Category: Uncategorized

Asia booms for mobile app downloads

Mobile developers should consider turning their attention to Asia which is booming with mobile app downloads, according to a new report from app analytics firm Distimo.

The region now holds the second largest global app market – i.e. China – with South Korea not too far behind as it now outpaces Germany and France in app download volume.

The overall download volume in Asian countries has taken off in the past six months, while some Western countries actually saw less download volume over the same period. While the U.S. remains the leader for app downloads, Asian countries like India and Thailand have grown 27% and 40% respectively since December 2010.

Whilst China is now in second place in overall app downloads, South Korea actually outpaces China and Japan in download volume on a per capita basis. This comes despite the fact that the App Store in South Korea doesn’t include games because of local regulations… which is pretty remarkable when you consider that gaming is the most popular content in this region! 

Despite the massive opportunities, there are some difficulties for developers looking to tap the Asian market:

1. Monetization for apps is about two-thirds that of Western markets, in part because Asian consumers are one-third less likely to buy paid apps. That might also be a result of higher average selling prices for paid apps in this Asia.

2. Asian consumers are also less interested in in-app purchase, which is a key way for developers to make money on free apps. In China, for example, only 34 percent of the revenue from the 200 top grossing applications came from apps with in-app purchase, half that of the U.S.

3. Western developers must also consider the need to localize apps in Asian countries. Distimo found that 34% of the most popular apps in Asia are only popular within Asia, and some that are popular worldwide are of no interest in the region. The need for localization is more pronounced in countries like China, where 65% of the 300 most-popular free applications are popular only in the region.

When it comes to content, Asia is very similar to the rest of the world with games and entertainment being the two most popular categories – just like in the US.

However – although there are challenges of entering this market, the investment is likely to be worth it.


At the end of July on Google’s Think Mobile event, Rory Sutherland, vice-president of Ogilvy, Charles Dunstone, founder and chief executive of Carphone Warehouse, and Ian Carrington, mobile advertising sales director of Google, discussed the future of mobile, and why marketers need to reshape their strategies. Charles Dunstone said “There’s no silver bullet: no one who can tell you exactly what’s going to happen in this space.  You will succeed by experimentation, and generally fortune will favour the brave. If you go for it and engage in the marketplace … the more you push, the more surprised you will be about what you can get out of it.” Very inspiring! See Matt Brittin Managing Director, Google UK & Ireland,summarizing  the event’s take-outs in video below:

You can watch the videos from other presentations here:

Some key figures: There are 900 million active subscribers on China’s three carriers, over 350 million mobile Internet users, and over 250 million new handsets sold each year. Even at this scale, growth has not slowed down.  There continues to be eight to 10 million new subscribers being added each month, with about 50 percent of them being 3G users.

When it comes to smartphones, for tier 1 cities in China smartphone penetration is over 50 percent, which is higher than most Western markets. Nationwide, it is closer to 15 percent. Android phones and iPhones are the best sellers in China, taking market share away quickly from the market leader Nokia.

Looking ahead, the smartphones with the most potentials are Google Android phones & Apple iphones – each for very different reasons. Whilst Android is winning the price war and taking big share away from Nokia in the mid-tier and tech savvy markets, Apple is still the phone of choice for the high-end and brand/fashion conscious segments.

Regardless of whether Chinese consumers pick Android or iphones, they will all very soon be smartphone users: With carrier subsidies, even the latest models become affordable for consumers of almost all income levels.

More Good News for Mobile Payments in the UK.

Three of the UK’s biggest operators, Everything Everywhere, Telefonica UK (O2) and Vodafone UK have announced they are to form a mobile marketing and payments Joint Venture.  The JV is to provide the start-up investment to create a single ‘ecosystem’ for m-commerce.

The benefits of the JV should be three fold, retailers and advertisers will have a far easier job at creating m-commerce products. Consumers will be able to take advantage of the NFC enabled phone to transform their phone into a ‘physical wallet’, making mobile payments easy when out and about.  The growing trend of couponing and offers will also benefit from the JV, with the operators hoping to develop a way for consumers to easily access and use coupons directly from their phone. Not only would this add value to consumers it would also be a fantastic development for advertisers in terms of tracking the uptake and reception of the deals they are offering.

It will be interesting to see how the m-commerce platform the JV is hoping to create will integrate into the social media space.  Most Phone manufacturers have put the integration of social tools at the heart of their smartphone developments. If the operators treat the m-commerce platform in the same way this could mean huge developments for social networks also. Will we see an integration of mobile payments into the Facebook deals offering?

One barrier which could slow down early adoption is consumer perceptions of the security around mobile payments.  The concept of being able to pay for something with ‘one touch of their phone’ could be perceived as too easy and therefore unsafe, it could also be quite dangerous in terms of keeping track of spending!

