What is the current UK landscape for smartphone penetration?
Around the end of 2012, the UK reached tipping point with over 50% smartphone penetration. Comscore data from January this year shows how that is distributed by age and income.
As with previous trends, the smartphones have the highest penetration in the 18-34 age group. However, the uptake amongst older audiences is rapid – 75% of all new handsets
Income is also a factor in smartphone ownership, although with some SIM-free smartphones at less than £100, that is now become less significant in defining the market:
In terms of OS breakdown, Android continues to be the leader, but closely followed by the iPhone, however in terms of usage, iOS still dominates. RIM’s dwindling market share is largely lost to Google’s Android.
Five weeks and 20 million downloads (that’s more than Foursquare has managed in three years) has seen Drawsomething become one of the fastest installed apps ever. But is it just a flash in the pan or will it be bigger than Angry Birds?
Reasons why Drawsomething might succeed
1. It’s very adictive – once you start playing you get drawn into it (no pun intended)
2. It’s simple – ‘it’s like Pictionary with friends’
3. It’s very viral – being friend/Facebook based it’s going to spread fast
Reasons why Drawsomething might not beat Angry Birds
1. It’s very adictive – unlike Angry Birds you can’t dip in and out of it so easily. For some, it may be a case of playing with Drawsomething or getting a divorce
2. It requires a data connection. Unlike Angry Birds, you need to be online so there are fewer places that you can play it
3. It’s created some great doodles – http://mashable.com/2012/03/22/draw-something-best-doodles/#55083Manicure
What about brands?
Where there’s a trend, someone will jump on it. For starters, like Angry Birds (and many other apps), I can see branded versions come soon. But there are more guerilla opportunities. This Amsterdam agency is cleverly using it to hire creatives by getting people to play the game with them and show of their skills: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMH2N6rSUQQ&feature=youtu.be
Always ones to be pushing the tech boundaries, the US version of Wired Magazine has included an ad from Lexus with NFC embedded in it. With around 3 million NFC handsets in the US, they are hoping that some of their 500k readership will be willing to ‘touch in’ to the advert. The activation takes users to a link with videos which introduce the Lexus app suite which includes Bing, OpenTable, iHeartRadio, Pandora, MovieTickets.com and Yelp. For Wired, it’s as much about being experimental as it is about gaining a response. But who knows, maybe all magazine ads will be like this one day.
Unsurprisingly, one of the big themes at WMC last week was NFC or contactless. Sure, there were payment devices, but there were lots of other whizzy applications showing how NFC in phones is much more than a mobile wallet. Here are just a few:
NFC Vending Machine – touch in to buy your drink
NFC flowers – touch in to find out what the flower is and how best to look after it
NFC Car – OK, this was a car mock-up, but showed how contactless could be used to unlock a car and as an ignition key. This is very useful for car hire or car sharing where the NFC could be restricted to a set time period.
Of course, there’s so much more that could be done with the technology. To try to find out, Isobar London Create are running a hack day on 24/25th March, in London and partnership with O2. Any would-be developer can turn up, demonstrate their skills in an NFC environment and be in with a chance to win a number of mobile devices and other goodies. And anyone who comes up with a great application could be eligable for Kickstart funding from Bluevia. There’ll be lots of NFC tech and expert support to help developers through the Hackathon. There’s more information at http://www.isobar.com/createlondon