Thursday, August 18, 2011
Gavin O'Malley, August 18, 2011, 12:44 PM
Industry Watchers Question Apple's Mobile Ad StrategyMacworld

Putting a harsh light on Apple's mobile ad strategy, Andy Miller, its VP of mobile advertising, is reportedly on his way out.

Sources tell All Things Digital that Miller -- who sold Quattro Wireless, the mobile ad company he co-founded, to Apple in early 2010 for $275 million -- will become a general partner at VC firm Highland Capital.

Industry watchers took the news this week as an opportunity to question Apple's mobile ad efforts.

"Apple's flashy iAds made a big splash when they launched in April 2010, but eyebrows were raised when reports circulated that they were being sold for ten times the normal rate," PC Mag points out.

"Dozens of major advertisers have launched campaigns with iAd since its launch last summer, but Apple faced some early challenges," reports The Wall Street Journal. Along with its high prices, "Ad executives expressed frustration over Apple's tight control over the creative process."

Miller's "departure is yet another sign that Apple is struggling to morph into an advertising company," writes MobileBeat, adding that Apple recently lowered its iAd prices and reduced restrictions.

To date, "Apple's ad aspirations have been a bit of a bumpy road, as the company has tried to fine-tune the offering, even as competition ... has increased," All Things D writes.

Still, "Despite its initial growing pains ... iAd expanded into both Japan and Europe" months after its launch, writes Macworld. "And in December of 2010, an IDC study projected that iAd held 21 percent of mobile advertising revenue -- not the lion's share of revenue, certainly, but nothing to sneeze at either." Read the whole story...

  • Gavin O'Malley, August 18, 2011, 12:44 PM
  • 10 Apps Dominate Android Market The top-10 apps in the Android Market account for a staggering 43% of app usage on Android devices, reports Boy Genius Report, citing new Nielsen data.

    "Despite the hundreds of thousands of apps available for Android, a very small proportion of apps make up the vast majority of time spent," according to Don Kellogg, Director of Telecom Research & Insights at Nielsen.

    Meanwhile, the top-50 apps in the Market account for 61% of all usage, which means the vast majority of Android apps account for just 39% of app usage.

    Also of note, Nielsen found that Android users spent nearly double the amount of time using apps than they did browsing the mobile Web. The data is the result of new customer metering software, which is installed on thousands of iOS and Android devices around the U.S.

    "Rather than relying on survey results as is typical in the industry, Nielsen is now able to directly measure consumer behavior with its metering software ... and report extremely accurate data," BGR writes. Read the whole story...
  • Motorola Shareholder Suing Over Sale Price A shareholder is suing Motorola Mobility and its CEO, Sanjay Jha, over claims that they could have gotten more than $12.5 billion from Google for the sale of the company.

    "Investor John W. Keating's complaint, which was filed yesterday at the state courthouse in Chicago, also names Google and nine members of Motorola Mobilty's board as defendants," reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

    If the deal isn't interrupted by the U.S. Justice Department over antitrust concerns, Google will gain about 17,000 Motorola Mobility patents, which many see as the company's greatest asset.

    As Bloomberg Businessweek notes, Google has been entangled in patent lawsuits with key rivals, including Apple and Microsoft Corp. That said, the agreed-upon sale price left mouths agape when it was announced earlier this week.

    Still, "The offered consideration does not compensate shareholders for the company's intrinsic value and stand-alone alternatives going forward, nor does it compensate shareholders for the company's value as a strategic asset for Google," Keating claims. Read the whole story...
  • Verizon's Share Of Android Sales Falters Sorry, Verizon. In less than six months, Verizon Wireless' share of Android phones sold stateside has fallen from 51.4% to 41.1%, suggesting that subscribers are defecting in large numbers for Apple's iPhone. A breakdown of U.S. Android providers published by Chitika Insights in March showed Verizon to be the largest Android carrier -- "largely due to that carrier's migration from RIM Blackberry to Droid branded Android smartphones throughout 2010," according to AppleInsider.

    Now, "A new study by Chitika ... shows a huge decrease in Verizon's slice of the US Android pie after it launched iPhone 4." Chitika estimates that Verizon carries about 23.9% of American iPhones, leaving AT&T with 76.1%.

    As the company notes: "Verizon's share of iPhone traffic continues to increase, but it seems that Verizon is gaining market share in Apple's prominent smartphone at the expense of its other, Android-running devices."

    Meanwhile, figures by T-Mobile and Sprint indicate both have maintained what AppleInsider dubs a "static ratio" of the nation's Android users. Read the whole story...
  • Patent Grab Persists With InterDigital Bids In what many see as yet another patent grab, Apple and Google are reportedly in the running for wireless telecommunications specialist InterDigital. Up against Nokia, Qualcomm, and other bidders, the Web giants are perceived to be primarily interested in InterDigital's patent portfolio.

    That said, "Key potential bidder Google Inc has not formally withdrawn from the auction but it is unclear whether the Internet leader will bid for the company," Reuters reports, citing a source.

    Earlier this week, Google already offered the sum of $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility and its cache of patents. Still, "Google's presence in the auction would be crucial to how much InterDigital could fetch," notes Reuters.

    "The problem InterDigital has is that Elvis has left the building. He's got his date," Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff says in reference to Google.

    InterDigital is said to have some 8,800 patents -- including key 3G and 4G/LTE patents -- which some analysts say is the best portfolio on the market. Read the whole story...