On Wednesday, Apple released their unscheduled new software update to sort the problem that annoyed many iPhone and iPad 3G users. The problem that causes this outrage was that two British computer programmers found a folder on the iPhone that was recording your location with transmitter triangulation data and by recording the Wi-Fi Hot Spots that the handset also connected to.
Apple insists that this storage facility was designed to improve the speed and the efficiency of the apps on the phone that required a GPS location such as Sat Nav or even Google maps. There was also many comments made that the data was then put onto iTunes during a sync, but that was not proved and Apple did deny that this did happen.
Apple has released the new iPhone software (ver. 4.3.3) that is available from iTunes. This new software version will reduce the size of the storage folder, so only very recent locations will be saved and the software will also delete all locations data when the location services are turned off. Their previous data storage folder had been recording locations for almost a whole year.
After being on stage at the annual RIM BlackBerry show, Microsoft announced that Bing will be providing the search facilities on Blackberry devices. This will then be a new partnership for Microsoft, with the aim to help people make better decisions with Bing on Blackberry Devices, while boosting handset sales.
The partnership will include Bing as the default search provider for the search app and the browser. However, it is unclear at this point which of the blackberry devices will be defaulted to Bing. It might be the new Blackberry Bond and also the Blackberry Playbook that is due for release soon.
This is good news for some and not so good for others. The benefits are for Microsoft and their Bing search, hopefully this will boost handset sales for blackberry. The biggest loser in this deal is Google; as they where the default search provider on the Blackberry handsets.
Bing has been in this position before, in terms of having their search facility exclusively on a produced handset. Also, you may remember that deal that was pending between Microsoft and Nokia, which did sound very similar to the Blackberry and Bing arrangement. Perhaps Microsoft is planning a worldwide domination to be the default search providers of mobiles and Smartphone’s.
Let’s assume that both Microsoft deals happen and are completed as expected, what might happen to the market share of Google against Bing? What is known is that Bing is growing fractionally month on month, 2011 has started very well for Bing. This slow but consistent pace is worrying for Google, as it has been stated if Bing’s growth was erratic it would show that its decline just as quick as it grows. Unfortunately that is not the case which is why it could be very damaging for Google.
Specifically in the mobile search, Google have a strong hold on the Android and the iPhone devices, but if Apple that make the iPhone decided to change the default search provider, Google would be in a lot of trouble and would lose a lot of crucial market share. Having said that, Microsoft and Apple are not on best of pals anyway, so the chances are remote that these two businesses will come together.
Google is not helping itself in a number of areas because of the changes that have been made to its search results and the algorithms. Add Bing’s increasing fortunes and we could be in for an entertaining online battle for search facilities.
iPhones and Smartphones as a whole, have so much technology onboard that they are taking priority as our main multimedia device when conducting our internet activities. All this technology and functionality has posed a question towards Apple. ‘Is Apple using Wi-Fi networks and mobile reception to track user movements?’
The question has been generated by two British computer programmers after some research. Apple has released a statement saying that they do not follow any of the location services such as GPS or Google Maps. Apple has no intention of tracking iPhones and never will.
Despite this the iPhone does log what Wi-Fi access points, 3G and transmitter towers that it connects to. It does this so that it can establish its location very quickly. This log was discovered by the British programmers who found a hidden list of locations on your device.
This log was then updated to iTunes during a sync, this the means that other people with network sharing access can view this data, including Apple.
In response to these claims, Apple has said that they are going to release a new software update. The update will still have a log of connections to Wi-Fi and other services but the log will be much smaller. This log is according to Apple, a location database that will not be included in the sync to iTunes as before. So, the database will consist of less info and will only stay on the iPhone.
The database was used to increase the accuracy of the GPS and other location based services, so with a smaller database will this be compromised? Surely by not including this sync with iTunes it’s sufficient?
Budget Hotel chain Premier Inn are putting together a mobile website that will show room vacancies, a booking area and an order confirmation screen following the great success that its app had in generating room bookings.
The Hotel Chain has stated that the app developed a million pounds in bookings. The app was launched in January and has been very successful. This has then generated the interest in a mobile friendly website that will include an order confirmation page to book the room. The website will be very similar to the app that was launched on the iPhone, android and Nokia handsets.
