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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April 2013 Sees 24.84 Million Visitors To Various e-tailing Sites – IAMAI

ecommerceThe recent Internet Economy Watch Report by IAMAI revealed that in April 2013, 24.84 million people accessed various e-tailing sites. There were 2253.35 million page views in the category. The user reach for job and matrimonial websites is 13.28 million and 7.17 million respectively with 447.68 million and 104.99 million respective page views. As compared to e-tailing and job and matrimonial websites, online travel segment has less reach with 11.14 million reach and 477.52 million page views. The total time spent by users on the e-tailing, online job portals, online matrimonial portals and online travel portals was 52014276 seconds, 25687398 second, 7281667 seconds, and 22959918 seconds respectively.

The IAMAI report found that there’s a significant y-o-y growth of 87% in online booking of railway tickets when compared with the numbers of corresponding month last year. Railway tickets booked online in April 2013 were 4.00 million as compared to 2.14 million in April 2012. The online bookings of air tickets witnessed a decrease of -37% with 0.57 million bookings in April 2013 as compared to 0.91 million bookings in April 2012.

According to the data captured from major e-tailing sites in the monthly tracker, the online visit to designer labels and book segments has increased by 58% and 76% respectively, when compared to the numbers of corresponding month last year. A significant increase has been registered in the online users visit to mobile segment. The number of visits has increased to 7.07 million in April 2013 from 4.52 million in April 2012. The online users visit to spa and restaurant segment decreased from 0.57 million in April 2012 to 0.57 million in April 2013, a y-o-y decrease of 38%.

The report also found that in April 2013, the number of profile uploads on matrimonial sites has indicated a y-o-y growth of 4%. The number of resume uploads in April 2013 was 1.06 million as compared to 1.09 million in corresponding month last year, a y-o-y decrease of 3%. The number of profile uploads on matrimonial websites was 0.64 million in April 2013 as compared to 0.62 million in April 2012.

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Global Shipments of Smart Connected Devices to Surpass 1.7 billion Units by 2014

smart-devicesThe latest Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker by IDC has revealed that global shipments of smart connected devices (PCs, tablets, and smartphones) are expected to surpass 1.7 billion units by 2014 with roughly 1 billion units delivered to emerging markets. Within the emerging markets, the BRIC countries — China, India, Brazil, and Russia — are expected to generate shipments of 662 million units with a shipment value of more than $206 billion. More than 650 million units are forecast to be shipped to developed markets, with the United States, UK, and Japan capturing more than 400 million units with a shipment value of $204 billion.

With the BRIC countries expected to surpass the total shipments to developed markets by 2014, it is clear that demand for smart connected devices is quickly shifting from developed to emerging markets. The emerging markets are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% over the 2012-2017 forecast period, compared to the 7% CAGR expected in developed markets.

According to the report, in terms of product categories, the smart connected device market will be largely driven by the growing demand for smartphones and tablets in both emerging and developed markets. Of the 1.7 billion units forecast to be shipped in 2014, more than 1.4 billion units are expected to be smartphones and tablets, representing more than $500 billion in value. PCs, on the other hand, will be a comparatively small market with just over 300 million units shipped and a shipment value of less than $200 billion.

The report found that with the rise in global smartphone and tablet shipments, the average selling price (ASP) of these mobile computing devices is steadily decreasing. Tablet ASPs plummeted -19% year over year in 2012 to $426, down from $525 in 2011. Smartphone ASPs fell -8.2% year over year to $407 in 2012, down from $443 in 2011. This pattern of decreasing price points is most prominent in emerging countries where IDC expects sub-$300 smartphones and sub-$350 tablets to drive huge shipments in 2014 and beyond. In developed markets, smartphones and tablets will continue to generate higher ASPs of $490 and $370, respectively, in 2014.

