Posts tagged "apple"

Mobile App Revenue to Hit US$18.9 billion by 2014

Number crunchers Juniper and other research firms estimate big numbers as Internet use switches from the desktop to the smartphone.

Mobile Commerce is the Place to Be

It would appear logical that a lot of desktop activity is switching to the mobile space as smartphones become evermore capable. So the estimates by Juniper that demand for mobile access to Web 2.0 applications and services will hit US$ 18.9 billion in 2014 sound pretty reasonable. That figure was followed by a US$ 17 billion estimate from Getjar on the value of mobile apps in just 2012.

With workers and consumers both heading mobile, Juniper reckons that presence and location features and mobile Voice-over-IP (VoIP), will be the primary market driver. In fact, a second piece of Juniper research, published today, reckons that the presence segment will be worth US$ 6 billion alone, covering geolocation and social web services.

On the consumer side, app stores and social gaming-gone-mobile will eat up staggering amounts of cash. Such is the drive towards mobile, that a third report, from Canalys, reckons that some 65 million smartphones will be sold in the U.S. this year. This will bring the smartphone from vocal, but significant, minority to a market leader over the majority of feature phones currently in use.

Who Will Be In the Money?

With all these statistics flying around, the big question is, who will be raking in most of this revenue? On the hardware side, clearly BlackBerry from RIM and Apple's iPhone, but the reports expect Android to start claiming some of the share. On the software side, those making a major presence in the major app stores will gain.

Joomla Admin Mobile and Squarespace have an early start in the mobile CMS space (on Apple's store at any rate), but there is room for a lot more action and major players will be revving up their services in the near future. Certainly it will take some creativity and effort to produce a slick method of managing sites from a 4" screen.

Trouble in Store

Among all the hype and big numbers, it is important to consider the downside. As users and enterprises are finding that 99.9% uptime for a funky cloud service isn't the same as 100% uptime, they will find themselves struggling to connect and having to revert to old-fashioned laptops and networks, as backup plans for areas where service is patchy, or signal quality is poor.

Perhaps the major drive to mobile services won't start for a few years when LTE and other 4G mobile networks are up and running. This does give larger enterprises and developers the time to come up with the right solution. At the same time this will allow smaller, agile, developers to make their mark. All developments we will follow with interest.



Is Microsoft's New Windows Phone 7 Smartphone Competition for iPhone?


The mobile space is always ready for a good dust-up, will Microsoft's (site) Windows Phone 7 be the one to shake the Apple tree?

One Ringtone to Rule them All?

Technology empires regularly come and go. When was the last time you heard the phrase "IBM PC", "Hayes Modem" or  "Sega Console"?.

In the mobile space, things seem to happen even quicker. PDAs — now smartphones — were long considered executive tinker toys. It is only in the last few years with BlackBerry, and then Apple's entry into the market (approaching a dominant 70% of the smartphone market between them) that cemented the idea of doing business on the phone.

Windows Phone 7 goes straight for the consumer with its bold, block-panel display, slick all-in-one interface and use of large font sizes. It all looks a million miles away from those HP iPAQ's that were de-riguer but much-despised before the rise of the BlackBerry.

The hype around the announcement is rather reminiscent of Windows 7 blowing PC users away after the botched launch of Windows Vista. It's a big improvement on Microsoft's existing product, therefore generates much noise, but still has to appeal to the wider phone market and picky real-world users. Even Microsoft staff seem loathe to drop their iPhones, to the annoyance of the head honchos.

Microsoft has come a long way in interface design, but is it enough?

But can Microsoft and its many hardware partners (including; LG, Samsung, Garmin, Sony Ericsson, Dell HP and HTC) really storm the iPhone's market share in any meaningful manner?

A Brave New Rebirth

Apple, while hardly being innovative on the ideas front, has redefined the idea of apps and touch screens firmly in the consumer conscience and created a controlled environment to change the market.

