Archive for July 2011
The next Android vs iOS battle is shaping up between two challengers in the U.S.: The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S 2 and anticipated next iPhone model. What makes this interesting is that comparisons between the two platforms are generally looked upon differently, depending on which platform you support.
Apple’s iOS handset sales are mainly generated from from one new model per year, although older models also contribute. Android sales are derived from a vast number of different phones using Google’s platform.
The U.S. is poised, however, to see these two companies go head to head. It’s expected that Apple will announce and release a new iPhone in August or September. Samsung introduced the Galaxy S 2 in May, spreading availability to many countries outside of the U.S. and claims 5 million sales in just 85 days.
Several U.S. versions of the Galaxy S 2, varying by carrier, are likely to launch within the next month or two, including at least one for AT&T that may have a hardware keyboard. AT&T accounted for more than 17 percent of all iPhone sales last quarter, so that particular battleground should prove interesting.
While all U.S. carriers have embraced Android, AT&T publicly renewed its commitment to Google’s platform this week. The second largest carrier said it will offer Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread, for all Android handsets it launched in 2011, starting with the Motorola Atrix 4G. Five other handsets already earned a spot on the upgrade list, including the Samsung Captivate, which is last year’s Galaxy S model for AT&T; an then-impressive alternative to Apple’s iPhone.
Also impressive are this year’s Android phones; many of which bring either a faster processor, improved user interface, or high-quality camera sensor. T-Mobile’s myTouch 4G Slide gains all three of these features and impressed me over a two-week review period.
At 6.5 ounces, the phone is heavier than most smartphones, but the main reason is due to the 4-row QWERTY keyboard that hides under the 3.7-inch display. A 1.2 GHz dual-core chip keeps the phone moving along quickly and the wide aperture 8 megapixel camera is paired with smart software that supports a fast burst mode, HDR images and wide panoramic views.
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I sort of like stories like these:
The early days of the New York Internet scene were similar to the early days of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. The men and women who pioneered the Internet in the mid-late 90s lived in a time marked by freneticism, enthusiasm and rapid hiring. Innovation was celebrated and there was a real spirit of anything’s possible.
It’s similar in many ways to the pervasive spirit in NYC’s tech community today. Last week, we interviewed dot.com legend Josh Ha
rris, who went from being a bona fide New York City millionaire to bootstrapped artist with a harrowing vision of the future. This got me thinking about how many other great stories from that era need to be told.
All of these entrepreneurs began and remained in the New York City tech community. Never straying from Silicon Alley meant that they found something incredibly special about the small, collaborative and supportive milieu that is still pervasive in New York City’s tech scene today.
They began their careers on the Internet while Yahoo was still hosted on Stanford’s servers. It was a time before standard banner sizes or ad counting technologies. Instead of “Find me on Facebook” it was “Find me at this URL.” Stephan Paternot, Robert Levitan, Rich Forman, Jeff Stewart and Andrew Weinreich are entrepreneurs who didn’t let the collapse of the market and the implosion of the Internet space stop them from continuing to conquer.
Via Into Mobile
Sony Ericsson announced that Yoshihisa (Bob) Ishida will be joining the company as Deputy CEO and Executive Vice President with effect from 1 September. At the same time, Rikko Sakaguchi will be leaving Sony Ericsson to take up a position at Sony Corporation.
Bob will be based at Sony Ericsson’s R&D facility in Lund, Sweden where he will have responsibility for the design centre, and product and portfolio development teams as well as taking on a broader executive role to “enhance integration and alignment across Sony Ericsson.”
Bob is currently Corporate Executive, SVP, in charge of Platform & Partner Strategy and President of Sony’s Home Entertainment Business Group. He previously served as President of Sony’s TV Business Group and VAIO Business Group at Sony Corporation. Recently, Bob has been involved in developing the Android-based Sony Internet TV.
As for the other guy, Rikko Sakaguchi, he’s been at Sony Ericsson since the start up of the Joint Venture in 2001, most recently as Chief Creation Officer overseeing product and portfolio development. Rikko will continue to support Sony Ericsson in his new role at Sony Corporation.
Taken from TNW.
If you’re reading this on TNW then you’re probably not going to be surprised to find out what I’m about to tell you. If it has gotten passed on to you via your Hotmail account and you’re reading it on Internet Explorer, I apologize in advance.
Canadian “psychometric testing” company AptiQuant has gone to work trying to find a link between IQ and the browser of choice for different users (full results, in PDF form, here). With the understanding that those of lower intelligence might be more resistant to upgrades and trying new things, the group’s findings are not all that surprising.
