The sales rate is impressive for a company that’s made a quick rebound into media, devices, and technology over the last few years and wanted to put it into context.
To illustrate, I decided to run some numbers and compare the product rates compared to something we can relate to, here’s what I found:
Apple Sells 23k Devices Each Hour
During this past quarter, Apple sold:
26.9 million iPhones
14.0 million iPads
4.9 million Macs
5.3 million iPods
= 51.1 million total devices sold in one quarter
23,657 devices sold per hour. (Divided 51m by 90 days, then 24 hours)
Earth Receives 15k New Humans Each Hour
During this past quarter, let’s compare the global birthrate
I found online a few sources of global human birthrate, but resulted settling on CIA estimates that reveal
362,880 births a day.
252 worldwide births per minute
15,120 births hour
Apple Devices Sold Outpaces Global Birthrate
Comparing Apple devices sold to the number of humans born, 23,657 devices sold per hour, while there are 15, 120 humans born per hour. That means that on average, if only newborn babies were to receive Apple devices, they would get 1.5 devices per quarter, or 6 devices a year.
To put the stats side by side:
Apple sells 23,657 devices per hour
Earth receives 15,120 new births hour
1.56 ratio of Apple products over global births
Looking at Apple profits (beyond revenue) they announced $8.2b in profits for the quarter, which is staggering, and it was reported Apple has $121b in cash, enough to buy a space station. To put this in perspective, Facebooks run rate of revenues (not even profits) could be $5b at best this year, via my rough math at just over 1b in revenues per last few quarters this year.
The term “mobile” is an amorphous term that can be applied to nearly every digital and technology strategy. So where should companies start? This report outlines a pragmatic approach based on: 1) Conducting a mobility audit 2) Examining Roles 3) Then choosing technology and partners choices.
It’s important you understand that one size doesn’t fit all needs; know that a different strategy is needed for each persona needs –don’t choose technology partners first, then force it into the org. While this seems common sense for most, many are not approaching with this needs based approach first.
Altimeter’s latest research report on how corporations should systematically develop a mobile strategy for their workforce is now published by Analyst Chris Silva. As the editor of this report, it was exciting to see from Chris and Jessica Groopman (researcher) how there were clear use cases surfacing, but also learning how corporations struggle on where to start.
Above: Understand the roles of each worker persona require different mobile strategies
Above: Once you’ve gone through steps 1 and 2 to first do internal research, you can choose from some of these potential technology providers.
How should a modern organization factor in mobile devices and social technologies into their learning programs? That’s the exact question the Altimeter Group was posed with to answer for the mLearnCon 2011 conference today in San Jose.
In fact, we found that there’s six distinct disruptions that need to be harnessed which we call the:
Framework: The Mobile & Social Learning Honeycomb
These six ‘cells’ so to speak have 6 opportunities to take advantage of, they include:
Who Creates: From Expert to Crowd
Who Learns: From Siloed to Group
What Curriculum Is: From Static to Dynamic
When It Takes Place: From Fixed Time to Time-Shifted
Where it takes place: From Fixed Location to Anywhere
How it is consumed: From Comprehensive to Component-based
A big thanks to Researcher Andrew Jones (Twitter, Blog), and Research Intern Andy Nguyen (Twitter), for their help on this research.
Above: Framework: Mobile & Social Learning Honeycomb
Last week, I had the honor of keynoting the Mobile Marketing Strategies Summit in San Francisco, to provide a strategic perspective of how mobile –and social technologies work together for today’s top brands. Sadly, we found that most companies are developing mobile tactics. That’s right, tactics. Why? As the latest technology came around, companies would prescribe towards them in a haphazard way, or rely on their agencies to select the app to appease a ‘mobile solution, quickly’.
Instead, companies should evaluate how their customers use mobile technologies across their entire life and brand process. Working closely with the research team here at Altimeter, we were able to structure a mobile strategy based on the customer life process –not just on features and functions, and found quite a few examples of companies spanning the gap.
If you’re seeking a strategic perspective, please watch the video below –and see slides. Caveat: My primary focus is social so you’ll see some crossover between my perspective and how mobile connects. Also, we’re hiring a mobile analyst (and other roles) that will be primarily focused and go deeper than I will have time to, while I’ll continue to focus on customer strategy across many platforms.