The App was produced because Premier Inn mobile users found the traditional website very tricky to navigate on the handset. This was preventing bookings. The app was downloaded 250,000 times, it was also linked into the GPS systems on many handsets so that it would show the nearest hotel at any given time.
Research shows that the app really helped the business audience when booking a room last minute. However, most bookings were done via the iPhone approximately 3 months in advance. The developer of the app is also been included onto the development team for the new mobile site. Key areas will be to keep the iPhone users business coming in and also make sure that the user experience is perfect for Blackberry’s, Androids and Nokia’s.
Despite declaring better than expected profits for the first quarter, Nokia’s share price is down but Microsoft is still involved.
The share price and profits have both recently fell. The share price fell by 4% to 29% and the profits fell by 1% which is about £304m.
Nokia have stated that the long awaited deal with Microsoft will change all that, as they attempt to reverse their fortunes. Microsoft will be giving advice and developing a new Smartphone that will take on the giants of Apple.
Many investors have welcomed the news of the deal and this has helped the share price a bit but as always proof is in the pudding.
According to the chief executive, Nokia have moved along their process from defining the strategy to implementing it, confirming the deal with Microsoft and designing the product.
Nokia have admitted that they were slow to match the response from the competitors in the Smartphone market. Just to rub salt into the wounds – Apple unveiled a 95% increase in profits in Q1. Nokia have it all to do now perhaps. Nokia have sold more handsets in Q1 than Apple, but its price that has brought Apple forward, an average Apple’s wholesale price was $585 more than Nokia.
One of the things that Microsoft will be doing is dropping the Symbian software and using their own as the Symbian is occasionally slow and not what the users want.
The Chief Executive also stated that the finalisation with Microsoft will then focus on execution, but they are not out of the woods yet and difficult times are still ahead.
The Smartphone, Apps and the increased availability to the internet via 3G and Wi-Fi have contributed to a £581m mobile spend. Purchasing Groceries is the main contributor towards the total figure, with travel tickets and clothing in a close second and third.
The main reason for this increasing spend via mobiles from the research is purely because of convenience, 78% of the sample stated that they like shopping on the move either during their commute to work or on the high street itself.
This spend is set to increase again in the near future because of the interest in tablet computers and net book sales. These devises are not considered as mainstream internet devices but they will be in 2012, and boosting mobile spends.
Going into the numbers more specifically, the results show that £908 is spent online on groceries per year. Travel tickets are at £675 and Clothes at £565. You may expect travel tickets be in the top three but perhaps not clothing and groceries.
Tesco is the dominate supermarket reaping the rewards from the mobile users requiring their groceries. Tesco has an app for the iPhone, Android, Nokia, and Windows Phone7. This app is a transactional app that Asda, Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s don’t have.
This then highlights that fact that the online and the mobile audience are making further steps into the mobile market, and importantly using their Smartphone’s and mobile devices for more every day activities.
Not having an App that includes a checkout facility will be vital as we discover new online habits.
The mobile device sector is the number 1 growth area in the advertising world. The ad spend for mobiles has more than doubled over the last year. This is what affiliates want to see.
In addition to that, many businesses are operating or at least developing a mobile marketing strategy. This strategy will include a mobile specific website and a mobile payment service that is usable and secure. The increase in spend is set it continue and could top the previous year.
These specific differences to traditional market advertising and spending has forced many marketing companies to review the investment plans as the target audience may be different, but by how much?
Currently, marketing in apps is a key area that highlights the ongoing strength of the online advertising. This will maintain the investment in affiliate marketing. Also, there has been an emergence of social media .ads on personal network websites, especially with the ‘like’ icon that is an accurate and live indication of your popularity. Those that do ‘like’ will then get any post about offers and promotions – an instant link to a receptive audience. The last area that is being more recognised as good practice is incorporating online video advertising into social catalogue websites like YouTube and to a lesser extent ITV player.
Crucially however, the mobile is generating new activities from its users. Learning this array of habits is very important as marketing teams target a growing audience. A fully developed mobile site is key otherwise people shopping on the move will move to a different website to shop.
Marketing teams do have an ace in up their sleeve because they can use the affiliates to gauge the tactics and mindset of the mobile shoppers and visitors. Gaining these behaviours and tactics is very importing for planning your next online marketing budget.
