BranchInfo 2010 BranchInfo 2010 BA

Monday, January 31, 2011

Google Android Smartphones Overtake Nokia

British research firm Canalys released its Q4 2010 global country-level smart phone market data, and Google Android has become the leading platform.

Shipments of Android-based smart phones reached 32.9 million, while devices running Nokia’s Symbian platform trailed slightly at 31.0 million worldwide.

The fourth quarter also saw the worldwide smart phone market continue to soar, nearly doubling year-to-year with shipments of 101.2 million units representing growth of 89%.  Driving the Android wave are devices from HTC and Samsung, among others.

Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones notes that ‘2011 is set to be a highly competitive year, with vendors looking to use new technology, such as dual-core processors, NFC and 3D displays, to differentiate their products and maintain value.’

The US continues its reign as the largest country market in terms of shipments, at more than double the size of the Chinese smart phone market. RIM recaptured first place from Apple, as the latter experienced its usual US seasonal dip, and RIM benefited from the first full quarter of shipments for the BlackBerry Torch. HTC successfully maintained its third-place ranking in the US for the third consecutive quarter, driven by its speed to market with the latest Android updates and new Windows Phone 7 devices.

Canalys analyst Tim Shepherd added, "The US landscape will shift dramatically this coming year, as a result of the Verizon-Apple agreement. Verizon will move its focus away from the Droid range, but the overall market impact will mean less carrier-exclusive deals, while increasing the AT&T opportunity for Android vendors, such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung.’

Android was by far the largest smart phone platform in the US market in Q4 2010, with shipments of 12.1 million units – nearly three times those of RIM’s BlackBerry devices. Windows Phone 7 devices appeared too late in the quarter to take full advantage of holiday season purchasing. As a result, Microsoft lost share in the United States, from 8% in Q4 2009 to 5% in Q4 2010.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mobile Banking Trends from Synergstics Research

Synergistics - a top tier supplier of syndicated research to financial institutions that I have been turning to for over 25 years - pegged mobile banking subscriptions at about 16% or one in 7 households in mid-summer 2010. 

This is based on 42% aware of such services, and 40% of those signing up.  Those who say mobile is their primary means of banking is only about 4%, which fits very well with other consumer research on this. 

How many actually used the service last month is unknown, but probably remains in single digits.

What is amazing here is that 40% of respondents did not know whether their bank offered mobile banking services, an astoundingly large number that speaks to

A) Continuing consumer unfamiliarity and
B) Ineffective or absent bank communications.

The prior year, Synergistics pointed out that small business was moving faster on mobile devices in general, and that this was an obvious place for a bank to focus its early efforts. 

At that time, 24% were already using smartphones, and among these, 2/3 were doing mobile banking (16% of all businesses).

More interestingly, they were engaged in a wide variety of activities.  While balance inquiry led the way (52%) - as it did with ATM and ARU adoption earlier - 42% made a balance transfer or a card payment.  Also a hopeful sign is that nearly half received an e-mail from their bank on a mobile device, and about 1/3 sent one.

Genie Driscoll of Synergistics spells it all out.  “One of the foremost trends in banking right now is mobile banking and payments, and, with a few notable exceptions, the consumer seems to be the focus of most marketing activity, as well as trade press coverage.  However, our survey shows some very impressive activity taking place in the small business market.  There has been significant adoption of mobile banking and payment activities by small businesses.  Providers, in focusing on consumer marketing of mobile services, would do well not to neglect these significant small business adopters.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Woz Says Robust Voice Is The Next Interface

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak perhaps stated the obvious on Tuesday when he hailed Robust Voice as the next interface for personal computing.

Woz said he expects PCs to interpret a wider variety of voice commands.  Makes sense that it will happen here (mobile) first.  Also makes sense that Microsoft, the king of WIMP that continues to draw the Woz' contempt, will have nothing to do with it.

I feel even better now that I called out Microsoft last month for being a day late and a buck short on most everything, and their lack of effort and worse, vision, in creating a next gen interface.

Wozniak was at the reopening of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, which is a pretty cool place if you get a chance to visit, especially if you're into math and antiques.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mobile Banking Wave Finally Reaches Shore

My good friend Ron Stratman is the marketing director of the California Credit Union.  Being a Mizzou boy born and bred and all the way through, we frequently enjoy a Missouri style BBQ lunch at the Bear Pit, which is in Mission Hills near RPM's offices.

For the past 5 years, Ron has always asked over lunch, always - where are we with mobile banking?  The answer always has been, not there yet, usage is minimal, under 5% penetration, though it's an influential, desirable 5%.

Well buddy, looks like this is The Year.

