HTML5 Is Down But Not Out

Native apps are built expressly for a single mobile operating system like iOS or Android, and marketed and downloaded through proprietary app stores.

In contrast, mobile Web apps are written in HTML, they exist online, and can be accessed and used from any kind of phone or tablet.

In the newest report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s paid research service, we explore why consumers still seem to overwhelmingly prefer native apps.

Native apps dominate mobile usage, account for the lion’s share of developer revenue, and perhaps not surprisingly, spark the most interest among those same mobile developers.

Is it too late for HTML5? Will the native app tidal wave overwhelm it and relegate HTML5 mobile Web apps to permanent second-class status?

In this report, we state our case for why HTML5 —  the latest mobile-friendly version of the Web’s publishing language — is in better shape than it appears to be.

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Our report includes downloadable charts and spreadsheets and over a dozen datasets from our ongoing coverage of HTML5 and mobile.

HTML5’s advocates see its current stasis as a temporary speed bump, before mobile audiences and developers see the light and embrace apps on the more universal and less closed-off mobile Web.

Another advantage: Native apps are written in the difficult programming languages used for specific operating systems, while mobile Web apps are built around HTML5 and related Web technologies, which are more widely known.

Of course, it doesn’t help that consumers, and even many app publishers, remain confused about what a mobile Web app is, and how it differs from a native app and a mobile website. (A mobile Web app offers app-like interactive experiences, while a mobile website just serves up content and has a thin user interface.)

How Location Data Is Collected To Power The New Generation Of Mobile Marketing Campaigns.

With over 770 million GPS-enabled smartphones, location data has begun to permeate the entire mobile space. The possibilities for location-based services or LBS on mobile go beyond consumer-facing apps like FourSquare and Shopkick. They’re powering advertisements and new cutting-edge local-mobile marketing, as well as many other services — from weather to travel apps.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence on location-based data, we analyze the opportunities emerging from this new local-mobile paradigm. LBS have evolved far beyond smartphones and basic proximity marketing. Throughout this report, we’ll look at the new LBS frontiers such as profile targeting and audience-building.

We specifically examine how location-enabled mobile ads have generated excitement, recommend the top local-mobile strategies for mobile marketing, look at how location-based features have boosted app engagement, and finally: we demystify some of the underlying technologies and privacy issues.

Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Take a look at this infographic: 


A pure GPS approach and the “lat-long” tags it generates is considered the gold standard for location data, but that’s not the only method in use. There are at least four other methods, sometimes used in combination, for pinpointing location:

  • Cell tower data: When GPS signals can’t reach the device’s GPS chip, which often happens indoors, the device will often report its location by communicating with the cell tower it’s connected to and estimating its distance. It’s less accurate than pure GPS data.
  • Wi-Fi connection: It’s an accurate method but requires an active Wi-Fi hotspot. Wi-Fi locations are matched with GPS coordinates. It can pinpoint a user to a specific storefront, which is why many retailers are rolling out free public Wi-Fi to enable in-store mobile ads.
  • IP address: Location can be gauged by the IP address associated with the data connection. The accuracy of this approach varies between carriers, and is far less reliable than the above methods.
  • User-reported: When users sign up for emails or register for mobile apps and services, they often enter their addresses and zip codes. This data can be translated into GPS coordinates to build a geolocation profile of a single user or user base.
The ability to collect user location data and track it has raised some concerns over privacy. However, Android and iOS give users the ability to opt out of location tracking altogether via their settings.

As we detail in our report, there are many opportunities emerging from this new local-mobile paradigm, including location-enabled mobile ads, search, and features that boost engagement for apps.

Mobile Engagement Providers Will Be A New $32.4 Billion Market By 2018

Building and delivering great mobile experiences will be the beating heart of your customer engagement strategy for the next 10 years. The challenge of making a simple, intuitive app that fronts a complex system of engagement will stretch the abilities and swamp the resources of most firms. For help, firms increasingly turn to vendors that possess a connected portfolio of engagement competencies and management skills.

The result will be a new market for mobile engagement providers that will grow to $32.4 billion by 2018 (see Figure 1 below). No vendor can do all of this today, but suppliers from six categories — digital agencies, management consultancies, mobile specialists, product development specialists, systems integrators, and telcos — are chasing the prize. The payoff for vendors that make this investment will be to earn a seat at your table as a long-term partner in your engagement success.

Figure 1 Mobile Services Will Soar Globally To $32.4 Billion By 2018

Version one of your mobile app was just a standalone pretty face. But in versions two, three, and four, your mobile app will be the new face of systems of engagement, with a goal of helping people “take action in their immediate context and moments of need.”

