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I’m motivated to share some valuable findings from a study about consumers’ behaviors as they relate to the use of mobile devices and apps.  The study, The Pulse of the Consumer: Global Trends in Mobile Communications was presented by Deloitte Dbriefs as part of their technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) series.

The study included the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey.

Survey Findings

Device awareness and usage

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  • The average monthly spend on smartphone contracts was $60, ranging from less than $20 per month at the low end to more than $170 per month at the high end.
  • When it came to choosing their current smartphone, the top seven most important features listed by respondants were: design, touchscreen, brand, operating system, reliability, camera and applications.

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Tablets have changed consumer behavior.

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At the time of the survey, May 2012:

  • 18% of tablet owners hardly use their laptops any more.
  • 23% use their laptops less often.
  • We know from other research (Forrestor and Gartner) that it’s anticipated that in less than two years – by mid 2014 –  more consumers will be accessing the web on their mobile devices than on their desktops.

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App user awareness and downloads

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When it comes to app awareness and downloads on smartphones and on tablets, Japan pips the post, with US not far behind.

As far as age demographic globally, among app users:

  • 18 – 34 year olds scored  the highest number of downloads in the 70- 80% range
  • 34 – 44 year olds download around 60%
  • 45-54 age group hovering on 50%
  • 55 years and older, 30% of them download apps.

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The Canadians and Germans are greater app users, downloading more apps and spending more money

German and Canadian App UsersWhile, globally, 73% of those surveyed download 1 – 4 apps per month, and 58% spend zero dollars per month, 21% of Canadians spend more that $5 per month and 29% download more than 5 apps per month. The Germans appear to be the heaviest downloaders with 30% downloading more than 5 apps per month and 14% spending more than $5.  These statistics apply to smartphones.

Germany and Canada came out on top as app users when it came to tablets. 41% of Germans tablet owners download more that 5 apps per month, and 17% more than 10 downloads. As far as spend, 31% of German tablet owners spend more than $5 per month.  Among the Canadian tablet owners, 37% download more than 5 apps per month and 28% of them spend more than $5 per month.

Least appreciated smartphone capability

NFC - app userThe most misunderstood and undervalued smartphone capability is near field communications NFC, especially for m-commerce. 49% of the respondents indicated that would not want NFC capability at all.  Only 3% replied they would only want a phone with such capability.  Despite having responded that way, around 50% of respondents indicated they would use the activities that NFC enables, implying NFC functionality is not yet fully understood or appreciated.  See the graph below.

Deloitte Webinar - App user NFC SlideIf you are interested to learn more, you can download the PDF of the full set of slides of Deloitte’s presentation: The Pulse of the Consumer: Global Trends in Mobile Communications

The Apple and Samsung patent trial is expected to come to a close this week. Samsung is accused of infringing on iPhone and iPad patents in the design of their own devices. The outcome, be it either a win for Samsung or Apple, will likely influence the direction of how tablets will be designed and marketed worldwide.

In an Article in the NY Times, Nick Wingfield reports:

“But the effects of the case are likely to be felt far beyond these two companies. If Apple prevails, experts believe Samsung and other rivals in the market will have a much stronger incentive to distinguish their smartphone and tablet products with unique features and designs to avoid further legal tangles.”
read the article…

And this will be good news, because if the case goes Samsung’s way, then tablet features and design will continue to emulate the iPad and iOS experience, and I for one would look forward to seeing more innovation from Apple’s competitors both on the hardware and software side.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

tablet wars 2012 What was interesting for me as an app designer was that attention to detail Samsung paid in copying software features of what they clearly perceived to be a superior product. An internal 132 page Samsung report complained about the fact that Samsung’s design fell short of Apple’s example in key areas, and did so through a comparison of the two devices in the minutest detail; for example a discussion about the pixel width of the separator line between numbers displayed in the of the built in calculator.

This surprised me a bit, as Samsung is a device manufacturer, and I would have expected them to be concerned with tablet hardware features and price to differentiate itself from other Android based tablets and smartphones.

