$7 Billion and 2015: In-App Mobile Ad Spending to Skyrocket

Mobile Ads

Billboards, commercials, radio, mobile ads…which ones leads the pack? Well, the fact that mobile advertising reaches the customers on the most personal level, right in the palm of their hands, it wins, and consequently, in-app advertising spend across all mobile devices will reach $7.1 billion by 2015, up from $2.4 billion in 2012, according to a new forecast from research firm Juniper.

Innovation in Mobile Advertising

Interesting fact-chains at work percolate to the surface. The more engaged a user is with the advertising material, the more likely they are to click on it, and with companies using apps to increase the interactivity of their ads, engagement with mobile advertising will rise. The trick is mastering what innovative brands are doing across the world, using rich media ads not only to draw consumers in with highly appealing experiences, but also to adapt adverts to meet their business needs. This could mean adding items like a map of nearby stores to an ad, or even a button which dials a sales line so the user can instantly get all the information they want.

This past year, itself, offered quite some motivation for mobile advertisers and marketers across the legion. Digital advertising revenues reached a new high of $31 billion in 2011, up 22 percent year-over-year. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the mobile segment experienced the fastest growth of all advertising categories, raking in 2011 revenues of $1.6 billion.

Critical Lessons in Mobile Marketing

Consumers are spending ever more time using apps on their smartphones and tablets and it is crucial to ensure that marketing material is adapted to suit that ecosystem. However, while some brands have been willing to experiment with mobile advertising, there are many more that have yet to even develop a suitable mobile website. These brands risk missing a key opportunity to reach consumers, which is critical when you consider that mobile has higher response rates than those seen anywhere else.

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Blackberry Black Forest Tablet: Some Just Don’t Give Up, Do They?

Blackberry Black Forest Tablet

The old adage of “if you don’t get there once, keep trying” seems to come alive when looking at embattled-Blackberry maker RIM’s outlook. Certainly not getting anywhere with the Playbook tablet, RIM is one tough warrior to put down with its latest 2013 plans into perspective.

Redemption….Only A Tablet or Two Away?

Now, in late June of this year, RIM said that it was delaying the launch of the much-awaited BlackBerry 10, the next version of its operating system, and shares fell 20 per cent after the announcement. While it seems that the overall changes and tumults that the company has had to put through over the past year, have taken a toll on the planning and production front, a new internal document that shows the roadmap for 2013 sheds light on the newly-augmented vision.

And that’s where the Black Forest tablet comes in. It is rumored to sport a 10-inch screen (larger than the PlayBook’s 7-inches), and could have as much as 128GB of storage.

10″ Tablet: A Shot at Apple iPad?

This past quarter, RIM sold 7.8 million devices, a figure highlighted at Google’s I/O developer conference where the search giant announced one million Android activations every day. With that sort of traction from the other elements of the Android ecosystem, companies like RIM can actually afford to float out the next, prospective “iPad killer.” The first product details leaked out into the internet dimension clearly hint a head-to-head, pound-for-pound jab at the iPad, with numbers like 128 GB, 4G and 10” coming into perspective.

Overally, the market is going to shape-up quite fiercely. First, the Samsung-Apple battles should finally have some level of solid outcome and that should impact market dynamics. Secondly, with the Apple iPad Mini coming out towards the Holiday Season, the excitement has already started to build up. Let’s see what the remaining months hold for us!

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Apple iPad Mini: Something for Everyone’s Wallet?

Apple iPad

A “smaller, cheaper iPad.” Wouldn’t those headlines just dominate wish lists as well? Seems like it could become reality by year-end, as Apple plans to enter Google and Microsoft’s emerging, niche in the intensely heating-up tablet market.

Building on Top of A Solid Tablet Market Position

Insider sources have revealed hat the new model will have a screen that’s 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally, less than the current 9.7-inch version, albeit, it won’t have the high-definition screen featured on the iPad that was released in March. Since Apple may want to position it for the year-end shopping hoopla, the announcements could come somewhere around October, similar to what happened with the Amazon KindleFire.

And that’s exactly the segment where the device is intended to eradicate competition, undercutting the ambitions of Google, Microsoft and Amazon to dominate that tier. In terms of the price, it will go head-to-head with Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, both of which have 7-inch screens and cost $199.

