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Friday, September 28, 2012

Is the iPhone good enough?

Is the iPhone good enough?:
We don’t want to just make a new phone. We want to make a much better phone.
- Jony Ive, video at iPhone 5 launch event
Disruption theory has taught us that the greatest danger facing a company is making a product better than it needs to be. There are numerous incentives for making products better but few incentives to re-directing improvements away from the prevailing basis of competition.
This danger is more acute for technology companies. Coupling incentives with the speed of improvement in various technologies (aka Moore’s law) means that over-service can come suddenly and more quickly than warnings from the marketplace. A product can tip from under- to over-shooting the market within one product cycle. One year the product is under-performing and trying to catch up to the competition and the next it’s superfluous and commoditized. The dilemma is compounded by the cycle time of development which can span multiple product cycles.
Therefore, how to tell whether a product is over-serving a market is one of the most important and frequently asked questions I get asked. It’s easy to see over-service in the rear view mirror when looking at a multi-year pattern. The trouble is that by the time you see the data, it’s too late. How do you tell you’re on the cusp of good enough, subject to imminent disruption before you get there?
I consider measuring a product’s absorbability to be a marketing problem. The marketer’s job is to read the signals from the market[1]. Determining absorbability comes down to reading two market signals, both of which must be met before green-lighting an improvement:  (a) a product’s improvements must be used and (b) a product’s improvements must be valued.
If a product’s improvements are not used and the buyer will not pay more for them then they are not being absorbed and the effort to develop the improvements should be redirected.
Now the problem becomes one of measurement. Of the two, utilization is easier. Data can be gathered on whether a feature is being used. Research methods exist to tell if a feature would be used even if it’s not available[2]
The more difficult assessment is that of the value of a feature. You can usually only tell value by trying to price it and watching what happens. For example, you add more speed/memory/capacity and try charging more (or the same) for the product. The acceptance will be measured by sales growth and will give you an indication of whether these improvements are valuable.
If you have to add features and drop prices at the same time then it’s likely that the market does not value the improvement.
But this is extremely risky. You need to wait through a sales cycle and iterate through a development cycle before you have an answer. In a space where competitors are placing opposite bets, the experiment fails even if you get the data.
How can you structure a value measurement experiment without wasting an opportunity?
Rather than dealing with hypotheticals, let’s use the iPhone as a test case. As Jony Ive states, the focus for the latest iPhone was to make it better. Is this improvement absorbable? What happens if Apple’s bet on being better is wrong?
First, we can confirm that the iPhone has been on a trajectory of getting better and that those improvements have been absorbed so far. We can measure the history of performance of the product (roughly doubling every year) and we can also measure proxies for performance as I have in the following charts:

As the product has been improved along these dimensions, sales have increased and prices have held steady (even rising occasionally.)
The question is about the future: what about the latest “5″ variant?
The clue to this experiment is the presence of a control group.  We could test the question of absorbability by keeping a version of the product which did not improve (or got cheaper) and measuring whether it performs better vs. the “improved” version.
Of course, this is exactly what Apple does with the n-1 generation products. By ranging products which are older and at lower price points it can measure whether the improvements are valued.
If sales of the n-1 variant were to increase relative to the new version then they can understand when they are at the point of good enough. The experiment is brilliant because the margin on the older products is maintained even at the lower price point.
We don’t have public data on the performance of the old vs. the new but some studies show that, at least in some markets, the older variants have, so far, been a minor part of the sales mix. The CIRP study from early this year showed that about 90% of holiday iPhone sales in the US we for the latest (4S) variant. If this pattern persists globally and for the 5 then the improvements can be said to be valued.
If the new features (as represented by the metrics charted above) also get broad engagement–data which Apple can easily obtain–then the iPhone 5 can be declared not good enough. The company can then comfortably work on improving it further.

  1. Note that the marketer’s job is to listen not to talk.
  2. e.g. contextual inquiry.

Gain a 360° View of the Smartphone and Tablet Audience

Gain a 360° View of the Smartphone and Tablet Audience:

Understand smartphone and tablet use in three key dimensions.
Reach: The horizontal axis specifies the percent of the participants in the Arbitron Mobile Trends Panels™ service who used a category of service over the course of a month.
Frequency: The vertical axis illustrates how many days each month that users of an app category accessed the service.
Engagement: The size of the bubbles indicates how many minutes of screen time users spent each month with the app category.
For example: Games were used by 60.5% of the Arbitron Mobile Trends panelists in the United States over the course of a typical month during the first quarter of 2012. These panelists accessed game apps an average of 16 days each month, and spent an average of 373 minutes playing everything from Angry Birds to Tap Zoo.