Commenting on the insights, Bob O’Donnell, Program Vice President, Clients and Displays said,”Smartphone and tablet prices are now less prohibitive to first-time buyers in emerging markets. Although the double-digit growth of smartphones and tablets in emerging countries is a mouthwatering prospect, the low selling price also means that vendors will face huge struggles to meet the demands profitably. Given the competitive price points for cheaper smartphones and tablets, this price war is a race to the bottom and it’s not at all clear that this low-end market offers sustainable profits to smartphone and tablet vendors.”

The report also revealed that another factor fueling the growth of smart connected devices in emerging markets is the upsurge in the use of different mobile applications, such as mobile messaging, gaming, social networking, and social commerce, including mobile check-in services. Growing interest from governments, especially in education projects across countries like India, Thailand, Turkey, and the UAE, has also boosted the prospects of low-cost tablets for students in these regions. Indeed, the proliferation of cheaper, yet more capable devices, along with the deployment of 3G/4G services and changing usage patterns have been pivotal in driving the overall growth of smart connected devices in emerging markets.

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Asia-Pacific Accounts for 88% of Global Wi-Fi Hotspots

internetAccording to a recent report by ABI Research, worldwide carrier Wi-Fi deployments reached a total 4.9 million hotspots in 2012. The report found that despite the successful adoption of 3G and 4G mobile data services, the number of Wi-Fi Hotspots has continued to proliferate and are anticipated to surpass 6.3 million by the end of 2013.

Wi-Fi has very much become a complement to 3G and 4G services and is now a mainstay of connectivity for the majority of smartphone, tablet, and laptop users because it is often free in many public Wi-Fi locations. This is particularly the case when a mobile user is roaming – Wi-Fi networks can help the user save a significant amount on mobile data roaming charges.

The report found that as mobility is increasingly important for users, fixed broadband operators are also building Wi-Fi hotspots in order to provide fast and reliable Internet connections when the customers are away from home. Five cable companies from the United States (Cox, Comcast, Time Warner, Optimum, and Bright House) have agreed to allow their customers to access more than 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots installed nationwide.

In addition to mobile and fixed carriers, third-party Wi-Fi network operators (such as iPass, Boingo and Tomizone) are also expanding their Wi-Fi hotspot coverage. Third-party operators install their own Wi-Fi hotspots as well as retail access to Wi-Fi hotspots managed by telecom operators. Of the total global Wi-Fi hotspots, 88% of Wi-Fi is in Asia-Pacific, followed by 8% in Europe, 3% in North America, and 1% in the other regions.

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Over 950 mn Mobile Ticketing Users By 2018 – Juniper Research

juniperAccording to a new report- Mobile Ticketing Strategies: Air, Rail, Metro, Sports & Entertainment 2013-2018, by Juniper Research, over 950mn mobile phone users worldwide are expected to use their handsets for mobile ticketing by 2018, up from 458mn this year. Growth is expected to be driven primarily within key transport verticals, although latterly significant uptake is anticipated across sectors such as live entertainment events and cinema ticketing.

The report found that the airline industry was a particularly strong proponent of mobile ticketing, with adoption of mobile boarding passes rising sharply since the worldwide implementation of BCBPs (Barcoded Boarding Passes) in 2010.

The report revealed that while mobile has for some years been a key ticketing delivery channel across Scandinavian metros, deployments were increasing both elsewhere in Europe and in the US and were achieving strong levels of adoption. At Boston’s MBTA, which introduced mobile ticketing in late-2012, mobile accounted for 10% of ticket sales within seven weeks of launch.

The report also noted that in the short term, the outlook for NFC ticketing was less optimistic, with a lack of implementation standards a key barrier to interoperability.  Furthermore, transaction speed targets have yet to be achieved, providing a further obstacle to widespread deployments and increasing the probability that contactless cards, rather than NFC handsets, will be the primary delivery mechanism.

Commenting on the insghts, report author Dr Windsor Holden said, “We had already scaled back our forecasts for NFC Ticketing deployments in the wake of Apple’s decision not to include an NFC chipset in the iPhone 5. Given the outstanding technical issues and the continuing failure of NFC stakeholders to communicate the value proposition to transport operators, further downward revisions were required; we do not envisage anything other than ad hoc deployments in the immediate future.”

