Retailers Gaining Ground With Mobile Shoppers Over Apps: Study

 

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While it’s great to be coming up with the next killer app, it might pay off a bit more to market it strategically, as indicated by a new Nielsen study. A vast chunk of the mobile consumer segment seemed to be surfing through retailer mobile websites using their smartphones, instead of accessing native mobile apps, according to Nielsen.

Mobile Store Right In Your Palm

Let the data speak for itself. 59% of American smartphone owners bought their way through the top five retailer apps, namely Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Walmart, during this previous holiday season. Further, following the Black Friday shopping hoopla, all five experienced a sharp rise in mobile shopping activity. Here’s the interesting part, according to the Nielsen study, although both men and women tend to favor mobile websites over retailer apps, male shoppers are slightly more likely to try an app than their female counterparts. Demographically, that has quite some implications for developers when positioning their apps towards a specific segment.

According to John Burbank, Nielsen’s President of Strategic Initiatives, “Retailers need to think of their business as a multi-channel environment that can potentially include mobile, online, and bricks and mortar stores.”

Customer Satisfaction Still the Key, Even in Mobile Shopping

One may possibly, only possibly, think that the mShopping experience isn’t as detailed as the conventional one, and hence, may only require a toned down version of the ultimate customer service experience. Not. “Winning with shoppers requires a consistent experience across channels that reinforces the values you represent as a retail brand, whether it be price, service, reviews, selection, style or other key attributes.” And Mr.Burbank summarized it pretty neatly.

Apple and Amazon.com lead the market on mobile commerce satisfaction according to a survey of top retail mobile sites and apps issued by customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. Apple’s mobile retail efforts scored 85 out of a possible 100 points in ForeSee’s study, edging past Amazon at 84 points.

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Mobile Technology Driving Social Accomplishment Across the Planet

Mobile Technology and Social Impact

There’s a couple of us that seem to have dedicated themselves to fine causes such as literacy rate increase, poverty alleviation, health awareness promotion etc. It pays off even more to be technology-savvy when it comes to serving humanity, overcoming some of the barriers that may hamper the servitude. More soothing it is to find out the extent to which mobile devices have started to revolutionize social impact and extend its reach to where not possible before.

Spotlight: Vodafone Foundation

A solid proof of concept exists in the form of the Vodafone group’s social arm that has been making significant social contributions across its operating regions. The company’s Red Alert initiative, in collaboration with Telecoms Sans Frontiers & the World Food Programme, is an emergency SMS-fundraising initiative that makes the process of responding to disasters a very streamlined one; enabling customers and employees in 21 countries to donate free of cost via text messaging. Similarly, the immediate setting up of mobile donation platforms in the devastating floods across Pakistan served as a critical niche leading to recuperation efforts.

Of Apps & Peace

And it’s not just the juggernauts that are pitting technology against issue to beat the odds. Souktel, a Moroccan NGO is in the process of developing voice-recognition technology to connect illiterate job seekers with prospective employers, through the uploading of voice CVs. Take it a step further, like they say, “A fellow who does things that count, doesn’t usually stop to count them.” Aviv Heilweil, an Israeli entrepreneur just created Misbaha for Android & iOS, an app that serves as a mobile alternative for the traditional Muslim counting of prayer beads as one progresses through the daily collection of prayers & litany. The word “peace” appears in three languages for several seconds while the app is launching, a message that Heilweil hopes “will seep through.”

At Vopium, we constantly strive to make a positive impact across the communities we serve, and laud all global efforts that resonate our own, whether at the multinational level, or simply sitting down and thinking about fellow human-beings! Heal the world. Make it a better place.

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Used To Googling? Now Try Goggling With Google….And yes, it is Android.

Imagine a world where we all sort of resemble Schwarzenegger from Terminator. Thanks to Google, it just may be the case before the end of 2012. It really sounds like something from Jonny Quest, given the fact that something really , really next generation is being brewed at a secret location in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Some tout this as the beginning of the end of gadgets, is it?

Augmented Reality At Its Finest

On the onset, it’s not really something you could sport around as your average Police shades whilst still enjoying the functionality and the world behind the screen. Engineers at Google expect it to resonate the functionality of a smartphone- addictive, but use when needed.  Being built in the Google X offices, a secretive laboratory near Google’s Mountain View HQs, the goggles will use the same Android software that powers smartphones and tablets. And like those devices, the glasses will be equipped with GPS and motion sensors, camera, and audio inputs and outputs. Through the built-in camera, Google will be able to stream images to its rack computers and return augmented reality information to the person wearing them.