In short, the lowest end of the scale more consistently chose to use Internet Explorer 6 (heck, even Microsoft doesn’t like IE6) while moving up the scale the smartest people studied are Opera users. Camino, IE with a Chrome frame and then Safari make up the remainder of the top 4, with Chrome itself holding the 6th spot.
AptiQuant states, in its conclusion, that the study “showed a substantial relationship between an individual’s cognitive ability and their choice of web browser.” The company went on to discuss the importance of using browsers that support modern Webstandards so as to lower the overall cost of Web development.
I guess what they’re saying is that you can blame the dumb people for all of the extra effort that devs have to expend, as well. Thanks, morons.
Apple is now more liquid than the United States government, the Financial Post reports.
As the government struggles to resolve the debt ceiling debate, the operating balance in Washington is at US$73.768 billion and falling.
Meanwhile, Apple has US$75.876 billion – and that number isn’t going anywhere but up as the company continues to break records and make its competitors look bad.
Apple’s lead over the government is more pronounced than it would seem if you treat cash as more valuable than credit. Washington’s “operating balance” refers to the amount of money it can spend before it hits the debt ceiling.
The phrase “richer than a small country” is not uncommonly heard, but this is another thing altogether. Congratulations Steve Jobs — you’re now more powerful than one of the largest nations on Earth.
Again an interesting article by Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York.
Luxury brands such as Gucci, Burberry and Hugo Boss are using commerce-enabled videos and pioneering what one expert is calling the future of ecommerce.
Luxury brands can now see direct ROI and gauge consumer engagement with video efforts through clickable videos as well as increase brand recall. In fact, 80 percent of consumers will click at least once throughout the two or three minutes they are viewing a video, according to findings from Clikthrough Inc.
“I think the biggest thing [for luxury brands] is to drive brand recall,” said Abe McCallum, founder/CEO of Clikthrough, San Francisco, CA.
“They are much more likely to recall your message when they click and engage.”
Clikthrough has worked with Hearst, Armani Exchange, Gucci, Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein.
Clickable video offers another way for brands to engage with consumers beyond the regular touch points.
On average, Clikthrough found that consumers spend 32 percent more time with an interactive video than with a video that does not allow consumers to click for more information.
“This is great because brands only have 24 hours in a day and they want people to spend more time with their brand than any other brand,” Mr. McCallum said.
In addition, the more time consumers spend with a brand’s video, the more likely they are to recall the brand.
In focus groups conducted by Clikthrough, 89 percent of people who click on something will recall what they clicked on.
When they do not have the ability to click, only 7 percent of consumers have been able to remember what they saw.
“It’s a huge variable of those that can recall now that they’ve taken an active interest rather than a passive experience,” Mr. McMallum said.
For example, Hugo Boss used clickable video for the brand’s summer catalog that allowed users to click-and-buy during the video.
In addition, Gucci recently released its first shoppable video for the pre-fall collection (see story).
Also, Calvin Klein used click-through technology in a behind-the-scenes video with GQ for its men’s winter collection.
Many brands have recently used video to stream live runway shows, display new ad campaigns and give behind-the-scenes glimpses to consumers.
For example, Bottega Veneta recently released a video to highlight the brand’s first fragrance (see story).
In addition, Burberry has tapped YouTube to uniquely display the features of its Brights eyewear collection (see story).
Making the videos clickable to further engage consumers and increase brand recall is a natural step forward.
After obtaining the software, the process of making items in the video clickable only takes about 15 minutes, per Mr. McCallum.
Also, brands can see direct ROI from video efforts by allowing viewers to click on items in the video and be brought directly to a product page where they can buy the product.
Of the consumers who click through during videos, 10-17 percent click-to-buy, per Mr. McCallum.
With clickable videos, brands also have the ability to share information such as clicking on a product and reading about the inspiration or clicking on a model in a runway show and reading a short biography.
Sharing information as well as having click-to-buy products helps the consumer to view the video as less of a marketing tool and allows them to further engage, according to Mr. McCallum.
There are some best practice that brands should keep in mind when creating shoppable video, per Mr. McCallum.
“We recommend making as many objects in the video clickable as possible, such as products, people and places,” Mr. McCallum said.
“We find it important not to just have clickable products but also let them click on peoples and places to let people know more,” he said.
Brands should also keep the videos short, between two and three minutes.
Lastly, the click-through ability should not seem like an intrusive feature and be done in way that does not interrupt the flow.
