Because every American
should have access
to broadband Internet.

The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Blog posts tagged with 'Smartphones'

Monday, April 01

Banking on the Go

By Brad

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve has released a new study that shows people are increasingly using their mobile devices to handle banking. From a press release:

As of November 2012, 28 percent of all mobile phone users and 48 percent of smartphone users had used mobile banking in the past 12 months. This is a significant increase from 21 percent in December 2011 for mobile phone users and 42 percent for smartphone users.  While relatively less common, the use of mobile phones to make payments at the point-of-sale increased threefold over the same period, with 6 percent of smartphone owners having used their phone to make a purchase.

The Board’s full report is available here in a PDF.


Wednesday, March 13

Percentage of the Day

By Brad

25%, which is the amount of American teenagers who now access the Internet on smartphones, according to new results from Pew. As Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post reports:

These young users between the ages of 12 and 17 stand out from adults. About 25 percent of teens use their cellphones to access the Internet, compared to 15 percent of adults.

Pew said this group of “cell-mostly” Internet users portend an explosion of mobile Internet use in the future.

“This is the first time we have measured the cell-mostly population among teens, and we expect this to be an important measure moving forward,” said Mary Madden, a researcher at Pew.

That bolded section from Kang’s article is key. Given that wireless providers are already flirting with capacity on their airwaves, it’s no wonder allocating more spectrum and the transition to all-IP networks are near the top of the FCC’s to-do list.


Monday, March 04

The App Avalanche

By Brad

At the Wall Street Journal, Jessica E. Lessin and Specner E. Ante report on the still booming mobile app industry:

App stores run by Apple and Google Inc. now offer more than 700,000 apps each. With so many apps to choose from, consumers are estimated to spend on average about two hours a day with apps. Global revenue from app stores is expected to rise 62% this year to $25 billion, according to Gartner Inc.

Not bad for an industry that essentially didn’t exist just five years ago. Just goes to show the economic power of innovation — in this case, with both devices (smartphones, tablets) and the mobile broadband networks that power them.

Monday, February 04

King of the Mobile Phones

By Brad

Apple’s iPhone may have a lot of competition these days, but new numbers show the company is still dominating the market. As Brett Molina of USA Today reports:

Apple outdueled Samsung on mobile phone shipments in the U.S. during the fourth quarter, according to research from firm Strategic Analytics. It’s the first time the company has ever claimed the top spot in mobile shipments.

Overall, 52 million mobile phones were shipped, a 4% jump from last year. Apple snagged a 34% market share, shipping 17.7 million phones. The maker of the iPhone held a 25% during the same time last year.

Thursday, January 17

Scary Survey Results of the Day

By Brad

Via Liz Gannes for All Things Digital, a new survey from McKinsey finds that a whopping 35% of smartphone owners use their devices while driving. Yikes. As Gannes writes:

Of respondents who said they use their smartphones while driving, 89 percent said it was for calls, 68 percent for navigation, 39 percent for SMS and 31 percent for using the Internet.

Keep your eyes on the road, people!

Wednesday, January 02

Happy Downloading Holidays

By Brad

Tech gadgets are always a hit during the holidays, and the number of mobile applications downloaded for iPhones and Android phones over this year’s holiday week hint at another big year for mobile devices.  As Ryan Kim of GigaOm reports:

The final week of 2012 was a big one for mobile app makers as consumers downloaded a record 1.76 billion apps between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, according to new data from Flurry. It’s not surprising that app downloads set a new weekly record, considering mobile usage is only going up and Christmas 2012 already set a single-day record for downloads.

The full report from Flurry that Kim highlights is available here.

Monday, December 17

Number of the Day

By Brad

2 million, which is the number of iPhone 5’s Apple sold in China in its first weekend of release. (Via Reuters.)

