Phones replacing PC's in Ireland

Phones replace PC's

[update 25/02/15: re-wrote large sections of this with additional notes and data points]

Altogether, a third of our web time now happens on our phones, up from just 10pc two years ago.
Meanwhile, the amount of time that we spend using PCs and laptops to access the web has collapsed from 82pc to 58pc of Ireland’s overall internet browsing in the last two years.
The research indicates that phones will overtake PCs as our main internet machines in 2016.

The important item to remember from this is that it would appear that it's not just for checking Facebook, watching videos or your latest sports score. If the numbers are getting to that level, it can only mean that more and more tasks are being completed. Looking at this practically:

  • is your website fully optimised for any screen size? An easy way to do it: take your internet browser and re-size the window to make it narrower and see if it re-organises the content to fit the width. Try it on this website as an example. For help/advice on how this works, mail me.
  • Can you a user of your website do everything you'd want from a mobile phone sized device?
  • Are you supporting your employees/users by giving them the tools they require to work from a mobile device?



Android overtakes iOS in Ireland

The figures also indicate that Android phones and tablets have overtaken iPhones and iPads for internet use in Ireland. Some 53pc of us now go online using Android devices such as Samsung and Sony while 43pc log on using iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. And the figures show the extent of Nokia’s collapse, with less than one in 25 of us now using a Nokia smartphone for the web.

Another interesting quote from the article above. An interesting aspect of this to keep in mind also and shows the true genius of Apple: they don't care about marketshare but they do about profit.

What Operating System Makes the Profit

As of the end of 2014, Apple made 89% of all operating profits in the smartphone market with Android taking the rest while only having less than 15% of the worldwide marketshare and in comparison to Android's 80+% showing (Windows Phone is 3rd worldwide, making no profit at all) - that means every all of the companies making Android phones make only 11% of the operating profit between them, and of them Samsung seems to be making around 7% of that. However, Samsung is also starting to struggle as much of it's profits have come from high sales volumes and with the upcoming new challengers from Asia, notably Chinese companies (I'm writing a big article on this - should be up next week), it will be interesting to see whether even they can continue to eke out profits as they have. Another aspect is how Motorola under Lenovo ownership changes anything, and whether any of these current manufacturers are still here in a year - Sony is talking of stepping away from the phone market.......

Where the App profits are

The other important aspect is the app ecosystem. Again, Android is increasingly making more and more marketshare numbers (as stated above, over 80% worldwide marketshare against Apple's 15%), but again when it comes to profit, is a long way behind. Incredibly, Apple brings in 85% more revenue than Google, even with less than a fifth of the user base. If you're considering an app, at present, there is only one place to go at present if you want to get to the installed base of users who are willing to spend any money...... One interesting aspect of this is that in earlier times, Android was a hugely difficult operating system to develop on (again, another star to Apple for ensuring this was so well done to suck in all the early developers) but recent perceptions seem to be changing - it will be interesting to see whether there is two aspects to the profit of apps: i.e. are iPhone users just more pre-disposed to spending more money and it won't matter either way if the apps are made for Android.


Average Phone Prices

Another interesting set of numbers is the graph linked right from (unfortunately I can't find the original Twitter link). It is for both smartphones and 'feature' phones but amazing to see Nokia's collapse (and continued collapse under Microsoft with respect to average selling price). Microsoft may have released improved numbers recently for hardware in general (although I'm yet to see more than around 4 or 5 Surface tablets) but just shows that not reacting to the new generation of smartphones (introduced by the iPhone and Android) has left them a long way off with less than 3% of the installed base of mobile devices. By all accounts, Windows Phone is an excellent operating system (and Windows 10 definitely looks intriguing - my initial impression is of Windows XP from trying the Developer Preview) however the mindshare is for iOS and Android so the apps just aren't there - and there is even less interest in developing for the operating system with such a small installed base.

Whatever your opinion on Apple hardware, full credit to them for keeping a relatively consistent average price (especially compared to the rest of the handset makers). One interesting snippet to come out of the upcoming Mobile World Conference is that Samsung's new Galaxy S6 line of phones will be more expensive than the iPhone equivalent - I can only presume in an attempt to pull their brand up above the fighting at the lower-priced end of the market. Interesting times..... 


Entreprise and Mobile

This all leads to another interesting question - if smartphones and tablets are the go-to devices for almost everyone more and more, where are the enterprise apps? I'm starting to understand more and more why the IBM/Apple alignment occurred.

One important aspect to keep in mind when it comes to the use of a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone for work: different use cases have to be considered. Working with spreadsheets is possible (there's two I personally work on myself in relation to my sports training and logging of exercises) but it is not ideal for when working with larger sets of data entry or analysis. But with improved data processing, now is a time to be considering putting all of the data onto a web-based dashboard of some sort for review - in 2015, is it not time to be considering moving on from sending around a bunch of spreadsheets and documents by email?

Neal McQuaid