Developer Investment in Augmented Reality (AR) Applications Will Total US$670 million This Year – ABI

abiAccording to a new market forecast by ABI Research, developer investment in Augmented Reality (AR) applications will total US$670 million this year.  As per the report, the annual amount is expected to exceed US$2.5 billion in 2018, as AR becomes a more everyday part of mobile experiences, especially in the domain of retail and marketing. This application segment accounts for 68% of the developer spend in 2013, with product enhancement and standalone apps contributing 22% and 10% of the total, respectively.

Cloud computing is one of the key factors driving this growth. Commenting on the insights, Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said, “The cloud is a natural fit for AR developers, considering how big benefits cloud-based content libraries present for image recognition technologies. The leading SDKs, Qualcomm’s Vuforia and Metaio, introduced cloud recognition capabilities last year, and it’s exactly moves like those that will help bringing AR to the mainstream. Meanwhile, the cloud has always been at the core of Aurasma—HP’s innovative visual browser that is starting to see traction also as a platform for third-party apps.”

ABI Research believes that AR will become a significant enabler for the Internet of Everything, and namely big-data analytics. This is an area where AR and data visualizations will have a close connection to the emergent wearable computing products.

ABI Research Practice director Dan Shey said,” In a world where a countless number of physical objects and structures will be connected by sensors, AR can serve as a visualization medium that will make the sensor data situational, bridged to the real-world surroundings. The consumer aspect is unsurprisingly making most of the headlines here, but we’d expect smart eyewear to initially make more waves in transforming the enterprise. Google Glass, like the smart-glass pioneer Vuzix, will find various use cases in verticals such as engineering, logistics, and healthcare.”

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By 2017, Over 160 Billion Apps To be Downloaded Worldwide – Juniper

Mobile-AppsAccording to a recent report by Juniper Research, in 2017, over 160 billion apps will be downloaded globally onto consumer handsets and tablets. This sharp increase, from 80 billion in 2013, is a result of many consumers in developing markets upgrading from feature phones to smartphones, and a growing number of apps downloaded at no upfront cost.

The report, Future App Stores: Discovery, Monetisation & Ecosystem Analysis 2013 – 2018, found that the majority of annual downloads will be in the games category, with at least 40% of downloads arising from this area.

The report also found that, app stores will seek to improve stickiness by developing social functions for gameplay. For instance, the recently announced Google Play Game Services allows for real-time multiplayer games and leader boards across not only the Android platform but also iOS and the web. This, coupled with an increasing number of apps which are free at the point of download, will lead to an explosion in the total number of apps downloaded.

Siân Rowlands, report author, said,”carrier billing has become an increasingly viable option for MNOs who want to see a share of app store revenues, and also for app stores who want to distribute their content to unbanked consumers. However, MNOs must realise they won’t see as great a revenue share as they did during the pre-app store era”.

The report further found that only 5% of apps will be paid for at the point of download in 2017, down from 6.1% this year. Also, storefronts will improve their discovery services for consumers, as the influence of Amazon’s Appstore recommendation engine becomes more prominent.

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By 2018, Worldwide Enterprise App Store Adoption Expected to Triple – ABI Research

abiAccording to a recent report by ABI Research, the number of large enterprises to adopt enterprise app stores will grow at double-digit rates through 2018. Globally, large enterprise app store adoption will grow at 30.4% YoY with the manufacturing and trade industries commanding the largest share of app deployments. North American and Western European enterprise app store adoption will grow healthily at 20.7% and 21.5%, respectively, but Asia-Pacific will have the most enterprises with enterprise app stores by 2018 growing at 59% YoY.

Commenting on the insights, senior analyst, Jason McNicol said,”Mobile Application Management is growing in popularity among enterprises looking to deploy flexible mobile solutions to support Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiatives. The problem is finding a scalable solution to deploy enterprise apps without placing additional burdens on IT departments. Enterprise app stores allow enterprises to expand their mobile application portfolio yet control distribution based on role and mobile policy.”

The report found that other benefits include enabling a mobile workforce with apps that contain key documents (i.e., PowerPoint presentations, videos, work order forms, etc.), custom app deployment to employees, and app lifecycle management (app deployment, maintenance, and retirement).

