Apple App Store passes 25 billion downloads

The Apple App Store’s 25billionth download was recently announced on the company’s website:

iphone apps

“A billion thanks. 25 times over, The App Store has reached 25 billion downloads. Thanks for getting us there.”

With Apple pocketing 30% from every paid app download and in-app purchase, it’s no small potatoes. That said, combined sales from iTunes, App Store and iBookstore in 2011 made up just 6% of Apple’s net sales – a cool $5.4 billion.

Apple launched its 25 Billion Apps Countdown Promotion on February 13. The winner, to be listed online within ten days of the competition ending, will pocket a $10,000 gift certificate.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the App Store zoomed past another significant milestone. In January 2011, Apple announced its 10 billionth app download. That means it added a further 15 billion to its tally in just a little over 13 months.

Apple competitor Google is proving no slouch in the app download stakes either. In December its Android Market passed the 10 billion mark; the company celebrated the milestone by selling selected apps for just 10 cents.

apple iphone

Despite past predictions that the market would peak in 2011, neither smartphone growth nor app downloads show any sign of abating. In fact, according to a 2011 study by Pew Internet Project the opposite is true. As the number of smartphone-wielding Americans has grown, so too has app downloads.

And it’s not just apps that are getting a workout via smartphones, claimed Pew. Browsing the mobile internet and email is also on the up and up. Eighty-seven per cent of respondents said they used their mobile phone as an internet portal; 68% claimed to do so every day.

An impressive 25% of survey participants said their mobile was their primary means of accessing the internet.

Posted in Mobile News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile Site of the Week – Marca Shoes

Each week, we feature an inspiring mobile website made with WixMobile’s free mobile website builder.

Want your Wix site to be considered for the Mobile Site of the Week? Leave us a comment with your URL!

This Week’s Mobile Site:

marca shoes mobile site

Marca Shoes
Marca’s mobile website is an attention-getter, using bright, modern colors and a plain background for a clean, hip style. They have arranged content into logical pages to help visitors find what they need without a lot of searching and navigation. Bold headings and short paragraphs on content pages breaks up information for easier reading, and each snippet is kept brief and to the point, considering mobile visitors who don’t have a lot of time to take in large amounts of text. You can get a preview of the product catalog through the Collections page, which was customized in the mobile website builder to display a thumbnail gallery. Each image opens a full-size version when tapped, scaling dynamically to fit your device screen. Curious consumers and partners may get in touch quickly with integrated click-to-call and click-to-email, or find out more about Marca by jumping over to Facebook right from the main page.

Posted in Trends & Showcases | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile payment app Card Case doubles merchants

Seamless m-payments via apps and mobile sites may be about to go gangbusters. Start-up Square’s  solution, Card Case, has experienced 100% growth in just fourth months, according to TechCrunch.

mobile payments

In November 2011, Square told TechCrunch that 20,000 merchants had signed up to Card Case. As of February 2012 the number had exceeded 40,000 merchants.

Card Case is a loyalty and mobile wallet platform available on iPhone and Android. You fill the app with virtual cards by merchants who accept Square. In addition to your credit card details, these may include coupons, menus, contact information, orders and purchase history.

Handily, Card Case uses your phone’s GPS to display a directory of merchants near your location, as well as popular establishments other Card Casers are frequenting.

With Card Case, you no longer have to let your cards out of your sight when creating a tab at your favorite restaurant. In fact, the app means you may soon forget what actual cash-money looks like.

payment on mobile

A geofencing feature also allows you to walk into any Square merchant, say your name at the checkout, and your payment’s all done without your phone even making an appearance.

Square has already earned its m-payment stripes. In December 2011 the company’s separate mobile credit card solution passed 1 million merchants in the US – a respectable segment of the 8 million merchants in total that accept credit cards countrywide.

The company has also caught the eye of entrepreneur extraordinaire Richard Branson, who reportedly invested $3 million after he “took interest in Square’s rapid growth and novel technology, in particular its free hardware that allows anyone to accept credit card payments anywhere, anytime.”

Square previously received $100 million in investment and was valued at over $1 billion.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Secrets of Student Mobile Marketing

students on mobiles

We already know that a staggering number of human beings across the globe own a mobile device, which is motivating enough to get us interested in marketing, but the key to tapping into these emerging platforms is to focus on the people who identify with your brand, service or product the most. According to MobileYouth, the first place to start is with the 580 million students around the world who own 620 million mobile devices.

Top brands such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Ford and Google have been successfully engaging this audience for years, seeing growth in both sales and positive brand recognition. MobileYouth  recently-released an insightful four-part series covering 100 trends in youth mobile culture and unveiled some secrets for how to build the best marketing campaigns for long-term success.

  1. Localize your campaigns and campaign centers to campuses that embody your brand’s vision or values.
  2. Study today’s student trends, adoption methods, likes and dislikes for a better idea of how business users will behave down the road.
  3. Students are the movers and shakers – you only need to concentrate on getting them to use your product, adopt your methods or technology, and popularity will spread through word of mouth, sharing and fan promotion to secondary markets on its own.
  4. Get student viewpoints and insights during your development phase, as they know what they want and where the gaps are.
  5. Invest in students and they will reciprocate with brand loyalty and fan promotion.
  6. Offer opportunities for co-creation. Mobile Youth’s Graham Brown explains,”If youth aren’t part of the process you might as well throw your marketing budget down the drain. The further upstream you can involve youth in your product development and marketing process the more effective it becomes.”
  7. Students are the key to re-inventing or re-defining industries such as music, streetwear and technology, not the media, designers or vendors.

