Apple’s iPhone units could grow by 28% on a year-over-year basis this quarter, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.
Huberty’s “Alphawise Smartphone Tracker” suggests Apple sells 34.5 million phones in the September quarter. The Street consensus for iPhone sales is in the low thirty millions.
A 28% increase over a year ago would be good considering Apple will only be selling new iPhones for about a week in the quarter. It’s also good considering Apple’s growth was at single digit levels earlier in the year.
Apple’s will never post insane 80%+ growth for the iPhone again. The market is mature, and Apple already sells a lot of phones making mega-growth nearly impossible.
But 28% is a solid, growing number, if accurate.
Morgan Stanley’s Alphawise tracker uses web search analysis and Google Trends to make a forecast. It sounds a little goofy, but last quarter Alphawise predicted 31.3 million units. Apple sold 31.2 million.
While this is good news for Apple, there’s more to the story.
Alphawise predicts a relatively massive quarter for Samsung. It’s expected to sell 47 million Galaxy phones, which would blow Apple out of the water.
Here’s a chart from Huberty that compares Alphawise estimates to actual results”
Verizon smartphone revenue up in Q2 2013, half of all 7.5 million activations were iPhones (updated)
Verizon’s latest quarterly report reveals a carrier chugging along nicely, thank you very much. Total revenue (including wireless and wireline) is up slightly to $29.8 billion, while wireless service revenue on its own grew by 8.3 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Nearly a million (941,000) new retail postpaid customers joined the VZW brigade, some of whom may have been drawn to the carrier’s expanding LTE service, which is now available to 301 million Americans, as well as to new handsets like the Nokia Lumia 928 and possibly even the BlackBerry Q10 (or maybe not). In any case, those high-margin subscribers helped to increase profit by 14 percent — so long as you’re the kind of person who’s content to be guided by “non-GAAP consolidated adjusted earnings per share.” There’s also no sign of the pension-related issues that affected the company last quarter, which leaves this carrier high and dry, regardless of how smartphone saturation may be affecting others along the food chain.
Update: In its earnings call, Verizon added that 59 percent of traffic on its network is on 4G LTE, and 52 percent of its smartphone activations (around 3.8 million device activations) were iPhones.
Source: Verizon (PDF download)
As recently as late 2010, mobile commerce was only 3% of e-commerce. By the end of last year’s holiday shopping season, that number had risen to 11%. That’s approximately $18.6 billion in consumer spending – and that doesn’t even include travel-related purchases.
New mobile merchandising trends — merchandising being the art of selling people products they didn’t know they wanted — like mobile catalogs and coupons are helping to drive this explosion.
In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we examine the main reasons why mobile commerce is exploding, and analyze the new mobile merchandising trends — like mobile catalogs and coupons – that are contributing to this growth.
Take a look at this chart that illustrates the widespread usage of mobile coupons:
The role of mobile coupons in driving mobile commerce will only continue to grow:
- The number of U.S. smartphone users using mobile coupons has increased dramatically – from 7.4 million in 2010 to 29.5 million last year. By 2014, that number is expected to surge to 47.1 million.
- Mobile coupons are being used across the gamut in retail: 41% of mobile coupons users said they had redeemed coupons at the grocery store, 41% said they redeemed coupons at department stores, and 39% at clothing stores.
- And that’s barely scratching the surface: In 2012 there were 305 billion consumer packaged goods coupons (CPG), print and digital, distributed in the U.S. — a number that remained unchanged from 2011. Roughly 90% of CPG coupons were distributed as free-standing print inserts in publications, while digital coupons represented less than 1% of the total.
Tough Times For NEA, A VC Firm That Put Big Money Into 3 Failing Startups Lot18, Viddy And Beachmint
If you follow the world of startups, you know Beachmint, Lot18 and Viddy have all made headlines over the past few years.
Initially, they were recognized for raising big rounds of financing from notable investors. Each has raised more than $35 million (and in Beachmint’s case more than $70 million) to date. Now, they’re suffering management changes, layoffs, and some of their products are shutting down. Two of them, Viddy and Beachmint, are reportedly returning close to $20 million to investors.
Beachmint is a celebrity-endorsed e-commerce company, Viddy is a social video app with filters, and Lot18 is a wine sales platform.
The common factor in all of those companies, besides their initial hype and struggles, is one of their investors, New Enterprise Associates (NEA). NEA invested in Lot18’s Series B and Series C rounds totaling $40 million. It invested in every Beachmint round of financing totaling $73.5 million. And it invested in Viddy’s $30 million round.
NEA also invested in Loosecubes, a startup that went belly up just as NEA was joining a $7.8 million round of financing in it last summer. Then there’s SAY Media, another NEA investment which recently suffered significant layoffs.
Battery Ventures is also paying the price for similar investments. Battery Ventures was invested in Viddy prior to NEA’s $30 million round as well as Loosecubes.
That’s not to say either firm is in trouble. It takes years to know how a VC’s portfolio will fair. NEA has a giant $2.6 billion fund that it raised in July 2012 to keep it running for a long time. All it takes is one or two home runs to return an entire fund. And NEA has gotten its hands in a number of promising startups, such as 10gen, Duolingo, BuzzFeed and Braintree.
But it’s hard to ignore that over the past two years, a few of it’s biggest picks have gone south.
The lights are looking dim on Broadway, which suffered its worst attendance record in eight years during the 2012-2013 season, according to Bloomberg’s Philip Boroff.
The total box office take was similar to last year’s, but ticket prices were up $6 from last year, to an average of $98 a ticket.