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Worldwide Smartphone Shipments To Reach 958.8 Million Units In 2013

smartphoneThe latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report by IDC has revealed that smartphone shipments are expected to grow 32.7% year over year in 2013 reaching 958.8 million units, up from 722.5 million units last year. 2013 will mark the first year that smartphone shipments surpass those of feature phones, with smartphones expected to account for 52.2% of all mobile phone shipments worldwide. IDC expects this trend to continue for years to come as demand for mobile data and handheld computing spreads across both developed and emerging markets. Emerging markets will account for 64.8% of all smartphones shipped during 2013, which is up from 43.1% in 2010.

Commenting on the insights, Ramon Llamas, Research Manager for IDC’s Mobile Phones program said,”2013 will mark a watershed year for smartphones. If you look at the number of vendors who support both feature phones and smartphones, many of them have not only successfully transitioned their product portfolios to highlight smartphones, but smartphones have become their primary value proposition going forward. In some cases, smartphones have accounted for well over 50% of their quarterly shipment volume. Looking ahead, we expect the gulf between smartphones and features phones to grow ever wider.”

The report found that with the rise in global smartphone shipments, demand has quickly spread from developed markets to emerging markets. As a result, smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) have declined to $372 in 2013, down from $407 in 2012 and $443 in 2011. As this trend continues, smartphone ASPs are expected to drop as low as $309 by 2017 with emerging market demand the main catalyst in this change. Computing at such low end-user cost has posed many challenges to handset OEMs and component suppliers.

“At a time when the global smartphone market is growing at 33% year over year, average selling prices have plummeted, dropping -8% in 2012 with another -9% expected this year,” said Ryan Reith, Program Manager for IDC’s Mobility Trackers. “Smartphones have become increasingly common in emerging markets and it is often the first affordable means of computing for these markets. These are markets where average personal income is far less than in developed markets, and therefore vendors have been forced to create smartphone computing experiences for the low end of the market.”

The IDC report revealed that by continuing to produce 3G smartphones alongside faster 4G smartphones, vendors have managed to keep costs down. Using older radio components has proven to be an easy cost-cutting measure for handset OEMs in the smartphone space. 3G-enabled smartphones will account for 70.9% of all smartphones shipped in 2013, and 50.1% of smartphones shipped in 2017.

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Worldwide Mobile Payment Transaction Values To Reach $235.4 billion in 2013

gartnerAccording to a recent report by Gartner, worldwide mobile payment transaction values will reach $235.4 billion in 2013, a 44 percent increase from 2012 values of $163.1 billion. The number of mobile payment users worldwide will reach 245.2 million in 2013, up from 200.8 million in 2012.

Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner said,”We expect global mobile transaction volume and value to average 35 percent annual growth between 2012 and 2017, and we are forecasting a market worth $721 billion with more than 450 million users by 2017.”

The report found that Near Field Communications’ (NFC’s) transaction value has been reduced by more 40 percent throughout the forecast period due to disappointing adoption of NFC technology in all markets in 2012 and the fact that some high-profile services, such as Google Wallet and Isis, are struggling to gain traction. Gartner forecasts that NFC will account for only about 2 percent of total transaction value in 2013 and 5 percent of the total transaction value in 2017, although growth is expected to increase somewhat from 2016 when the penetration of NFC mobile phones and contactless readers increases.

As per the report money transfers and merchandise purchases will account for about 71 percent and 21 percent of total transaction value in 2013, respectively, making them by far the largest contributors. People are spending less via mobile devices than via online e-commerce services and at retail outlets. Merchandise purchases account for about 23 percent of the total value forecast for 2017.

The report found that money transfer value continues to increase because users are transacting much more frequently (although at lower values) due to the wider availability of services and to transaction costs that are lower than those of traditional bank services. This makes money transfer a leading use case, one that Gartner forecasts to account for almost 69 percent of the total value in 2017.