Which brings us to the late market re-entrant that is Microsoft. Ever since the early PDAs and smartphones, Microsoft OS-based mobile devices have been clunky and boring to say the least. So, a total refresh was obviously needed. Something it took a brave decision to do, even as Windows 6.5 for smartphones was also in development. 

What the Experts Say

Mark Hattersley, Editor-in-Chief of Macworld UK, took some time to point out what he thinks are the pros and cons of the Microsoft's new play in the market.

The greatest strength is, of course, that it's Windows. Despite everything, that's still an operating system that many people are familiar with and integration with the desktop edition is always a strength Microsoft will have — especially integration with Office.

Beyond that key features such as tethering (available as standard on Windows Mobile phones) is something you have to pay for on an iPhone. Plus, of course, the OS supports a range of handsets giving consumers choice for things like keyboards, larger screens, haptic screens, and so on."

Too Little, Too Late?

Hattersley also points out the cons:

Weakness is simply timing, above all. Microsoft has been extremely slow to react to the iPhone, and Android, and it's hard to genuinely see a standout feature that Windows 7 Mobile has over the iPhone. The runaway success of Apple's App Store means that many iPhone owners have invested not just in hardware, but software, and it will be hard to convince them to lose all that for a phone that doesn't offer something substantial."

How does he think it will do in the overall marketplace? 

I think it'll struggle to take on Android, let alone the iPhone. Certainly for the next year or so. But Microsoft plays a long game and the mobile market is still incredibly new. I have no idea on numbers - shall we say"

Slightly more optimistic, Ben Harvell, editor of iCreate magazine, reckons

It seems the UI has more of a social bent than the iPhone which is a bonus for today's web-focused, social networking obsessed market. I also like the fact that (according to MS) all of the contacts I need and the information I'm after is available quickly and from the interface, not within individual apps. I would even go so far as to say I like the design! XBox Live integration will be a major deciding factor for a massive user base of gamers."

Under Pressure

The pressure is on Microsoft to get this right the first time. Apple got a lot of flack for issues with its early iPhones that have taken many updates and the recent 3GS model to put right. Apple still hasn't mastered multitasking, although that should be sorted by summer, and refuses to let Flash run.

Microsoft will not have the luxury of time (Zune, anyone?) on its side to get issues right. The phones, user interface, app store, the number of apps and marketing, all need to be 100% present and correct on launch day. 


On the plus side:

Range: Compared to Apple's single choice (barring memory sizes) of three different phone-types lets the buyer pick the phone of their choice:

  • Large touchscreen (iPhone)
  • Keyboard at the bottom model (Palm Treo-style)
  • Candybar or (possibly) slide-out keyboard (To be confirmed)

Office: Compatibility with SharePoint and Microsoft Office means instant access to most of the world's businesses.

Games: Linking into the Xbox Live brand could tempt gamers and the power of the SnapDragon CPU and portability of DirectX means a big gaming cross-over. Something that could produce better PSP-style gaming rather than the iPhone staples of cutesy time wasters.

On the minus side:

Brand: The name, "Windows Phone 7 Series" is already a confusing, jumbled, marketing loser. Hopefully, something snappier will be available by release — or phone makers will use their own branding — but that too will dilute the idea of a unified ecosystem which is where Apple has made its mark.

Late, late, late: Microsoft is so far behind the curve, to be almost off the chart.

Fortune Favors the Brave

Perhaps the biggest advantage Microsoft has is that a large core of phone users are gadget buyers who want the latest, coolest toys. It's this vocal minority of people who brought Apple into the market and they could do the same for Microsoft — if the product hits the right notes.

Time will tell if these people are Apple-followers in the Mac sense, or just a passing crowd willing to leave their iPhones behind.

Check it out for yourself:

Introducing the Apple iPad

iBook. iPod. iPhone. iPad. Apple’s evolution is astounding. It’s like you can actually see the ape man begin to walk upright.

