saw app downloads on iPod Touch devices far exceed those on iPhones on Xmas day, suggesting that there were a lot of new iPod Touch owners out there. This would also be suggested by Amazon's electronics bestsellers list, which featured two iPod Touch devices in the top five.
Now AdMob has posted data that seem to argue the same thing: there were a lot of iPod Touches given this holiday season as gifts:
In terms of actual devices, there was a 57% increase in the number of iPod touch devices used on December 26th compared to average daily usage of the week before Christmas. Device growth was strong across the top markets, particularly in the UK.
To the extent the iPod Touch is received as a gift by a minor, the argument goes, this is conditioning that person to become a later iPhone buyer.
Gizmodo has what look like screenshots of PowerPoint slides from a Google presentation about the forthcoming Nexus One, to be announced (in all probability) on January 5 at a special Google press event.
According to the Gizmodo report, which relies on a "tipster," the phone will sell unlocked for $530 and with a two-year T-Mobile plan for $180. Let's assume all this is true.
The post also says that there's a single rate plan available, the $79 "everything" plan. That's actually the best post-paid plan on the market in the US, beating Sprint's $99 "everything" plan. The Sprint network, however, is considerably stronger than the T-Mobile network.
Apparently there's a limit of five phones per Google account, which you must have to buy the phone online.
T-Mobile has the HTC G1, the HTC MyTouch 3G and the Motorola Cliq (with "MotoBLUR"). The Nexus One then becomes just the next in line for both Android/Google and HTC. Apparently if you buy the phone at the subsidized price and then cancel the T-Mobile contract you're penalized and must pay the difference between the subsidized and unlocked prices.
You could also buy it unlocked and use it with the AT&T network. However that's unlikely for several reasons, among them the $530 price and the battered reputation of AT&T's network. The GSM Nexus One won't work on Sprint or Verizon's networks in the US.
I could be quite wrong but I doubt that Google will sell many of these handsets for $530. One question I have is: Will it be avaiable to hold and test in T-Mobile stores. The rumors leading up to the announcement suggest it won't, which will also negatively affect sales.
In the end then this turns out to be not the one "Google Phone" but another HTC Android handset, among a growing number. Yet it has the distinction of being (for now at least) the best Android handset in the market -- better and faster than Droid.
Below are comScore data -- extrapolated from consumer surveys -- showing the breakdown of mobile operating systems and handsets in the US. The headline that many people are running with this data is "iPhone overtakes Windows Mobile for the first time." But the other thing to focus on is how many non-smartphones there still are in the market -- almost 200 million. Also note that Symbian has more users (although I remain bearish on Nokia's US prospects).
In discussion after discussion I just hear companies writing off non-smartphone users. They make the facile assumption that smartphones will be 50% of the market in 2011. That may not happen because of the cost of dataplans and replacement cycles (read: the availability of carrier discounts) taking a bit longer to kick in. We see smartphone growth and adoption too but it may not happen quite as quickly as people think or are hoping.
That said, smartphones will be where the growth and Internet action are; however non-smartphones (and SMS marketing by extension) will be around for a long time. SMS marketing extends to smartphones as well; that's the point: there's major reach in the segment.
I think there are untapped opportunities in this group (see MSFT OneApp, voice search) that someone will profit from or leverage. Certainly marketers should be looking at these numbers and thinking about a "diversified" approach to mobile advertising and marketing.
Consumers are going to want something that resembles an Internet experience (or at least access to Internet content), call it "Internet lite," on these handsets as well.
Compilation/chart is FierceWireless