McNicol added, “Enterprises supporting BYOD initiatives need to consider Bring-Your-Own-App (BYOA) initiatives as well. Widespread adoption of BYOD has led to an influx of third party apps being used to support business functions (e-mail, calendar, Office docs, document storage etc.). Instead of blacklisting these apps, enterprises are embracing, securing, and deploying third party apps through the enterprise app store. As such, the enterprise app store is a means to support BYOA.”

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More Than 39 million Tablets Shipped Worldwide During Q1 2013 – ABI Research

abiAccording to a recent report by ABI Research, more than 39 million tablets were shipped worldwide during the first calendar quarter of 2013, representing the second largest volume of shipments to date. As per the report, the spending power of the largest three world regions and availability of new, higher cost Windows devices from PC OEMs are continuing to drive market awareness and growth.

The report found that tablets remain a lucrative market for the three largest world regions for consumer electronics and computer adoption: North America, Western Europe, and Asia-Pacific’s Japan and South Korea.

“Three regions of the world are expected to yield 97% of tablet revenues in 2013,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr. “North America is forecasted to claim nearly half of the estimated $72 billion expected to be spent this year on tablet devices. Western Europe and Asia-Pacific will also have their hands in the honey pot for a combined 50% of world tablet revenues, respectively.”

Broader availability of Windows-based tablets is a key factor contributing to the revenue growth. ABI Research estimates only 1.5 million Microsoft Surface tablets shipped during 1Q’2013. “The average selling prices for Windows 8 and Windows RT are higher than other platforms, which is keeping price erosion minimized,” adds Orr. Several tablet partners have joined Microsoft in launching Windows tablets, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, and Vizio. Businesses, many of which have loyal Windows PC followings, are a prime growth audience for tablets.

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Mobile App Revenues To Reach $27 billion in 2013 – ABI

abiAccording to a recent report by ABI Research, the mobile app market will value at $27 billion in 2013, as mobile apps continue to be a critical factor in the battle between the mobile OS. As per the report, BlackBerry and Windows are slowly augmenting their apps catalogue as they compete for the 3rd ecosystem, but are still far behind Apple and Android.

Commenting on the insights, ABI senior analyst Josh Flood said,”iOS continues to lead the way, and the OS is projected to generate over two-thirds of the revenues for smartphone and tablet apps in 2013. Although Google’s Android OS recently surpassed Apple in terms of total app numbers, iOS users continue to prove they’re more willing to depart with their cash. The revenue gap between the two leading OSes looks unlikely to close over the next 18 months.”

The report found that app revenues generated from smartphones have significantly dwarfed app revenues from tablets. However, tablet revenues are quickly catching up and it is projected tablet app revenues will overtake smartphones by 2017. The inclination for tablet users to pay more for apps than their smartphones because of the larger screen size and better user experience for gaming and reading are the primary drivers.

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Worldwide PC, Tablet and Mobile Phone Shipments to Reach 2.35 Billion Units In 2013 – Gartner

smart-devicesAccording to a recent report by Gartner, Inc., worldwide devices (the combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.35 billion units in 2013, a 5.9 percent increase from 2012. The market is being driven by sales in tablets, smartphones, and to a lesser extent, ultramobiles, as PC shipments are on the decline.

As per the report, worldwide traditional PC (desk-based and notebook) shipments are expected to reach 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 percent decline from 2012 , while the PC market including ultramobiles is forecast to decline 7.3 percent in 2013. Tablet shipments are expected to grow 67.9 percent, with shipments reaching 202 million units, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units. The sharp decline in PC sales recorded in the first quarter was the result in a change in preferences in consumers’ wants and needs, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013.

Commenting on the insights, Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner said,“Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets.”