A New Paradigm For Google AdWords

The technology sales aspect aside, one of the most innovative aspects of this latest Google revelation to the world-at-large is the ability to display relative ads. It just starts to make more sense in a real world for someone to be looking for something in a city district, and Google AdWords suddenly displays something from the store right around the block. It also reverberates Amazon and the Kindle Fire strategy, where its own device is used to channel more of its own arsenal to the general populace. A competitor or two for the product, and pretty soon we’ll see the end of gadgets, with the term “market-share battle” taking a completely new meaning a.k.a the dawn of a new era. Big time.

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Mozilla, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom & Something “10 times cheaper than the iPhone.”…. Simply Scintillating

Boot2Gecko OS

Talk about following in the footsteps. Mozilla, like Google, is all set to become a major player in the mobile world here, I mean, are we looking at this as the “Year of the Mozilla”? The Firefox producer has just announced a major partnership with Spanish telco Telefonica and T-Mobile’s German parent, Deutsche Telekom to produce  “a hardware platform that uses a Qualcomm chipset”, which CNET reports is “ten times cheaper than an iPhone.” The sheer news is melody to analyst ears, since what’s lying ahead is a major market-turf disruption here.

Mozilla’s Entry, LG’s Opportunity

If rumor runs to reality, then, apart from the telco partnerships, LG is set to be Mozilla’s likely choice for being the hardware producer. It bodes well for LG, which has yet to make waves like the ones it does when it comes to flatscreen panels. Interestingly, like every successful OS and its corresponding app store, B2G will be coupled with Mozilla Marketplace (an open app store) since B2G devices would need a dedicated app store to catch the attention of the end users.

Mozilla Marketplace will be open for the developers who in turn will make open web apps for the Firefox browser, and also for the upcoming devices based on B2G OS using CSS, JavaScript and HTML5. Strategically looking at it, one the key flares behind this movement will be the likes of Qualcomm and Adobe throwing their weight behind the HTML5 platform.

Rebel With A Cause

It is obviously no secret, the influence and command that giants like Apple & Google sport over carrier networks in deciding how to best suit their devices. The telco crop that doesn’t seem to feel all too good about the saturation appears to be ideal targets for exacerbating B2G’s forays into markets. For them, a truly open-source marketplace that each carrier can virtually “colonize” with their own assortment of apps is a notion that seems to be gluing in elements of the mobile world to Mozilla’s upcoming revolution. Overall, it is good change for the world, not just the mobile world.

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Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Sony, Google…You Name It!: The 2012 World Mobile Congress

Mobile World Congress

And here it is folks, in all its galore and glory, the globe’s largest and most extensive event of the mobile world. The party’s in the house and yes, the house is full…albeit, Apple is not present at the WMC this year. However, almost every other tablet maker is twitching fingers over the iPad 3 and their strategies to best the upcoming monster. Other than that, loads of good stuff straight from Barcelona.

From New Sets to Overall Industry Settings

Let’s take a look at the broad horizon of agendas this year. Just the sheer assortment of mission-critical topics ranging from branding & marketing to network strategies for carriers leaves one with that feeling of being a kid in a candy shop again. However, one of the pressing issues and summaries of the event will be for operators to streamline strategies, going forth in a world with exceedingly evolving device ecosystems and competitor platforms. That’s probably the reason it was highlighted by the likes of Telecom Italia, Vodafone and AT&T Mobility on the opening day of the congress.

Leading the list in tier-2 are going to be topics revolving around mobile money, the emerging field of mobile health, and most importantly (because it resonates the parallel revolution in the complementing IT dimension), the role of cloud content.

The Mobile App Corner

Never to forget, apps play a critical role in a world dominated by smartphones. Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, IBM and Developerprogram.com are playing crucial roles in defining this year’s framework for discussion and insights. It was critical for Nokia to step up game at the WMC, primarily to showcase the fruits of  its partnership with Microsoft, and that’s just what it did. Should be a good pay-off in the upcoming year for the giant that has strived to financially wake-up lately. And finally, the 17th Annual Global Mobile Awards, with a  record 600 entries from all corners of the mobile world. All of this should serve as a great leap forward in a year when many innovations and market-turf battles are set to play out.

