NFC technology is starting to be widely deployed – except for the iPhone and for webOS, it is available on all other handset platforms. Sadly, so far, it was difficult to find something to test your NFC handset on – it is much like the problem of storing an impressive Galaxy Note II in a Galaxy Note II case where no one can see it.

In the inner city of Milan, a trial has now been set up by a local carrier. It allows users to use their handsets to perform the following actions:

  • Use vouchers
  • Pay for food
  • Find out about sightseeing spots

Find out more via the URL below – videos from the 3GSM can sadly not be embedded:
http://www.mobileworldlive.com/videos/feature-nfc-tour-of-milan/25883

In today’s mobile industry, a variety of monetization methods compete – when creating an application, deciding on the correct revenue generator can make or break the bank.

The analysis house Flurry has now provided us with the following graph – it shows which applications commandeer a high degree of loyalty:
 On app types, user loyalty and monetization

Of course, this also has an impact on the choice monetization methods:

On average, Quadrants I and IV (the right-hand side) are better suited to subscription and advertising-supported models. The main reason is that these apps have perceived enduring value by consumers over a long period of time, and therefore more successfully retain their user bases. For ad-supported apps, high repeat usage translates into more ad impressions served. Categories on the left-hand side, Quadrants II and III, are better suited for one-time download fees. Additionally, quadrants II and IV (top left and bottom right) are likely best for in-app purchase models. For Quadrant II, the intense usage means that consumers find very high value during a short window. This creates the opportunity to offer new content or functionality during “binge” usage. Adroit social game makers are masters at driving in-app purchases during a consumer’s greatest moment of engagement. For Quadrant IV, because the user will return again and again, there also exists the possibility to find new ways of increasing value, which includes offering add-on functionality or content for a fee.

Hit the link above to find out more…

When HP spun out its webOS division into a company called GRAM, many expected the platform to fade away silently. However, it looks like this could not be further from the truth – LG is now evaluating to use the system for its smart TVs.

webOSNation now reports the following:

As for why LG is opting to pursue Open webOS for the smart television lineup, we’ve been told that they aren’t comfortable with Google’s terms for using Google TV (let alone the adoption rate of Google TV) and fear what Apple could accomplish if they were more aggressive in the TV market. So while Open webOS may not be LG’s property, it’s something that they can do with as they please, and with the willing assistance of HP/Gram.

For LG, this makes good sense – the current “basic” systems used by Samsung and other manufacturers are likely to have limited shelf life as they do not support native code…

India is one of the largest markets for mobile applications and mobile web surfing – in fact, many people in India only have a cell phone.

Opera now shares the following bits of data which show what users do while surfing on the run:

Top 10 website categories in India

  1. News Portals
  2. E-commerce
  3. Social networking
  4. Education
  5. Travel
  6. Search
  7. Cricket
  8. Download portals
  9. Job portal
  10. Government websites

What do you think?

Prices tend to change frequently, especially as inflation raises. At some point, using a digital screen becomes more affordable than permanentely reprinting paper price tags.

While running across a store in Vienna, I stumbled across this – a e-ink based price tag:
epaperpricetag tnl e paper displays used for price tags

Looks like the price of the technology is becoming lower and lower – have you seen any weird e-paper applications recently?

Most mobile ad solutions – Microsoft’s system is explicitly excluded here – pay developers only for clicks. Obviously, this motivates coders to create GUI layouts where it is easy to mistakenly tap on an ad to drive revenue.

Pace Lattin now brings us the following interesting quote:

A new study by GoldSpot Media claims that almost 50% of all clicks on static mobile ads are actually “fat finger” clicks. These aren’t just clicks from those who visit McDonald’s a bit too much, but from the general population who accidently click on the mobile advertisement and then close the app within two seconds. This means that they weren’t at all interested in the advertisement, but instead were just trying to exit or move around.

Of course, this causes significant problems for advertisers. Low rates of user engagement lead to lack of further funding, which comes to hurt developers as the clicks become worth less and less.

Have you ever mis-clicked an ad?

Some years ago, the idea of using advertising to monetize business apps was considered insane – now, it is commonplace. The next step in the transformation of the mobile economy now sees developers giving back advertising revenue to their users.