The Arbitron Mobile Advantage

We provide research products that allow you to gain access to unique data through passive, on-device measurements by reporting how smartphone and tablet users in the panel:
  • Access apps and content, play games, surf the web, and consume media, online and offline
  • Are exposed to and act on advertising and marketing
  • Engage in mobile commerce (shopping and payments)
  • Connect with social media

Arbitron Mobile Trends Panels™ Service

Arbitron Mobile Trends Panels service is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, and Finland. The service is based on opt-in panels of smartphone and tablet users.

Arbitron Mobile Trends Panels™ is a trademark of Arbitron Inc.
© 2005-2012 Arbitron Inc. All Rights Reserved. Arbitron radio audience estimates and data are federally copyrighted by and proprietary to Arbitron Inc. All Arbitron data are protected under U.S. copyright law, state misappropriation law, and other state and federal laws. Violations of Arbitron rights under U.S. copyright law may result in statutory damages per act of infringement and the recovery of Arbitron attorneys’ fees required to enforce Arbitron rights, in addition to other rights and remedies under other applicable laws, such as the Lanham Act.

BlackBerry’s spectacular decline

BlackBerry’s spectacular decline:
Research In Motion, makers of BlackBerry smartphones and related products, has not been in the headlines much with positive news in recent years. But the total number of BlackBerry users worldwide has, despite the bad news, kept growing, at least until now.
With the new platform, BlackBerry 10, around the corner, promising new functionality and updated handsets, is there still hope for RIM? You can decide for yourself after going through these figures.

Website traffic and search

No doubt, the story of and reasons behind RIM’s decline has been documented plenty in other places, and that’s not what we want to do here. But we noted BlackBerry’s dramatic fall in an article in June, and we wanted to return to RIM and try to look at the issue from as many sides as possible.
First, let’s look at how traffic to has fared in recent years with Google Trends for websites. As you can see, traffic was actually increasing until about a year ago. Then it leveled out, but has in recent months started to decline.
Google Trends for websites
It’s worth noting that traffic to hardly registers at all in Google Trends for websites.
We can find another example of the site’s popularity using Alexa. It’s Daily Traffic Rank shows that has a global rank of 775 over the past three months. A lower number would of course be better and the site used to hover around the 600 mark last year but is now close to 1,000.
Google Trends for search reveals a similar result when we look at RIM (the blue line) and BlackBerry (the red). It appears the interest in searching for “BlackBerry” has been in decline for a year or so.
Google trends search blackberry
Worth noting is that the spike in interest at the mark “D” was caused by the worldwide outages that struck RIM in October 2011.

Share of mobile web browsing

A smartphone is a mobile powerhouse, and many are used to browse the web. Even though BlackBerry’s main claim to fame is mobile messaging and email, many BlackBerry owners also browse the web with their smartphones.
According to Chitika, BlackBerry devices were used for just over 1% of mobile web browsing in the US in July 2012.
chitika blackberry
Statcounter shows a slightly more positive picture for BlackBerry and mobile web browsing, giving about 5% usage share worldwide to RIM in July. However, that’s quite a dramatic decline from the peak of almost 20% at the end of 2010.
blackberry mobile os web browsing share

Sales and market share

So far we’ve looked at soft numbers, like share of mobile web browsing, but in terms of judging how a company is doing, there’s nothing like counting sales and market share. Looking at Gartner’s figures for BlackBerry sales RIM enjoyed steadily increasing numbers until the second half of 2010. Since then, with a slight increase about a year ago, it’s not good news for RIM. And this year, BlackBerry sales seem to be in free fall.
blackberry sales
The market share figures for BlackBerry OS from IDC seem to show a slightly less dramatic picture for RIM, with its market share declining since early 2009. However, increasing unit sales but declining market share would seem to indicate that the overall market grew much faster than RIM. This would most likely be explained by the growth of primarily Android and iOS.
blackberry os market share
So, sales and market share are declining. As if that was not reason enough to worry for RIM, the company’s share of the US smartphone market has seen a dramatic fall in recent years. In fact, RIM’s share of US smartphone subscriptions has fallen from over 40% in early 2010 to just below 10% today.
rim us smartphone subscriber share

Share price

Finally, let’s take a look at RIM’s share price over recent years. As we write this, RIM’s share price stands at $6.18, which, although better than Nokia’s $2.74, is a far cry from Apple’s $686.90. Looking at RIM’s share price of the last five years using MarketWatch, you can again see that there is not much good news for the Canadian company.
marketwatch blackberry rim share price

Is BlackBerry 10 the savior?

