BII MOBILE INSIGHTS: The Numbers Behind Mobile’s Incredible Year

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Latest Mobile Numbers for Year-End 2012 — It’s Getting Big (Communities Dominate Brands)
The nice thing with a strongly growing giant industry is that all the numbers keep growing. The unfortunate side effect is that almost any number you bother to memorize becomes obsolete within months. But let’s do this again. All major mobile numbers, now updates for year-end 2012:

a ton of mobile phones
  • 6.7 billion mobile subscriptions (i.e., 94 per cent penetration rate for planet per-capita)
  • 4.3 billion uniques
  • 5.3 billion mobile handsets
  • 1.3 billion smartphones
  • 5.6 billion use SMS messaging
  • 5.4 billion voice call users
  • Camera is used by 72 per cent
  • 4 billion received ads in their pockets
  • 2.3 billion consumed news via mobile
  • 2.1 billion use a mobile browser

And much, much more …

The Three Most Important Trends For Mobile Developers In 2012 (readwrite mobile)
These days any time you talk mobile app development these are the things that are always part of the conversation:

  • HTML5
  • Location, location, location
  • Growing base of developer services

As developers create more and better apps, the services industry will grown underneath it to prop it up.

Why The Mobile Web Vs. Apps Debate Is A False Dichotomy (GigaOM)
The mobile Web versus mobile native “grudge match” rages on. But the arguments presented in favour of the mobile Web over mobile native represent a false dichotomy. Simply put, there is no universal truth in the mobile Web vs. mobile native debate, and no “one right way,” despite what the pontificators would have you believe. The argument in favour of mobile Web goes like this: The Web is open, ubiquitous, requires no special software, is globally searchable and algorithmically discoverable. As such, it is agile, extensible and readily manageable. The argument is favour of mobile native goes like this: There are over 400 million iOS devices and over 500 million Android devices, representing almost 1 billion devices worldwide. In the case of iOS, Apple has built a well-managed development, distribution and monetization platform that has yielded tremendous innovation and user engagement in areas ranging from photography to gaming, social networking, entertainment, education, music and other rich media. On some level, the argument comes down to “good enough” and “universal” vs. the “richest possible experience” on the device type that is subsuming the PC.

U.S. Tablet Ownership Doubled This Year (Forrester via Engadget)
Forrester Research has come out with its annual report on technology consumption in the U.S., and tablets are certainly gaining popularity. Forrester deduced from its nigh 60,000-strong survey that 19 per cent of Americans over the age of 18 own at least one tablet, double the number the research outfit noted last year. While tech penetration is lowest among adults aged 47 and up, 14 per cent of this demographic now have slates, which again is twice the figure recorded in 2011. Another notable stat that’s risen is daily Internet use, with 84 per cent of adults hopping online every day (up from 78 per cent last year), and approximately half of those owning a smartphone of some variety. TVs are pretty well connected also, as 43 per cent of the plugged-in population has accessed the net from their living rooms, with game consoles being by far the most popular intermediary. The whole report isn’t available to the public, but why not use the time you would’ve spent reading it inspecting what’s under the tree, and hoping you’ll be responsible for upping those tablet stats in next year’s report?

Global Mobile Ad Revenues Set To Rise In 2013 (TMSFactory)
In 2013, the world’s mobile advertising spend is expected to generate a revenue of $12.8 billion. While mobile-generated searches in the U.S. are reported to have climbed 25 per cent higher. Display ads on mobile sites and mobile search are expected to account for the largest share of mobile advertising revenues next year, said Informa Telecoms & Media in its latest research. In addition, advertising in mobile apps will see stronger growth as many advertising networks are transacting ad impressions on smartphones and an increasing proportion of those ads are being served in mobile apps. However, mobile operators are said to expect only a small share of revenue coming from the mobile Internet advertising, though they continue to take a large share from messaging and other sources.

Google Play Growing, But Apple’s App Store Brings In The Money (Distimo via The Next Web)
App analytics firm Distimo has published a new report looking at how Google Play and Apple’s App Store have fared in 2012. It finds that while the former is growing rapidly, the latter still beats it more than four-fold in terms of revenues. Over the past four months, combined daily revenue of Google Play has grown 43 per cent, while for Apple’s App Store this figure has reached only 21 per cent. Over the whole year, the App Store’s revenue has grown 51 per cent in the 20 countries analysed by Distimo. However, in absolute numbers, the App Store with $15 million in average daily revenue in November by far beats Google Play with its $3.5 million. An important trend in mobile app monetization is in-app payments. According to Distimo’s data, this type of fee accounted for 69 per cent of total Apple App Store revenues, up 16 per cent compared to January 2012.

NFC Projected To Thrive, But Not Because Of Mobile Wallet (BGR)
Near-field Communication (NFC) is one of those technologies that sounds revolutionary on paper, but in reality, is much more complicated than just slapping a chip inside of a smartphone. The immediate use for NFC is a mobile payment system, but several analysts and experts believe it’ll be NFC’s non-payment uses that will drive its growth; namely, sharing data between devices, replacing security ID, time punch cards, and QR codes. Other ideas such as using NFC-equipped phones to open door locks, starting up cars or pairing devices to audio speakers could also see NFC adoption speed up. Why non-payment uses? Cost. Installing new NFC-enabled point-of-sale systems is expensive, especially for small businesses. One of the many reasons why Google Wallet hasn’t completely replaced our wallets is because there are few places that support using a phone to buy things.

Four Ways Retailers Can Increase Sales Via Mobile (Mashable)
About $93 billion will be spent via mobile devices or the Web this year, but that number is nowhere near its potential. In fact, one in eight online shopping carts are abandoned during the holiday shopping season and that can add up to $3 billion in lost sales. Retailers can make the most of mobile by implementing a few key strategies. Perhaps the most obvious is to make full use of mobile marketing by targeting the right people. Tablet owners spend 20 per cent more than laptop owners, and 23 per cent of people spend more time online than offline. Second, about 22 per cent of purchases on mobile devices are in response to an ad or email, so merchants can increase the likelihood of a transaction by adding a “buy now” button. Another tip is to add small increment purchase options. For example, about 70 per cent of app spending comes from in-app purchases as people are comfortable making small one-off purchases on a mobile device. To learn more, see the payvia infographic from our recent post.