In a little more than 10 years, the Apple consumer has gone from carrying around a clamshell computer to a pocket-sized mp3 player, an innovative smart phone and now, if it’s everything Steve Jobs says it is, an iPad. In case you actually are an ape man and do live in a cave, yesterday Steve Jobs officially introduced the Apple iPad. It’s part smart tablet, part netbook, part eReader and complete awesomeness.

The Specs

  • Size: Height = 9.56 inches, width = 7.47 inches, depth = 0.5 inch, weight = 1.5 pounds (Wi-Fi model); 1.6 pounds (Wi-Fi + 3G model) and 9.7 inch screen.
  • Display: 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with in-plane switching (IPS) technology, wide, 178° viewing angle; can be held and viewed from any angle. 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Battery life: 10 hours while surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching videos, or listening to music; Built-in 25 Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery; Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system.
  • Wireless: built-in 802.11n with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.
  • 3G: 3G model available with superfast data speeds up to 7.2 Mbps.
  • Processor: 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip.
  • Storage: choice of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of flash storage.
  • Connectivity: 30-pin connector on the bottom of the iPad allows you to dock and charge it. It also lets you connect to iPad accessories like the Camera Connection Kit and the Keyboard Dock.
  • Audio: built-in speakers, microphone and headphone jack.
  • TV/Video: Support for 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite Cable.
  • Pricing: Starting at US$ 499 for 16GB, Wi-Fi only versions are also available at 32GB for US$ 599 and 64GB for US$ 699. 3G models cost an extra US$ 130.

The Demos

At the presentation, several companies gave demos of how their applications could be used on the iPad. Among them, the New York Times,, Electronic Arts and Nova, who demonstrated a host of features.



Perhaps the most anticipated was the presentation of iBooks, a new application that is supposed to rival the Kindle. iBooks features a bookshelf, and a screen that actually looks like you’re looking down at a book, and has an iBook store featuring Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Hachette book group.

Resembling iTunes or the Apps Store, this allows users to flip through pages and shelves of books. When downloaded, books show up on the bookshelf, much like the do on the Kindle. When reading a book on the iPad, users can flip the page by tapping anywhere on the right, change the size, or flip back by tapping on the left or by dragging the page over manually using touch. You can also skip directly to chapters from the table of contents.

Apple uses the ePub format, which means it’s open (unlike the Kindle), and might mean that users can import their own ePub books.

iPad Apps

Speaking of open, users can start developing applications for iPad with iPhone SDK 3.2 beta. Available for download to members of the iPhone Developer Program, Phone SDK 3.2 beta contains a host of tools needed to start developing and optimizing iPhone OS applications for iPad.

What iPad Doesn’t Do

As exciting as the iPad is, what is doesn’t do (for right now) may keep some from using it. It doesn’t have a built-in camera and users won’t be able to multitask (be on Twitter and build their Keynote presentations simultaneously). It can’t play high definition videos or television nor does it have flash or play in widescreen.

Surely these are legitimate concerns for potential buyers, but the iPad doesn’t claim to replace your phone and knowing Apple, updates are sure to happen, so many of these functionalities may be included in future generations.

WoodWing Announces Upcoming Tools for the iPad

WoodWing (site) showed their love for Apple yesterday by announcing the development of a set of iPad-friendly tools.      

Firstly, WoodWing's Content Station for planning and publishing content has been extended to support the iPad's special type of digital publication. The support will allow everyone to get involved with Apple's new toy, as in addition to smoothing out the workflow for creating such content, the team will also offer a native iPad app for consumers to enjoy it. 

"Apple's iPad is most certainly going to boost the success of media consumption through handheld devices," explained Hans Janssen, CEO of WoodWing Software. "This offers a host of possibilities for publishers to create new sources of income. It's our task as a software supplier to provide them with the right tools for that job."

The new iPad tools will be unveiled on March 3 during the first stop of WoodWing's World Tour at the New York City. Can't make it? We got you.