IDC Expects 7.6m iPad-Like Tablets to Ship in 2010

According to a new forecast from market research firm IDC, worldwide media tablet shipments will grow from 7.6 million units in 2010 to more than 46 million units in 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.4%. In comparison, IDC expects 398 million portable PCs will be shipped in 2014.

"These are early days for media tablets, an altogether new device category that takes its place between smartphones and portable PCs. IDC expects consumer demand for media tablets to be strongly driven by the number and variety of compatible third-party apps for content and services," noted Susan Kevorkian, program director at IDC.

"The availability of apps unique to media tablets and that differentiate the experience of using one compared with a PC or smartphone will be crucial for driving consumer demand. As the category matures and more media tablet-optimized apps become available, IDC expects that media tablets will evolve beyond nice-to-have devices and become necessities for many consumers."

Early May Apple already announced that it sold its one millionth iPad, 28 days after its introduction. At that time iPad users had downloaded over 12 million apps from the App Store.

Over 260M Off-deck LBS Apps Downloads in 2010

In a new report, ABI Research expects off-deck LBS application downloads to increase to more than 260 million in 2010 and to reach almost two billion by 2014.

“The main drivers of this off-deck LBS revolution are the sudden rise in popularity of a new generation of touch-screen GPS-enabled smartphones, combined with a wide range of application stores launched by handset and mobile operating system vendors,” says ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte.

“While Apple has set the stage with the iPhone/iTunes platform, it is now being copied by Google (Android), RIM, Nokia (Symbian), and Microsoft (Windows Mobile), allowing smaller LBS developers to compete with traditional off-deck LBS players such as Telenav, Networks in Motion, and Loopt. This competition results from a lower cost structure based on crowd-sourced location content, advertising-funded business models, alternative positioning technologies, and viral marketing techniques.”

However, ABI believes that the nascent off-deck LBS environment is already threatened by looming fragmentation both within and between platforms, and by increasing uncertainty surrounding viable business models, with the ubiquitous freemium and ad-funded approaches illustrating end users’ limited willingness to pay.

ABI also noticed that Google’s launch of free turn-by-turn navigation has cast further doubt on the prospects for monetizing off-deck LBS, while at the same time undermining the valuation of established hardware players such as Garmin and TomTom, despite both companies recently having launched handset-based products.

In the long run the market research firm believes that these off-deck applications “will be gradually replaced by embedded location services such as geo-enabled browsers, location-aware messaging, micro-blogging and other mobile services: these integrated solutions will offer a superior user experience to the average consumer, compared with downloading and managing a portfolio of separate applications.”

New survey gives insight about mobile advertising

MoMac a British mobile media publisher has released an interesting survey about consumers attitude towards mobile advertising. The Mobile Advertising Attitudes Report – done by independent research agency Tickbox – surveyed a cross section of 1,400 UK mobile phone users during May 2007. The findings of this report gives a good insight about how mobile navigation could be funded by advertising and which demographics could be more receptive to this model.

Despite the fact that mobile advertising is in its infancy, the report reveals that as many as 13% of 16-24s have already responded to or clicked-on a mobile advert. Given the limited inventory currently available for mobile advertising, and the relative rarity of mobile users being served mobile ads, the figures show the potential for a significant future take-up — if the communication is delivered in the right way.

When it comes to mobile advertising formats, MoMac’s research shows clear differences in the preferences of men and women and the different demographic groups. When on mobile sites, text based advertising links are the most popular (56%) with a clear female bias of 60% compared to just 47% of men. Picture or banner-based advertising was the second most popular option, favoured by 29% overall and just under one in three 25-34 year olds.

Interestingly, video based advertising has a strong male bias with 22% of men compared to just 12% of women stating they would be most likely to respond to a video advert. Video formats were also more popular with younger mobile users selected by 23% of 16-24s but only 12% of the over 55s.

Payment Models

The research results also indicate that content providers will need to consider a number of payment models to appeal to the diverse groups of mobile users in the UK looking for content. The ad-funded model could become dominant with younger mobile users, with 47% of 16 to 24s preferring to access content for free in exchange for viewing advertising. Only 32% of this group opted for a pay-as-you-download (PAYD) model and only 3.9% stated they would want to pay for content via a subscription.

In contrast the PAYD method is more popular with older mobile users, with 55% of those aged 45 and older opting to pay for content on demand, and also appeals more to women, with 54% choosing PAYD compared to 41% of men who are more open to advertising.