Tuesday, November 27

The Smartphone Data Boom

By Brad

A new report from Ericsson finds that smartphone data traffic continues to increase at a rapid rate:

The latest Ericsson Mobility Report, formerly known as the Ericsson Traffic and Market Report, reveals that approximately 40 percent of all phones sold in Q3 were smartphones. Data traffic doubled between Q3 2011 and Q3 2012, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 50 percent between 2012 and 2018, driven mainly by video.

Ericsson’s research shows that online video is the biggest contributor to mobile traffic volumes, constituting 25 percent of total smartphone traffic and 40 percent of total tablet traffic. This puts new requirements on networks to cater for quality anywhere and anytime.

With streaming video showing no signs of slowing down, Ericsson’s call for networks to “cater for quality anywhere and anytime” highlights the critical importance of allocating more spectrum for mobile broadband.

Friday, November 02

Patents in FTC Crosshairs

By Brad

Back in 2011, search giant Google bought Motorola Mobilty for $12 billion. At the time, it was believed a driving force behind the acquisition was Motorola’s extensive patent portfolio. Now, as Sara Forden of Bloomberg reports, that portfolio has gained the attention of the Federal Trade Commission:

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission should sue Google Inc. for trying to block competitors’ access to key smartphone-technology patents in violation of antitrust law, the agency’s staff told commissioners in a formal recommendation, according to four people familiar with the matter.

A majority of the agency’s five commissioners are inclined to sue, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. A final decision on the staff recommendation, made last month, isn’t likely until after the Nov. 6 presidential election, they said.

Friday, October 26

Mobile Will Continue to Rise

By Brad

A new report from Gartner (via Erik Pineda of the International Business Times) predicts mobile computing, via smartphone or tablet, will continue to grow:

Personal computers will inevitably be relegated behind the pacesetting smartphones and tablet computers, research firm Gartner said in a new report made public on Wednesday, adding that mobile phones are likely to emerge as the preferred computing tool by 2013.

Gartner also predicts Google’s Android platform will soon be the dominating operating system in the mobile space.

Friday, October 19

News on the Go

By Brad

Speaking of Google, via Brendan Sasso of The Hill, some new data from the company shows just how important mobile devices are now to people looking for news and information:

Google said on Friday that an increasing number of people are using their mobile devices to search for information during the presidential debates.

The company found there was a 2,000 percent increase in debate-related searches on mobile devices in 2012 over 2008.

According to Google, mobile searches for “Libya” alone jumped 3,300% during the last presidential debate.

Monday, October 01

Mobile Nation

By Brad

New numbers from Pew shed a light on just how mobile — and dependent on our mobile devices — Americans have become:

On the eve of Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone 5, 45% of American adults own smartphones. They are particularly popular with young adults and those living in relatively higher income households; 66% of those ages 18-29 own smartphones, and 68% of those living in households earning $75,000 also own them.

The full report, “Smartphone Ownership Update: September 2012,” is available at Pew’s website (PDF).


Friday, August 31

Talking Patents

By Brad

As the tech patent war continues to rage, Alexel Oreskovic and Poornima Gupta of Reuters report two heavy hitters in the tech space are tentatively talking:

Google Inc Chief Executive Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been conducting behind-the-scenes talks about a range of intellectual property matters, including the mobile patent disputes between the companies, people familiar with the matter said.

The two executives had a phone conversation last week, the sources said. Discussions involving lower-level officials of the two companies are also ongoing.

If the Reuters report is correct, any conversations that keep the smartphone revolution from being mired in patent disputes are cause for celebration.

The Challenge of Mobile Advertising

By Brad

Ryan Kim of GigaOm points to a new report that shows while the future of the Internet may be mobile, advertising in the mobile space still faces some challenges:

Wonder why mobile monetization is still lagging as Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker helpfully pointed out earlier this year? Well, one reason may be that many of the clicks on mobile ads are useless, the product of an increasing amount of fraud as well as a lot of inadvertent actions, said Trademob, a German mobile app marketing platform.