Fulfilling this mission – and reaping the benefits of a close service connection to your customers and employees – means solving a much bigger problem than shrinking down your Web site or screen-scraping your SAP system. It means serving customers and employees whose minds have shifted to expect anything, anywhere, at any time.  If version one of the app cost $250,000, it’s not unusual for version two to cost $2 million.

You’ll spend that money deciphering what your customers really want to do on the mobile devices then building dramatically simplified mobile experiences on complex systems of engagement. You’ll also re-engineer your core processes, systems, and products to help people in their “mobile moments.”

This new $32.4 billion market is comprised of three kinds of services:

  1. Mobile engagement services: This includes the complex services for building a full system of engagement: ethnographic research, experience design, mobile strategy, business process re-engineering, redesigning middleware, analytics, system consolidation, and upgrades to back-end services. Cloud delivery, third-party services, and platform operations are not included.
  2. Mobile device and app management services: This includes the per-device fees for managing devices and the apps that run on them: mobile device management and mobile app management. It could include the setup and management of a corporate app store to manage app and policy updates. It does not include monthly telecom or wireless broadband expenses.
  3. Mobile app development services: This includes developing and maintaining native and hybrid apps for smartphones and tablets as well as mobile websites, including responsive design. It also includes using existing APIs to provide connections to the back-end systems. It does not include experience design.Ted Schadler is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research serving CIOs. You can follow him on Twitter @TedSchadler.

The Fast-Growing Mobile Payments Market That Will Convince You It's Not Hype

Consumers gravitate to convenience. That’s as true with payment technologies as it is with anything else. A prime example is the decades-old trend away from cash or checks and toward credit cards.

Now, the mass adoption of smartphones and tablets has set the stage for a new move — away from fixed-point, card- and cash-based transactions and toward those completed on mobile. The old dream of the “digital wallet” is coming true in a very particular mobile-led fashion.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence we explain the main types of mobile payments, analyze the state of the mobile payments race, examine the matchup between card readers and near-field communications (NFC), look at how traditional banks, credit card companies, and card processors are responding to the mobile payments threat, and detail who is furthest along in developing the all-in-one solution for merchants and consumers.

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Here are 5 data points that help underscore the explosion:

Android's dominance of the smartphone market continues

Android Now Controls A Breathtaking 80% Of The Smartphone Market

According to the latest data from IDC, Android now controls 79.3% of the global smartphone market, up from 69.1% a year ago.

Apple, meanwhile, 13.2% of the market, a drop from 16.6% a year ago.

In terms of unit growth, Apple was up 20% on a year-over-year basis, while Android was up 73.5%.

These numbers are just astounding. Google’s search business isn’t even as dominant as Android. In the U.S., one of its strongest markets, Google search only has ~67% of the market.

Here’s a look at the market share:


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Is it worth it for me to have a mobile app (or should I just have a responsive site).

You know your business needs a mobile presence, but how to best offer that experience — without breaking the bank — is something tons of companies, both big and small, continue to struggle with.

Carl asks: Is it worth it for me to have a mobile app (or should I just have a responsive site)? How do I know whether I’m getting bang for my buck?

If Carl had asked this question back in 2009 or 2010, it would have been phrased, “Do I need a native app or is a mobile-optimized website enough?” In 2011 and 2012, the question again would have shifted to “native app or mobile web app?” Today, “responsive” is the buzzword du jour.

As a result, it’s an increasingly popular option for companies that are looking to move into mobile, but that lack the budgets to support separate apps for each mobile platform and without the needs of something more complex such as a mobile web app.

The first thing you need to do is forget about buzzwords and lingo and focus on the actual needs of your business.

The first thing you need to do is forget about buzzwords and lingo and focus on the actual needs of your business.

App or Website

The basic question any business owner needs to ask himself is, “Do I need an app at all?” If you’re a law firm who primarily interacts via in-person consultations or over the phone, then no, you probably do not need a mobile app. The same is true for a restaurant owner with one or two locations.

Conversely, if you offer an existing web service for users logins and account management, a native mobile app is probably going to be a worthwhile investment, as it will provide tremendous performance benefits over using the mobile web.

Mobile Commerce as an Edge Case

There are, however, some edge cases in the app-versus-website debate. The most common to my mind is the area of commerce. Mobile commerce (mcommerce) is absolutely exploding, with more and more transactions taking place on tablets and smartphones every single day. In April, eMarketer predicted that by 2017, 25% of online retail transactions will take place on mobile.