We have now received the following press release – the highlighting is done by yours truly:

NINEPOINTEIGHT LLP releases Sweepstakes Free 1.0, the free iOS app giving away real cash prizes everyday. All sweepstakes are completely free to download and enter. As a special launch promotion, prizes have been set at a guaranteed of minimum of $20.00 USD daily and $100.00 weekly for the app launch through to at least December 1. Prize values will increase in value as the number of users increases.

All prizes are for real money in US Dollars, payable to a users Paypal account. These free sweepstakes are initially being funded out of pocket by NINEPOINTEIGHT LLP as a launch promotion, and long term are made possible by advertising displayed within the app. Note that any clicks on advertisements are not a requirement of entry and are completely optional. Apple is not a sponsor or involved in these sweepstakes in any manner.

. . .

Find out more via the URL below:
http://www.ssfreeapp.com/

At times, it pays to be local. Micromax, the name behind super cheap mobiles and now tablets has emerged as a clear leader for tablets segments in India.

According to CyberMedia Research, Tablet shipment in India grew by 673 percent year-on-year and 59 percent over the preceding quarter to reach 0.55 million units. According to the report, Micromax had a 18.4 percent market share followed by Samsung at 13.3 percent and Apple at 12.3 percent.

The key factors responsible for these figures are an appetite for 7 inch form factor which is favored over 10+ inches and the price factor. While Tablets used to sell for around Rs. 25000 ($1=Rs 55) a year back, their prices have almost reached the Rs 12000-15000 mark, with a horde of vendors offering them for as low as Rs 6000.

We await the launch of the iPad mini and Windows 8 Tablets. Only then would be there some real competition for Micromax. Until  then, we should hail it as the king.

The idea of using cell phones to interact with ads is not new – T-Mobile Austria deployed IR Kiosks all over Vienna about six years ago (see here and here).
anasta 16% of European smartphone users scan QR codes erram 16% of European smartphone users scan QR codes

As cameras in cell phones became better, QR codes replaced the now-unpopular IR booths. Accoding to ComScore, these codes become more and more popular every day:

Smartphone Audience Scanning QR Codes via their Devices
3 Month Average Ending July 2012 vs. July 2011
Total EU5 (DE, ES, FR, IT and UK), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Smartphone Audience (000) YoY Growth % of Smartphone Audience YoY Percentage Point Increase
EU5 17,390 96% 14.1% +4.0
France 2,843 71% 12.5% +1.9
Germany 5,084 128% 18.6% +6.1
Italy 2,765 75% 11.9% +3.2
Spain 3,381 218% 16.0% +9.0
UK 3,316 43% 11.4% +0.6

The result of most of the queries is the obtaining of product information – this is broken down further in the table below:

Result of Scanning QR Codes by Percent of Smartphone Scanning Audience
3 Month Average Ending July 2012
Total EU5 (DE, ES, FR, IT and UK), Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Penetration (%) of QR Code Users
EU5 France Germany Italy Spain UK
Product information 71.7% 65.4% 77.9% 69.2% 71.1% 70.1%
Event information 31.8% 32.7% 28.9% 36.4% 36.5% 27.0%
Charity/cause information 12.1% 9.5% 10.0% 18.6% 13.4% 10.8%
Coupon or offer 19.4% 20.3% 19.6% 17.6% 22.2% 17.0%
Application download 13.4% 17.5% 11.4% 14.8% 13.7% 11.2%

Not much to add here…

We started covering FireFox OS when it was still called Boot to Gecko – the webOS “imitator” is also based on HTML5 and will use the “browser” as an app runtime.
1 FireFox OS to grab 1% marketshare by 2013

Mobile Business Briefing now claims the following:

Mozilla’s mobile platform, Firefox OS, will take a 1 percent share of the global smartphone market by the end of 2013, as it carves out a niche in the entry-level phone space currently dominated by Android.

Strategy Analytics forecasts that the open source, low-cost platform which supports HTML5 apps, will benefit from the interest it has gained from hardware vendors and operators.

Hit the link below to see our MWC coverage:
http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com/2012/02/29/mozilla-boot-to-gecko-webos-reloaded/

The recent political turmoil has given FaceBook a lot of attention – after all, many popular uprisings have been started on FaceBook. This has caused mobile developers and operators to think about using FaceBook for marketing – the question is if this makes sense.