The company, which is in the midst of opening offices in San Francisco and New York, shared some new research with GigaOM, finding that 40 percent of clicks are essentially worthless, creating a conversion rate to install an app from an app store of less than 0.1 percent. Trademob found that 22 percent of clicks are accidental, while 18 percent are fraudulent. That could be one thing holding back mobile advertising as some advertisers question how effective their spend is on mobile.

Wednesday, August 29

Smartphones Adoption Accelerating

By Brad

It’s not secret mobile broadband empowered smartphones are taking over, but as Matt Hamblen of Computerworld reports, that takeover is happening quicker than anticipated:

Smartphones are selling faster than previously predicted by IHS iSuppli and will make up more than half of global cell phone shipments next year.

The company updated its prediction Tuesday. Just last year, IHS iSuppli said smartphones would not hit the halfway point of global cell phone shipments until 2015, said Wayne Lam, an analyst for IHS.

IHS now expects smartphones to make up 54% of the overall cell phone market in 2013. They will comprise 46% of the total this year and represented 35% in 2011.

Interesting side note: Last quarter, smartphones were the majority of devices shipped in China — the tune of 44 million. Given the country’s massive population, that’s just scratching the surface.

Friday, August 24

A Look at Smartphone Users

By Brad

The Online Publishers Association has released a new study, “A Portrait of Today’s Smartphone User,” that examines just how mobile our world now is. Some highlights:

• Smartphone adoption is growing at a brisk pace, with penetration expected to reach close to 60% in the next two years.

• More time is spent on the Internet via smartphones than apps.

• Still, smartphone users averaged 36 apps downloaded last year.

• 68% of smartphone owners claim they can’t live without their phone.

The full report (PDF) is interesting — or, if you’re annoyed by people around you constantly staring at their phones, troubling. Check it out.

Tuesday, August 21

Guest Blog: Keeping Up With the Wireless Revolution



As an advocate for the Asian American community, I aim to advance policies that benefit not only my community but all Americans. One great example is promoting the wireless revolution that is creating enormous opportunities for minority communities to flourish.  As our networks grow faster and more reliable and our devices become more powerful, these opportunities will continue to expand.

Every day, more and more Asian Americans are using mobile devices to access the Internet. Recent studies show that Asian Americans, followed by other communities of color, are leading the way in smartphone adoption. While these studies do not take into account that certain Asian American subgroups likely have lower adoption rates, it is clear that no one should be denied access to this technology that improves our lives. Major barriers to Internet adoption, such as limited English proficiency, lack of digital literacy skills, and affordability need to be addressed. Yet limited deployment to low-income and rural communities also continues to negatively affect Asian Americans and other communities of color. That’s why I agree with President Obama’s goal of delivering next generation wireless broadband services to 98 percent of Americans by 2016.

But it’s going to take a couple of things to make that happen.

First, we have to make sure the private sector continues to invest in wireless networks and the devices and apps that use them. Last year, wireless service providers spent about $26 billion on building and maintaining the mobile infrastructure needed for wireless connectivity. These expenditures translate into jobs and economic opportunities for our communities. We need that investment to continue, and even increase, if we are to reach the President’s goal.  The government must have policies in place that encourage this investment.

Second, more spectrum — the invisible airwaves that carry wireless signals — is required. As the wireless revolution continues to boom, we’ll need more spectrum to meet our growing demand. While recently passed legislation will free up a limited amount of spectrum, the government is the largest holder of spectrum. The government should quickly move to use its spectrum more efficiently and make spectrum available for consumer use. If we can do this, all Americans will be major beneficiaries.

Jason T. Lagria is the Telecommunications and Broadband Policy Staff Attorney at the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. AAJC works to promote universal access and reduce barriers to critical technology and services for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.

Friday, July 27

The Mobile Games

By Brad

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.

Tuesday, July 17

Big Jump for Mobile Broadband

By Brad

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.

Friday, July 06

Everybody’s Doing It

By Brad

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.

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