Finally what does this mean for the operators who are not a part of the Joint Venture? Three Mobile have already shown their unhappiness at being excluded from the JV, and depending on uptake, could be detrimental for them.

Guy Laurence, CEO of Vodafone UK, commented today “Currently people take their mobile, wallet and keys when they leave home. In the near future, people will now start leaving their wallet at home, and in the mid term their keys may also be integrated into their mobile as NFC allows the mobile to act as a digital access card. The joint venture is the next phase in realising that ambition.”

With each day, the smartphone market is taking steps encapsulate everything essential you need when out of home and the JV is another step towards making this a reality. What does this mean for the Handbag / Manbag Market?

Read the Press Release

Top 5 Handset OEMs 2001-2010

Top 5 handset OEM

The 3D Phone

Contrary to the last post LG has announced a new ‘3D Phone’. Personally I have never looked down at my phone and thought ‘if only my screen was 3D’

Is this a step too far?

Take a look at the latest HTC ad – It’s a nice position to take in the exploding smartphone market.

‘Innovation doesn’t really matter, unless it matters to you.’

Over a Quarter of Apps are Only Opened Once

A new study from Localytics has shown 26% of all apps are only opened once after being downloaded. With half a million apps available across the iPhone and Android platforms it’s no wonder that App developers need to make a good first impression in order for their App to have any kind of lifespan.

The research was taken from thousands of users from Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 apps. So this trend is not isolated to one manufacturer or OS.

Although these results are not particularly surprising, they serve as a warning to any brand looking to develop and App purely because everyone else seems to be doing it.. Unless the App is instantly useful, entertaining or relevant to your audience it may be very easily forgotten.

Full Article

Or, four questions to ask before you get started (by David Berkowitz)

For most marketers, planning a mobile program is a relatively new exercise. Even for marketers with years of experience with mobile (a very small subset), questions will arise as to which channels, tactics and vendors are most appropriate to incorporate. Marketers can build a mobile plan by answering four questions that lead to a much broader number of decisions involved in figuring out how to make the most out of mobile.

1) What are your goals for mobile marketing?

Are your goals centered more around branding or direct response marketing? What does the end result look like if the mobile program is successful? What kind of commitment will you make up front in terms of the staffing and budget allocated? Do you have the time to fully optimize the program? Are you seeking massive scale for impressions, clicks, engagement or app downloads within a brief campaign flight? Answering these questions at the onset will help ensure mobile fulfills its potential as part of your marketing plan.

2) How is your audience using mobile?

It’s critical to understand your audience and how they are using mobile when creating your plan. Beyond talking, what are consumers doing with their mobile devices? Which handsets and operating systems are they most likely to use? Are they likely to text, search, take pictures, play games, use social media, read news, look for local businesses, surf the web, download apps, scan barcodes, use location-based services, or participate in other activities? To what extent does mobile usage by time of day and the day of the week? What are your consumers’ favorite mobile sites and applications? How does your audience incorporate mobile into their shopping process? With what other media, including traditional media, does your target audience engage? Mobile integrates well with various forms of traditional media, so those insights should be applied to any mobile program.

3) How can you use your arsenal in mobile?

What assets do you have that might make sense to incorporate? Do you have stores or other channel partners? Do you have apps or a mobile-friendly website? What other digital branded experiences do you have, such as across social networks? Mobile bridges digital and physical worlds, so consider tangible, real-world assets: products, out-of-home or print ads, retail stores and live events.

4) Does your plan follow mobile marketing best practices?

Does the program adhere to how consumers are using mobile media? Does it use the functionality of mobile devices? Does the experience translate well both to the smaller screen size and then the broader real-world landscape where consumers use their mobile devices? What kind of value does it provide to the consumer — information on a new product or service, entertainment, or a discount on merchandise, among many other options?

OK, so that’s really two dozen questions, and you’ll have dozens more for an extensive program. Answering these honestly will increase the odds of success for any mobile effort.


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‘Android Phones outsold iPhones for the first time in early 2010’ and this is being reflected in the ad requests for one of the US’s top mobile networks, Millennial Media.

Millennial claim to reach about 80% of the US mobile phone carrying population and 46% of all their ad requests are being generated by Android.

iOS is still the second highest at 32% while RIM are far behind at 16%. This isn’t surprising as Android can run across a number of manufacturers and is increasing in demand whilst Apple remains steady with 21% Market share of the smartphone market.

Some are putting these results down to the popularity of the ad supported model on Android over paid for apps, others, the increase in the amount of Android devices available. Either way, in terms of operating devices it’s becoming more and more of a two horse race..

Full article: