Arise, the Discerning Downloader

Gartner has just released its latest stats around mobile app downloads and is claiming we’ll reach the peak number of downloads per user in 2013. The analyst house suggests that currently iPhone owners download 4.9 apps a month and that it’s 6.2 for Android devices. That number will decline to 3.9 and 5.8 by 2017 as users become more ‘discerning’ when downloading apps.

This shows an interesting change in the growth of the mobile app marketplace. The industry has gone from non-existence five years ago to providing revenues of $18 billion in 2012 and a predicted $26 billion foImager this year. The biggest app store, Apple App Store only celebrated its five year anniversary this year. The market has exploded.

Gartner’s suggestion that there will be a new attitude to downloading – as consumers become more comfortable with their choice of device and the apps that are out there – shows how users will become rather more sophisticated in their approach to what they keep on their mobile in coming years. There will certainly still be money to make in developing apps over the next five years but quality, reliability and user experience will become more important as the competition rises.

In the comms industry, we are aware of the value of mobile optimisation of web content and having a comprehensive strategy as more and more people consume their information on a mobile device. Many companies are developing their own mobile apps to enhance the user experience and make life easier. For example, our client, Coloplast, recently developed a mobile app for wheelchair users looking to locate a bathroom on the go, Wheel Mate. It took a very common and difficult problem for wheelchair users and found a way to make the situation easier, without the need for anything more than just a smartphone. The response from users has been excellent.  

Mobile strategy should always be acknowledged by businesses when reaching out to their customers. This doesn’t have to be in the form of an app but could be as simple as ensuring you can view the website on an iPad, iPhone and an Android device.  If app development is being considered, organisations need to ensure they offer the best app, rather than just another ‘ticking a box’ for the different communications channels. The considered consumer will only pick the most useful/entertaining apps with the best user experience when making the choice to download or not. These will be the apps that see a return on investment.  Deciding to build a mobile app shouldn’t be a bolt-on to a mobile strategy, but should be carefully considered and developed according to your customers’ needs.  

Infosecurity Europe 2013 – Security Trends from the Show floor

Last week the Racepoint team went to Infosecurity Europe in Earls Court. This year the event saw almost 4000 visitors, 320 international exhibitors and the launch of a new Mobile Security Advice Hub.  As a landmark European information security event, it’s clear IT security is still a top priority for business investment with cyber crime protection and mobile security of particular interest.

Industry collaboration to fight cybercrime

More security vendors are collaborating together to protect their customers than ever before.  Speaking to Gemalto’s vice president of strategic marketing, Security Business Unit, Ray Wizbowski, we discussed Trustonic, a joint venture formed between ARM, Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient (G&D).

The company, which creates a trusted execution environment (TEE) built on the architecture of the ARM chip, integrates a new level of security directly into the connected devices, enabling companies to store information securely. If the smart device is attacked by cyber criminals, the information stored on the device will remain encrypted and protected, offering businesses peace of mind.

Educating Employees on IT Security

We also spoke to ‘spear phishing’ awareness training company, The company is helping to tackle cyber threats by helping businesses to educate their employees to understand the ways in which their company can be phished. Phishing occurs where an email contains a fake web link to a fake website, where the user is cajoled into offering passwords and other sensitive information to the hacker.

According to, an untrained employee is 60 percent likely to miss all of the indicators that the email is in fact a scam and may click on a hyperlink or open a file attachment attached to the email. The company trains employees by running mock ‘spear phishing’ exercises in an open and transparent way and has been able to reduce a company’s risk by 50 percent in the first six months!

Remote working: Securing email on the move

Additionally, Intercede, adept4 and Deep Secure were showcasing a collaborative secure email service that works on desktop and mobile.

IT consumerisation coupled with enterprise IT mobility strategies has enabled employees to be productive outside of the company’s firewalls. However with employees often sending and accessing sensitive information via email on their smart device, the risk to the business if the device is lost, stolen or even hacked is of great concern.  In fact, many businesses consider that the biggest threat to the organisation’s IP is in fact, the employee.

According to Tracey Keel, head of marketing, Deep Secure, these types of security breaches are helping to reinforce the business case for a secure email solution on smart devices.  Deep Secure demonstrated how the company is using PIN and smart cards to authenticate the user’s identity so that emails are encrypted when sent and decrypted on the other end by the right person – to ensure sensitive business information is not read by the wrong person. Check out their video for more information: here

Secure data storage
iStorage’s Head of Marketing, Weronika Wojcikowska, echoed the need for more businesses to equip their employees with secure devices whilst they are outside of the office. With clients such as Motorola, NHS, KPMG and MBDA Missile Systems, iStorage is fast establishing itself as a leading provider of PIN activated, hardware encrypted, portable data storage. There is a James Bond feel to the gadgets – especially datAshure, which has an on-board key pad whereby if the incorrect PIN code it type wrong a little too often, the data will be wiped.