Above: Customer Hourglass Framework. Build your mobile strategy based on the entire customer experience –not just on the technologies on hand.
Experimenting With Mobile Apps
It’s clear that content can become more contextual and personalized as it transects with location based devices. A few weeks ago the folks at the company MotherApp, created a “Web Strategy iPhone App (download in iTunes)” to take on the go. This isn’t just a “m.” mobile website that shows essential content minus heavy graphics, this is a true iPhone app, with the native interface of Apple products, see screenshots below. I’m not the only one, they created the app for Tim Ferris (iTunes), Guy Kawasaki (iTunes) and Brian Solis (iTunes) and others.
Above: Screenshots of the Web Strategy iPhone App, featuring latest Tweets and Options
Above: Screenshots of the Web Strategy iPhone App, featuring latest blog posts details and summary of posts
Mobile Based Apps Offer Content On The Go
The content can be accessed on an iPhone, even if there’s no internet connection, the content is downloaded. Secondly the content is in a clean Apple native user interface making it easier to read and navigate, rather than some clunky “m” looking site. Also, you can serve up a variety of content sources related to your brand. Also, the app has location based content, I’m looking at Brian’s app, and it can serve up Fan comments based on location (it asks you for your current location, first). In the future, it would be interesting if two fans of Brian Solis’s app would be signaled to each other they are in proximity, resulting in unique engagements. Brian’s app links directly to his amazon page, where his books (products) are available for sale.
Brian Solis’s Apps Requests To Access Your Location
Brian Solis’s Apps Filters Fan Wall Shout Outs By Proximity.
Conversion: Brian Solis’s App Promotes His Books, With Links to his Amazon Store.
What’s the downside? The URLs and comments are visible, only my voice. In the future, I’m sure these will be native into the app, so the community can talk back. The barriers to entry are still high, you’ll need to find an app developer to build this for your iPhone or other mobile device.
Apps for Events and Corporate Conferences
It’s not just personal brands, I recently noticed the Forrester Consumer Forum iPhone app that listed out the schedule, top topics “What’s hot” based on attendee votes (I think) and the ability to create a schedule of tracks to attend. LeWeb has the most impressive event iPhone application, with links to previous videos, session list, news, maps, and speaker roster. Nearly the entire event website was ported to the device on the go.
Forrester’s Consumer Forum App Highlights the “Hot” sessions. No doubt, of course, it’s Josh Bernoff.
LeWeb IPhone App Streams Archived Videos
Expect majority of top blogs to have mobile apps within the next few months, at first they will be custom created, then a platform will emerge allowing them to quickly ported to multiple platforms (blackberry, droid, etc).
This platform will emerge that will create this blog network, and new advertising opportunities will emerge who are able to cascade the information to the mobile devices. Players like Federated Media, Blogher, should move quickly.
Content will become location-based, as blog posts, tweets, and other content is based on a specific area (a foodie blog, reviewing restaurants in Mission district, SF) the content will auto-surface to the application when needed.
A standard will be set for all conferences and events to have a mobile based event that encourages members to find out about sessions, find other attendees, and even tweet from it.
I’ll continue to experiment with the Web Strategy brand in a variety of mediums, to test, and report back to you what works and what doesn’t.
Local Businesses Can Benefit From Mobile Social Networks
The nearly mainstream social web is now evolving and graduating to mobile devices. This emerging space of mobile-based social networks are empowering customers to find the best venues and prices, and offering savvy companies unique ways to cater to this new medium. Yet, despite the emergence of applications like FourSquare, Yelp, and recently launched GoWalla, there are risks as customers talk directly to each other and opportunities for businesses who harness the tools. Local businesses should approach the mobile social networking space by first listening to their customers, responding to commenters, provide special offers to advocates, and prepare for pricing to be impacted.
Mobile Social Network Offers Discounts Based On Location
Using FourSquare, a location based social network, I ‘checked in’ to the movie theatre indicator to my friends my location. Immediately after the application identified my approximate location it offered a ‘special nearby’ which I clicked. The Savvy Cellar Wine Bar offered me 50% off a wine flight to a store 2 blocks away. Using both my general location using 3GS on the iPhone and my explicit checkin to the location, it was able to serve up advertisements based on my physical location. We should expect FourSquare to evolve and eventually offer advertisements based on your friends interests “John, Amy, and Allen all like Los Taqaritors, invite them now for a 20% off discount”. Location based ads will soon connect with social information.