The Danish research firm StrandConsult has now provided us with an except of their analysus on why FaceBook is not well-suited to carrier marketing. Some of the points also apply to smaller houses, which is why the most important ones are right here:

2. Facebook boasts a “free” and open platform. This misleads operators to think that Facebook is an inexpensive medium for marketing. To control its costs and force companies to pay up, Facebook limits the distribution of a company’s message to its fan base, so only a fraction of the fans see the company’s posts. Facebook is not interested to talk to you unless you are already a major brand and are willing to invest hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in advertising. The dirty little secret about Facebook is that you have to pay to play.

7. Facebook doesn’t build brands; it reflects brands. The biggest brands on Facebook already have a large presence outside of Facebook, and they have large advertising/marketing budgets both online and offline. Almost no companies have been able to build a brand on Facebook from scratch.

10. Facebook can change its terms of service for any reason at any time and with no warning. These changes can have material and negative impacts to operators. One example was when Facebook announced its change to the Timeline format. All those tabs and apps the mobile operators developed, the mini-websites within Facebook so to speak, were made nearly invisible. . Collectively, companies spent hundreds of millions of dollars to customize their Facebook page, and thousands of independent Facebook developers and agencies sprung up in the process. With one announcement, Facebook effectively and instantly rendered operators’ investment on their platform worthless.

Did your company see success on FaceBook?

When it comes to localizing applications, developers profit a lot from having access to top-lists for the various countries. Opera makes these available from time to time.

Of course, this list contains only J2ME-Capable devices (and the iPhone) – nevertheless, it could be more than useful for determining which locales to target:

Antigua and Barbuda

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry 8520
3. Nokia X2-01
4. Apple iPhone
5. Apple_iPod
6. BlackBerry 9700
7. BLU Magic
8. BLU
9. Motorola XT502
10. BlackBerry 9780

Argentina

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. Nokia 5130c
3. Nokia 2220s
4. Nokia C2-01
5. Nokia N8
6. Alcatel OT-802A
7. SonyEricsson E15a
8. Nokia X2-01
9. Samsung GT-I5500L
10. Samsung GT-S5830L

Bahamas

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry 8520
3. Apple iPhone
4. Nokia X2-01
5. Apple_iPod
6. SonyEricsson W800i
7. Apple iPad
8. Samsung GT-S5360L
9. BlackBerry 9800
10. BlackBerry 9550

Barbados

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. Alcatel OT-606
3. BlackBerry 8520
4. Nokia X2-01
5. Apple iPhone
6. Nokia 5130c
7. Nokia C2-01
8. SonyEricsson W200i
9. BlackBerry 9700
10. Nokia 2690

Belize

Top 10 handsets
1. Alcatel OT-800
2. Nokia C3-00
3. BlackBerry 8520
4. Alcatel OT-880
5. Nokia 2690
6. Nokia 2700c
7. Nokia 2730c
8. Alcatel OT-606
9. Apple iPhone
10. SonyEricsson W800i

Colombia

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry 8520
3. BlackBerry 9300
4. Samsung GT-S3350
5. Nokia 2220s
6. Samsung GT-S5830L
7. Nokia 5130c
8. Nokia C1-01
9. Samsung GT-S5260
10. Apple iPhone

Chile

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. LG T310
3. Samsung GT-I5500L
4. Samsung GT-S5570L
5. Samsung GT-S5830L
6. SonyEricsson E15a
7. LG P500h
8. LG P350g
9. BlackBerry 8520
10. Samsung GT-I9100

Costa Rica

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia 2730c
2. Nokia C2-01
3. Nokia C3-00
4. Nokia X3-02
5. Nokia 7230
6. SonyEricsson E15a
7. Nokia C1-01
8. Nokia 5130c
9. Nokia N8
10. Nokia 2690

Dominica

Top 10 handsets
1. BlackBerry 8520
2. Nokia C3-00
3. SonyEricsson W800
4. BlackBerry 9700
5. BlackBerry 8900
6. BlackBerry 9550
7. Nokia C3
8. BlackBerry 9300
9. Samsung SGHi600
10. BlackBerry 9000

Dominican Republic

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry 8520
3. Alcatel OT-802A
4. Apple iPhone
5. Alcatel OT-800
6. BlackBerry 9700
7. Alcatel OT-807
8. BlackBerry 9300
9. Alcatel OT-710
10. BlackBerry 8530

