Recently in Mobile Category

Facebook's mobile strategy laid out

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Jon Swartz:

About the only thing growing faster than Facebook's overall audience -- 500 million users and counting -- is its mobile user crowd.

Since the social-networking giant said it topped 100 million mobile users a few months ago, it has added another 50 million. The whopping figure of 150 million is the population equivalent of Nigeria.

The breakneck growth, combined with the fledgling mobile market, has put Facebook in a highly advantageous position to reap the benefits of a multibillion-dollar market worldwide. "We see mobile as the future," said Erick Tseng, Facebook's new head of mobile products. "Mobile is no different from the desktop Web. All the (Facebook) apps available on the desktop should be available on smartphones.

Goldman Sachs' latest mobile report, via Joseph Cotterill.



Morgan Stanley 2.5MB PDF, Mary Meeker / Scott Devitt / Liang Wu:

  1. Wealth Creation / Destruction is Material in New Computing Cycles - Now in Early Innings of Mobile Internet Cycle, the 5th Cycle of Last Half Century.
  2. Mobile Ramping Faster than Desktop Internet Did and Will Be Bigger Than Most Think - 5 Trends Converging (3G + Social Networking + Video + VoIP + Impressive Mobile Devices).
  3. Apple Leading in Mobile Innovation + Impact, for Now - Depth of App Ecosystems + User Experience + Pricing Will Determine Long-Term Winners.
  4. Game-Changing Communications / Commerce Platforms (Social Networking + Mobile) Emerging Very Rapidly.
  5. Massive Data Growth Driving Carrier / Equipment Transitions.
  6. Growth / Monetization Roadmaps Provided by Japan Mobile + Desktop Internet.
Learn more about Virtual Properties' iPhone app here.

Tricia Duryee:

n just 18 months, the number of Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android phones being shipped has soared to 60,000 a day, and over that period countless new devices have been released by handset makers for sale by carriers worldwide.

Nothing typically moves this fast in wireless. So how has Google done it?

Well, at least part of the answer appears to be that Google is sharing advertising revenues with carriers that use Android, according to multiple sources who are familiar with the deals. In some cases, sources said, Google is also cutting deals with the handset makers. The revenue-sharing agreements only occur when the handsets come with Google applications, like search, maps and gmail, since that is not a requirement of Android. Google declined to comment, and said terms of its agreements with partners are confidential. A number of carrier and handset makers that I spoke with about this declined to comment.

Rethinking Marketing

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Roland T. Rust, Christine Moorman, and Gaurav Bhalla:

Imagine a brand manager sitting in his office developing a marketing strategy for his company's new sports drink. He identifies which broad market segments to target, sets prices and promotions, and plans mass media communications. The brand's performance will be measured by aggregate sales and profitability, and his pay and future prospects will hinge on those numbers.

What's wrong with this picture? This firm--like too many--is still managed as if it were stuck in the 1960s, an era of mass markets, mass media, and impersonal transactions. Yet never before have companies had such powerful technologies for interacting directly with customers, collecting and mining information about them, and tailoring their offerings accordingly. And never before have customers expected to interact so deeply with companies, and each other, to shape the products and services they use. To be sure, most companies use customer relationship management and other technologies to get a handle on customers, but no amount of technology can really improve the situation as long as companies are set up to market products rather than cultivate customers. To compete in this aggressively interactive environment, companies must shift their focus from driving transactions to maximizing customer lifetime value. That means making products and brands subservient to long-term customer relationships. And that means changing strategy and structure across the organization--and reinventing the marketing department altogether.

Brokers have a great opportunity to build AND own their marketing platform today, via a single entry system, blogs, a branded iPhone app and active cultivation of their clients via a pervasive CRM system, like Main Street.



Morgan Stanley's Latest: The Mobile Internet Report:

Our global technology and telecom analysts set out to do a deep dive into the rapidly changing mobile Internet market. We wanted to create a data-rich, theme-based framework for thinking about how the market may develop. We intend to expand and edit the framework as the market evolves. A lot has changed since we published "The Internet Report" in 1995 on the web.

We decided to create The Mobile Internet Report largely in PowerPoint and publish it on the web, expecting that bits and pieces of it will be cut / pasted / redistributed and debated / dismissed / lauded. Our goal is to get our thoughts and data into the conversation about what may be the biggest technology trend ever, one that may help make us all more informed in ways that are unique to the web circa 2009, and beyond.