Without a spectacular new OS and smartphones it’s hard to see how RIM will pull this off and be able to continue as an independent manufacturer for much longer. BlackBerry 10 is set to arrive early next year but will that be soon enough? There is no doubt that there are still scores of dedicated BlackBerry users that will hold out for a bit longer for an improved smartphone. But the question remains if it will be enough. Based on the range of numbers we have presented in this article, it’s hard to see anyone being really optimistic about the future for the Canadian company.
Image (top) via Shutterstock.

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iOS, Not Android, Users More Adventurous in Browser Choice

iOS, Not Android, Users More Adventurous in Browser Choice:
It’s no secret that mobile devices are growing more and more valuable to Web developers, manufacturers, and marketers alike. This mass-movement that shifted the importance from desktops to mobile devices was dictated overwhelmingly by the popularity of Apple and Android products.
This summer has marked Google and Mozilla’s full commitment to the mobile platform. In late June, Google introduced Chrome to the iOS market (which even spent a few weeks as the top free app on iTunes). Mozilla’s focused much of their attention this summer to Apple’s rival, releasing two updates in two months that improved the usability of Firefox on Android devices. As a result, both Apple and Android users now have a variety of high-profile choices when it comes to replacement Web browsers – but are they actually making the switch? Chitika Insights’ latest study aimed to quantify the answer to this question.
The Insights team analyzed a week’s sample of U.S and Canadian Web traffic, which encompassed hundreds of millions of online impressions from our ad network between August 28th and September 4th, 2012. This gave us a large enough sample size to accurately represent the Web browser share distribution among Apple (iOS) and Android devices.
We found that, while the vast majority of users from both mobile operating systems stick with their default browsers, Apple users are more active at downloading replacements than Android users. Additionally, Apple users were found to be more adventurous with their selections.
Over 91% of Android impressions were referred from the default Android Browser, while about 85% of iOS traffic was from Safari. One point of interest – on Android devices, the mainstream alternative browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Opera/Opera Mini) make up all statistically significant non-native Browser usage. Compare that to iOS, where 14% of impressions are referred from a variety of smaller, exclusively mobile browsers (Dolphin, Atomic, Mercury, etc).
Despite the mixed numbers, Google and Mozilla’s venture into the mobile browser realm has likely been as effective as they’d have hoped. While both Chrome and Firefox’s share of iOS and Android Web traffic are meager, their modest performances shouldn’t be taken as a statement about poor usability – both browsers received mostly positive reviews from critics. These figures are more a testament to mobile users’ complacency. The vast majority are fine with the performance of the default browsers on their phones and tablets, and don’t see the need to commit to an alternative.

Kindle Fire HD Makes up 11% of all Kindle Fire Traffic One Week after Launch

Kindle Fire HD Makes up 11% of all Kindle Fire Traffic One Week after Launch:
The new Amazon Kindle Fire HD was released Friday, September 14th, 2012, almost 1 year after the release of the Kindle Fire, and two months after the release of Google’s Nexus 7. The Kindle Fire HD‘s price point of $199 is the same as the initial price of the original Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7.  If successful, this could reenergize the Kindle Fire line.
Chitika Insights conducted a study to determine how the Kindle Fire HD was performing relative the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7. To quantify our latest study, we conducted a user agent analysis on hundreds of millions of ad impressions from September 14th to September 18th, 2012. Looking solely at impressions coming from both Kindle Fire devices and the Nexus 7, we were able to observe the growth of the Kindle Fire HD Web traffic since its release; depicted in the figure below:
After only 5 days the Kindle Fire HD represented 11% of all Kindle Fire Web usage. A strong indication that the Fire HD is doing well compared to the previous Kindle Fire. But when compared with the success of the Nexus 7, it is clear that the Kindle Fire HD has a lot of ground to make up.
The Kindle Fire HD will need to greatly outperform its predecessor if Amazon wants to beat Google’s initial success. Having largely the same hardware as the Nexus 7 puts pressure on Amazon’s Kindle Fire-specific services to make the difference for customers – features that include Whispersync, X-Ray for movies and books, and integration with Amazon Prime. But the Kindle Fire also includes ads unless users pay more – a feature which could turn some buyers off.
The Kindle Fire HD may be exhibiting high adoption rates, but it is not as strong the Nexus 7. Its growth rate will need to remain strong if it hopes to match Google’s flagship tablet.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Apple - The Most Valuable Company in the World