The rise of BYOD combined with threats to mobile devices from data leakage, sophisticated malware, viruses, and even spyware, has left businesses feeling incredibly vulnerable. It’s great to see security companies are not only creating products that are tackling mobile cybercrime and data loss but are also educating businesses via employee training and collaborating products and solutions to ensure IT security is applied and understood at every level outside of the IT department.


TV news outlets, tablets are yours for the taking

The youth of the US, they are revolting. Not in the nasty sense, but revolting against consuming TV news.

According to some research from Pew, an increasingly small number of ‘young’ Americans are switching off their TV and turning on their phone/tablet/laptop when seeking out the latest news.

According to The Guardian, the report states “Only about a third (34%) of those younger than 30 say they watched TV news yesterday; in 2006 nearly half of young people (49%) said they watched TV news the prior day”. In addition, there was a “notable preference” for consuming news on social media sites over local TV news, according to The Guardian. 42% of 18-29 year olds watched what the US classes as ‘local news’ in 2006, but that figure has dropped to 28% since then.

Perhaps the dual screen habits of playing with a phone or tablet while watching TV are shining through – you’re unlikely to seek out news on Twitter while watching the 10 o’clock News, I would have thought.

Although, I can think of a few use cases that would throw off these results. I regularly go on Twitter with no intention of looking for news, only to end up reading a few articles posted by those I follow. I may throw off the average, given I follow a lot of journalists and PRs, but still. And what if I’m watching BBC TV news on my tablet. Where am I plonked in these results then?

TV’s audience may be aging, but more devices capable of news consumption could and should lead to more news consumption overall. The BBC is already making efforts to improve the iPlayer experience generally for mobile device users. If these US trends come to the UK, it’s up to TV news outlets to make their output as appealing to mobile readers as possible.

Everything Everywhere’s new branding: we’re in EEcstasy

It’s been a landmark week for mobile broadband in the UK, with the launch of the first 4G (that’s fourth generation) network being officially unveiled by operator Everything Everywhere.

Everything Everywhere is a joint venture between the two parents companies of the T-Mobile and Orange mobile networks. The launch was not purely of new tech and spectrum usage, the company simultaneously released details of its new brand name of the 4G network – ‘EE’. Yep, just two little letters.

EE logo

The release of the new branding, name and logo created something of a debate amongst branding and marketing experts. As Brand Republic reported, some likened the logo to two ecstasy pills laid next to each other – suggesting the logo was born on a drug-fuelled night out. Another thought it would be read as ‘MM’ or ‘WW’ – depending on the logo’s orientation (clever clogs).

Brand Republic’s editorial staff also took to Twitter wondering how the new name was actually pronounced – is it E.E or Eeeeeeeee? Luckily, the company was on hand to provide some useful, and somewhat patronising, responses in the form of written and audio ‘guides’. See the visual guide below, or listen to the ‘audio version’ here (click the speaker button on the left).  For the record, it’s E.E.

Hmmm. Helpful, good natured Twitter banter, or outright patronising?

Being born out of a merger between Orange and T-Mobile, EE has some interesting brand heritage (anyone know if the T in T-Mobile stands for anything by the way?) But given they have the monopoly on 4G for the time being, anyone wanting to jump on net-gen mobile services should be very Eeeexcited.


Mobile News Consumption in UK leads Europe: Proud to be British

Last week we posted a piece for fans of mobile news consumption in the US, and now those of us in Europe are getting some of the action too.

After the The State of the News Media 2012 revealed an increase in mobile news gobbling in the US, ComScore thought ‘we need to get in on this surveying of mobile what-not business’. So here we are, a lovely survey showing how mobile news consumption is up in Europe as well.

UK mobile news consumption

And consume we do. You think those yanks like their news on the go? Well, over 46% of us smartphone owning Brits are accessing news through our devices, compared to the European average of 37%. Yep we’re ahead of the curve and beating the our nearest competition the French and Spanish, with 37% and 32% respectively (based on January 2012 numbers). I guess we just want news more, makes you proud to be British.

ComScore mobiel news consumption

Source: ComScore website

There’s no word on tablet-based news gorging. Perhaps ComScore think us Europeans are a little behind the US when it comes to table usage. My own survey based on last week’s queues indicates 100% of ComScore employees did not walk past an Apple store last week.

No insight as to how users are landing on the news pages through their phones either. They survey looked at a mixture of dedicated app and mobile browser traffic. Naturally dedicated app traffic is coming direct through apps, but it would be nice to see if smartphone users are tapping in website addresses or are wondering in through Twitter, Facebook and other social sites.

Regardless, these latest figures show the hunger for news on-the-go is increasing like the clappers on both sides of the pond.