Our key takeaways are:

Material wealth creation / destruction should surpass earlier computing cycles. The mobile Internet cycle, the 5th cycle in 50 years, is just starting. Winners in each cycle often create more market capitalization than in the last. New winners emerge, some incumbents survive - or thrive - while many past winners falter.

The mobile Internet is ramping faster than desktop Internet did, and we believe more users may connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within 5 years.

Five IP-based products / services are growing / converging and providing the underpinnings for dramatic growth in mobile Internet usage - 3G adoption + social networking + video + VoIP + impressive mobile devices.

Apple + Facebook platforms serving to raise the bar for how users connect / communicate - their respective ramps in user and developer engagement may be unprecedented.

and, via Fortune:

"Apple has a two or three-year lead" according to Katy Huberty, thanks to an installed base of 57 million handsets, 100,000 apps and 200 million iTunes subscribers with credit card numbers on file. (She will keep her eye, however, on Samsung, Nokia (NOK) and Google's (GOOG) Android.)

But much of the presentation was spent showing, in slides culled from research over the past two and a half years, that the iPhone is not like previous mobile devices, and its owners not like ordinary cell phone users.

For example, although iPhone and iPod touch owners represent only 17% of the global smartphone installed base, they account for 65% of the world's mobile Web browsing and 50% of its mobile app usage (see chart below).

Key Virtual Properties assets to help you take advantage of the mobile explosion:

Jean-Louis Gassee:

With this in mind, unlike most opining individuals above, I went to a Verizon store and paid my own money to get a Droid. I did this on the very Droid-day, Friday November 6th, at the University Avenue Verizon store in Palo Alto, around 11:30 am. No line, I waited two minutes for a salesperson, a simple transaction as I already have a Verizon account. The activation turned out to be just a bit more problematic: 'Too much traffic' said the sales gent. I left the phone with him, went back to my office one block away. When I returned by lunchtime, everything was in order. Easy enough.

I've used the Droid for a week now and my own take doesn't deviate much from what early reviews led me to expect.

As happens time and again, I hit the difference between a feature set, a check-list, and the user experience. For example, the keyboard and the camera.

The Droid's camera sports more pixels, 5 million, vs. the iPhone's 3.2 million. But, as reviewers pointed out, and as I can confirm, the Droid's pictures are mediocre. As discussed here, megapixel numbers are often misleading. And it looks like the iPhone's firmware also provides better selective focus and image processing.

As for the slide-out keyboard, I find it hard to use. Actually, it feels harder to use that the one on the original T-Mobile Gphone, the G1 I bought a year ago. The two phones are clearly related, similar keyboard arrangement, similar UI (User Interface); the Droid is more refined, thinner, it runs a newer, better Android release.

The Profit and Peril of Mashups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

What is a "mashup"? According to this wikipedia entry, "In web development, a mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service."

Real estate brokers and agents may wish to take advantage of "free" internet api's (application programming interface). Websites such as flickr, facebook, youtube, yelp and many others offer programatic interfaces to their data and media.

What are the benefits of such API's?

  • Aggregate local information around properties for sale or rent.
  • Enhance your website "experience".
  • Avoid the cost of collecting and managing local information.
What are the costs and risks of using such API's?
  • Bad data. Automated information aggregators often lack local expertise. Information may be outdated; a long closed restaurant may still have a review on your website.
  • Inappropriate content. I created a Facebook demonstration for a client some time ago. The resulting page included an advertisement for Filipino Girls.
  • What motivates the data aggregator? Is their strategy aligned with yours?
  • Does the data make your site more generic?
  • Competitive stealth advertising on your site. Savvy competitors will figure this out and place their content on your site via the API's.
What are the alternatives to "mashups"?

Your agents have a wealth of local market knowledge. Hire or appoint a "blog-o-spondent" or "blogger-in-chief". This person creates and aggregates your own content (text, audio, video, maps) on your blog, around your website(s) and via appropriate social networks. Over time, agents and staff post directly and incorporate your listings, services and our unlimited use maps (for a fixed price). Create your own platform that emphasizes your brand. This approach improves recruiting, retention and internet marketing in ways that you control and at a much lower cost than traditional advertising.

Main Street reliably supports the tools you need, from blogs, dynamic short links, lead management, surveys and multimedia to market reports and live charting tools.

As always, there is no "free lunch".

