ebay have been regularly reporting on the success of their mobile-based sales. In 2009 that was $600 million, but in 2010 that lept up to $2bn. These figures are the merchandising turn over, rather than revenues, but however you look at it, the company’s early entry into mobile has paid dividends. Interestingly 1/3rd of these sales came from the UK and Germany – it seems that the British were quick to adopt ebay’s mobile app and website. 30 million versions of the ebay app have been downloaded, half of which are for the iPhone. It was only a few months ago that ebay were predicting $1.6bn revenue for 2010, surpassing these predictions led the VP of ebay Europe said, ‘it’s staggering to think that $2billion worth of sales has been generated through a platform that didn’t exist a couple of years ago, and on a device that didn’t exist three years ago’.
It’s a problem that plagues all smartphone users: the daily charge. There was a time when a visit to the plug was a weekly event for mobile users. Then came smartphones, and it was back to the 80s with daily phone charging. Scientists and handset manufacturers have been addressing this problem, but it looks like the solution is some years away. However, the Guardian has reported that a simple (and rather old) technology could offer the solution. It’s a kenetic device that lives in your case or backpack and charges your phone as you walk around.
In my predictions for 2011, I suggested that the tablet is an interim device, whilst mobile screen and interface technologies catch up. This goes against the grain of most predicitions! The latest forecast of tablet sales by Forrester predict that they will overtake those of the laptop within the next four years. And most of them will have an Apple logo on the back. Certainly, 2011 looks to be the year that everyone will jump on the tablet bandwagon, with new devices announced on a weekly basis. The forecasting company estimated that there would be 195m of the devices sold by 2015, though sizable, it is considerably less than the figures estimated by Gartner and eConsultancy. The Forrester predictions are shown in the chart below:
iPhone users awoke on Jan 1st to find that their alarm didn’t work … or more accurately, they didn’t awake on Jan 1st. The glitch affected alarms set to repeat ‘never’, and complaints were widespread. Some were late for work, but others missed flights and had to fork out for the additional cost. In spite of Apples assurance that the clocks would work from Monday 3rd, some people still had difficulties getting it to go off.
What is interesting about all of this is the number of people who use their phones as their alarm. In mobile marketing we talk about the mobile phone being an always there, always on device. This episode seems to confirm it. Not only that, but the outrage at the failure shows the extent to which people rely on their phones, not just for calls and SMS but for many other things.