Apple - The Most Valuable Company in the World:
This infographic illustrates Apple's position as the most valuable company in the world.

Do Free Apps Really Account For 89% Of All Downloads?

Do Free Apps Really Account For 89% Of All Downloads?:
A few days ago a report was released noting that free applications account for over 89% of all downloads in the various app stores. At Distimo we frequently give our take on similar numbers and although 89% seems a very high figure we are having doubts that it might be even higher. So let’s have a look at the facts in our data.
The first country to look at is the United States as the majority of the downloads are generated there. In the Apple App Store for iPhone in the United States we found that the volume among the top 300 most popular free applications was in July 2012 roughly 15 times that among the top 300 most popular paid applications. One could argue that the top 300 is not a good reflection of the whole store, but if we look at the 10,000 most downloaded applications for both free and paid in the U.S. we find an even higher ratio of 19x.

Although the data from the Apple App Store for iPhone gives a lot of insight, it is increasingly not the main driver of downloads anymore. In many countries Google Play surpassed the Apple App Store for iPhone. Moreover, Amazon Appstore and the Apple App Store for iPad are among the more important app stores, certainly in terms of monetization. If we look at the figures from those stores we find that the ratio in the Google Play is even higher, the top 300 most popular free applications is downloaded on average 82 times more often than the top 300 most popular paid applications. For the Apple App Store for iPad and Amazon Appstore in the United States, the ratios are lower (11x / 12x) but still below the 10x you would expect if the 89%  figure is true.
As said the United States is the single largest market, but certainly not the only market. Increasingly countries like China, Japan and Korea are becoming main drivers of the world-wide download volume. Therefore to validate how the ratios look like over the world in the worldmap below the ratios in the Apple App Store for iPhone are given per country. As becomes clear the United States has one of the lowest ratios, while countries like China and Saudia Arabia have ratios of over 100. So, although we didn’t take into account all appstores, we think it is fair to say we covered the appstores that generate the vast majority of all app downloads in the world and found a significant higher proportion of downloads being free.

At Distimo we think more than 89% of all downloads are free and we expect the proportion of free downloads to even increase in the coming years due to the success of in-app purchases. With all these apps moving to selling in-app purchases the question of in store revenue (including revenue from in-apps) per app becomes more important than free vs. paid downloads. This will be covered soon on our blog, so stay tuned.

Are iPhone Average Sales Prices Increasing?

Are iPhone Average Sales Prices Increasing?:
The most remarkable thing about the iPhone as a technology product is that it has been able to maintain pricing stability for over five years. As the following chart shows, the revenues per unit sold for the iPhone (as reported by the company) have held even as volumes grew exponentially.

The latest version of the product should see no significant change in this pattern. I show below the price spectrum of the iPhone as available unlocked in the US (therefore assuming no sales taxes or VAT and no subsidy). I also highlighted the average revenue per unit from the latest four quarters.

The only difference between 2011 and 2012 is that the lowest priced variant is now $450 vs. $375 a year ago.
Without knowing the split between products, it’s hard to tell how much impact this price increase will have. Note that the average price was very nearly the same as the 16GB variant ($643 ASP vs. $649 16G pricing). Assuming equal volumes for each variant, the average pricing for 2011 would have been $634. Therefore the actual ASP was only $9 higher than average pricing.
If we assume the same for this year (equal split between variants + $10) then the average price could rise to about $660. That would be a slight increase but it would be multiplied by many more phones sold.
In fact, going from $634 to $649 and selling 200 million units would imply an additional $3.4 billion in revenue.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Web Browser Market Share, August 2012 Update

Web Browser Market Share, August 2012 Update:

Mobile Manufacturer Market Share, August 2012 Update

Mobile Manufacturer Market Share, August 2012 Update:

Operating System Market Share, August 2012 Update

Operating System Market Share, August 2012 Update:

Search Engine Market Share, August 2012 Update

Search Engine Market Share, August 2012 Update:

South Korea is Android heaven

South Korea is Android heaven:

Yesterday, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt unveiled that 1.3 M Android devices are being activated globally every day. That brings the total Android user base to around 480 M. But where in the world is Android the most popular? Let’s find out.