Apple iPad Mini Will Disrupt Market Dynamics

Since the iPad went on sale in April 2010, Apple has dominated the tablet market, which is predicted by DisplaySearch to reach $66.4 billion this year. Controlling 61 percent of that turf, according to Gartner Inc., Apple’s rivals are eager to gain at least some sort of traction. That percolates from Google Nexus 7 tablet announced in San Francisco last week, as well as the Microsoft Surface, with a screen size similar to the current iPad.

However, the sheer brand-equity that the iPad has garnered, is sure to translate into the success of a smaller version of the same device, and when that happens, the market is sure to experience a polarized environment, with much of the sales heading towards Apple’s way.

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Here Comes the Google Nexus 7 Tablet to Rival iPad

Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Innovation, and the table wars, are two things that can’t seem to hit rockbottom these days. Just when we thought it would be safe to leave the Apple iPad the prime contender for this year, the giant-named-Google will launch its cost-effective Nexus 7 tablet at the Google I/O developer’s conference this week in San Francisco, co-branding it along with Taiwanese Asustek.

Latest Version of Android, Google Jellybean, to Debut Along

Gartner estimates the tablets market to double this year to 118.9 million units , and it seems Google is definitely hungry for a good slice of the pie. Though Android sports more than half of the smartphone market share, tablets with the software have won less than half the iPad’s share, and all this, amidst pressure from the new Microsoft Surface tablet unveiled this month, and showing some strong sales promise. The device is also set to showcase the latest OS from Google, termed as “Jellybean.” With a $199 price tag, it does seem recluse to the iPad’s $499 territory, but it might as well help Google to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.

Tablet Market Dynamics & Crossed-Fingers

Now, the buzz around the analyst world is that there’s been a host of iPad-contenders over the past few months but none has really posed a serious threat to Apple’s dominance and market-position. With Google and Microsoft entering the ring, it obviously is bigger than someone like Amazon, and all it takes is one market-breaker to do the job, imitating the likes of what Samsung Galaxy did to the Apple iPhone. And soon enough, it could be very similar to following the smartphone battles every quarter, to see whether Samsung made the top-cut or California’s hottest tech export. Whatever it may be, it’s fair to say that the Apple iPad is still to continue leading for what remains of this year, but since it’s the technology world, fingers crossed!

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New LG Voice Assistant Technology to Tackle Apple iPhone Siri

LG Optimus LTE 2 Smartphone

LG introduced the Optimus Pad LTE earlier this year and after a less-than-enthusiastic reception for its second Android tablet the company is ready to leave this market behind. The announcement, coming back after the Microsoft Surface tablet hit the markets, may be a smart move, especially since the company is revving-up its smartphones with technology such as the new voice assistant, LG Quickvoice.

LG Tablet Business Being Put on Backburner

One of the world’s largest electronics OEMs out there, producing anything from mobiles to home appliances, LG is currently trying to turn around its mobile-phone business after losing the global third-place spot to Apple earlier this year. Their most recent Optimus 4x HD has got positive reviews around the web and the upcoming Optimus LTE2 looks to overtake it. The company also makes Windows-based laptops, but is not among the top five vendors, and says it remains open to making devices using Microsoft’ Windows Mobile OS, something that Nokia has used to its benefit, concentrating on the likes of Lumia to regain market position.

LG Quick Voice, A Potential Limelight Winner, Perhaps?

Now that it has plans to follow rivals Apple and Samsung in launching a voice-activated assistant for its smartphones, “Quick Voice” is being rolled out in LG’s base country of Korea on the company’s Android-powered Optimus phones. It will bring natural voice recognition to various tasks on the phone, including writing texts, triggering voice calls, inputting contacts and setting calendar appointments, and will work with 11 applications in total, such as voice maps, weather, web search etc. After its initial run on the Korean scene, the company plans to take the technology global, but will it be a popular game-changer? Time will tell.

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HTC One X: A Shot at Revival?

HTC One X Smartphone

It’s no secret that days when the HTC Wildfire was an item-for-sure on everyone’s wish list are over. However, it’s no secret either that HTC is well-known to make comebacks, and it sure did with the gorgeous new HTC One X, a smartphone that could do for  the company what the Lumia series has done for Nokia so far.