Intel is the largest computer chip manufacturer and it has decided to run Google’s Android software on its tablet computers. The operating system that will be installed is called Honeycombe and Google state that it is specifically for tablet computers, originating from its very successful mobile version.
Intel has also confirmed that many of their processor chips will also be included into many Smartphone’s. This market has in the past not been a core business area as it has struggled behind its competitors including AMD.
Intel’s first quarter revenues are up by 29% – which is all down to the connections with Google, Windows, and Nokia. This is despite the slight erratic supply from Japan since the recent earthquake and tsunami.
Mr Otellini is the chief executive at Intel and he said: “results in the first quarter are outstanding. If the pace continues we will be looking at a 20% growth.”
Research shows that there is an increasing demand for computer chips to be installed into our PCs, tables and Smartphone’s. This will have a profound effect on the computer chip business.
Many top manufacturers (Dell, HP, and Samsung) had to halt their production of computers in the first quarter while the Intel chips landed at their production buildings.
Despite plenty of warning it seems that the majority of retailers aren’t ready for the demands of mobile commerce.
In research carried out by mobile app developer Kony, results showed that 60% of shoppers use their mobile to buy an item. However, only 16% of the retailers surveyed had an m-commerce strategy in place.
Head of product marketing at Kony, David Eads, said: “The results show a significant discrepancy between retailers’ anticipations of the impact of mobile and the strategies they currently have to facilitate this demand. Mobile is already affecting shopping habits and has the potential to overtake ecommerce in the next few years.”
The survey also revealed that the majority of m-commerce users are using their mobiles to decide on purchases by using a store finder app and running price checks. In addition to this 60% of the consumers who took part confirmed they used the net on their handsets to decide on purchases while in a store.
89% of surveyed retailers advised that m-commerce had equaled e-commerce in terms of popularity. 42% of retailers also said customer behavior in their physical stores had changed due to the use of mobiles.
Even though we can see the potential behind m-commerce, the majority didn’t have it high in their list of priorities with only 1 in 10 retailers investing 50% of their marketing budget in m-commerce.
UK mobile networks are ramping up their marketing efforts with SMS and MMS ads that are proving increasingly important for brands like Coca-Cola, Burger King, and Domino’s.
Many big brands are seeking to gain revenue from the mobile market that is estimated to be worth £43.8 million in the UK by 2015. Vodafone will become the third network provider to launch this new marketing service that will introduce its customers to brands via a text message.
Other networks have been using the text service to drive business and Orange will be rolling out its Orange Shots service that was launched last year. Also, O2 Media is increasing its attendance at many more O2 events that uses a location service that is now responsible for over 50% of the O2 More bookings.
It has also been reported that the total ads spend on mobile marketing last year was £83m. Mobile messaging was just £1.6m despite the advances O2 and Orange had made launching their messaging services. The Oranges Shots campaign was effective and will be introduced to its T-mobile brand later in the year.
It has been discovered that the over 24 age group is more receptive to the mobile marketing – possibly because of having more disposable income.
Vodafone UK are currently the only major network that does not offer this type of service but the requests are in from agencies to start a mobile ad messaging service and that should change the mobile messaging spend a bit.
O2 Media’s work force has increased almost three-fold since the You Are Here location services started. The SMS campaigns that are generated by the You Are Here messaging are starting to be accepted by the target audience. This success has increased the O2 More customer base to £2.5m and has also drawn interest from brands including Burger King and Marks and Spencer.
As the Smartphone technology improves and becomes more popular to the consumer, more SMS and MMS will be ran as the audience grows and is more receptive. It could include in the future, MMS messages that have a video message perhaps using flash, or other digital solutions.
One taxi company is using the location based mobile messaging to get its core message across that one of their cars is not far away. The O2 More campaign has been very effective for use in driving business via a marketing channel that is accepted.
Mobile search is now being observed by marketing teams as a way that mobile users require information.
Blog Posts Calendar
- Is the Internet going to be the television replacement?
- Google to Launch Cloud-based Music Service
- Skype is in demand but not from members or users.
- You may have the content right, perfect images and a great customer journey on your site, but is it quick enough?
- 4.3.3 is available for download, now Apple can’t track you…(for as long!)