Commerce is a tricky area for the mobile versus app debate

Commerce is a tricky area for the mobile versus app debate because the answer can really vary depending on the type of products being sold and the audience for the products.

I explored the mobile versus native debate in regards to ecommerce apps back in 2011. Although the shift to mobile shopping has greatly increased, the considerations for choosing mobile web (or in today’s parlance, “responsive”) over a native app are largely still the same.

I wrote then:

It isn’t just about choosing native apps or choosing the mobile web — it’s also about looking at who your customers are and what devices they use. For retailers that have lots of iPhone users, the fact that 50% of users can come from a native app and the conversion rate can be 30% higher makes a strong argument for creating a native app. Meanwhile, if conversion rates for native BlackBerry apps are subpar, it might make more sense to focus on optimizing the mobile commerce site to work with the BlackBerry browser.

This is all still true. Mcommerce companies should look at who their users are — what platforms they use, the average transaction price (studies continue to show that users feel more comfortable making large dollar purchases using a native app rather than the mobile web) and how well their current web solutions work with features such as shopping carts, time outs and more.

For mcommerce, you should absolutely start with a mobile friendly site and make sure that it is frequently updated to be fast, efficient and work well on multiple devices. Then, factor out how many sales will need to take place each month through a native app to pay for its development. If that seems feasible, building a native app to offer alongside the responsive experience is a great idea.

Responsive Is Not a Shortcut

On the surface, it’s easy to say that creating a responsive site will be less expensive than developing an app. Still, it’s important to consider the costs, especially if your existing site is not responsive.

These costs include not just the design itself, but also any upgrades that need to take place with your existing websites backend or infrastructure.

Responsive design is not just about fitting on a mobile screen

Responsive design is not just about fitting on a mobile screen, it’s also about making sure that functionality works in contexts and scenarios ideal for mobile.

That means that if you are a restaurant, your responsive site can hook into geolocation APIs to offer easy access to directions. It means that phone numbers are dial-able. It means that buttons and text entry fields are touch-friendly.

How India , China and Brazil is Tracking The Next Massive Growth Wave In Smartphones

Many emerging markets are already mobile-first economies where mobile phones are more ubiquitous than either land-line telephones, PCs, or fixed Internet connections.

Mobile statistics are specifically impressive in the BRICs — Brazil, Russia, India, China. China is poised to overtake the United States as the world’s largest smartphone market, and new Chinese app data suggest it has already done so.

In a recent reportBI Intelligence interviews a half-dozen mobile industry leaders and entrepreneurs on opportunities in the BRICs, breaks down how mobile-focused companies can pursue those opportunities, analyzes key mobile statistics (smartphones, app downloads, app revenue) from the BRIC countries, isolates and analyzes the four lessons that are essential to any mobile project in these markets, and looks at a case study of a successful music streaming service focused on Indian and Bollywood music.

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Subscribers also gain access to our library of over 100 in-depth reports on the global mobile industry, and hundreds of charts and datasets they can put to use in their own research and presentations. 

Here’s an overview of the 4 essentials to mobile projects in BRIC countries:

In full, the special report:

For full access to the report on Mobile In The BRICs sign up for a free trial subscription today.

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72% Of Online Adults Are Using Social Media

72% Of Online Adults Are Using Social Media (Pew Research)
According to the latest Pew Research study, social media usage has proliferated among online adults; 72% use social media today, compared to 67% in late 2012, and just 8% who did so in 2005.

What’s more, the percentage of Internet users who are on Twitter has more than doubled since November 2010, currently standing at 18%. It’s shortsighted to think of social media as a playground for the Internet’s youth, and time to view it as an opportunity to engage with people of all ages and demographics. Read >

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, And Amazon Thrive Among Mobile-Only Audiences (BI Intelligence)
How are the top Web properties performing in the mobile sphere?

Let’s take Facebook as an example. In June, Facebook had 39 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S. who accessed the site solely via mobile devices, according to comScore data shared with BI Intelligence.

