Is Nokia’s Ovi Store Cathing up with Apple’s downloads?

Nokia have just announced that their downloads from their app store have reached 3 million a day. That’s over 90 million Ovi Store downloads per month. At the same time the number of registered developers with Nokia has shot up to 400,000. The Finnish company put much of it down to the latest Symbian OS and the availability of apps such a Swype. It’s all pretty good going. But how does that compare with iPhone app downloads?

The last published figure from Apple earlier this year was 280 million downloads per month, or just over 9 million per day. In spite of the Ovi Store catching up quickly, Apple is still seing three times as many downloads. However, Nokia are the world’s largest handset manufacturer (with Apple in 4th), so perhaps a more telling way is to look at the number of downloads per handset. This is not an easy task. For starters, Nokia sells a majority of basic handsets and although they may be capable of downloading apps, most of their users buy them to make calls and send texts. Similarly, the Apple figures also include the iPod Touch. Most of those users will buy the device in preference to an iPod precisely because they can download and play games. Although the downloads are relevant, the Touch isn’t a a mobile phone.

The other problem is we don’t know how many of each device is in circulation. iPhones and iPod touches, we could guess at around 100 million currently in use (that’s taking sales and taking off upgrades and older models). That would mean around 0.09 per day per user or 2.7 per user per month.

Nokia is even harder. We know that they sell around three times as many smartphones as Apple, but that doesn’t tell us how many are out there. Lets say there are 65 million iPhones (not Touches) in use, the Nokia figure will be around three times that at 195 million.  That’s 0.02 downloads per user per day, or 0.6 downloads per user per month. That means Apple users download 5 times more than Nokia’s. And when you look at the bottom line, profit, Apple is way ahead of their competitors.

As with any stats, you can make of them what you want, but it looks like Nokia have a long way to go before they can challenge Apple’s premier position. (There’s more on the OviStore stats here)

Apple dominate other mobile handset manufacturers on profit

An interesting article here, looks at how Apple’s iphone has blown away the competition in terms of profitability. Though only 3% of the handset market, the iphone has generated more profit for Apple than the other manufacturers combined. In a way, it’s not surprising. Apple do not sell cheap handsets, and they have also dictated the price plans to the mobile operators. In fact, when you throw in the app store, everything that Apple do is geared towards high profit.

The key point, however is that Apple are neither after the biggest slice of the market nor the biggest selling handset. I suspect they are quite happy with their 3%, but highly profitable share. I have argued many times on this blog, that the iphone is a niche product when looking at the overall handset market. I say that, because many marketers and ad agencies seem to think that it is the ONLY handset out there. Or at least the only one worth thinking about. As Android takes a hold with some great handsets from Samsung and Motorola, then the iphone’s share of the smartphone market may indeed fall. But with the kind of profits that Apple are showing, why should they worry?

Apple (finally) publishes app store guidelines

Developers and app publishers have previously criticised Apple for it’s lack of guidelines in reviewing apps. Some commentators have suggested that the openess of Android’s Market may drive developers there in the future.

I’m sure Apple are not remotely threatened by Android apps (at the moment), but they have seen fit to publish their app review guidelines to developers (and it quickly found it’s way onto everywhere else on the internet). And it’s a pretty chatty and helpful document: “We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted,” is one example.

They have also relaxed the guidelines on which tools can be used to create apps – another bone of contention for many developers. They will allow any tools as long as it maintains the integrity of their security.

To some this may appear to be an insignificant move, but from a developer standpoint it is a major step forward.

Facebook Mobile: now 150 million mobile users

Another day and another new high figure for Facebook. This time it’s their mobile users who are now at 150 million people according to blog from one of their engineers. That is nearly 1/3rd of their 500 million users. The blog is about their mobile api, but conveniently mentions this new high figure in passing. Sadly it doesn’t give details about which handsets are the most popular (iPhone I would guess), but it does indicate the importance of mobile to social media.

Is this thing on? Apple updates iphone 4 software

In spite of reported global sales of 1.7 million of the iphone 4, Apple’s firmware update appears not to have addressed the problem entirely. A report here, suggests that the update hasn’t solved the reception problem. In the meantime Apple’s shares dropped as a result of the persistent issues. In fact, one report suggest that Apple has been quietly recalling their latest model.
In the meantime, pictures of the next Apple model, iphone 5 have been released (apparently someone left it in a bar somewhere).

The iphone 5

Mobile broadband sales plumet

A report by the website Broadband Expert has shown that mobile broadband sales in the UK have declined by 57% as the technology fails to live up to consumers’ expectations.
Anyone who has experienced mobile broadband knows that the connection speeds vary from slow to snail-pace. For most, the speeds are similar to those old dial-up connections. Whilst it offers a handy way to get connected outside of home or office, with the growth of Blackberrys and iphones, the need for a remote PC connection has reduced.
At the moment, from a network point of view this is probably a good thing. Many networks are creaking under the strain of people constantly checking Facebook for updates through their phones. So perhaps the drop in mobile broadband connections will have relieve this strain. Of course the drop in sales for the mobile operators is less of a good thing.
The hope is that the roll out of LTE (Long Term Evolution) network connections will give mobile broadband the shot in the arm that it desparately needs.

Android outsells the iphone in the US

… and Blackberry sells the most. According to figures from ND Group, the iphone represented 21% of smartphone sales in Q1 2010, whereas Android took a 28% market share, and Blackberry remained the market leader with 36%.
It’s certainly true that the iphone is a single model handset whereas both Android and Blackberry cover a number of models. However, it confirms that Apple, though highly significant in phone sales, far from dominate the market.
More on the story here.

Apple iphone Sales Stats: latest figures

I have been regularly reporting Apple iphone sales stats worldwide and in the UK iphone sales. And I have been regularly questioned about the validity of those figures. According to the latest reports, I was wrong. The figures are lower than I reported. Apple’s last quarter sales of the iphone were 8.75 million, with a total of just over 51m for the complete history of the iphone (all three models).
That makes it a very good selling phone by any standards. Not only that, but the iphone has made some major shifts in how we use our mobiles – apps being the most obvious one. BUT … the iphone is not the best selling phone ever. Neither is it the fastest selling phone ever. And at the same time, Android is catching up, selling 60% of the volume of iphones. OK, that’s across a number of mobiles. The point is that whilst the iphone is significant, it’s not the only handset out there!

Sofa Surfers: a new media channel?

This blog is to stake my claim as the originator of the Sofa Surfer. What is a Sofa Surfer? It started with the advent of the smartphone and the iphone in particular. With fast, easy access to the internet, users could quickly check their emails, update their Facebook status, send a Twitter message or just check IMDb to see who that actor was in the movie you’re watching. Studies, such as Orange’s Exposure 2 found that most mobile browsing was done at home, typically on the sofa watching the TV. Whilst there is evidence to support a number of people in front of the TV with their laptops on, that is not the same as the ‘quick dip’ of mobile browsing.
The appearance of tablet PCs and particularly the ipad will serve to develop this growing form of browsing. A survey by comScore found that most ipad users are interested in browsing and email, not necessarily the reading of ebooks that Apple et al are hoping for.
With these new browsing patterns comes the potential for a new media channel: Sofa Surfers are not out and about looking in shops, but by the same token they are not at the computer doing hardcore web browsing. They are relaxed and looking for entertainment. Will this be a route by which content providers and advertisers are looking to engage with customers? We’ll have to wait and see.