Android is the worldwide number 1 mobile OS for web browsing

Worldwide, in August, Android accounted for 28.21% of mobile web browsing, ahead of iOS at 24.48%, according to StatCounter. Digging through the numbers, we found that Android was the dominating OS for mobile web browsing in 23 countries.
Here is a list of the countries where Android had 50% or more usage share of mobile web browsing:
As you can see, not only is South Korea a country with incredibly fast Internet broadband speeds, it is also heaven for Android users. In South Korea, 87.2% of mobile web browsing in August was done with an Android-powered smartphone. That’s just ahead of Myanmar, where the corresponding number was 84.5%. The rest of the list is made up of countries from all over the world.
As a comparison, Android accounted for 40.85% of mobile web browsing in the United States during August.
Note that this doesn’t say anything about the number of Android users in different countries, just the percentage of mobile web access originating from the platform.
As an interesting sidenote, Android actually scored about 71% mobile web browsing usage share in North Korea in August, but that was only out of 28 mobile web page views. We think it’s fair to say that that sample size makes drawing any solid conclusions from the data rather shaky :)

Android is on a roll

That South Korea, home of Samsung, is such a hotbed of Android activity doesn’t come as a surprise, but just how dominating it is, at least in terms of mobile web browsing, is impressive. And across the world, the way Android has taken off in just a few short years has arguably surprised many, including Google.
As Android climbs in sales and usage in the larger markets around the world, such as China and the United States, we will, for sure, see more interesting things develop. In the mean time, we have a few days left until Apple is expected to unleash its iPhone 5.
Image (top) via Shutterstock.

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Positioning Lumia

Positioning Lumia:
The US has reached 50% smartphone penetration.
comScore data shows July penetration at 48.8% and a monthly growth in penetration of nearly 2 percentage points. Given the rate of growth, it’s nearly certain that we’ve crossed 50% in August.
The historic growth is shown below:

The platforms making up the smartphone market in the US have seen unequal shares of this new population of users. The following diagrams show how the install bases have changed in absolute and share terms.

To round out the analysis, here is the net user gains for the platforms showing the net addition or loss of users since early 2010.