For instance, directors could shoot the video however they want and brands can use their own creative to enable commerce.
Shoppable videos are on their way to becoming the future of ecommerce, per Mr. McCallum.
“We see it as an oncoming trend and the brands we have worked with are seeing the value of it more and more,” Mr. McCallum said.
“However, a lot of fashion brands are just getting used to creating videos and because we are a secondary offering to video,” he said.
“ Until they create more video we cannot increase the amount of clickable videos.”
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York
You are not your Twitter timeline. That much is obvious. Your Twitter experience is created by people you follow. If you’re on Twitter to grow, to become a better professional player in your field, then read along. Because it’s time to reconsider who you’re following and why. Why now? Why NOT now?
Your interests are represented on Twitter by the accounts you follow. These can be quickly divided into people like you and me, and brands like TheNextWeb. Over time you start following more and more accounts and apart from the incidental unfollow because someone’s spamming your timeline, chances are you haven’t really cleaned up your timeline at all. When you’ve been on Twitter for a year or two, three or more, your timeline gets pretty crowded.
Time to change
Does that guarantee it’s time to change? Ask yourself, is Twitter giving you the information you want? It comes down to these three options:
Twitter reflects who I am now
Twitter reflects who I want to be
Twitter reflects who I used to be
If you use Twitter to grow as a professional, you need to be able to pick one of the above three options. So take a long hard look at your Twitter timeline. And then decide whether your timeline needs updating. Because if you want Twitter to remain challenging and relevant, you want Twitter to reflect who you want to be. If that isn’t the case, you might want to clean up your account.
Posted on 26 July 2011
Ford is no longer the sole automotive company looking into mHealth technology. On July 21, 2011, Toyota presented plans for a vehicle that could detect electrocardiography (ECG) in order to monitor a driver’s heart rate.
Unlike Ford’s hands-free design, Toyota’s ECG technology would be based on driver contact with the steering wheel, where the sensors are located.
After the driver has activated these direct-contact sensors by maintaining hand contact with the wheel, any abnormal information is recorded via a single-lead ECG signal. This information is then transmitted to a display that alerts the driver to any symptoms that might require medical attention.
In addition to indicating immediate health issues, Toyota intends for this new technology to serve as a daily checkup for drivers, which would alert them to any irregularities that might pose serious health problems in the future.
Heart monitoring technology is one of the many developments that Toyota is utilizing to expand driver safety outside of the typical airbag or skid control technologies present in today’s vehicles. Therefore, by implementing plans for including mHealth technologies within vehicles, both Ford and Toyota are taking steps toward creating a product that is responsive to consumer needs and safety concerns.
By Mike Truskowski
The honeymoon of the mobile application industry is over. The fight for users – and the challenge of building a sustainable flow of money from them – has arrived. And it will only get tougher.
Raise your hand if you have a smartphone. Now think about your friends, family and colleagues. More hands up, right?
The popularity of these devices has ballooned from 9 percent of mobile phone sales in 2009 to a projected 50 percent by 2013, according to Gartner.
Hardware manufacturers and service providers are having a great time trading up their users to higher-margin handsets and contracts.
But perhaps the greatest untapped opportunity afforded by the smartphone revolution belongs to a third party: the providers of mobile apps and mobile content.
In the balance
With only one small screen to navigate, the mobile user is a captive audience. However, as the number of competing platforms, channels and applications grows, and the fight for consumers’ attention intensifies, turning a mobile app into a sustainable, profitable venture will become increasingly difficult.
Will ad revenues alone be enough for app backers to achieve this sustainability?
For apps built around the freemium model, how will developers know and establish the right balance between paid and ad-supported users?
Where firms do decide to charge for their software, content and other features, what will the most successful pricing models look like?
Those are just a few of the fundamental questions facing someone who wants to make money with apps.
In 2001, our firm explored the challenges of selling content online. Back then, those who were brave enough to put a price tag on their offering based their decisions more on “gut feeling and guesswork than hard data.”
On the 5th of May, I posted an attempt by XXX to answer the question XXX. Now lets see what the same research group thinks about ‘Mobile App Development: Tools that help developers digging for gold’.
26 July 2011
By Egle Mikalajunaite
With the smartphone app market continuously growing it has become standard business practice, especially for media, consumer goods, automotive, and food companies to develop their own applications and benefit from a new channel to public and consumers.