The report found that demand for ultramobiles (which includes Chromebooks, thin and light clamshell designs, and slate and hybrid devices running Windows 8) will come from upgrades of both notebooks and premium tablets, such as the Apple iPad or Galaxy Tab10.1. Analysts said ultramobile devices are gaining in attractiveness and drawing demand away from other devices. This will be even more evident in the fourth quarter of 2013 when the combination of new design based on Intel processors Bay Trail and Haswell running on Windows 8.1 will hit the market. Although these devices will only marginally help overall sales volumes initially, they are expected to help vendors increase average selling prices (ASPs) and margins.

According to the Gartner report, the tablet and smartphone markets are facing some challenges as these devices gain longer life cycles. There has also been a shift as many consumers go from premium tablets to basic tablets. The share of basic tablets is expected to increase faster than anticipated, as sales of the iPad Mini already represented 60 percent of overall iOS sales in the first quarter of 2013.

Carolina Milanesi further added,”Although the numbers seem to paint a clear picture of who the winner will be when it comes to oper ating systems (OS) in the device market, the reality is that today ecosystem owners are challenged in having the same relevance in all segments.Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 percent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 percent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market.”

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Facebook Now Has One Million Active Advertisers

facebookOn Tuesday popular social network Facebook announced that its now has 1 million active advertisers globally who used the platform in the last 28 days. A vast majority of those advertisers consists of small business owners.

Dan Levy, Facebook director of small business commented,”Most small business owners start off as Facebook users, then migrate to become page owners, and from there migrate to become advertisers.”

Advertising accounts for 85 percent of Facebook’s revenue – which also includes dollars from the world’s largest brands and advertising agencies. But the company is trying to spark its ad growth following a sharp slowdown last year.

Last quarter, Facebook reported first-quarter revenue of $1.46 billion. Advertising revenue rose 43 percent, the fastest growth rate since the end of 2011.

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Shipments of quad-core smartphones reached 40 million units worldwide in 2012 – Berg Insight

smartphoneAccording to a recent report by Berg Insight, sales of high-end smartphones equipped with quad-core application processors reached 40 million units worldwide in 2012. Total smartphone sales grew almost 47 percent to 690 million units in 2012, up from 470 million units in the previous year. High-end smartphones with unsubsidised retail prices above € 400 and low-cost devices priced at around € 100 and below contributed to most of the growth in the smartphone category in 2012. Sales of high-end devices increased from about 150 million units in 2011 to an estimated 250 million units in 2012. Going forward, most of the growth will come from low-cost smartphones costing less than € 100, followed by mid-range handsets.

The first smartphones with dual-core application processors were released in early 2011, offering more than double the computing power of the previous generation high-end smartphones. Sales of dual-core smartphones accelerated in 2012, reaching an estimated 250 million units, up from 70 million units in 2011. The first handsets with quad-core processors were launched in early 2012. A wide range of standalone application processors and system-on-chips (SoCs) that integrate application processors and cellular basebands are becoming available to address different price points in the increasingly competitive smartphone category. This will likely bring more choice for consumers, while product marketing becomes more challenging for handset vendors. “It becomes more difficult for consumers to make comparisons between handsets when application processor vendors introduce SoCs based on different CPU architectures and core counts, each with different performance depending on specific workload”, said André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. Berg Insight anticipates that nearly all of the 1.5 billion smartphones sold in 2017 will be equipped with at least dual-core processors and the majority will feature quad-core processors.

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In 2013, Nearly One in Four People Worldwide Will Use Social Networks – eMarketer

Social-Media-CollageAccording to a recent “Worldwide Social Network Users: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates” report by eMarketer, nearly one in four people worldwide will use social networks in 2013. The number of social network users around the world will rise from 1.47 billion in 2012 to 1.73 billion this year, an 18% increase. By 2017, the global social network audience will total 2.55 billion.

The report found that the rapidly expanding social network audiences in the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa will be huge drivers of social user growth. It found that though Asia-Pacific will have the largest social network population worldwide through 2017 and the Middle East and Africa will have the second-largest audience starting next year, their population penetration rates are among the lowest.

eMarketer expects the fastest increases to come from the social network user populations of India, Indonesia, Mexico, China and Brazil.