There are a few factors to blame for the dip in attendance:
- Hurricane Sandy: The Superstorm shuttered theaters for four days, costing shows more than $8.5 million in lost revenue, according to the AP.
- The increase in ticket prices: “There is no goodwill left among theatergoers,” Michael Taustine, treasurer of the Lyceum Theatre, told Bloomberg. “They are resentful and angry at the arrogance of Broadway pricing policies.”
- Dark theaters: 13 of Broadway’s 40 theaters are currently dark, an “unusually large” number for the weeks before the Tony awards, according to Bloomberg.
Even stars like Tom Hanks and Bette Midler, who drew big crowds, couldn’t save the season, noted Boroff.
Shows including “Orphans,” ”The Testament of Mary,” ”Hands on a Hardbody,” ”Jekyll & Hyde” and “The Performers” opened and closed quickly, making it hard for sales to recover, noted the AP.
Five years after the original Roku launched and just weeks after the release of the Roku 3, the company has announced lifetime US sales of 5 million units. The proclamation comes attached to a detailed infographic (linked below) that breaks down its last five years of progress, plus stats like where it’s most popular (Lexington, KY) and the most minutes streamed by one player in one week (10,080.) That’s quite a marathon session — Lost plus House of Cards doesn’t even get you halfway — but its stats claim 25 percent of players stream more than 35 hours per week.
The last time we checked in on Roku sales, it was chasing the million unit mark alongside Apple’s hobby. The Apple TV has since risen to 5 million sold in the last fiscal year, buoyed by the AirPlay feature that makes it an attractive accessory for the company’s other devices. To Roku’s favor, it claims 43 percent of owners say it’s their preferred source of video for their TV. It’s come a long way from its start as a Netflix Player with more than 750 channels available including Time Warner Cable and HBO Go, which makes CEO Anthony Wood’s claim that the “future of TV is streaming” look closer than ever.
Put together by James Cheshire, Ed Manley and Oliver O’Brien from University College London, the map builds on 8.5 million tweets, captured between January 2010 and February 2013, which were all analyzed for language content. As you’d expect, it’s quite the melting pot, and the highest concentration of different languages seems to be around the Theatre District and Times Square. Best put that down to tourists, eh? Check out the full, interactive map here.[UCL via Guardian]
Facebook did not get much attention last October when it officially launched “mobile app install ads,” in part because the company unveiled about a dozen new ad products in 2012 and, from the users’ point of view, many of them kinda looked the same.
Also, mobile app install ads appeared to be mainly for mobile game and app developers — and apps and games for Facebook are old news.
But several of Facebook’s big advertising clients who have used the ads in Q4 indicated that the ads can be used to develop e-commerce on Facebook, turning the social network into a mobile shopping and sales device.
The ad units simply allow users to download the clients’ app from Google Play or the App Store.
Lucy Jacobs, COO of Spruce Media, tells us “the performance is right in the strike zone to be ROI positive.” E-commerce app downloads are much more valuable to advertisers than mere impressions because someone with an app is likely to use it repeatedly over time. Each app install therefore delivers a “lifetime” of revenue — meaning an average period of monetized use until the user abandons it — rather than a one-off sale.
Fab.com CEO Jason Goldberg, whose company tested the ad unit with Fab’s shopping app, says it was “Five times more effective than any other mobile download channel that we’ve used.” Fab is one of Facebook’s biggest advertisers.
Nanigan’s, a company that buys ads for Facebook clients, also tested the app for an e-commerce company. Mobile app install ads moved that client into the top 5 downloaded apps on Facebook within 10 days of the campaign starting, the company said. The campaign cost $325,000 and delivered 32.5 million ad impressions.
And Hotel Tonight, an app that drives last-minute hotel bookings, saw a 10 times higher click-to-install rate from the ads over regular Facebook ads. (That campaign was coupled with a Facebook Offer, another of Facebook’s e-commerce plays.) “I feel like a kid in a candy store with all these choices. It performs better from a click-to-install perspective than anything except incentivized ads. From an efficiency standpoint, it’s on par with everybody else out there today,” Hotel Tonight’s director of mobile marketing Adam Grenier has said (quoted in a Facebook case study).
The fact that Hotel Tonight used the ad unit along with a Facebook Offer is instructive — Facebook has launched a number of e-commerce plays (including Offers, Gifts and Deals) and not seen much traction with users.
Perhaps mobile app install ads are where Facebook’s e-commerce sweet spot might be found — not actually doing transactions but driving traffic to those who do.
Disclosure: The author owns Facebook stock.
When YouTubeslashed views on its site back in December, celebrities paid the price.
Since then Lady Gaga is down 156 million views on YouTube.
Beyoncé and Chris Brown are also among a number of celebrities who lost views on their channels.
A month ago, the streaming site purged video views on both Universal and Sony channels by two billion.
The views weren’t fake, rather, Billboard confirmed that YouTube removed the views as part of a site clean up.
While around 1.5 million of the views were deleted through a de-spamming which accounts for videos on auto-play and pop-ups, most of the lost views came from videos that were no longer active on celebrity channels after they transitioned to a new home on VEVO.
Since YouTube and VEVO are partner sites the old YouTube videos were no longer being used by the artists on their site.
Obviously, the digital revolution hasn’t been very good for the music business.
Not even apps like Spotify and Pandora are helping.
Sure, Spotify and Pandora pay musicians every time one of their songs are played – but they don’t pay much.
Take cellist Zoë Keating, for example.
Guess how much money she made from that…
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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