Grace and Performance, All in a Phone

It’s pretty clear from the focus that companies are now putting on the body of the phone, that style does matter as once the technology did, take the iPhone 5 for example. As far as the One X goes, a polycarbonate body that features a matte finish gives it a really sassy gloss. Attractive and comfortable, it blends perfectly into the tapered edges of the Gorilla Glass front of the phone that protects its 720 x 1280 pixel Super LCD2 display.

Offering a dot pitch of 312dpi, the One X’s 4.7-inch HD touchscreen is more than sharp enough to make even the smallest of fonts look entirely readable. Above the display on the front face of the phone is the secondary 1.3 megapixel camera for video chatting, which supports the primary 8 megapixel camera, with LED flash, that resides on the back of the phone. And with a weight of only 134g (4.7oz), the phone won’t be too much of a burden on the pocket.

Smartphone Useability, the Key to Survival

There was a time when HTC’s Sense user interface was the belle of the smartphone ball, adored by all. While that might have waned a bit in recent years, with the new Sense 4, HTC has started moving back in the direction of favored and refined. The screen is littered with widgets that enhance the beauty and useability of the phone, anything from clocks to apps. The email client supports any mail server with POP, IMAP or Exchange and inbox configurations as you’d prefer. However, there is a flipside to the coin, basically, no 4G. Otherwise, in terms of apps, while HTC itself doesn’t offer much, the Google Play store is littered with hundreds of apps to make the ownership of this phone worthwhile.

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All-American Smartphone Battle: Android Losing Ground, Apple iOS Raking It In

And here it is folks, the numbers are out for first half of 2012, and so is the winner. Seems like the pendulum keeps shifting and the turf keeps sporting a new winner. Whilst Android still leads the race, powering about half of all smartphones across the US market, the graphs indicate a declining trend, whilst iOS turns the heat on.

Above 100 Million Smartphone Users

According to data from comScore’s latest survey conducted across a userbase surpassing 100 million, Android ran on 50.8 percent of U.S. smartphones in April 2012, down from 51 percent the previous month, but up from 48.6 percent in January. Apple’s iOS follows Android at 31.4 percent, increasing from 29.5 percent in January. The BlackBerry platform continues its worrisome form, slipping another 3.6 percentage points between January and April to tangle in only about 11.6 percent of the U.S. smartphone market. The Microsoft Windows platform slipped from 4.4 percent in January to 4 percent in March, and Symbian fell from 1.5 percent to 1.3 percent.

Text Messages & Changing Platforms

Seems as if IM from leading platforms such as Vopium is gaining ground, as text messaging dipped slightly in April. 74.1% of U.S. subscribers sent a text to another mobile device, down from 74.6 percent in January. Albeit, it’s not like mobile messaging is declining anytime soon, with Pew’s “Internet & American Life” project indicating 97% of mobile users as avid text fans. Furthermore, app downloads continue to show upward trends as 50.2 percent of subscribers used at least one downloaded application, up from 48.6 percent in January, and 49 percent accessed the mobile browser, up from 48.5 percent three months earlier. Overall, it spells good news for the mobile world, the more the users, the rapid rate of tech evolution.

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Nokia Lumia 610: “Cheapest Windows smartphone” yet

New Nokia Lumia 610

What is dubbed as the budget-concious customer’s dream-set was announced at the Mobile World Congress, back in February, keeping in line with Nokia’s comeback strategy of releasing more affordable Windows-based models. Set to launch during the first week of June, with UK telcos on-board, the Nokia Lumia 610 is set to compete in the hottest smartphone segment for this summer.

Nokia’s Push for Volume-Based Revenue Strategy

The new Lumia 610 will push the Windows Phone mobile platform against Android’s more budget minded handsets. Running Windows Phone 7.5 Tango, the OS has been specifically developed by Microsoft to run on smartphones with less powerful hardware. The hardware specifications include a single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 7227A processor which clocks at 800MHz, 256MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a 5MP camera with LED flash and a 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 800×480 pixels.

Priced at just under £100 in the UK,  Nokia hopes this will attract more budget conscious consumers, and pay off in terms of sales volume. Additionally, support is provided for 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Available in black, cyan and pink, dimensions are 119.2mm x 62.2mm x 12.0mm.

