At Bloomberg, Kelly Blessing and Amy Thomson highlight the major steps being taken to ensure mobile networks in London stay up and running during the major influx of people from the Olympics:
British telecommunications companies serving London’s Olympic Park say they have created a wireless system capable of handling a large city. Legions of iPhone-toting visitors are about to put them to the test.
Annual smartphone purchases have risen almost fivefold worldwide since the Beijing Olympics four years ago, according to researcher IDC, and many fans and athletes in the 2.5-square kilometer (0.97-square mile) park in east London will be watching video on iPads, chatting with friends and e-mailing photos as they take in the games that kick off with today’s opening ceremony.
Tammy Parker of Fierce Broadband Wireless highlights a new report from Infonetics Research that predicts big things for mobile broadband:
Mobile broadband represents the fastest-growing revenue stream for mobile operators. Globally, the value of the mobile services market is forecast to expand to $976 billion by 2016, with the majority of growth stemming from mobile broadband services, according to Infonetics, which also forecasts mobile broadband subscribers will grow from 15 percent of the total mobile subscriber base in 2011 to nearly 40 percent in 2016.
Speaking of smartphones, according to Tim Culpan, Olga Kharif, and Ashlee Vance of Bloomberg, online retailer Amazon is looking to get in the game along with other heavy hitters Apple, Google, and Microsoft:
A smartphone would give Amazon a wider range of low-priced hardware devices that bolster its strategy of making money from digital books, songs and movies. It would help Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos—who made a foray into tablets with the Kindle Fire—carve out a slice of the market for advanced wireless handsets.
As a bonus, the Bloomberg story also features this startling fact:
Manufacturers led by Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple shipped 398.4 million smartphones in the first quarter, according to researcher IDC.
Over at GigaOm, Om Malik poses an interesting question: Given the power of today’s smartphones — fueled by innovative tech and the power of mobile broadband — is it time to stop calling them phones all together? As Malik writes:
We spend about 11 minutes a day on email, 10.2 minutes on text messaging and when you total it all up, we stare at our smartphones for a whopping 128 minutes.
That’s a whole lot of a staring at a device we used to mainly use for talking.
Courtesy of Salvador Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Times comes a glimpse of just how tied we are to our smartphones:
A new survey shows that 59% of smartphone owners say they would reach into the toilet for their phone, and that isn’t the only crazy thing they’d do if they were faced with the prospect of losing their device.
The survey shows that about three in five people would turn to questionable methods to retrieve their phones. A specific example is going through the garbage if their phone got lost, which 63% of people said they would do.
Five years ago today, a little device was released that completely revolutionized not just the mobile industry, but the broadband industry as well. Via Zach Epstein of Boy Genius Reports:
The advent of the iPhone era has forced changes in a stagnant smartphone industry that would never have gotten to this point without a serious push. Smartphones are now slim and sleek instead of huge and bulky. Touchscreens are now commonplace, drastically improving the overall user experience across all mobile platforms. Apps are now a booming economy, and are neatly organized in on-device portals instead of being available mainly through poorly-managed websites that made finding the software one needs a daunting task.
Epstein goes on to note that at the time the iPhone was announced, RIM — makers of the Blackberry, then the top dog in the smartphone market — scoffed at the device. Unfortunately for RIM, just yesterday the company announced its first net quarterly loss in eight years. Pretty amazing how fast fortunes change in the technology world.
Over at Broadcasting & Cable, John Eggerton examines a new survey from Cox and the National Center for Mission and Exploited Children on smartphones and kids:
The Tween Internet Safety Survey study… found that 95% of kids use their phones and game consoles to surf the Web. While 68% of parents said they monitored their kid’s Internet behavior on mobile devices, only 17% said they used parental control features on smartphones.
Today, there are more wireless subscriptions than people in the U.S. That’s just one of the facts we reveal in the first of a series of Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP) info graphics available in English and Spanish. If you have a “work” mobile phone plus a “personal” device, you’re part of that trend. Here’s another shocker: by the end of 2012, there will be more wireless subscriptions than people on the planet. This ever-growing increase in demand is great news for developers who are creating new apps, and for entrepreneurs who are connecting to the global marketplace and growing their businesses.
Nielsen has published the results on a new survey on smartphones and mobile apps, and it’s no surprise that the top apps are still Facebook and YouTube. As for the number of apps people are installing on their devices:
In just a year, the average number of apps per smartphone has jumped 28 percent, from 32 apps to 41.
Interestingly, while the number of apps have increased, the time spent inside apps has only increased 10%, from an average of 37 minutes last year to 39 minutes today.
If you’ve noticed an uptick in spam hitting your mobile phone, you’re not alone. As Bloomberg’s Olga Kharif reports:
The unwelcome messages that have been clogging e-mail inboxes for two decades have made the jump to handsets, as more people use smartphones in place of personal computers and texting becomes more popular. The number of U.S. spam text messages rose 45 percent last year to 4.5 billion messages, said Richi Jennings, an industry analyst. Spam phone calls also are proliferating. The surge is costing carriers money and frustrating users, who must pay for the messages and deal with potentially fraudulent texts.
Kharif goes on to report that carriers and the Federal Trade Commission are actively working to stop — or at least slow down — the problem.
Pew has released its latest “Digital differences” report, examining Internet adoption and mobile connectivity. The full report is worth digging in to, but here are some interesting highlights.