Mary Meeker, Scott Devitt & Liang Wu [1.5MB PDF]:

Mary Meeker, Scott Devitt & Liang Wu [1.5MB PDF]:
Financial Market + Economy Update / Dashboard
  1. Financial Markets Have Rebounded, Technology Sector = Relatively Impressive.
  2. Leading Economic Indicators Seem to Have Turned Corner, Coincident / Lagging Indicators Still Weak.
Mobile = Incremental Driver of Internet User / Usage Growth
  1. Mobile Internet Usage Is and Will Be Bigger than Most Think.
  2. Apple Mobile Share Should Surprise on Upside Near-Term.
  3. Next Generation Platforms (Social Networking + Mobile) Driving Unprecedented Change in Communications + Commerce.
  4. Mobile in Japan + Desktop Internet Provide Roadmaps for Mobile Growth + Monetization.
  5. 3G Adoption / Trends Vary By Geography.
  6. Carriers in USA / W. Europe Face Surging Network Demand But Uncertain Economics.
  7. Regulators Can Help Advance / Slow Mobile Internet Evolution.
  8. Mobile-Related Share Shifts Will Create / Destroy Material Shareholder Wealth.


Virtual Properties latest broker branded iPhone app is now available. Contact us to learn more: zellmer@virtualproperties.com Virtual Properties provides a number of real time, mobile tools, including its 2nd generation iPhone app, mobile public websites and Main Street intranet tools.

MG Siegler:

Last night, I was out with some friends in search of a particular bar. Naturally, we did the 21st century equivalent of asking a gas station attendant for directions, we pulled out our iPhones to look it up in the Maps application. The result was odd; the bar we were looking for was there, but there was another result in the same spot, labeled as "User-created content."

Yesterday, Search Engine Land noted that sponsored links (ads) are starting to show up in the Maps application on the iPhone. It would appear that Google is slowly adding some new features. But what's odd is that these features are showing up without warning, and, as far as I can tell, without a way to turn them off.

While clearly, Google is not going to let you turn off sponsored links, the user-generated content element is odd. These pins show that some random person I don't know was at the place I'm looking for, at some random time. It's simply not useful at all.

I also wonder how Apple, which loves to have total control of its devices, feels about these additions. Google helped Apple build the default Maps application, but it is still one of Apple's own apps and now it seems that Google can simply inject any content it wants into Maps from its end. Also a bit odd is that this particular piece of user-generated content comes from the location-based social network Plazes, which is owned by mobile rival Nokia.

Control your map content and reduce costs with ReData maps from Virtual Properties. Includes a branded iPhone app - version 2 out soon.

Appland: How smartphones are transforming our lives

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Richard Fisher:

My wife is standing at the door to the bathroom, watching me time my toothbrush routine using an application downloaded to my iPhone. Thirty seconds on upper-right molars: done. "What are you doing?" she asks. "Nothing," I mumble through a mouthful of toothpaste. She doesn't speak, but her eyes say "I think I love you a little less." If only she understood

Ever since I bought an Apple iPhone, I have been hooked on apps (see "What's app, Doc?"). Apple's App Store is a virtual shopping mall with all the shopaholic joy of a real mall but none of the annoying teenagers. It is packed to the virtual rafters with thousands of downloadable software tools. Admittedly, the store makes a bad first impression on many people, with novelty apps such as lightsabres dominating the top 25 chart. But dig a little deeper and you will find life-enhancing riches.

I confess that I now turn to the App Store in almost every situation. In unfamiliar places, I use apps to find the nearest gas station, cinema or even public toilet. I track the length and time of my commute. All my gym workouts are logged. Finding a nice place to eat while on the move is a cinch. Even this article is brought to you thanks to a voice recorder app (iDictaphone) that I used for recording interviews, and one that helped me "mind map" my thoughts when planning it out. Sometimes I daydream about becoming the most virtually enhanced human in the world.

Virtual Properties released a location based (GPS HomeFinder) real estate broker/agent branded iPhone app earlier this year. An update will be available this fall. Our clients have deployed mobile websites as well, ranging from straightforward support for many phones to sophisticated smartphone sites.

These mobile applications use GPS and mapping data. We offer detailed, frequently updated maps and satellite imagery for a fixed fee. This means our clients can grow applications and volumes without paying more - an important factor in today's market. (Search engine map fees are based on usage - the more you use, the more you pay). Contact us at 608 271 9601 or zellmer@virtualproperties.com to learn more.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Mobile category.

Marketing Ideas is the previous category.

Neighborhood Watch is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.