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Editor’s note: We will not publish Insights on January 1. Happy holidays from the team at Business Insider Intelligence!
AUDI GOES WITH ANDROID: Google has just forged a partnership with German automaker Audi to bring an Android-powered entertainment and information system to Audi vehicle dashboards in the near future. It’s a clear shot against Apple, which announced an ‘iOS in the Car’ program last year, with the collaboration of Mercedes, BMW and Honda — as well as GM in the United States. Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s take on the deal, which was their scoop: “With 80 million new cars and light trucks sold each year, automobiles represent a significant new opportunity for Internet-based software and services. ‘The car is becoming the ultimate mobile device,’ said Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at the research firm Gartner. ‘Apple and Google see that and are trying to line up allies to bring their technology into the vehicle.'” (Wall Street Journal)
In other news …
A VERY KINDLE CHRISTMAS: Kindle tablets saw the highest bump in daily activations on Christmas Day in 2013 versus the average day in December, when compared to other popular mobile device brands like Apple, Samsung, and Acer. According to a new report from Flurry, Amazon’s Christmas Day Activation Index level was almost five-times higher than the next in line, Acer. Flurry tracks both tablets and smartphones, meaning Amazon achieved this enormous bump with its lone Kindle Fire tablet next to companies with multiple smartphones and tablets in the market. Amazon achieved this massive Christmas Day bump several years in a row, though the size of the one-day increase has declined.
There are a few reasons for the Kindle-Christmas nexus, but the biggest explanation is cost. Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices are priced competitively compared to iPads and even some Android models. They make an attractive but cost-effective item for somebody to gift. Business Insider’s own Jay Yarow even went so far as to call the Kindle, “the fruitcake of tablets.” (Flurry)
AMAZON MOBILE COMMERCE SOARS: More than 50% of Amazon shoppers browsed for holiday gifts from their mobile devices throughout the holiday season, reports Mobile Commerce Daily. Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, thinks Amazon will have generated more than $US20 billion in mobile commerce revenue for all of 2013. (Mobile Commerce Daily)
FACEBOOK MOBILE: Facebook users on mobile topped 50% of the user total in several key markets throughout Europe and in parts of the Middle East, according to new data obtained by TechCrunch. It is extremely popular in Sweden, where almost 82% of Facebook users access the site via mobile. While other parts of the world may need more work, Facebook is continuing to prove that it has successfully moved beyond the desktop and now has the mobile user base in place to generate significant mobile revenue. (TechCrunch)
Here’s how Snapchat became the breakout consumer product of 2013. (TechCrunch)
Om Malik Fires Back At Quartz: “Dear Quartz, maybe it’s you that needs new glasses and a map. 2013 was not a lost year for tech.” Last week, Christopher Mims at Quartz discussed why he felt there was virtually no innovation in the mobile industry during 2013. Om Malik of GigaOm thinks Mims was looking at mobile in 2013 with too narrow of a lens. Apple blogger John Gruber has posted a similar take. (GigaOm)
The Internet of Things according to Samsung: The Korean tech and consumer electronics giant sees touch screen-displays proliferating until everything from cutting boards to windows has an interactive display. This concept video illustrates Samsung’s vision. (Business Insider)
Puneet Mehta at MyCityWay, a cloud-based mobile technology partner for brands, gives his outlook on the Apple iBeacon and pays special attention to ways brands, and their marketers, can leverage this new technology to reach consumers in new ways. (GigaOm)
Prosthetic Knowledge takes a deeper look at the Oculus Rift and comments on the tech world’s growing interest in virtual reality. (Rhizome)
GOOGLE’S 2013: The evolution of Android, Chromebooks, Google+, YouTube, Google Glass and more. “Google continued to develop its hardware platforms, Android and Chrome OS, but its Web-based services such as Google+, YouTube and Google Maps also evolved in delightful and unexpected ways.” (The Next Web)