Monday, June 22, 2009

Smartphones Growth

According to Gartner Worldwide smarphones sales grew 12.7% in 1Q 2009. Total smartphones sold were in access of 36.4M units worldwide, which is approximately half of PC sold in the same period. Now this is something to write home about. No longer Smartphones are a niche market. In fact there is discussion that they are displace PCs because of their enhanced capabilities and ability to support a variety of applications.

Gartner reported sales of 36.4million smartphones, representing 13.5% of all mobile devices sales in the 1Q2009. This percentage grew from 11% in the same period last year.

One thing to note here is these numbers are for worldwide sales, in North America and Western Europe smartphone penetration is much higher, up to 23% market share. Where as in LATAM and other parts of the world, smartphone penetration could be as low as 3% of the total mobile devices.

Top U.S. smartphones

A recent Comsore report listed the market share of top U.S smartphones. There were some surprises in the report, contrary to the common wisdom.

Estimated total units for the top 5 smartphones by OS in U.S are as follows:

  1. RIM (Blackberry) - 9,668,977
  2. Windows Mobile - 6,807,554
  3. Apple - iPhone - 5,258,504
  4. Palm OS - 2,398,755
  5. Symbian - 888,532
  6. Android - 427,914

Monday, June 15, 2009

Need for Parental Controls

Today it is established that Parents need better visibility on what their kids are doing online. When you ask the parents why, they are very clear about the need and concern. The safety and security of their children. With 90,000 registered sex offenders lurking on MySpace, and unknown on other online social networks, Instant Messaging SPAM (SPIM), SMS spam and bullying

Today a most of security companies are providing parental controls for PC and Mac, Microsoft and Apple new have some limited parental controls included as part of the Operating Systems (OS). Wireless Carriers are providing time and use limits for parental controls for mobile phones.

All of these services are addressing parent's fears and concerns about this kids being on-line all the time and unsolicited contact and access of their personal information by strangers.

However, what is missing today is parental controls for cell phones, the new PC.

It is even more critical for parents to be able to connect with their kids and know what they are doing on the cell phones. Because cell phone provide unrestricted access to Internet for kids.

Sexting has become a pandemic and needs to be addressed quickly. Having parental controls on cell phones and PC discourages children from engaging in such behavior because they know that their parents will find out.

I launch a Free beta of my company, MobiZim to help parents and provide them with the peace of mind. MobiZim delivers parental controls on cell phones. Parents can now monitor their kids phone usage from an online family portal from anywhere.

Many Teens Going Online Wirelessly Without Limits or Controls

Cox Communication published a survey on behavior of young people online. This survey was conducted in partnership with National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and America's Most Wanted (AMW) host and children's advocate John Walsh.

This is the first year this survey tried to understand teen behavior using cell phones. Highlighting the fact that majority of the teen now have a cell phone (over 70%).

Some of the key results include:

  1. 91% of teens surveyed have email address
  2. 73% have a cell phone while 59% have a digital camera (today majority of cell phone, over 70%, have a built in camera, higher percentage in North America and Western Europe)
  3. 72% have profiles on social networking sites and 60% have an instant messenger screen name
  4. More than one third (1/3) of teens surveyed have been cyberbullied, perpetrated cyberbullying or know of friend who have experience or perpetrated it.
  5. 19% (20% from survey of 1280 teens) have engaged in sexting --sending, receiving, or forwarding. 81% of teen sexters are under 18.
  6. 19% of teens surveyed go online via their cell phone (26-30% teens according to mmetrics and other)
For additional details on the survey click here.

Some Interesting quotes from John Walsh.

"Teens are not only online, they are active in every nuance of cyberspace. Many have no controls over what they do online and of those who do, nearly 30 percent figure ways around the boundaries set by their parents," said John Walsh. "Those parents who have been vigilant over their kids' use of the Internet via their computers, haven't extended their watch to their kids' use of the wireless devices, which are increasingly offering predators all the access they need to our precious and vulnerable young ones. Teens are prone to choosing risky behaviors even though they know better, so parents must continue to regularly talk with their children and monitor their activities."

Friday, June 12, 2009

iPhone for Older Generations

Nielson recently published iPhone users demographics. Interesting to note is that against common wisdom, 53% of 6.4million iPhone users are over the age of 35 and 17% are over 55 years old. Users between the age of 18-24 are only 13%.

Possible reasons for this distribution include $199 price of the phone and the most painful part is up to $1200/year for voice and data services. Unlimited data is mandatory purchase for iPhone subscribers.

At MobiZim we thought so and it makes, now we have independent confirmation. Mobile Parental Controls on iPhone will be important, but it will have to wait until Apple decides to allow background processes and iPhone prices drop below $99 and the data subscription prices drop further.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Smartphones - On The Rise

Yankee Group recently published a report stating the smartphones are becoming common in consumers. According to the new research 41% of consumers are likely to choose a smartphone as their next mobile devices. According to Yankee's outlook by 2013, 38% of all handsets will be smartphones. To get a perspective, in 2008 there were 1.5 Billion phones sold.

Growth of smartphones will have significant influence on the mobile phone market ecosystem. Especially the relationship between phone OEM and wireless operators. The best of which is more open environment, a change in what gets delivered pre-installed on the phone and applications that can be installed on the phones. This change will be good for all the operators, OEM and the consumers. A WIN, WIN, WIN situation.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

AT&T and Android Phones

There is talk that AT&T may release atleast two Google Android-based phones. This is great news for MobiZim as we already have support for Android phones for parental controls on cell phone. The rumored phones is HTC Lancaster and the target date is August 3, 2009.

The second phone that AT&T is planning to launch is a also 3G capable and is Motorola's Heron to be released by November of t his year.

MobiZim wants to see more smartphones enter the market.

The Rise of Smartphones

Worldwide mobile phone sales for Q1 2009 totalled 269.1million a decline of 9.4% decline from Q1 2008 according to Gartner. But smartphones as a category did very well. Total sales for this quarter were 36.4 million (13.5% of all worldwide phones sales compared to 11% from same period last year) an increase of 12.7% over the same period last year.

Smartphone growth is expected to continue at a healthy rate through the global downturn and as the economic outlook looks more positive, it is expected to accelerate. Current growth of smartphones is fueled by the aggressive pricing of smartphones by mobile operators to attract new customers and to upgrades and renew contracts of exiting customers. Also the decline in data services pricing is creating demand for smartphones in addition to a few other factors.

For more details of the Gartner's report click here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's New in Mobility

I have been busy for the last several months to get my companys service launched. We have been developing a cloud service to enable parents to monitor their children's cell phone usage, review phone data, and protect personal information stored on the phone. It provides Parental Controls on Cell phone.

My new venture is called MobiZim. A couple of weeks ago, we announced the free beta of our service. Parents can easily add their kids phones and monitor their use from anywhere over the web from the family portal, ZimPlace.

Try it and let me know what you think. You can get started from the main website Mobizim or

Looking forward to your feedback.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gartner's Eight Mobile Technologies to Watch in 2009-2010

Gartner has outlined eight mobile technologies that will evolve significantly through 2010. These technologies can have a significant impact in the short-term on mobile strategies of mobile companies and operators.

  1. Bluetooth 3.0
  2. Mobile User Interface
  3. Location
  4. 802.11n
  5. Display Technologies
  6. Mobile Web and Widgets
  7. Cellular Broadband
  8. Near Field Communication (NFC)
See full report at mobile enterprise magazine
See my blog from 2007 on what needs to happen in Mobile technologies to the market to grow.