Ecuador

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. Nokia 5130c
3. BlackBerry 8520
4. Nokia X3-02
5. Nokia 2690
6. Samsung GT-S5830B
7. Nokia X2-00
8. Nokia C1-01
9. Nokia 303
10. BlackBerry 9300

El Salvador

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. Maui E800
3. BlackBerry 8520
4. Nokia 5130c
5. Nokia X2-01
6. Alcatel OT-802A
7. Nokia 2220s
8. Samsung GT-S3350
9. Alcatel OT-710
10. Nokia 2730c

Grenada

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry 8520
3. SonyEricsson W800
4. Nokia C3
5. BlackBerry 9700
6. Apple iPhone_ver1
7. BlackBerry 8900
8. BlackBerry 9300
9. BlackBerry 9000
10. BlackBerry 9800

Guatemala

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. Alcatel OT-606
3. Maui E800
4. BlackBerry 8520
5. Alcatel OT-880
6. Alcatel OT-800
7. Nokia C1-01
8. Nokia 2220s
9. Nokia 2730c
10. Alcatel OT-799

Guyana

Top 10 handsets
1. BlackBerry 8520
2. Alcatel OT-606
3. Nokia C3-00
4. Samsung SGH-A517
5. Motorola_MOT-Z3
6. Apple iPhone
7. Alcatel OT-800
8. BlackBerry 9300
9. Nokia 2690
10. Nokia 2700c

Haiti

Top 10 handsets
1. BlackBerry 8520
2. SonyEricsson W800i
3. Samsung SGH-A437
4. Nokia C3-00
5. Nokia C1-01
6. Samsung SGH-A737
7. Samsung SGH-A707
8. BlackBerry 9700
9. BlackBerry 8900
10. BlackBerry 8310

Honduras

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry 8520
3. Alcatel OT-606
4. Nokia 5130c
5. Nokia 2220s
6. Nokia 2730c
7. Alcatel OT-800
8. Apple iPhone
9. Motorola EX108
10. BlackBerry 9300

Mexico

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry8520
3. Alcatel OT-808A
4. Samsung GT-S5830L
5. LG GM360
6. Alcatel OT-800A
7. Nokia 5130c
8. Samsung GT-S5233T
9. Nokia 303
10. Alcatel OT-802A

Nicaragua

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. Nokia 2730c
3. BlackBerry 8520
4. Nokia 7230
5. SonyEricsson W205a
6. Alcatel OT-606
7. Nokia 2220s
8. Nokia X3-02
9. Nokia 5130c
10. Samsung GT-S5233T

Panama

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. Nokia C1-01
3. Nokia 2220s
4. Nokia 2690
5. Samsung GT-S5830L
6. BlackBerry 8520
7. Samsung GT-S5830M
8. Samsung GT-S5570L
9. Nokia X2-01
10. Samsung GT-S5360L

Peru

Top 10 handsets
1. Alcatel OT-606
2. Alcatel OT-710
3. Nokia C3-00
4. SonyEricsson W800i
5. Samsung GT-S5570L
6. Nokia 5130c
7. Alcatel OT-800A
8. Nokia C1-01
9. BlackBerry 8520
10. Nokia 2330c

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry 8520
3. BlackBerry 9700
4. SonyEricsson W800
5. BlackBerry 9550
6. Nokia C3
7. BlackBerry 9800
8. BlackBerry 9780
9. SonyEricsson W800i
10. BlackBerry 8900

Saint Lucia

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry 8520
3. Apple iPhone
4. BlackBerry 9700
5. Apple_iPod
6. BlackBerry 9780
7. BlackBerry 9300
8. BlackBerry 9800
9. SonyEricsson W800i
10. BlackBerry 8900

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. SonyEricsson W800
3. BlackBerry 8520
4. Nokia C3
5. Nokia N72
6. BlackBerry 9700
7. BlackBerry 9800
8. Nokia E63
9. BlackBerry 9300
10. BlackBerry 9000

Suriname

Top 10 handsets
1. BlackBerry 8520
2. Nokia C3-00
3. Nokia 5130c
4. SonyEricsson W800i
5. BlackBerry 9700
6. Nokia 2690
7. Alcatel OT-880
8. Nokia C1-01
9. Alcatel OT-800
10. Nokia 2700c