On the state of America’s digital divide:
• One in five American adults does not use the internet. Senior citizens, those who prefer to take our interviews in Spanish rather than English, adults with less than a high school education, and those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year are the lest likely adults to have internet access.
On current levels of technology adoption:
• Currently, 88% of American adults have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-book reader, and 19% have a tablet computer; about six in ten adults (63%) go online wireless with one of these devices.
When it comes to smartphones, adoption among minorities continues to be impressive. As the report finds:
As we found in our May 2011 study of smartphone adoption, several demographic groups have higher than average levels of smartphone adoption, including groups that traditionally have higher rates of tech adoption in general: the financially well-off, the well-educated, and adults under age 50.
Additionally, we see no significant differences in use between whites and minorities. Both African-Americans and Latinos have overall adoption rates that are comparable to the national average for all Americans (smartphone penetration is 49% in each case, just higher than the national average of 46%).
There’s much, much more to be found in Pew’s report. Check it out.
How much has the iPhone, which was released just five years ago, revolutionized the cellphone market? As Phil Goldstein of Fierce Wireless reports, this much:
Roughly half of all Americans now own a smartphone, according to new data from the Nielsen Company, marking a watershed moment in adoption. According to Nielsen, 49.7 percent of Americans owned a smartphone in February, up from 36 percent in February 2011 and 29 percent in October 2010.
According to Nielsen, the upsurge in growth has been driven by both the increased number of smartphone models in the market and customers’ increasing preference for smartphones over feature phones. More than two-thirds of those who bought a new mobile device in the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone, according to Nielsen.
Such an unprecedented rate of adoption for smartphones is definitely a good thing. But Nielsen’s findings (more on the report here) highlight the undeniable fact that for the good times to keep rolling, more spectrum for mobile broadband is absolutely critical.
Ever since the iPhone launched the smartphone revolution, the U.S. has led the world in adoption and use of the devices and mobile broadband. But as Dan Graziano of Boy Genius Report points out, another nation has outpaced us as of late:
Mobile analytics firm Flurry on Wednesday announced that sometime in February, activations for iOS and Android devices in China overtook the United States for the first time ever. In January 2011, the U.S. accounted for 28% of the world’s total iOS and Android device activations, while China only accounted for 8%. China is now the world’s fastest growing smartphone market, however.
According to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, America is quickly becoming a smartphone nation:
Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012, an increase of 11 percentage points over the 35% of Americans who owned a smartphone last May. Two in five adults (41%) own a cell phone that is not a smartphone, meaning that smartphone owners are now more prevalent within the overall population than owners of more basic mobile phones.
Considering the first iPhone was released just five years ago, the rate of smartphone adoption is pretty amazing. It also shows just how important mobile broadband now is in our daily lives.
Just how much has mobile broadband — and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets — changed the computing landscape in a short amount of time? Enough that one of the world’s leading PC makers is getting out of the business. As PC Pro’s Nicole Kobie reports:
Dell no longer sees its business as making and selling PCs, focusing instead on enterprise IT.
The claim follows Dell posting full-year results showing growth in enterprise, but a struggle in consumer sales.
Via Kevin C. Tofel of GigaOm comes word on an innovative new mobile app aimed at making technology much more accessible for the vision impaired:
Here’s how it works. The phone is actually held with the screen facing away from the user. Six large dots appear on the touchscreen in landscape mode, which can auto-rotate, making it irrelevant how the device is held. Using the traditional Braille method, users tap the correct dots to form letters and words. The software can speak aloud the typed letters, helping to ensure proper spelling and input.
The app, which is still in prototype, is called BrailleTouch. It was developed by the Georgia Tech College of Computing. Very cool.
Via Ryan Kim of GigaOm, a new study from Forrester Research reveals just how mobile our lives will soon be:
• 1 billion consumers will own smartphones by 2016 with U.S. users owning 257 million smartphones and 126 million tablets. By 2016, 350 million employees will use smartphones, with 200 million of them bringing their own.
• Mobile spending will reach $1.3 trillion by 2016 or 35 percent of the technology economy with the app market generating $56 billion by 2015.
• Apple, Google and Microsoft are expected to control 91 percent of the U.S. smartphone market and 98 percent of the U.S. tablet market by 2016.
• Businesses are expected to double their spending on mobile projects by 2015.
That’s a lot of data flying through the air. Hopefully our networks will have the spectrum necessary to keep up.
Yesterday, Apple released its quarterly earnings, and in yet another example of the power of technology — not to mention the importance of mobile broadband for America’s economy — the iPhone maker shattered expectations, announcing quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and net profits of $13.06 billion.
As David Goldman of CNN Money points out, Apple is now worth over $400 billion, making it worth more than Greece. Wow.
Via Bloomberg’s Jonathan Browning, new numbers from research firm Arieso find that Apple’s iPhone 4S consumes twice as much data as the previous version of the phone:
Arieso’s research showed that a minority of users account for half of downloaded data. About one percent of the high-use subscribers downloaded half of the data volumes, according to the company. “The hungry are getting hungrier,” Flanagan said.
The main contributor to the massive data increase is Siri, the voice-recognition software included in the iPhone 4S. Given how much Apple’s products are copied throughout the industry, this is yet another example of how wireless providers desperately need more airwaves if they’re going to keep up with demand.
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