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Category Archives: Metrics

Android sales pass iPhone–but for how long?

With dozens of smartphones spanning multiple manufacturers and all four major U.S. operator networks, it was inevitable that Android sales would surpass the iPhone sooner or later, and that time is now. Android represented 28 percent of first quarter s…

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One million iPad sales later, Apple has the last laugh

Four weeks after the U.S. retail release of Apple’s iPad, it’s clear the company has another hit on its hands. On Monday Apple announced sales of the tablet have already surpassed the 1 million benchmark–by comparison, the company needed 74 days to s…

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BlackBerry App World offers just 6,000 apps after first year

Roughly a year after its initial launch, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry App World now features about 6,000 applications for BlackBerry devices–double the number available in October 2009–according to RIM senior vice president Jeff McDowell. In an in…

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IDC forecasts Android shipments will near 70 million by 2013

Smartphone shipments worldwide will increase to 390 million units by 2013–a compound annual growth rate of 20.9 percent over the 2009-2013 forecast period in question–according to research firm IDC. While IDC predicts the Symbian operating system will retain its global leadership position over that time thanks largely to Nokia’s dominance in markets outside of the U.S., Android is expected to experience faster growth than any of its rivals, leaping from 2008 shipments of 690,000 to 68 million units by 2013, a CAGR of 150.4 percent. IDC adds Android will benefit from the growing footprint of handset vendors supporting the platform, and will finish second to Symbian in shipments by 2013.

On the flipside, IDC forecasts Linux and Palm’s webOS shipments will struggle throughout the forecast period. Shipments of Linux-powered devices are expected to trend down due to greater emphasis on the Android platform, although some vendors will continue to support the platform–as for webOS, IDC believes the operating system will grow steadily, but will ultimately capture only narrow market share as a result of limited deployment and operator availability.

For more on the IDC forecast:
– read this release

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explodes into the consumer consciousness
Over half of Android developers dissatisfied with app profits

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Are mobile ads the future of mobile apps?

Consumers worldwide will download about 4.51 billion mobile applications in 2010 according to a new forecast issued by research firm Gartner, increasing from 2.51 billion downloads last year–that translates to app store revenues close to $6.8 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2009. Gartner anticipates that free applications will represent 82 percent of app store downloads in 2010, a number that will grow to 87 percent of downloads in 2013 even as expected revenues jump to $29.5 billion: Gartner estimates corresponding mobile advertising revenues will leap from $600 million per year in 2009 to about $7 billion in 2013 as developers embrace a host of mechanisms to subsidize their efforts. Gartner contends that developers have little choice but to pin their hopes on mobile advertising, arguing that as smartphones continue to come down in price, the new wave of mass-market users will be reluctant to pay for mobile software. “Growth in smartphone sales will not necessarily mean that consumers will spend more money, but it will widen the addressable market for an offering that will be advertising-funded,” Gartner research director Stephanie Baghdassarian said in a prepared statement. “The value chain of the application stores will evolve as rules are set and broken in an attempt to find the most profitable business model for all parties involved.”

But some experts question whether existing mobile advertising concepts and approaches are on the right track. The doubters are said to include Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who believes “mobile ads suck” according to BusinessWeek, citing a source familiar with Jobs’ thinking. So Apple reportedly is exploring new approaches to mobile advertising in the wake of its recent agreement to acquire mobile ad network Quattro Wireless, plotting ways to exploit consumer data to better serve mobile advertisements. Insiders say Apple’s efforts seek to make ads more relevant to consumers, factoring into the equation data like purchases and downloads from iTunes and the App Store as well as geo-location. “[Apple] could also use the iPhone’s capabilities in creative ways–say, having someone shake the device to win a rebate the same way they do to roll dice in games,” the report notes.

Despite Gartner’s app store revenue projections for the year ahead, more than half of developers are pessimistic about their immediate financial outlook. A new Mobile Entertainment Forum study examining the state of the U.S. mobile content value chain reports that among 100 respondents from 80 companies spanning across the mobile entertainment landscape, 42 percent said they expect at least a 20 percent revenue increase in 2009, and 58 percent anticipate comparable revenue growth in 2010–app developers are less optimistic than any other industry segment the MEF polled, with only 48 percent believing revenues will increase 20 percent or more this year. MEF Americas chairman Jim Beddows theorizes developers have serious doubts about the longterm viability of current marketplace conditions: “The explosion of app stores and applications continues to feed consumer demand, but it’s still not proven whether there’s a sustainable revenue model,” he said in an interview with FierceDeveloper. Nor is it proven that mobile advertising is the solution to those concerns, but if not, then what is? –Jason

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Android explodes into the consumer consciousness