Trinidad and Tobago

Top 10 handsets
1. Nokia C3-00
2. BlackBerry 8520
3. Nokia 2690
4. Nokia C1-01
5. Nokia 2220s
6. BlackBerry 9300
7. Nokia C1-01
8. Nokia 5130c
9. Apple iPhone
10. SonyEricsson W800i

Uruguay

Top 10 handsets
1. Alcatel OT-606
2. Nokia C3-00
3. Alcatel OT-710
4. Alcatel OT-808
5. SonyEricsson W800i
6. Alcatel OT-660
7. Samsung GT-S5230
8. BlackBerry 8520
9. Nokia X3-02
10. Nokia X3-00

Venezuela

Top 10 handsets
1. Alcatel OT-606
2. Nokia C3-00
3. Alcatel OT-880
4. Alcatel OT-800A
5. Huawei UM840
6. Nokia 2730c
7. Nokia C1-01
8. BlackBerry8520
9. Alcatel OT-606
10. Nokia X2-01

Get the full PDF with population information here:
http://media.opera.com/media/smw/2012/smw082012.pdf

In the golden times of Palm OS and Windows Mobile, mobile apps were expensive. Prices north of 20 USD were not unusual, and users downloaded away happily.

Now, things look different:

“In terms of the apps that consumers are buying, 90 percent of the paid-for downloads cost less than $3 each,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. “Similar to free apps, lower-priced apps will drive the majority of downloads. Apps between 99 cents and $2.99 will account for 87.5 percent of paid-for downloads in 2012, and 96 percent by 2016.”

In addition to the quotes, Gartner provided the following table:
gartner free download Free apps to make up 90% of downloads

In addition to that, they also provide some interesting insight into Android IAP efficiency and the Chinese software market:

Amazon has appealed to users with its strong brand, global presence and a good selection of high-quality content while Facebook’s recently launched App Center — supporting both mobile devices and desktops — will become a powerful competitor due to its strong brand and leading position in social networking and gaming,” said Ms. Shen. “In China, there is a boom market of independent Android stores, due to the lack of presence of Google Play and ‘weak’ stores from CSPs. We expect to see more new entrants to the market, aiming to deepen relationships with their customers and/or to capture some of this growth market.”

Using an in-app purchase business model is a more effective method of converting casual app users into paying customers and then retaining them with good user experience and continued product updates. This is a different approach from upfront payment where users pay and download, and can be disappointed by the experience and never come back. In-app purchasing opens the door to a recurring revenue stream for developers, but app performance and design will always be the most important factor when attracting new users and keeping them satisfied.

In-app purchases will drive 41 percent of the store revenue in 2016. While the market is moving toward free and low-priced apps, in-app purchases will drive downloads as well as app store revenue. Gartner expects the number of downloads featuring in-app purchase will increase from 5 percent of total downloads in 2011 to 30 percent in 2016, and its contribution to the store revenue will increase from 10 to 41 percent in the same period.

What do you think?

Long-term followers of this blog network probably already know the Swedish case manufacturer Krusell – their cases tend to be sold all over the world, giving them a very good level of overview of “common user sentiment”.

In August, the data reads as following:

PRESS RELEASE – Krusell – TOP-10 selling phones for August 2012.

1. (-) Apple iPhone 5
2. (1) Samsung Galaxy i9300 SIII
3. (2) Apple iPhone 4/4S
4. (3) Sony Xperia S
5. (4) Sony Xperia U
6. (5) Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
7. (8) Sony Xperia Go
8. (6) HTC One X
9. (10) Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc/Arc S
10. (9) Samsung GT-B2710 / Xcover 271
() = Last month’s position.

As a result of the enormous hype around the little device with a big apple on, the top 10 list for August almost predict the future, says Ulf Sandberg MD at Krusell. Krusell´s accessories are already ordered and we see no decline in the interest onwards. My forcast is that we will see a huge gap between the iPhone5 and the rest of the list in orders the coming month ahead, he ends.

The Swedish manufacturer of carrying cases for portable electronics, Krusell, releases its Top 10-list for August 2012. The list is based on the number of pieces of custom made mobile- and smartphone cases ordered from Krusell during August 2012. Krusell’s list is unique due to the fact that it reflects the sales of phones on six continents and in more than 70 countries around the globe.

Not much to add here…

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