According to research firm Nielsen (whose mobile arm incorporates what was previously known as Telephia), more than 20m household in the US (0r 17%) have ditched landlines in favour of mobile (or as they would call it cell) phones. It signifies a rather steep increase.
- U.S. cord cutters tend to have lower income-levels—59 percent have household incomes of $40,000 or less.
Smaller households, with just one or two residents, are more likely to cut the cord than larger households.
- Moving or changing jobs are the biggest life events associated with cord cutting: 31 percent of cord cutters moved prior to cord cutting and 22 percent changed jobs.
- Wireless substitutors tend to use their mobile phones more than their landline peers, 45 percent more per phone, but still save an average $33 per month in a household of one subscriber, less $6.69 for each additional wireless resident, when they cut the cord.
Now, what I do find surprising is not the fact but rather the apparent reasons given for “wireless substitution”. It is cost…On data, Nielsen also speculates:
“Landline wireless substitution may just be the start. [...] As wireless data networks improve and speeds become more and more competitive with broadband, some consumers may cut the Internet cord, as well, favoring wireless data cards and other access through carrier networks.”Now this I understand, and the study shows indeed that wireless-only consumers use the mobile Internet more than twice as often as their primary access to the web than the good old-fashioned rest (11% vs 5%). It will be interesting to see how quick this substitution works though for the masses: people with money tend to retain their landlines, which suggests that a wireless-only solution is still less convenient. With hardware (computers, phones, etc) becoming increasingly able to access multiple wireless standards (i.e. via the mobile networks as well as WiFi, etc), this factor might however be evaporating relatively quickly.
[t]he Games category leaped from fourth place at year-end 2007 into the second spot behind the Entertainment category.
It also reports that
‘Ringtones’ was the most searched term in the first half of 2008, and ‘games’ was a near second, up from number three in the second half of 2007. ‘Themes,’ ‘GPS,’ ‘weather,’ and ‘music’ also make the list of the top 10 searches.”
I then asked myself what the heck is a smartphone? Mobile advertising guys Admob note that
[t]here is no standard industry definition of a smartphone. We [Admob] automatically classify a device as a smartphone when it has an identifiable operating systen and continually update our list as new phones with advanced functionality enter the market.
Globally, Nokia rules the pack: the top 4 smartphones are all from the Finnish giant (Admob numbers), and all N-Series devices, namely the N70, N95, N73 and N80. In the US however, there is not a single Nokia phone (or rather, as they would put it, “multimedia device”) amongst the top 20 smartphones. According to Handango, 2 Blackberry devices (8830 and Curve) were the top 2 devices, according to Admob (not representative), it was the Blackberry 8100, the Palm Centro and the Blackberry 8300). Globally, these don’t really feature: Nokia has a market share of a whopping 62.4%!
The more interesting facts are unfortunately from confidential information from the likes of M:Metrics. Without giving too much away, the top devices for games consumption (downloaded) are the iPhone and Nokia’s N95, both with quite some margin ahead of everyone else (and the iPhone with quite some margin ahead of Nokia’s performance monster). This does indeed show that a powerful handset (or at least one with powerful UI) promotes content consumption, which is, I’m afraid to say, old news indeed.
So, no news then?
Funny. Sometimes a theme somewhat haunts you… After I have posted about the demise of Tira Wireless (and added some alternative views on the labyrinth that is platforms and handset fragmentation; also go and revisit my posts on the same topic here and here), today we can read that it will all get worse (or maybe not). I bet they read my recent post on the issue…
“Hey, we noticed you tried downloading content to your T-610. You may not have realized that this phone is utterly outdated and will give you no joy when playing games. We would like to offer you a discounted upgrade to the brand-spanking new N76/ W880i/ Pearl/ iPhone/ Viewty/… and your life would be so much cooler. We are confident that you would then also have more luck with the girls/boys… Best. Your carrier”
Comcast (for you fellow non-Americans: this is one of the larger broadband providers in the US) and Thumbplay (for you fellow non-Americans: these are the guys who kick serious a** in D2C mobile content over there) announced a deal whereby Comcast will sell mobile content source from Thumbplay through a dedicated website to their highspeed Internet customers. Items available comprise everything from Thumbplay’s catalogue, that is to say, music, ringtones, video, games, you name it.
Following the iTunes success story, we could see it coming, I guess, and indeed after a mere 3 months of going live the mother of all black turtlenecks informs us that the Apple App Store rocketed past 100m downloads for iPhone and iPod. Impressive numbers! And another example how simplicity and a good eye for ease of use wins the day: put applications (games are apparently leading the pack, too, with no less than 700 of them [that's nearly 25% of the total available]!) into one place where a) people can find them and b) it is easy to download, install and run them, and you are on to a winner (operators, listen to this!).
- There are 3,000 apps on the App Store, 600 of which are for free. Now, for what percentage of downloads these 20% are responsible for, we are not being told though…
- 90% of the apps are priced at less than $10 (this will include the 20% free ones, I guess). However nothing is said if it is $9.99 that is the prevalent price point or perhaps $0.99 a pop.
The App Store certainly is a success for Apple (in particular considering the relatively low number of devices that access the store, and this deserves our unreserved applause! The only thing is: it might just be that 90% of the downloads were of the unpaid kind and another 8% of the less-than-$3.00 kind, and that would mean that it is actually not such a great success for the developers hoping to make a buck from it (rather than only showing off the funky logo on investor presentations).
My post on Tira Wireless‘ apparent demise triggered a few e-mails, and it was pointed out that, whilst my observations generally seem to have been accurate, I forgot a few players that actually do deliver porting solutions across platforms (e.g. from J2ME to BREW) rather successfully (and do work with some of the larger publishers, too). There is for instance Innaworks, whose Alchemo solution is pretty powerful.