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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:

The Profit and Peril of Mashups

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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.

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