Bill payment value is expected to grow 44 percent in 2013 and have consistent growth through the forecast period. This is due to higher value per transaction figures as more consumers in developed markets perform bill payments via mobile banking services along with consumers in emerging markets who are transacting at higher values originally forecast. Bill payments will account for about 5 percent of the total value forecast for 2017.

According to the report the transaction value in Asia/Pacific’s transaction is expected to grow 38 percent in 2013 to reach $74 billion. Deployments in developed markets such as South Korea and Singapore and in developing markets such as India are expected drive healthy growth in this region. As a result, in 2016, Asia/Pacific will overtake Africa to become the largest region by transaction value, reaching $165 billion. Africa’s transaction value is forecast to reach $160 billion in 2016. While Africa will still experience strong growth through the forecast period, companies are still searching for the most suitable business model for mobile money in their local markets.

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By 2017, India To Have 348 Million Internet Users

internetAccording to a recent Visuals Networking Index (VNI) forecast (2012-17) by Cisco, Internet traffic in India will reach 2.5 exabytes per month in 2017, up from 393 petabytes per month in 2012. As per the forecast, India will have around 348 million Internet users in 2017, up from 138 million in 2012.

The report found that by 2017, internet users will swell to 3.6 billion globally, which will be more than 48 per cent of the world’s projected population of 7.6 billion. In 2012, worldwide Internet users stood at 2.3 billion against a population of 7.2 billion.

Commenting on the insights Robert Pepper, Cisco VP (Global Technology Policy) said,”The good news is that Internet traffic growth in India is the fastest globally. While there is a great willingness on the part of the government and the industry to drive broadband penetration and ensure Internet access, but still there is a lot to be done. As people, devices and data get connected, the possibilities it opens are immense.”

According to the report, internet traffic in India will grow 6-fold from 2012 to 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 44 per cent. During the same period, internet video users will skyrocket to 113 million (excluding mobile-only). The report added,”In 2012, in India, non-PC accounted for 10 per cent of the IP traffic, but by 2017, the non-PC share will grow to 53 per cent.”

While portable devices like smartphones and tablets will contribute 40 per cent to IP traffic in 2017, TV’s share will be 10 per cent and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules will contribute 3 per cent. The report forecasts that Indian mobile data traffic will grow 4 times faster than Indian fixed IP traffic from 2012 to 2017. While mobile will contribute to 32 per cent of total IP traffic in 2017, the report forecasts that there will be 2 billion networked devices in 2017 in India, up from 1 billion in 2012.

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Android Ecosystem Poised To Overtake iOS – ABI Research

mobile-devicesAccording to a recent report by ABI research, Apple has been able to maintain its tablet lead by delivering a quality experience at a premium price. The report found that though the iPad maker exited the first calendar quarter of 2013 with 50% share of all tablet shipments, the Android ecosystem is poised to overtake iOS.

As per the report, the big variable for Android is China. The Middle Kingdom is passionate about the Apple brand as well as the masses’ ability to afford technology devices. Smaller, 7-inch Android tablets have become popular though most lack the Google suite of apps and Android Play marketplace. A push for sub-$200 tablets is keeping Android relevant in both developed and emerging markets.

“It’s inevitable that Android tablets will overtake iOS-powered slates, though we see no single vendor challenging Apple’s dominance anytime soon,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr. “With media tablets commercially available for more than 4 years, momentum is shifting toward value and affordability, putting tablets in more of the population’s reach.”

The report found that Average selling price (ASP) and size have been moving down-market since Android tablets started honing in on the opportunity in 2012. Rather than try to unseat Apple in the 10”-class space, tablet vendors sought a defensible area they could own; the result is the 7”-class devices.

The report revealed that facing manufacturing limits in its first quarter of offer, the 7.9-inch iPad mini put a dent in the larger iPad sales and Apple profits. The first quarter of 2013 saw Apple cover its backlog and approach the typical 4-6 weeks of sales channel inventory while recording its second-best ever quarter for total iPad shipments. ABI Research estimates that iPad mini represented 49% of units and 39% of total iPad revenues. “Expect iPad minis to become the predominant iPad model after the June quarter,” adds Orr.

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