HitFix launched their iPhone application at the beginning of last week. They basic service provides entertainment - movie, TV, performing arts - listings near where you are or where you live.
I judge the quality of mobile services within the context of the Convenience Quotient. (See report). I define the benefits of mobile services as immediacy (value of having the information or service now), simplicity and context. This service does all three fairly well though I'd like to see it do more.
Immediacy - let's me see what is playing nearby and soon. Would love to see the application go beyond pure forms of entertainment like films and TV, but this is a starting place. I would have liked to see local festivals and street fairs ... or "Christmas Tree Lighting in GG Park," but I know this is hard.
Simplicity - Let's me link to an area to purchase movie tickets from within the application. That seems basic, but it is not a no-brainer to get all of these partnerships lined up. If it could link to my DirectTV DVR service so I could record TV shows I find within the application, that would be cool.
Context - uses my location/shows me what is nearby.
They also do well to help with discovery by promoting the iPhone application with two banner ads on their home screen. The link falls short though by simply connecting me to the Apple web site where I can download iTunes - it doesn't give me directions for finding the application within the App store or give me much of a description.
My answer to this question was, "never" until a couple of years ago. Sure, I was more likely to make a phone call on my cell phone than on my computer, but that is to be expected - it has traditionally been designed to be a voice communication device.
Opting for my cell phone rather than my laptop first started for me a couple of years ago. I began using SMS as a substitute for email. Then I started using email on my Blackberry because it would boot faster than my computer. Next came Google SMS - for me it was soooo much faster to get a phone number for a business through Google's SMS service than to call (ok, which costs money) or look online. Then, I got an iPhone and started downloading all kinds of applications. Some I barely use, but .... there are quite a few that I use rather than comparable experiences on the PC. These include Facebook (I'm more likely to be doing something interesting when I'm out and about), Scrabble (tallies the score for you), and maps (stopped printing all those maps out) among others.
For all of these services whereby I opt for my phone rather than my PC, I do so because the experience on the cell phone is more convenient. That means the benefits outweigh the inhibitors to use. When it comes to mobile services, there is convenience when there is value to the immediacy of the information or service, tasks are simple to execute and there is context - like my location.
We lay out this framework in our newly released report, "The Convenience Quotient of Mobile Services: A Facebook Case Study."
Ok, so there is a bit of wait and see until Monday when the FCC Chairman makes the anticipated announcement, but here's a first take:
Who, I ask, is on the side of the consumer? This WSJ article discusses how Obama is taking the side of Silicon Valley. Republicans seem to be taking the side of the carriers. WHO is on my side as a consumer?
Most consumers are NOT demanding the ability to stream unlimited video to their cell phones. In fact, very few are even looking for video capability in their next handset purchase. If you are a Forrester client, come ask me/us for the data - we can show you. Consumers are more interested in their battery lasting all day than streaming video ... which will kill it.
What consumers WANT from their wireless service providers is high quality, reliable voice services. Really, it is. We ask consumers year in and year out what it is they want in a wireless service provider. Quality of service and value always come out on top.
I had the opportunity to demo MOTOBLUR on the Motorola CLIQ last night. The device will be available later this year with T-Mobile. It’s been a while since I’ve demo’ed a phone and immediately wanted to take one home.
First, let me say, I was really impressed with the look of the UI. The presentation of the widgets and information had a bit of a whimsical feel to them that appealed to me. I didn’ t feel as if I were clicking my way through a grid or file format. The pop-up boxes were cute. The device allows you to put your most frequently contacts on the home screen as an icon with a small photo – I was really drawn to this feature. [Forrester has written some research on dynamic address books and friendly UI's within the context of mobile social networking. ]
Spent most of my time focused on the social networking aspects. There were a number of features I really liked.
Apple's announcements yesterday were mostly focused on iTunes and adding a video camera to the Nano (beautiful device by the way - shape, colors, form factor, weight (lessness) - blew me away). There were a couple of interesting things that came out about the iPhone platform though.
A few of the facts:
30 million iPhones sold to date
20 million iPod Touch devices with about 225 million iPods sold to date in all with 50% to new customers (wow!)