Both publishers and developers taking up an app development project face a list of challenges, including, but not limited to:
- High costs: App development services tend to be costly, especially for more customized, complex apps. Firms must decide whether it’s better to develop apps in-house or outsource them to an external specialized developer. It’s also worth considering regional differences in app service charges, and what additional costs offshoring might bring.
- Reach fragmentation: Even more, with growing market fragmentation where Apple’s iOS is no longer the sole platform, it is not enough to have apps adapted to a single platform. To reach as wide as possible a user base companies often need to consider multi-platform development, which significantly increases expenses, and prolongs time to market. Companies need to decide on what platform to start with and how many platforms to cover.
- Time to market: Developing a complex app for multiple platforms with a foreign developer can take 6-12 months, or even more. There are a variety of approaches that could help to reduce time to market. Developers in emerging markets tend to be cheaper but slower. Some developers are more experienced on multi-platform developer, whereas others have a better industry oriented portfolio.
- Unmeasured risk: Many small, or medium sized companies, that have never published an app, have a very vague idea of what challenges arise in app development. It makes sense to consider a variety of ready-made white-label solutions, that have already been market tested, and often come with app distribution and management support
Key challenges in today’s smartphone app development market
Solutions for these challenges are not easy and depend highly on companies’ needs and motives for developing a smartphone application. Understanding the market helps companies to make the right strategic decisions. (Find more in our new report “The Market for Mobile Application Development Services” that gives answers to these questions.) To ease these challenges, tools that help to reduce application development cost, time to market and risks have poured into the market.
Solution tools for these key challenges
There are two main categories of those tools: industry specific and multi-platform development tools.
- Industry specific white label solutions: Most companies that want a mobile application for marketing purposes and to have a presence in the smartphone ecosystem, do not need sophisticated software. They do not have in-house app development resources and outsource such projects. However customised app projects can cost tens to hundreds of thousands dollars per app. Many of these companies could make use of emerging industry specific solutions that come as white-label applications. They include a standard set of functionality and sometimes content, that represent common mobile use cases of a specific industry. Such solutions claim to reduce app project costs by as much as 90%, and reduce time to market from 3-6 months to 10-20 days or even less.
Based on our in-depth overview of almost 40 white-label solutions, nearly 1/3 of these target such general marketing needs, followed by companies focusing on news and information, those selling goods via smarthpone apps and other common use cases.
- Multi-platform development tools: Both in-house developers, and outsourcing companies, need to reach customers on multiple platforms. Developing separate customized applications for each targeted platform is costly and inefficient. A group of software vendors have tried to overcome market fragmentation problems by offering a variety of cross-platform development tools, aiming to ease the app migration process. Offering various combinantions of native and web app development, these tools claim to reduce the costs of additional applications by 80%, in addition providing app distribution and management services.
Despite the growing supply, the tool market is still in its nascent stage, and solution capabilities are relatively limited. Nevertheless, developers and potential app publishers already have quite a number of products to choose from. However, the majority of those tools make use of web-development technologies.
The mobile app development tool market
Naturally, growth of HTML5 and increasing web-app capabilities have reduced the need for native development, and companies with lower requriements will surely make use of these alternative app development approaches. In many cases it is worth while to give up a certain level of quality in order to reduce development costs. But for those targeting excellent user experience, and building successfull outstanding apps, native development will be the way to go at least for the next couple of years. Similarly, white-label apps will play a role only for long-tail apps. They particularly target small to medium-sized companies, who could not make it to the market otherwise.
The market for mobile application development services
The mobile app development service market is today already twice as big as the app download market, and will continue to grow over the next couple of years, wich presents a unique opportunity for mobile developers to get a share of the US$100 billion market.
Read our new report “The Market For Mobile Application Development Services“ and prepare yourself for the market with information about regional average daily rates, profit margins and development periods, insight into how to reduce outsourcing costs and tips on which platforms to choose for the best business opportunities.
The report includes:
1. Demand for mobile apps (now and in the future)
2. Average project size, daily rate, margin and development period (by regions)
3. Market size (now and in the future)
4. Costs for outsourcing
5. Cost reduction for development
6. Multi-platform solutions
7. Main customers
8. Platforms with biggest demand for apps (now and in the future)
9. Key trends and barriers to market (now and in the future)
… and much more
Click on the report cover to find out more:
It features 38 industry and 25 multi-platform app development tools that help to reduce development cost and time.
– Click here to preview the report and read the table of contents.
– To get further information about the report please call us (+49 30 60 989 3366) or write us an email.
– To get a one-on-one discussion with a research analyst please write an email