But it seems that the 132 page report points to examples of how Samsung tweaked the Android OS software. And thus contributing to one of the biggest issues that keep Android based tablets from winning the tablet wars for now: Device Fragmentation. There are 700 some varieties of Android devices, with 30+ different screen resolutions and countless manufacturer specific OS tweaks, and this is what presents enormous quality and design challenges for cross platform developers like us.

Tablet wars aren’t won by hardware: It’s the Apps, Stupid!

As an app designer and developer I may be biased, but to me the tablet wars in the end will come down to neither device features or price. To mis-quote Bill Clinton: “It’s the apps, stupid”. Having a vibrant app marketplace, and therefore having an enthusiastic developer community is what I think will continue to primarily influence the tablet wars.

Do hardware features matter?

Manufacturers would like you to believe that hardware features and price make a significant difference to consumers, but in the end the iPad tablet is not that deficient on the hardware front. And on the software side? Of course there are great apps available for Android, but on the whole an extra megapixel of camera resolution on a lesser known tablet may simply not make up for the variety, quality and choice of fantastic apps available on the iTunes App Stores.

All Apple has to do to keep pace and marketshare is to announce a slightly less expensive tablet, perhaps with a 7″ screen size…

Quick Poll: What is your opinion?

What do you value in your tablet?

Please note: This app was replaced in early 2018

This app had a great 6-year run since it’s launch in 2012. Nonetheless, we’ve been focused on creating great universal web experiences and have launched other resources to take the app’s place.

We’ve recently launched a brand new site with both free and paid in-depth training courses on creating positive change, at home, at work, and in your communities. So please visit our new site at positivechange.training:

This app was available for iPhone, iPad, and Android!

A brief introduction to Appreciative Inquiry, which is a perspective on the world that invites users to see themselves and the world through an appreciative or valuing eye.  Users will learn how language, questions, and stories shape destinies.

This app has come about by public demand after the author’s success with her iPad app, Embracing Change, for which there have been thousands of downloads and reached Number 2 on iTunes in the Business Category.

“When will you do a version for smartphones?” was the request.

The app provides tips about the principles and practices of Appreciative Inquiry through stories, images, RSS feeds from related blogs, videos and interactive models of Appreciative Inquiry 4-D cycle.

The app allows users to practice the appreciative mindset through images, audio, and notes: Users can upload their own photos to the App’s Facebook’s Page with their stories, create audio recordings of their own insights, as well as annotate their thoughts using the app’s notepad.

App features:

– Interactive models of the Appreciative Inquiry 4-D cycle of discover, dream, design, destiny
– Stories that illustrate the principles of Appreciative Inquiry
– Image gallery with inspirational quotes
– RSS feeds from related blogs
– In-built camera to document the world through the appreciative eye
– In-built audio to record personal insights
– Notepad for recording thoughts
– Facebook and Twitter pages for community of practice

Facebook Page (now retired)

Please consider liking Appreciative Inquiry – an introduction on Facebook.

App Support:

Feel free to contact us with any feedback and app support questions using our contact page

I was recently interviewed by Business News Daily on the popularity and trends in the Tablet app market, and one of the questions asked was why the tablet app industry is so popular right now.

A Seismic Shift

Of course there are too many dimensions to this questions, but I’d like to go into one facet briefly: The tablet based delivery channel matters because it represents not only a new technology meme, but seismic shift from current computing experiences and practices. It is the harbinger of more liberating ways of interaction with computers, information and entertainment. Pediction: These trends will continue to fully take shape in the next 10 years, but the tablet experience is the first instance of this future right here and now, and people want a part of it, with a completely new interactive and gesture enabled way of computing, completely new usage scenarios and use cases, completely new interfaces. In short: It is all about a new user experience that is self-directed, intuitive, integrates with your life.

The “mobile aspect” is important for things other than just mobility. Mobile is important because it creates and leads to the user experiences of the future. Read more

The tablet market is continuing to exhibit astonishing growth (17 billion in revenue forecasted for mobile applications in 2011 – source: Gartner)

It is not surprising that more platforms for digital publishing and porting content onto the tablet format are cropping up.

At this week’s O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference , one of the more intriguing announcements comes from a French company that has created a digital publishing platform which will go live in March.