If 2009 was the year that manufacturers and developers fully embraced Google’s Android mobile operating system, then 2010 is already shaping up as the year consumers follow suit. According to new data published by research firm ChangeWave, 4 percent of smartphone owners surveyed in mid-December say they’re currently using Android, up three points over September totals; more significantly, 21 percent of respondents planning to purchase a smartphone in the next 90 days say they’d prefer the device run on the Android OS–a 15 point jump in just three months. ChangeWave notes that as of September 2009, Android was tied for dead last in consumer preference among the major operating systems–now, it’s in second place among future buyers, behind only the iPhone OS X at 28 percent, down 4 percentage points in the last three months. Android’s rise also comes at the expense of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Palm’s webOS–6 percent of consumers say they plan to purchase a WinMo device, down from 9 percent in September, while webOS slipped from 6 percent to 3 percent quarter-over-quarter. Only Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS held relatively steady between September and December, increasing from 17 percent to 18 percent among prospective smartphone buyers.

ChangeWave forecasts that Motorola’s Droid stands to benefit most from consumer demand for Android devices–in fact, 13 percent of shoppers say they plan to purchase a Motorola smartphone in the next three months, a 12-point jump over September 2009 and the handset maker’s first increase in a ChangeWave consumer smartphone survey in three years. In addition, 9 percent of prospective smartphone buyers are now eyeing HTC devices, up from 5 percent in the previous survey, corresponding with the November release of the Droid Eris. Word of mouth is also working in Android’s favor, with 72 percent of current Android users telling ChangeWave they’re very satisfied with their smartphone, behind iPhone users at 77 percent but well ahead of BlackBerry (41 percent), Palm OS/webOS (33 percent) and Windows Mobile (25 percent).

Not all Android purchases are looming in the immediate future–it appears that a large number of consumers received Android devices over the holidays as well. Mobile application analytics provider Flurry reports Android Market app downloads increased 22 percent between November and December, with downloads to Droid units up 93 percent on Christmas Day over previous Fridays last month. In all, the Droid now accounts for 49 percent of all Android Market downloads, followed by the myTouch 3G at 18 percent, the HTC Hero at 17 percent and the G1 at 16 percent. Flurry adds that Apple’s App Store download volume is still more than 13 times greater than Android Market–regardless, Android has made enormous strides over the past year, and that trend will continue in 2010. –Jason

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iPod touch app downloads top iPhone over Xmas

Application downloads via iPod touch devices eclipsed iPhone downloads by 172 percent on Christmas Day 2009, according to data compiled by mobile application analytics provider Flurry. Total iPod Touch download volumes grew by nearly 1,000 percent on Dec. 25 compared to the average of all previous Fridays during the month– Flurry speculates that in addition to new iPod touch 3G models received as gifts, iTunes gift cards also drove downloads across earlier generation iPod touch devices. In addition, iPod touch download volumes topped iPhone downloads by 104 percent on Dec. 26. Cumulative App Store downloads increased by 51 percent in December 2009 compared to November totals, Flurry reports.

In early December, Flurry reported the iPod touch accounts for about 40 percent of all iPhone OS-based devices sold worldwide–moreover, the firm contends that the portable media player may boast even greater long-term strategic value than its smartphone sibling, because it’s building a loyal consumer base among teens and pre-teens representing the next generation of iPhone users. “When today’s young iPod touch users age by five years, they will already have iTunes accounts, saved personal contacts to their iPod touch devices, purchased hundreds of apps and songs, and mastered the iPhone OS user interface,” Flurry notes. “This translates into loyalty and switching costs, allowing Apple to seamlessly ‘graduate’ young users from the iPod touch to the iPhone.” As of June 2009, the iPhone accounted for 57 percent of application user sessions tracked by Flurry–the iPod touch represented 31 percent, and Android devices were responsible for 10 percent. As of late November, total user sessions increased across all three devices, with the iPhone accounting for just 50 percent of sessions on average–the iPod touch’s share of user sessions grew to 35 percent, followed by Android at 14 percent.

For more on the App Store’s December growth spurt:
– read this Flurry blog entry

Related articles:
Study says iPod touch users slower to upgrade mobile OS
AdMob: iPod touch ad requests triple

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Study says iPod touch users slower to upgrade mobile OS

While 94.4 percent of iPhone users have upgraded their smartphones to run on iPhone OS 3.0, only 52.24 percent of iPod touch users have made the switch according to a new study released by online advertising network Chitika. The iPhone OS 3.0 software update, issued in mid-June, is free to iPhone owners, but iPod touch users must pay between $5 and $10, depending on when they purchased their device–iPod touch units shipped within the last six months arrive with iPhone OS 3.0 preinstalled.