That’s a huge pool of mobile-only usage, but to really understand how that impacts Facebook’s audience its useful to make sense of that number as a percentage gain over the desktop audience. *This content is subscriber-only, but click through any of the links in this item for a two-week trialRead >

Users Can Now Apply For Jobs Directly Via LinkedIn Mobile Apps (TechCrunch)
Job seekers can now submit their profile for jobs directly via LinkedIn’s iOS and Android mobile apps. This move will raise the visibility of LinkedIn profiles as default CVs, and also boost engagement on the app, as well as the efficacy of recruitment ads. Read >


BII prestige socialL2 Think Tank

72% Of Small And Medium-Size Businesses Use Social Media For Promotion (BIA/Kelsey)
The latest study from BIA/Kelsey also found that 52% of SMBs have a Facebook page for their business and 25% have a Google+ Local page. Most importantly, 66% said they are “extremely engaged” or “very engaged” with customers on social media. Read >

The Average ‘Prestige’ Brand Is Present On Seven Social Media Platforms (L2 Think Thank)
More than 75% of prestige (or luxury) brands have a presence on five to nine social media platforms. Facebook is the most popular, followed by Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. Read >

Facebook Pays Out More Than $1 Million To Security Researchers (Economic Times)
Over the past two years, Facebook has paid out more than $1 million to security researchers who report bugs on the social networks’ site. Researchers in the U.S. were the largest recipients of these payments, followed by those in India. Read >

The Ultimate Guide To Pinterest For Every Brand (FastCompany)
FastCompany breaks down the social network’s terms, features, metrics, and use cases.


BII 3015203 inline i 1 the ultimate guide to pinterist for every brand

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How Retailers, Sports Teams, And Brands Have Made Apple's Passbook Ecosystem Work For Them

Apple’s Passbook is already the fourth-most popular mobile commerce app among U.S. consumers. It ranks just behind giants like eBay, Amazon, and Groupon in terms of user adoption.

One-fifth of iPhone owners already use Passbook to download “passes”— coupons, gift and loyalty cards, airline boarding passes, and movie and event tickets. It’s Apple’s attempt at a virtual wallet.

Large retailers — from Sephora to Target — and restaurant chains and Major League Baseball are already using it as a channel for acquiring and retaining customers.

So why don’t we hear more about Passbook?

In a new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s paid subscription service, we look at the trends and numbers behind the Passbook ecosystem.

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The report includes over a half-dozen charts and datasets — and an ecosystem graphic — examining the intricacies of the Passbook ecosystem. Subscribers receive full access to the BI Intelligence library of over 100 in-depth reports on the mobile industry, and hundreds of datasets you can put to use.

In our report on Passbook, we also look at some misconceptions and underrated opportunities:

We also discuss Passbook’s relationship with the burgeoning and competitive mobile payments space, and the uncertainty surrounding its future as a payments platform. 

Will Apple add a payment-processing capability, so that users can make “walletless” credit card payments with Passbook? Will it be joined with fingerprint-reading technology, the rumored authentication feature to be included in iPhone 5S?

Apple has over 500 million credit cards on file. We review what brands and retailers are doing to hook into the ecosystem and prepare for the possibility that Apple will one day leverage these credit card relationships and turn Passbook into a real transactions platform.

It also includes an examination of the top barriers to widespread Passbook adoption: namely, the chicken-and-egg problem that ties relatively low app publisher adoption to a lack of wider consumer awareness.

For full access to the report on Passbook sign up for a free trial subscription today.

The Largest American Companies Aren't Mobile-Ready

A substantial minority of the largest U.S. companies do not have a mobile or mobile-compatible website, even as consumer usage makes a dramatic shift away from the desktop PC, and mobile accounts for 26% of search traffic globally.

According to a recent study from Pure Oxygen Labs, 44% of the Fortune 100 have no mobile content strategy.

Only 56% served mobile-optimized content: 45% had dedicated mobile sites, while 11% deployed responsive design.

This is important because Google is revising its rankings to favor sites that are optimized for mobile, placing a renewed importance on mobile search engine optimization. Not to mention, Google recommends responsive design as a best practice.

At BI IntelligenceBusiness Insider’s paid subscription service, we recently analyzed over 15 datasets culled from a variety of sources to probe the reasons why it’s vital to have a real mobile strategy, and we examined the advantages and disadvantages of one: responsive design. We published our insights in a recent report, “The Rise Of Responsive Design As A Mobile Strategy, The Pros And Cons.”

mobile site breakdownBII

According to the same study cited above, only six companies in the Fortune 100 (the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500) were well-prepared to meet Google’s best practices criteria.

The changes to Google’s rankings are expected to go into effect in September and October. Unless they comply with Google’s recommendations that sites be mobile-optimized , a substantial number of major companies could see their search results adversely affected.

Meanwhile, mobile accounted for 26% of traffic to search engines last quarter (up from 24% in the first quarter), according to a study from RKG. (See chart, below.)

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