According to the report, Asia-Pacific has the largest social network user base, with an audience of 777 million people and a share of 44.8% of social network users worldwide expected by the end of this year. This is more than triple the size of Latin America’s social network audience, which is the second-largest worldwide.

eMarketer expects the regional portions to shift in ranking throughout the forecast period. Next year, the Middle East and Africa will surpass Latin America in share to become the region with the second-largest social network audience, while Central and Eastern Europe’s share will exceed that of North America for the first time.

According to the report, the Middle East and Africa will have the fastest gains in new users this year, followed by Asia-Pacific. Internet usage is expanding in both regions and is driving rising social network usage.

Through 2015, the more advanced social network markets of North America, Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe will have the highest penetration rates worldwide. Beginning in 2016, Latin America will pass Western Europe in social network user penetration. Throughout the forecast period, Asia-Pacific’s and the Middle East and Africa’s penetration rates will be lower than the global figure.

The report found that, this year, 67.7% of internet users around the world will use a social network at least once per month. This figure is expected to rise to more than three out of four internet users by 2016.

According to the report, the respective social network user penetration rates as a percentage of internet users for North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific (specifically, Japan, South Korea and Australia) are lower than the worldwide figure. The advanced countries in these regions tend to have more diverse internet user populations, as users often access the web for a variety of reasons such as shopping or searching. However, in countries with less-developed online markets in the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America, internet users skew younger and more tech-savvy, and they are more likely to use social networks. Many people in these emerging markets primarily go online via both desktop and mobile devices to gain access to social platforms.

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Google Made $4.61 Billion in Mobile Internet Ad Revenues Last Year- eMarketer

googleAccording to eMarketer’s first-ever figures on worldwide digital and mobile advertising revenues at major internet companies, Google earned more than half of the $8.8 billion advertisers worldwide spent on mobile internet ads last year, helping propel the company to take in nearly one-third of all digital ad dollars spent globally.

The report found that after making nearly half a billion dollars worldwide on mobile ads last year, Facebook—which had no mobile revenue in 2011—is expected to increase mobile revenues by more than 333% to just over $2 billion in 2013, and account for a 12.9% share of the global net mobile advertising market.

eMarketer estimates that Google made $4.61 billion in mobile internet ad revenues last year, more than triple its earnings in 2011. This year’s mobile revenues will be up a further 92.1% to $8.85 billion.

Twitter is also expected to see its worldwide mobile ad spending share increase this year to about 2% of the total, eMarketer estimates. However, eMarketer estimates that Twitter will have a higher, 3.6% share in the US.

As per the report, combined, three companies—Google, Facebook and Twitter—account for a consolidating share of mobile advertising revenues worldwide, as other players, such as YP, Pandora, Apple and Millennial Media, see their shares decrease, despite maintaining relatively strong businesses growing at rapid rates.

eMarketer found that across all digital platforms, Google continues to reign as not only the largest beneficiary of digital ad spending in the US, but worldwide as well. The search giant made $32.73 billion in net digital ad revenues in 2012, equivalent to nearly 31.5% of total worldwide digital ad spending that year. This year, Google will increase revenues faster than the overall market thanks to continued monetization of YouTube and growing adoption of mobile advertising, eMarketer believes, leading to a gain in share of the total digital advertising market. The search giant is foolowed by Facebook, with $4.28 billion in net digital ad revenues, or 4.11% of the worldwide market. Its share is also expected to grow this year, to 5%.

This is also eMarketer’s first estimate for revenues at IAC. The company, which also benefits as a large recipient of Google’s traffic acquisition costs (TAC) paid back to partners who provide search traffic, earns a respectable market share compared with other longtime players like AOL.

While both Google and Facebook are increasing revenues at faster rates than the overall digital ad spend market, dramatic increases in ad revenues are more difficult for companies with such high earnings. Twitter will post the fastest growth rate in worldwide ad revenues among the companies eMarketer analyzed, with a 102.2% increase expected this year after a 106.7% increase in 2012. That’s compared with 12.3% growth in total digital ad spending projected for 2013, and 20.4% growth estimated for 2012.

Overall, eMarketer’s forecast for digital ad revenues at select major publishers indicates that online ad spending, like mobile advertising, continues to consolidate among a few major ad sellers.

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