Nielsen reported at CES 2011 that 31% of all U.S. mobile subscribers now have smartphones, and that may hit as high as 50% by year end.  And this smarphone market is Huge - already, according to Nielsen Mobile Media View study, there are over 83 million people accessing the web from a phone - more households than have HDTV, or digital cable.  IDC reports in their IDC Financial Insights’ United States Consumer Channel Preference Survey that mobile banking usage doubled in 2009 and skews - young, male and upscale.

Young, male, and upscale is exactly where smartphone growth is going.  Today, women talk more (28% more according to Nielsen) and text more - but as sports content begins to take its place alongside movie, TV and videos (and social networking), more and more men are going to pick up smartphones as soon as they discover they are sports information machines, capable of delivering everything from live broadcasts to Albert Pujol's lifetime stats by voice query.

And when sports content hits mobile and intelligent TVs and set top boxes, that 4% of Cord Cutters that have dumped cable TV for broadband only will explode in ways, it was clear at CES, that many traditional players are not ready for.

Today, Nielsen reports that E-Mail (39%) and Social Networking (11%) represent about half of all mobile internet time spent.  News and Current Events, only 7% - add sports, and They Will Come.

And Mobile Banking - which is still a very small niche - will, too.

So Ron, and all you bank marketers out there, it is time to leverage online banking efforts into mobile banking efforts and brace for The Smartphone Explosion as we head for broad, mainstream adoption of the smartphones that will empower mobile banking in 2011.

Sunday, January 9, 2011 Best Mobile App, the mobile app that saves us from ourselves and our inattention blindnesses by rendering our electronics useless as we roll, won the Mobile Apps Showdown at CES 2011.  At version 2.0 you can hear text (SMS) and email messages read aloud and respond to them, hands-free, using your voice.  You chat by sending text responses by voice and use voice commands like: “repeat message” or “call back sender.”

It's available free on all platforms.

Many apps drew applause... here's more.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mobile Apps Showdown Tomorrow at CES 2011

Audience applause will greet - and determine - the best mobile apps of the year tomorrow at CES.  I'm going to miss being there, but will definitely tell you about them next week.

12:30 p.m. Saturday, January 8
LVCC, North Hall, 

Mobile Apps Stage, Room 258

(up escalator to the left 2nd door in).

Spiderpodium Brightens Tablet Scene

I Came for Tablets - and was sorely disappointed.  I expected an ultramobile PC or toughbook in an iPad form factor. 

Yes, Intel and partner OEMs are working on it. 

But the real story on tablets here is not communications or computing, but content aggregation for Youtube Netflix etc. and interface with intelligent TVs and set top boxes.

And then there is Breffo's Spiderpodium Tablet.  An extension of Spiderpodium for mobile devices, Spiderpodium tablet deals with one of the confounding things about tablets, how to ergonomically position them, and we are not talking kickstands here.

Now, if we can only find a way to make them easier to carry and transport - like their smartphone cousins.

CNET did a great video on Spiderpodium so we did not have to.  Here it is.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Panasonic Viera Tablet Turns Out To Be A Fancy Remote

You cannot win 'em all.  I love Panasonic.  Always have.  And while Samsung may make the greatest screen hardware (and most screens as well), Panasonic has the most brilliant picture (and a brand new LCD factory of its own).
So, I held out great hope for a Panasonic tablet.  And the thing is not a PC at all.  It is a companion for the Viera internet connected TVs.

A fancy remote.

My disappointment was tempered considerably when I met Hakan Kostepen of Panasonic on the taxi line after the press conference.  Hakan is the Director of Planning & Innovation for Panasonic Automotive America, and we had a great discussion about the future of in-car systems, what they will do, how they will be mounted so as to allow drivers better access without taking ones eyes off the road.  I'd love to work with this guy.  This is a big part of where my career and interests converge  - automotive product development, GIS and location tech, focus groups.

Oracle Unveils Glimpse of the Future of CRM at CES 2011

Check out our ESRI blog for a first look at the 2011 Oracle High Tech CES Summit! More to come.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Collaborative 3M Tablet Unveiled at CES

The 3M collaborative tablet for CAD and geospatial (and, 3M hopes, many other business and consumer apps) made its debut tonight at CES Unveiled, the press pre-show for the 2011 Consumer Electronics show at...

the amazing Venetian in Las Vegas.

Stay tuned for more... a lot more... as this show is all about tablet computing.

Here's a little preview...

Oh... and the 5 to a pound shrimp were great!  What a shmoozefest.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tablets Invade Las Vegas

Happy New Year everyone, and that means... we'll soon be off to the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it's all about tablets (and a whole lotta TVs and set-top boxes delivering content to the "connected living room".)

Expect to see a number of iPad killers from Toshiba, Motorola, Lenovo that will be a whole lot more useful for business.

We've already seen some new gen tablet mounts from several vendors that will definitely extend the use and applications of tablet PCs.

Stay tuned for posts directly from the CES.