Catering To “Top” Customers Spur Word Of Mouth
The opportunities aren’t just focused on location based, but also provide opportunity for developing an unpaid army of advocates. Take for example Foursquare’s point system, those who ‘check in’ the most to a location can become the ‘mayor’ of their particular store, indicating they’re the top customer. Some savvy restaurants provide free drinks or other services to the mayor, who will continue to spread their affinity for a restaurant using social networks. A few weeks ago, I spent time with Yelp’s marketing team and their community manager Connie who oversees many of the community facing events. I learned that many local restaurants cater to Yelp Elite, and will likely provide them with quality service above and beyond, in fact, Yelp has launched a program for restaurants to offer a prix fixe menus for Yelp users. Expect to see Yelp’s mobile application advertise these special deals for Yelpers as they search for restaurants online using mobile devices.
Empowered Customers Check Prices In Real Time –Impacting Buying Behavior
Even if you don’t have a physical store, but offer a consumer good, consider RedLaser, which is a real-time bar code scanner that allows any phone to scan UPC codes and find them cheaper online. This means that retailers with higher priced products may miss out as consumers can quickly buy it from a competitive store down the street or find it online. If this trend continues, manufactures may shift their supply away from high-priced retailers to compensate for the change in demand. (Thanks Andrew Hyde for the tip)
Innovative Market Dependent On Adoption
Despite the innovation, location based marketing and advertising has its limitations as it’s dependent on: total number of consumers with mobile devices, adoption of mobile social networks, and their desire to find location-based offers.
Key Takeaways For Local Businesses: Local businesses should approach these mobile social networks in a four part strategy –not simply reacting without a plan. Companies should approach this space by:
Listening In For Free Research. Local businesses should immediatly montior their brands on mobile social networks like Yelp and FourSquare. Use this information as free research: find out the perception of customers opinions both good –and bad to learn about their market.
Responding To Reviewers. Use negative information as a way to improve products and services and let your community know you’re listening to their feedback. Although there are always two-sides to any complaint use these same tools to respond to customers in public, but be sure to abide by the terms of service.
Rewarding Top Customers. Customers that frequently patron your store and tell others on these mobile social networks should be rewarded. Build both in person and online relationships with them so they’ll continue to advertise and market on your behalf. Free drinks anyone?
Preparing for pricing impacts and positioning. With disruptive tools like RedLaser appearing, customers can quickly find pricing of products and find them at nearby retailers. Retailers like CVS, Walmart, Target, BestBuy, Safeway should take heed as consumers continue to become empowered through instant information. Companies will need to respond by: making product pricing more competitive, or offering other deals such as bundling, speed, time, or other value-based offerings.
Update: Here’s some screenshots, I learned how to take screenshots with your iPhone by holding the main button and power button.
Augmented Reality is certainly in it’s infancy, and we know that at best, is experimental. I’m new to this space but am watching, and learning from Robert Rice and Dave Elchoness to see how it develops. While a few years out, see the proposed Hype Cycle, let’s spend time thinking about what the future could hold.
I’m in intake mode. Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched as many augmented reality youtube clips as possible, reading blog posts (as there are no real articles yet from mainstream) and talking to smart folks. What I’ve noticed? Many videos are folks excited about the toys –yet with little reference to how it impacts business. I’ve also been experimenting with Yelp’s monocle, which is sub-par at best, it’s really early days. My biggest challenge? I’m in the wrong country. The innovation and adoption with these tools will come in Europe and Asia –not the tethered American market.
I found a few videos that are void of the “Shiny object” syndrome and focus on how this could improve people’s lives –or fulfill a meaningful business need, here’s three:
Above Video: Supplemental Information Added On Location.
Dutch company Layar appears to be one of the emerging platforms that enables data to be added to physical locations. It’s location specific and allows content to be shown through the display of a phone related to real estate, shopping, and healthcare. Add on a social layer (where are my friend, or should I know them?) and things could become more useful.
Above Video: Contextual Information While Reading Book, and On Location
This Italian video shows how virtual reality glasses (glasses are more fantasy than reality… yet) could be used to provide auxiliary content while reading books –or in real world as the character goes to those physical location and is able to get more information. Imagine if every book you read could provide supplemental information from the web or other digital devices. What if every example you read in Groundswell showed a YouTube video of each story –each executive who is mentioned shows their profile information powered by wikipedia, and pictures and speeches from flickr and YouTube. I’ll chalk this video up as certainly futuristic, but showing potential increase knowledge opportunities.
