MoBlog and Mobile Marketing Daily will be away for the remainder of the year. We're hailing the next cab on Broadway and hightailing it off this iceberg, but we will be back in 2010 -- as they said about Tricky Dick -- tanned, rested and ready. So happy holidays, and a joyous New Year to you and yours. And la'chaim, or cheers, whichever the case may be (though we always thought la'chaim was so much more fun to say).
Digesting Morgan Stanley's 424-page Mobile Internet Report wouldn't be a simple task for anyone, but Yahoo may find it especially rough going. The Internet giant is listed among companies whose positioning for the mobile Internet is "unclear," one of the categories in a three-tier ranking that also classifies major tech players as "challenged" or "well-positioned."
A recent report from ABI Research predicts mobile app downloads will hit 5 billion in 2014 (up from 2.9 billion this year) and that Android's share of the market will grow from 11% to 23%. Despite the proliferation of apps, the firm expects sales to start declining in 2013 as free or ad-supported versions of "must-have" apps undercut the paid ones, citing Google's free turn-by-turn navigation app as a early example of the trend.
A recent study by Strategy Analytics found Google and Facebook to be the most desired brands to have on a mobile phone. Not a big surprise, given the companies' respective dominance in search and social networking on the desktop Web, which is quickly extending to mobile.
No wonder marketers get more excited about advertising on smartphones than feature phones when it comes to mobile devices. According to the latest monthly data from AdMob, smartphones accounted for nearly half (48%) of mobile Web and application traffic on the mobile ad network in November, up from 30% a year ago.
With its audacious ad campaign for the Droid, Verizon has poured $100 million into trashing the iPhone and touting the Motorola device as the superior (and mas macho) smartphone alternative. So which is really the champ?
AT&T's Ralph de la Vega caused a stir last week when he suggested at the UBS conference that the carrier might adopt usage-based pricing to help curb bandwidth consumption by heavy data users on the iPhone and other smartphones. And a doorstop of a report from Morgan Stanley seems to lend credence to his contention.
With the usual flood of Top 10 predictions and forecasts for 2010 hitting email inboxes this month, the mobile industry is fully getting caught up in the spirit of self-promotion. Looking for cold-eyed assessments of how mobile companies will climb out of the recession? Keep dreaming. Some of the mobile projections for next year read more like Santa's wish lists.
Google can't be accused of a lack of ambition. Not content with launching its own mobile operating system and buying a leading mobile ad network, the search giant is reportedly poised to start selling its own branded handset next year. Like Apple, whom Google wants to challenge more directly in the fast-growing smartphone market, it's not satisfied with just providing the software -- it wants its own piece of hardware (with a little help from Taiwanese manufacturer HTC) and more control over the mobile ecosystem.
With Top 10 list season in full swing, Nielsen is chiming in with its own selection for most popular trends across media. This year the research firm added new mobile categories including top ringtones, and top brands and video channels, highlighting the segment growing into its "third-screen" moniker. When it comes to most popular phones you know all probably know who wears the crown.