What I look for in this data are signs of slowing adoption (so far there aren’t many), subtle shifts in platform performance (as seen in RIM’s move from consistent net gains to consistent net losses) and signs of churn or the transfer of users from one platform to another (rather than from non-consumers to consumers.)
The story in the latest data seems to be that Windows Phone has turned in a first significant gain in users (378k new users). Its share seems to have stabilized at around 4%. This is in contrast to BlackBerry whose hemorrhage continues (a net of 7 million users defected from the platform in the last 12 months.)
On this occasion of reaching what I’ve called the tipping point, it’s worth reflecting on just how far we’ve come. In December 2009 the total number of smartphone users in the US was 39 million whereas now it’s about 115 million. That’s a total of 75 million new users in a bit more than two and a half years, quite a story there.
And yet, half of the phone users still remain to be converted. It’s possible that the growth in adoption will remain steady but it’s also possible that it might slow down and follow the “S-curve” adoption rate that new consumer products typically follow, perhaps reaching saturation at some point below 100%.
If growth slows immediately then there will be more churn between platforms. If rapid growth can be maintained then there will be more competition with non-consumption rather than between rivals for some time still.
The changing character of competition will need to be reflected in product strategies. Non-consumption is typically an easier competitor to beat with features. Switching users from a comparable product is harder and may require pricing pressure. To solve this in a time of transition, new products will have to split into a set offered to new users and another set offered to switch users.
You can see the pressure of this on the Windows Phone platform most of all. As a late comer, does the Lumia range from Nokia fit the bill as targeting non-consumers or switchers?
In other words, has the brand been positioned as a “better” smartphone or as a “good enough” smartphone? It matters because the “good enough” position has been held by Android overall while the “better” position has been held by iPhone. However, not exclusively. We’ve seen “better” positioning from Samsung’s Galaxy S and Verizon’s Droid brand and “good enough” positioning from the older variants of iPhones.
So it’s quite difficult to see where Lumia fits in the US. There is no obvious opening. The next 75 million first time US smartphone users may be attractive to Microsoft and Nokia but it’s not clear why, having waited so long, those buyers will be persuaded by the new brand. Perhaps subsidies will help. As indicated with the first US Lumia launch, the product was priced at a discount to the prevailing price point for a premium smartphone. Perhaps that’s the “good enough at a good price” strategy.
If so, it has not been a home run. Perhaps there is still time for this strategy to play out in 2013 but what if Lumia is not actually being marketed this way?
At launch Nokia has tried to promote the brand as something “better”. Better camera, better charging, better maps, better screen, etc. They have promoted on Twitter with the #switchtolumia hashtag. Microsoft has had the “Smoked by Windows Phone” campaign targeting specifically existing smartphones.
I don’t want to suggest that one positioning is more appropriate or more likely to succeed than another. That’s a tough call. Either could be the right choice. What I would suggest however is that there needs to be clarity of thought and communication on the matter.
Perhaps the launch of the new Lumias (920, 820) is part of a clear positioning toward the high end. But the absence of pricing and distribution and how the operators will be engaged leaves the question open. The strongest criticism of the effort so far is this lack of clarity about how the product is intended to be perceived by the buyer.
A lack of clarity in positioning is symptomatic of a lack of clarity, or maturity in strategy.

Top 10 Telecom Websites – August 2012

Top 10 Telecom Websites – August 2012

Top 10 Social Networking Websites & Forums – August 2012

Top 10 Social Networking Websites & Forums – August 2012

Top 10 Video, Multimedia Websites – August 2012

Top 10 Video, Multimedia Websites – August 2012

Young Adults and Teens Lead Growth Among Smartphone Owners

Young Adults and Teens Lead Growth Among Smartphone Owners:
As mobile manufacturers announce new phones in advance of the holidays, Nielsen took a snapshot look at the mobile market in the U.S. Smartphone penetration continued to grow in July 2012, with 55.5 percent of mobile subscribers in the U.S. now owning smartphones. This is a significant increase compared to July 2011 when only 41 percent of mobile subscribers owned smartphones.
Overall, young adults are leading the growth in smartphone ownership in the U.S., with 74 percent of 25-34 year olds now owning smartphones, up from 59 percent in July 2011. Interestingly, teenagers between 13 and 17 years old demonstrated the most dramatic increases in smartphone adoption, with the majority of American teens (58%) owning a smartphone, compared to roughly a third (36%) of teens saying they owned a smartphone just a year ago.
“Among most age groups smartphones represent the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers, but American teens were the age group adopting smartphones the fastest,” Nichole Henderson, a Nielsen analyst, said. “As teens increase in their share of smartphone owners, mobile carriers and manufacturers should consider how to market to this growing group.”
smartphone gfx
Android handsets continue to lead the smartphone market, with both a majority of smartphone owners and recent acquirers (those who obtained their handset in the last 3 months) now owning a phone that runs on the Android operating system. Apple’s iPhone followed closely with a share of 34 percent of smartphone owners and 33 percent of recent acquirers choosing an iOS handset. BlackBerry handsets decreased to an 8 percent share of the U.S. smartphone market and only 3 percent of recent acquirers.
Methodology: Nielsen’s monthly survey of 20,000+ mobile subscribers aged 13+ in the U.S. Mobile owners are asked to identify their primary mobile handset by manufacturer and model, which are modeled to be demographically representative of mobile subscribers in the U.S. Recent Acquirers are defined as consumers who obtained their handset within the last 3 months.

Some prior posts included insights looking only at adults aged 18+, which should not be compared or trended with this current report.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Patent Wars

Patent Wars:
The high cost of IP lawsuits. Patent conflicts are discouraging innovation like never before. According to research from Boston University, these cases have caused innovators to lose $500 billion in wealth from 1990 to 2010 and continue to plague a diverse set of industries.