Vopium at the Congress

We as a company have come out with a plethora of innovative apps and a White Label Solution that is set to make major waves with telecom operators. According to CEO Tanveer Shareef, “With the turn-key White Label Solution, telcos can get fast to market with their own brand and visual identity, using a proven and well-tested solution, instead of investing in a lengthy and costly VoIP development process.” Be sure to visit us at Hall 7, Booth 7F12 to learn more about the great things we’ve been coming out with. See you there!

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Google to Replace Motorola CEO After Acquisition Clearance

Google will replace Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha with Google executive Dennis Woodside, according to latest Bloomberg insights. The move to put a Google insider to run the mobile giant makes sense after the $12.5 billion regulatory approval it received last week from the European Union and Department of Justice.

Contenders & Winners at Google’s New Motorola

According to the report, which cited three unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the considerations for the top-post were given to Christy Wyatt, Motorola’s senior vice president for enterprise, and Chief Strategy Officer John Bucherm before Woodside emerged as the winner. Potentially because he oversaw Google’s advertising sales business in the Americas, before taking on the job of overseeing the acquisition in the second half of last year.

Now, there was no official word from Google and Motorola, but remarks from Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson were notable, “We’re focused on running the business and getting the deal closed and wouldn’t comment beyond that on executive changes.” Well, the official mouth is sealed, but industry insiders are hedging Woodside as the top horse here.

Success…At Last!

The DoJ and the EU each gave their final nods to the acquisition last week, eliminating the long-standing obstacle to Google’s mammoth entry into the mobile hemisphere. Albeit, Microsoft recently filed a complaint with the EU over a patent dispute with Motorola, claiming that the handset maker is charging unreasonable terms for certain patents related to it, though Motorola has said it is open to resolving the issue in a “mutually beneficial manner.” Something the search-engine giant will have to pay attention to.

Google has said Motorola will be a subsidiary and will operate at arm’s length, not receiving preferential treatment over other Android licensees. Google will obtain 17,000 wireless patents through its acquisition of Motorola and looks to strategically leverage those patents to shield other Android licensees.

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Vopium Launches Unlimited Packages for Pakistan & India!

Peter Drucker once said something quite-to-the-core, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” And that summarizes our corporate culture at Vopium. We’re all about hearing our customers out and delivering on top-notch communications at great savings.film Rings 2017 online

Keeping in line with our corporate vision, we’ve innovated further and launched two exciting new packages for our Pakistani and Indian consumer bases. Now you can call unlimited to Pakistan and India, all for a flat rate! Wha’ddaya waitin’ for! Click here to find out more about our Call Pakistan Unlimited package, and here for our Unlimited Package for India!

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Sprint Nextel Restructuring & Job Cuts: Is the Telecom Sector Immune Enough?

Corporate Restructuring Strategy

We blogged about how the telco sector had been riding out the tectonic waves from the recession in Europe, albeit, American giant Sprint Nextel still seems to be shuffling its cards to get the right plays out. Last month, they confirmed about an unspecified number of job cuts as part of the senior level reorganization, and it is in execution mode now.

Reorganization: No Major Cuts, Luckily

According to Sprint’s Scott Sloat, the overall enterprise shuffling was dubbed as, “In early January, we announced changes at the senior officer level to consolidate business and consumer sales, business and consumer marketing and wholesale and M2M.” For the job cuts status, “The latest job reductions are a further extension of this consolidation. Sprint’s workforce is approximately 40,000 employees, and we do not expect this to change significantly with this reorganization. Sprint continues to hire new employees into positions that support our corporate strategy.” Now, according to resources affiliated with the company’s internal dynamics, the number of positions affected likely isn’t more than 100, and the cuts will go into effect in March.

US Telecom Sector Still Defining Strategy

From a global telecom industry perspective, what needs to be analyzed is the level of struggle here. Everyone has had to find a rubber tire from the wreckage to stay afloat, but Sprint seems to have had the tougher end of the bargain. We blogged about Sprint’s multi-billion, make-or-break gamble on the iPhone 5, and this all fits in. The merger of its consumer and enterprise sales and marketing divisions is aimed at streamlining the carrier’s operations, as it works to finance its network upgrade and iPhone launch. Not to mention, four executives will be seeing the door through this.