From their press release today:

Aquafadas Digital Publishing Platform offers key advantages in digital publishing:

  • It enables designers to create well-designed digital content
    quickly through easy-to-use plugins for Adobe® InDesign® and
    QuarkXPress® — no coding required
  • Publications can be based on PDF or XML , enhanced by picture galleries, slide shows, videos, and sound
  • Aquafadas ’s Solution makes it easy to deploy digital publications
    to multiple devices, such as tablets and smartphones, and to multiple
    operating systems, such as iOS® and Android™ — simultaneously
  • Publications can be published as interactive PDF, custom Apps, and
    in an unique, XML-based format that supports text reflow while
    maintaining the publication’s design

Unlike other approaches Aquafadas’ provides a complete and
cost-effective end-to-end solution for digital publishing from creation
to delivery.

Leading corporate and professional publishers such as Galleries
Lafayette, Reader’s Digest, and Carlsen Verlag already selected
Aquafadas’ solution as their digital publishing tool of choice.

We will post a follow up once the pricing model becomes available.

[one_half]Anyone interested in how Ditigal Publishing for tablets is evolving should check out the Adobe Digital Publishing suite, which is the platform we have been using at Polymash for the last 1/2 year or so as alpha testers. It is now in public beta status, and is scheduled to go live sometime in Q2 of 2011.  A number of apps have been published on this platform already, and we are happy to count ourselves among them.

[box]Of course our vision is slightly beyond using such a platform for digital magazine content only: We are “repurposing” Adobe’s toolset to create interactive content for information product owners, publishers and authors who want to stand out and shine in an increasingly crowded eBook and app market. To do so we are adding  HTML5 and Javascript features to the platform, such as in-app notebooks, interactive animations and so on.[/box][/one_half]

[one_half_last]We have good company: Our app is listed  right next to Conde Nast titles created with the Adobe suite such as Martha Stewart Living and Wired Magazine, and numerous other publishers have gone live with titles such as the New Yorker, Golf Digest & Readers Digest.

So if you own an iPad, you should check out the Adobe’s full gallery of apps published with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite:

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Apple announced the terms of their new digital magazine subscription model yesterday in an agreement with app developer and digital publisher Texterity, which they posted on their web site last night. It clears up a number of concerns to the publishing industry, and finally clears the hurdle for existing subscribers of print content not having to pay again for a digital version of the same magazine.

From the Texterity Web Post:

Publishers can sell print subscriptions, and offer “digital companion” access through an app as long as there is no additional fee for those subscribers. It’s a way to offer another incentive for print subs to stay loyal and engaged. Read more

ebrary®, a leading provider of digital content products and technologies, today announced that its flagship subscription e-book database, Academic Complete™, now exceeds 50,000 titles from the world’s leading publishers.

A case in point to my last post, educational digital libraries are getting ready for the way in which tablet devices will be utilized in schools and universities, keeping in mind the recent announcement by Notre Dame, where students will be issued iPad tablets for the next semester.

T ablets that serve multiple purposes are going to see tremendous growth according to UK analyst firm Informa Telecoms and Media, as consumers choose them over dedicated e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle. Tablet sales are projected to hit 50 million by 2014, a whopping increase of over 1200 percent over the 3.65 million to be sold this year

via Salon and GigaOm

 

It stands to reason that just about every content publisher small or large needs to get ready to take advantage of this revolution about to unfold: The opportunity to differentiate oneslef from the competition has never been more clear: Re-purposing, optimization and redesign of existing content for an mobile enabled, interactive, gesture based and immersive experience is wat will elevate existing websites, e-books and legacy formats such as CDs, DVDs, PDFs to their next level. Personally I predict this will become as ubiquitous and urgent a business activity as building a web presence was in the early 90’s.

Can Apps “Save” Content Publishers? Apps have helped bring shuttered magazines like Gourmet back from the dead, and take publications like Wired to the peak of popularity. But can apps “save” all digital publishers from dwindling online CPMs? Are they the magic bullet for getting readers (and advertisers) to pay for content?

Leading publishers and facilitators like Kargo, who have helped publishers like Wenner and Consumer Reports land in the winner’s circle at the SAMMY Awards, shed light on how they’ve monetized their content with both paid apps and appvertising.

via digidaydaily.com

Great video from a content publisher’s view on tablet devices.