Price Limits Equal Performance Limits

Albeit, there’s another side to the coin. Microsoft has promptly warned prospective buyers that the hardware/software combination might struggle or not even run some of the more demanding applications available from the Marketplace. Skype is one such example, as it requires twice as much RAM. Otherwise, the phone itself is said to function very smoothly and offers a near-identical experience to the more powerful Lumia models. During an event in London, it was revealed that the Windows Phone Marketplace has been attracting more developers, a sign that Nokia’s comeback strategy just might be paying off like it should.

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iPhone 5 Not to Have Liquidmetal Body, but Innovation Plays On

Apple iPhone 5

So those who couldn’t afford to sport the ultra-luxurious, hand-made, souped-up Vertu mobile phones were finally relieved that something that, at least seems to give off the essence of affluence, was now going to hit the market. Unfortunately, the bubble has to be, but popped, since the iPhone 5 will not be sporting the sassy alloy known as liquidmetal, even though Apple licensed exclusive rights to its use 2 years ago.

What’s In A Metal, Can Be In a Smartphone

Let’s take a run-down of what the bling-bling really is. Liquidmetal constitutes a class of alloys with an atomic structure similar to that of glass, while incorporating some of the advantages of more traditional materials used in gadgets like smartphones; it is sturdy like metal, but easily cast into complicated shapes like plastic, while being as aesthetically pleasing as glass. Basically, the best of both worlds.

As exciting as it seems to be able to lay hands on something revolutionary, the only issue is that even though the prospects are definitely there, it might not happen anytime soon. From an operational strategy perspective, it does not seem feasible to re-arrange the supply chain such, that it serves as a bridge between the new material and the sheer production scale of Apple’s products, especially given market conditions and the phase through which the smartphone war is passing through. Albeit, something has been put to work, which was highlighted by the inventor of the alloy, Dr.Atakan Peker, when he brought to light the certainty that at least the SIM ejector-pins in the iPhone 3G are made of liquidmetal.

Innovation in Mobile Phones Charges On

It’s not just the type and technology of phones that is on the climb (the rise of the machines, anyone?), but also the hardware itself. Take for instance the Nokia E-Cu concept phone  developed by British designer Patrick Hyland. E stands for environment, and Cu for copper, and the phenomenon around this gadget is that features a copper exterior and a thermogenerator integrated interior that converts heat energy into electric energy, allowing you to charge your phone simply by letting your body heat through as it sits in your pocket!

The Nokia Eco Sensor Concept Nokia’s other green concept phone, the Eco Sensor, pairs a handset with a wearable sensor that could monitor a user’s environment, health and local weather. The sensor, worn on the wrist or around the neck, would be powered by the sun, while the handset’s green quotient would come from reclaimed materials.The future really is folding out, isn’t it?

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Tablets Starting to Dominate Smartphones In Terms of Internet Usage

Tablets Driving Mobile Data

It seems as if data traffic is one good way to guage the impact of devices making way to markets. Some time ago, global research firm IDC shed light on how mobiles will drive more internet usage than wirelines by 2015. Well, the story adds a new complement according to a new study from video optimization firm Bytemobile, revealing that tablet users drive triple the mobile data traffic than smartphones.

iPad Users Ahead of the Frenzy

Leading the revolution are iPad users, a segment that browses 33 Web pages per session, generating about 160 percent more mobile Web usage per session than iPhone users. Network operators might want to keep analytical tabs on this, since the usage of tablets itself is expected to rise significantly. According to estimates from Forrester, one-third of U.S adults will own a tablet by 2016, a number that could swell to 112 million users. The Bytemobile report also provided some interesting insights into consumer mobile video usage.

According to Chris Koopmans, COO of Bytemobile, the company’s latest insights “further validate the need for mobile network operators to take a proactive approach to measuring and managing escalating data traffic.”

Mobile Videos Becoming Leading Past-Time Option

Why it’s really important for network operators to keep an eye out for data usage trends is because it “demonstrates the advantages of optimization techniques such as proactively caching popular videos within the network, which enables operators to stay ahead of subscriber demand and deliver a superior user experience to all customers.” On average a mobile network with a bit rate of 300 Kbps delivers 74 percent of requested videos at 240p resolution. Anna Yong, product marketing manager of Bytemobile’s Mobile Analytics, said that this stat is important because it shows that consumers on slower speed networks will get lower quality video, which may indicate need for carriers to consider optimization or caching technologies to help improve quality.

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