1.8 billion downloads of more than 75,000 available applications
100 million billing relationships with credit cards ... this impresses me the most and is what I consider to be one of their important competitive advantages
Saw this article today in moco ranking mobile ad networks in the US. They published these numbers, but don't stand behind them - at least entirely. I'm interested in digging a bit deeper into the UV calculation.
Millennial Media: 45.6 million
AOL/Platform-A's Third Screen Media: 28.6 million
AdMob: 25.7 million
Microsoft's MSN Ad Network: 25.4 million
Jumptap: 23.4 million
Quattro Wireless: 23 million
Yahoo! isn't mentioned. Google is not there - guess this doesn't include Search, but these online giants are popular at least with the consumers we survey. Oh, and no application networks or SMS. The article does back up Millennial's claim to reach. They'd have to be reaching just about every person who browses the mobile web in a given month - even those with one page view - to hit this published number. Aside from the rankings, good to see all of the networks doing so well. These numbers have been growing steadily over the past couple of years. With smartphones selling so well, usage of data services is growing. Forrester's data shows relatively few daily browsers outside of smartphone owners. Most of these ad networks show similar usage patterns. All of this traffic together Choosing ad networks isn't a topic I've researched yet. We do advocate though that brands find their customers, understand their mobile behaviors, and build a strategy from there. With the momentum in consumer adoption of mobile data services, it will soon be hard for any consumer or business-oriented brand to avoid the medium as a channel to engage with consumers for much longer.
The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Forrester Research.
I started this blog because I am passionate about how technology - specifically wireless - can impact businesses and how they engage with their customers. I worked as a management consultant for a number of years before becoming a wireless industry analyst at Jupiter Research. At Jupiter, I found that I was spending a lot of time interpreting our technology (and in my case wireless) research for regular consumer product and service companies. I figured, "why not write mobile research directly for these non-telco companies," as I call them.
In 2006, I launched mobile marketing and media coverage at Jupiter. When Forrester Research acquired Jupiter Research in August 2008, I decided with my corporate transition to make a coverage transition as well. I wanted to expand upon this research I'd started at Jupiter and look at mobile strategies more broadly. I wanted to conduct research and advise our clients on how mobile can help them achieve a wide range of business objectives.
Every consumer product and services company should be considering how they will engage with their customers within the mobile environment. Many clients ask me, "How will I know when I should have a mobile presence?" I ask, "How did you know when you needed a Web presence? Was it when 5% of your customers were online? 10% Was it when your competitors had a website? When did you decide to add rich media to your website? What percentage of your customers was connecting via broadband?" I ask many of our clients this question. The answer with most is, "The decision was strategic. We knew we needed a web presence. We sensed that the Internet would be an important medium for us to engage with our customers." Mobile will be the same. A mobile presence isn't table stakes today, but it will be.
Julie is currently employed by Forrester Research where she is a Vice President and Principal Analyst. Her area of expertise lies primarily in telecommunications and consumer mobility more specifically. She is leveraging this expertise along with her experience in management consulting and engineering to guide clients in the development, evaluation and execution of their mobile strategies. As cell phones evolve into the most ubiquitous device owned and used by consumers, consumer product and services companies will find engaging with their customers on these devices increasingly important. Julie's research and analysis have been widely cited in publications including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, RCR Wireless, The Onion and on PBS, NBC, and CBS.
Julie joined Forrester in July 2008 when they acquired JupiterResearch. Julie's experience in the telecommunications industry dates back 20 years with her first internship as a microwave circuit engineering intern at COMSAT Laboratories. She has since split her time as an engineer, management consultant, and analyst between Germany and the United States. Prior to joining JupiterResearch, Julie worked as a management consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton where she worked with both automotive and telecommunications clients to drive product portfolio investment decisions, sourcing strategies, and broader strategic and business plan development. She also worked in business development for a wireless startup in San Francisco.
Julie holds a B.S.E.E. and a master of science in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Met with an interesting company yesterday - Taptu. They offer a mobile search service/technology. They recently launched their iPhone application. They are in the process of indexing "touch-friendly" media. They estimate that there are about 40,000 touch-friendly web sites of which they have indexed more than 3 million pages with a goal much higher than this for the end of the year. They estimate that about 30% of the top 100 web sites as measured by traffic are touch-friendly. It is an interesting idea given the number of touch-screen mobile devices being sold today. Is your web site touch friendly? mobile friendly?