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It seems like everyone wants to develop apps for the iPhone these days. It's not hard to see why.
Get-rich-quick stories and a plethora of unemployed techies have made the iPhone an appealing target for developers.
Apple's iPhone is responsible for the vast majority of mobile internet browsing, but Google's Android, and Blackberry are beginning to pick up their share of the market.
Mobile web browsing as a percentage of total web browsing is also growing, and currently stands at 0.72%. Sales of smartphones accounted for a quarter of US mobile sales in Q4, while O2 recently announced that it had sold 1m iPhones in the UK, so this trend looks set to continue.
Reading the blogosphere today it would be reasonable to think that Barack Obama has nominated Satan to lead the Federal Trade Commission. His name is actually Jon Leibowitz and all the talk about a "day of reckoning" for the online ad business will not be at the top of his agenda.
Leibowitz is a known anti-piracy advocate (good) and an aggressive proponent of regulating online advertising (maybe not so good). He made a speech on Feb. 12 while he was deeply into his job as one of the FTC commissioners and investigating behavioral targeting. In that speech he used the phrase "day of reckoning" about online ad regulation and although it certainly has a promise of biblical wrath, he will not smite this business.
Can you hear me now? Probably.
Over 60 percent of the world's citizens have a cell phone. That's a lot of gadgets in a whole lot of hands. This very significant increase in penetration is largely due to mobile phone adoption in poor and developing countries. As recently as seven years ago, less than 15 percent of the world's population had cell phones.
We're looking at more than 4X growth in mobile subscriptions since 2002, when there were about one billion mobile subscriptions globally. By the end of last year, there were an estimated 4.1 billion subscriptions.
Worldwide Internet usage more than doubled in the same period. Currently, c. 23 percent of the population goes online, up from only 11 percent in 2002. But the poorer the country, the further that number drops. Only about 5 percent of Africans went online in 2007.
Luxury brands are gasping for air. Automotive doesn't seem to know where its next metaphorical meal is from. And the fabled Year of Mobile has not yet dawned. Yet despite it all, Jaguar and Land Rover have together committed $1.6 million to US mobile advertising.
That's a big, big buy. And it represents only 60 percent of the automakers' total mobile budget.
Mobile ad network AdMob will be running the campaigns, once they stop jumping for joy at company HQ. Earlier this month, the company got a C round cash infusion of $12.5 million.
As an article in Ad Age points out, this level of commitment to the mobile platform borders on the unprecedented. Mobile is still very much in the sandbox of digital spending, accounting for only a small proportion of experimental marketing budgets -- and who's experimenting with money these day?
The report cites TNS Media Intelligence data indicating Land Rover spent $63 million on domestic measured media in the
It's not all doom and gloom when it comes to ad spend forecasts. The Kelsey Group is bullish on local mobile advertising over the next five years.
OK, so we've all heard this year will be "the year of mobile" for seemingly as long as "next year in Jerusalem" has been intoned at Passover seders. Nevertheless, Going Mobile: The Mobile Local Media Opportunity makes some interesting predictions.
US mobile ad revenues are predicted to grow from $160 million last year to $3.1 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of 81.2 percent.
Kelsey splits ad spend into three distinct categories: display, search and SMS messaging. Last year, $21 million was spent on display; $39 million on search, and $100 million on SMS.
By 2013, search will reign supreme, according to the report, accounting for $2.3 billion in spending. Mobile display ads will account for $567 million, with SMS advertising accounting for $270 million in spending.
Other interesting findings include these tidbits:
Down, down, down. Some major analysts have recently revised their projections of ad spending for 2009, and it comes as no surprise that the original projections of double-digit growth have shriveled into the low single digits for the sector.
UBS Equities recently downgraded its ad spending forecast to 1.4 percent growth, compared to the company's previous estimate of a 10.4 percent rise in spending.
Veronis Suhler, meanwhile, broke digital media spending out of its overall forecast. While overall US advertising is now projected to decline -0.4 percent, versus a previous forecasts of 4.9 percent growth, online will fare better.
— Internet and mobile spending are projected to grow 9.1 percent, down from previous forecasts of 15.5 percent.
— Mobile content and video games will grow 34.2 percent and 19.5 percent respectively.
— Traditional media: newspapers, TV, magazines, and radio ad spend is forecast to plummet -16.2 percent, -9 percent, -8.5 percent, and -7.2 percent respectively.
Mobile users are quick to discard iPhone apps, with just 30% of buyers using them the day after buying and downloading them from Apple's App Store, according to a new survey.
The drop-off rate is even higher for free apps, with just around 20% using them the day after download, and less then 5% 30 days later, with games apps the most durable category.
I wrote an article about the quality of shopping comparison sites on mobile a few weeks ago, and was disappointed by the quality of most of them.
Reevoo and Kelkoo both had useful iPhone versions, and Reevoo has further improved its app by adding price information and transactional functionality, but most were less useful than they could have been.
I've been looking at another entrant into the market, Sccope, as well as talking to CEO Douglas Orr.
The mobile user experience on most websites, even when accessed on the best devices, leaves a lot to be desired, and companies need to optimise their sites for the small screen.
This is usability guru Jakob Nielsen's verdict in his latest Alertbox column, and having accessed a lot of websites on mobile recently, it's hard to disagree with this point of view.
DVD rental company LoveFilm launched a mobile version of its website earlier this month, allowing users to browse through titles, read news and reviews, and view trailers.
The site is not fully transactional yet, though this is something that is planned for the future, but it does provide an opportunity to promote the LoveFilm service to mobile users, as well as providing advertising space.
The Telegraph released an iPhone app last week, the first to be developed by any of the UK's newspapers, though others will surely follow.
In an area where few of the UK's newspapers excel, The Telegraph had one of the better mobile versions of its site, so has it managed to create a decent iPhone app?