December 2010
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Month December 2010

Half of US population to use smartphones by end of 2011

60.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in October, up 14 percent from the preceding three month period, representing 1 out of every 4 mobile subscribers.[…] Despite losing share to Android, most smartphone platforms continue to gain subscribers as the smartphone market overall continues to grow.

via comScore Reports October 2010 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share – comScore, Inc.

Separately, Nielsen reports on the same market:

29.7 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones that run full operating systems.

The most popular smartphones are the Apple iPhone and RIM Blackberry, which are caught in a statistical dead heat with 27 percent of smartphone market share in the U.S. Twenty-two percent of smartphone owners have devices with the Android operating system.

via U.S. Smartphone Battle Heats Up: Which is the “Most Desired” Operating System? | Nielsen Wire.

I’ve been tracking the Nielsen data and using it as a basis for forecasting the penetration of smartphones. While most coverage of this data focuses on splits between current OS platforms, I will look at competition with non-consumption and the impact on operator services.

I see no major acquisitions in Apple's future

Yesterday I attended the first meeting of the Forum for Growth and Innovation. It’s an initiative where practitioners of Clayton’s Christensen’s theory of innovation can review new academic research before it’s published.

The Forum has another goal: to disseminate and propagate key learnings and ideas. As a keen student of the theory and a blogger, I am eager to provide a gateway for you, my audience, to this management theory.

My modus operandi has been to discuss an industry or a set of competitors in great detail while occasionally stepping back and suggesting a cause for the patterns of behavior we are witnessing. More often than not, the causes are described very well by the theories in Christensen’s writings.

There are cases where the theory does not seem to match. That’s actually the most exciting part of this process. Exception (or anomaly) handling is what allows the theory to evolve and improve.

Android is accelerating smartphone adoption

According to Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt Chinese consumers purchased 8 to 10 million smartphones last quarter–implying 400% growth from the 2 to 3 million last year.

How quickly things change. According to McCourt, Android now represents nearly 50 percent of smartphone volume in the country, up from zero last year. And Apple’s iOS, while a niche player with less than 500,000 iPhones sold last quarter, is ramping up quickly, thanks to the successful launch of the iPhone 4 in the country last month.

via 50 Percent of Smartphones Sold in China Last Quarter Run Android | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD.

The growth of Android is far beyond what a single company can engineer. It represents the effect of uncoordinated and uncontrolled distribution. Google does not have to market, license or write contracts for Android. It also does not necessarily benefit from this work. It enables excess device manufacturing and distribution capacity to embrace browser-enabled devices.

The companion screen: will TV learn to be social?

I’ve been traveling the past few days and did not have access to substantial enough bandwidth to make meaningful contributions to the blog.

However, I will be online for the next few days and will catch up.

One observation I had while visiting App World is how apps are affecting the future of television. The notion of single screen viewing is rapidly receding. In the UK among certain demographics, half of the viewers watch TV while interacting with a “companion” screen. This figure is significant in other markets as well.

The consequences of this dual-screen experience could be profound. More profound than what PVR technology enabled. What I would like to think about is whether the dual-screen experience enables new jobs-to-be-done for TV (e.g. “social” TV) vs. what PVR did which was make TV watching “better”.

The key question is whether solitary TV viewing is a different job from accompanied viewing.