“Because of the enormous investments we’re making this year in Network Vision and in the iPhone, we need to consistently be looking for ways to be more efficient,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse wrote in announcing the changes in January. We’ll be twitching to see how this all pays off towards a Sprint revival.

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The Freedom to Create Mobile Apps & Share: Mozilla 2012

The non-profit, bent-to-innovate-the-internet giant that brought you Firefox, is now taking the open-source revolution to uncharted territory. Mozilla plans to build an open marketplace this year for applications that run across mobile phones, tablets and PCs, enabling developers to distribute and earn revenue, without the restrictions enforced by ecosystems like Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market.

Challenges & Opportunties, the World of App Developers

In its 2012 roadmap, published Sunday, Mozilla outlines the app marketplace. The gyst of it all is that the true essence of internet freedom needs to percolate down to the developer community where it counts the most, the bottom line. Imagine being able to have a revenue channel which virtually does not cost a dime…According to Ragavan Srinivasan, principal product manager, “Mozilla believes that the web is *the* platform and the entire web should be your marketplace.” Further, “to this end, we are building products and services across three different threads.”

This will address critical challenges that developers currently face, such as increased investment in building, maintaining, distributing and marketing apps, loss of control over customer relationships, update frequencies and technologies, fragmentation of the consumer base etc. In mid-2011, Mozilla announced it is at work on an open, web-based mobile OS. According to Mozilla researcher Andreas Gal, the initiative, dubbed “Boot to Gecko”, will “find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps that are–in every way–the equals of native apps built for the iPhone, Android and (Windows Phone).” Seems like the company is really set to make a difference in the mobile arena, as it did with Firefox in the internet arena.

Mobile App Stores, Mobile Payments, the Whole 9 Yards

Mozilla will build a cross-platform web runtime, dubbed Apps/WebRT, that leverages their existing web rendering engines Gecko and WebKit as a base, and then add native OS integration for installing, launching and managing apps. Moreover, Mozilla also will build monetization tools into WebRT and the accompanying marketplace, promising a one-click payment experience. “Using our payment solution, developers will be able to enable 1-click experiences for common transactions such as buying a premium app, in-app payments, subscriptions and more,” the Mozilla report details. This is exciting, and let’s see how it affects the Apple App Store, Android Market, Blackberry App World, and the other giants on the block.

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Apple & Samsung: The Legal Saga Wages On

Seems like Apple wants to warp Samsung into another galaxy, something catalyzed by the head-to-head competition that the popular Galaxy has been giving Apple’s iPhone. The turf just got heated with Apple raising the stake in an intensifying global patent battle with Samsung Electronics by targeting the latest model using Google’s fast growing Android software. And not just that, but it could affect other phonemakers across the Android world.

Courts & Ice Cream Sandwiches

Apple has asked a federal court in California to block Samsung from selling its new Galaxy Nexus smartphones, which use Google’s newest version of Android, called Ice Cream Sandwich, alleging four patent violations including new features such as a voice-command search function. Now, even though Nexus’ launch was delayed by Samsung in October, out of respect to Steve Jobs, it doesn’t seem like the handshake struck any emotional cords. Well, business is business, isn’t it? It is the first phone running on the newest Android version before the platform is widely adopted by hardware giants such as HTC and Motorola Mobility, who are also locked in separate patent disputes with Apple.

According to patent expert Florian Meuller, “Google cannot deny its undivided responsibility for any infringement findings. A preliminary injunction would not prohibit the sale of a Galaxy nexus just because it’s called Galaxy Nexus or looks like one: it’s all about which patents it infringes on.” And hence, the traditional legal tennis match continues from one side to the other.

Samsung Alleged to Be Infringing on Key Features

In a lawsuit filed last week in San Jose, the Galaxy Nexus was alleged to be infringing on key Apple product featuers such as the slide-to-unlock phone, and to search for information by voice, something that the Cupertino giant has been cashing on in the form of Siri, the personal voice assistant. However, Samsung has its side of the story too, “We continue to assert our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple’s claims to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business,”
Given the more than 20 Apple-Samsung legal fights in at least 10 countries for sales turf, it looks like the mobile version of Tom & Jerry is set to continue for quite some time.

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