Above Video: Social Data and Contact Info Overlayed in Business Setting.
This future video created by Tat, doesn’t get into the business setting until half way the video, but shows how additional information can be seen in real life. An audience member can ‘scan’ the speaker, and get additional information about their presentations, contact info, and even rate them. Scanning around the table, I had a chuckle when you could see people’s “Mickey Mouse ears” of social site icons appear above their faces.
Early days –but interesting to watch.
It’s early days for the Augmented Reality space, yet that shouldn’t keep us aware of what’s going to emerge in the coming years. Expect innovation and adoption in Europe and Asia, with the US trailing behind. Early bridges will display data from existing web-data bases like Yelp, Facebook, Wikipedia, and review sites. Remember when some websites were not compatible with certain browsers, the AR space is also in it’s infancy as many applications don’t run on all mobile platforms and the data sources are limited.
Lastly, I’m considering hosting an event at our “Hangar” in San Mateo, CA to focus on the business potentials of mobile social networks and augmented reality. Perhaps in Q1, 2010. Let me know if you’d be interested in participating, leave a comment below.
There’s been a series of announcements this last two weeks, many which are happening here at SXSW, yet it’s important to look at what these changes mean as a collective, here’s my take:
While working on my report the future of the social web, I was white boarding out ideas with Josh Bernoff on some of the changes that will be happening as social technologies become more important. It’s clear that as mobile devices become more prevalent, and social communities grow online that they’ll take main stage in our personal and business lives.
As I was explaining to him how I think they could be all pieced together, I said “your friends will be with you as you travel”, being an expert wordsmith he suggested it’s more akin to having an “entourage in your pocket”. The thought is that everyone will feel just a bit more secure and confident knowing they can instantly access their community.
One of the key changes is the access that we’ll have anytime and anywhere to our trusted network of friends, family, and colleagues –and not just asynchronously, but in real time. Here at SXSW, Facebook announced that it would tie to iPhone extending mobile application to be present wherever users are at. This impacts both retrieval of information from your network –and publishing to your network in real time.
What to expect when the mobile and social web combine:
Access to your trusted network anywhere
We know from data, that users trust peers more than any other group, and now, consumers have access to their most trusted network wherever they go. Take for example my colleague Nate Elliott who recently moved to Vancouver, using Tweetdeck he just asked what the best restaurants are in his area. Imagine consulting your peers (or perhaps their peers) in near real time for what they think of big ticket items like TVs or cars, or even more daily items like checking to see which one of your friends rated a restaurant in Yelp, or a product in Amazon before you buy it in the physical store.
Access to your trusted network anytime
As we’ve seen from Twitter, and now the recent Facebook redesign, the web appears to be moving more real time. We’re starting to see life streams and activity streams as more common design elements in mainstream websites even like Yahoo YOS, and Microsoft Live. We may even see uses of asking your peer network directly in Twitter in real time maybe tools like Tweetdeck that now connect Twitter and Facebook, granting the ability to shout out “has anyone had experience with this product? Love to hear your thoughts before I buy”
Growth of location specific applications
When you start to think of what this means for the next generation of apps, we will start to see location specific applications. Perhaps you’ve heard of mobile based social networks like Loopt, Whrrl, and Brightkite, yet these applications could provide further context to users as they maneuver the terrain. An example could be of an individual being a fan of a product in Facebook, like Starbucks, an iPhone can already track where you are on Google Maps, but now can find the nearest cafe to you. What’s the change? Now it can recommend product specials for you as you get closer, enticing users with their favorite beverages. Mix in social, and it may suggest for you to invite your nearby friends, which would result in a discount for both of you or other reward.
We’ve yet to fully explore what the real time, and location specific social web has to bring, the opportunities are nearly limitless. Love to hear from you what potential applications could be built.
Gen Kanai, Mozilla’s (makers of the Firefox Browser) marketing manager in Japan shares with me how mobile has impacted the culture of Japanese. From communications, payment, media consumption, and internet usage, Japan’s mobile culture is unique. Gen also blogs at the Mozilla Asia blog, where you can see how they specifically serve their Asian market.