“What’s it all mean?” Chitika asks. “Well, despite its hype, iPhone OS 3.0 had very little to offer iPod Touch users. Push notifications? MMS? Tethering? Essentially useless on a device that relies on WiFi for a connection. iPod Touch users are essentially asked to pay for copy/paste, in-app purchases, and the ability to buy a segment of the latest apps from the app store.”

For more on Apple mobile OS usage:
– check out the Chitika website

Related articles:
Youth movement driving iPod touch app usage
AdMob: iPod touch ad requests triple

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Mobile app downloads forecast to reach 5 billion in 2014

Mobile application downloads are expected to reach 5 billion in 2014, more than double 2009’s estimated 2.3 billion downloads, according to a new forecast issued by ABI Research. Citing growing smartphone adoption–sales grew 20 percent this year–as well as the proliferation of app stores behind the surge, ABI anticipates the iPhone will remain the leading platform for mobile software, although its share of the overall application market will contract during the latter stages of the forecast period–the forecast declares Android will benefit most from the upcoming boom, increasing from 11 percent of total application downloads this year to 23 percent five years from now. “This rapid growth is driven by the mass adoption of the Android OS by both vendors and consumers from 2009 onwards,” says ABI wireless research associate Bhavya Khanna in a prepared statement. “There are now more than 14 phones that run the Android OS, and many more will launch in 2010. This, coupled with the rollout of application stores from both smartphone vendors and network operators, will see the iPhone’s share of the total market shrink between 2010 and 2014.”

Despite growing consumer interest in mobile applications, ABI expects revenues from app sales will decline by 2013 as competition forces downward pressure on prices. Another trend to watch: An increase of free and advertiser-supported applications rivaling premium apps, typified by the launch of the free Google Maps Navigation turn-by-turn service.

For more on the ABI Research forecast:
– read this release

Related articles:
The App Store hits 2 billion downloads
Droid’s debut galvanizes Android app development

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Youth movement driving iPod touch app usage

With so much speculation about the future of the iPhone–e.g., if and when Apple will launch the smartphone via Verizon Wireless, or what the next version of the device has in store–it’s easy to overlook the iPod touch. As easy as it is to overlook any product that’s sold close to 25 million units over the last two years, that is. But as mobile application analytics provider Flurry points out, the iPod touch accounts for about 40 percent of all iPhone OS-based devices sold worldwide–moreover, the firm contends that the portable media player may boast even greater long-term strategic value than its smartphone sibling, because it’s building a loyal consumer base among teens and pre-teens representing the next generation of iPhone users. “When today’s young iPod touch users age by five years, they will already have iTunes accounts, saved personal contacts to their iPod touch devices, purchased hundreds of apps and songs, and mastered the iPhone OS user interface,” Flurry notes. “This translates into loyalty and switching costs, allowing Apple to seamlessly ‘graduate’ young users from the iPod touch to the iPhone.”

Six months ago, the iPhone accounted for 57 percent of application user sessions tracked by Flurry–the iPod touch represented 31 percent, and Android devices were responsible for 10 percent. As of late November, total user sessions have increased across all three devices, but the iPhone now accounts for just 50 percent of sessions on average–the iPod touch’s share of user sessions grew to 35 percent, followed by Android at 14 percent. No less significant, Flurry states that social networking and gaming sessions on the iPod touch are outpacing that of iPhone and Android, driven by the youth demographic–the iPod touch represented 40 percent of social networking sessions in June 2009 and 42 percent six months later, while iPhone sessions slipped from 50 percent to 49 percent and Android grew from 7 percent to 8 percent. And while half of mobile game sessions tracked by Flurry in June took place on iPhones, that number is now 46 percent–iPod touch sessions grew from 43 percent to 49 percent over that span, and Android fell from 2 percent to 1 percent.

While younger audiences make up the lion’s share of manga readers in the U.S., in their native Japan the comics attract readers of all ages–and now, those fans are consuming manga on their iPhones. With more than a million iPhone 3G S devices sold in Japan in the three months after the smartphone’s mid-2009 introduction there, Flurry reports that Japanese developers and content providers are increasingly turning their attention to the platform, with manga leading the way–one major Japanese publisher is now releasing more than five new manga titles for the iPhone each day, exploiting the device’s rich graphical presentation as well as mobile content snacking habits perfectly matched to shorter, manga-friendly reading sessions. Keep in mind that last month, Flurry reported that books now represent one out of every five new iPhone and iPod touch applications–and with Apple reportedly poised to introduce a larger tablet form factor that will run on the iPhone operating system, it looks like the App Store is ready to write another chapter in its ongoing evolution. –Jason

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