You might be wondering how to put these principles into practice. When Apple first began developing their new product line, containing the revisualized Macbooks, iPhone and sleek desktop computers, they built their campaigns to appeal to design students. This created a solid foundation of die-hard consumers and a trend that eventually consumed the global market. Additionally, Apple implemented youth programs and special student deals to maintain that brand loyalty.

In another example, Ford’s entire Ford Fiesta campaign is more than just a clever set of ads and viral videos, but attempting to establish a culture and long-term online entertainment experience around their product. Through their “ultimate foreign exchange program”, 100 students from around the world spend 6 months behind the wheel of their own Fiesta, lifestreaming their experiences, and completing monthly missions to show you what the Fiesta is all about. This approach not only appeals to young people, car enthusiasts and students in general, it encourages individual accomplishment that each driver’s friends, fans and student bodies can get behind.

Conclusion

Facebook was created by a college student. Napster was created for students. SMS was invented to meet the demands of students. It is clear that today’s students and mobile youth know exactly where things need to go and can help you get there, whether you’re developing a new product, thinking of a new mobile marketing campaign, or simply designing a mobile website. To help, MobileYouth have documented 100 key trends in mobile youth culture that you can use to fuel your campaigns, designs or engagement strategies. Download it for free here

Create a mobile website today on WixMobile

Posted in Promote a Mobile Website | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile Site of the Week – Laurell Hall Books

Each week, we feature an inspiring mobile website made with WixMobile’s free mobile website builder.

Want your Wix site to be considered for the Mobile Site of the Week? Leave us a comment with your URL!

This Week’s Mobile Site:

laurell hall books

Laurell Hall Books

Laurell Hall Books is a mobile promotional and  information website for Providence, a new biographical fiction about sexual abuse from this brave 73-year-old author.  The site allows mobile visitors to learn about the book’s background and read a whole chapter, benefiting from mobile-optimized text and touch-based scrolling. Content from the book’s main website is carried over for a complete experience, with reviews layed out using the mobile website builder’s text block element and then styled with the Appearance Editor. The mobile navigation menu allows visitors to quickly move between content and features a “click-to-email” link that opens the mobile’s email program for quick and familiar contact options. An outbound link to purchase the book is also available, displaying an elegant message so visitors know they will be taken to another website that may not be mobile compatible. Overall, this author site represents the ease and benefit the mobile website builder offers web users of all ages.

Posted in Make a Mobile Website, Trends & Showcases | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Mobile Web Design Showcase #5

Mobile Web Design Showcase is a series of posts at WixMobile, displaying outstanding examples of mobile websites. Each volume presents stunning mobile websites displaying eye-catching simplicity and elegant user-friendliness. 

Spot a cool mobile site? Post it in the comments and we’ll feature it in a future Showcase!

In this showcase, we see how 5 big brands fare when viewed on an iPad. Tablets are a hot topic and will only get more popular as time goes on, so ensuring your website works great and looks even better on a tablet is just as important as your mobile website strategy. Don’t know the first thing about desiging for tablets? Don’t worry, the mobile website builder has that covered, with simple, fast and completely responsive designs fit for any size mobile device.

Let’s see how these sites stack up:

Samsung

samsung

As a top seller of Android tablets, you would expect Samsung to have a good mobile experience. They smartly greet you with an introductory page that asks if you prefer the full site or mobile site. The full site does not scale well to the iPad browser, but the mobile site was a perfect fit. Big icons are a plus, making the site menu easy to use.

Toyota

toyota mobile website

Toyota is known for their outstanding mobile marketing campaigns, and their mobile website doesn’t disappoint. While simple in design, it is packed with mobile functionality, including finger-sized buttons, images that dynamically resize, and a layout that adapts to both tablet and mobile device sizes in either orientation. The bright color used for the call-to-action and links stands out superbly on mobile device screens when placed against such a minimal background.

Coca-Cola

coke mobile

Surprisingly, this mega-brand hasn’t made the move to optimize their mobile site for anything larger than an iPhone. You can still take advantage of the functionality and features when viewing Coke’s site from a tablet, but because the experience is clearly designed for smaller screens, the overly large text and small images leave it feeling a bit flat. Coke could benefit from using a responsive layout like Toyota’s that scales to the device screen so viewers feel less alienated.

Guess

guess mobile

This global clothing brand has a sleek design that fits a variety of screens and keeping navigation simple and in a familiar place. Unfortunately, Guess chose to create this site using Flash, so it won’t actually show up on an iPad. Or an Android Tablet. Or most mobile phones. Using mobile-friendly web technologies such as HTML5 and JavaScript are a much safer bet, and are typically cheaper to develop and maintain.

Microsoft

microsoft mobile

Microsoft is probably not the first big brand you think of in terms of mobile, but they plan to gain more mobile recognition with the release of Windows8 Metro tablets later this year. The re-design of their website is a step in the right direction for mobile-compatibility, attempting a single experience for all devices (although the iPhone is still sent to the old  mobile website). The mobile website isn’t all that great, relying too heavily on visual content and not enough on user-friendly navigation or content. However, on the iPad, the main website’s  square metro-style buttons are enhanced with touch detection and users benefit from the mobile-friendly navigation menu. On the downside, the site has to be viewed in landscape mode and does not take advantage of scaling technologies to dynamically fit the screen size.

What We’ve Learned

Big brands are adopting tablet-friendly design in various ways, some more successfully than others. Responsive design and mobile-friendly technology are critical to the success of a mobile site, as are navigation and features that cater to touch. It’s only a matter of time before mobile is an everyday experience, so do what you can now to tap into this growing audience!

Posted in Tablets, Trends & Showcases | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Smartphone sales surpass PCs for the first time

smartphone sales

Global smartphone shipments surpassed PCs for the first time last year according to new figures released by technology analysts Canalys.

A total of 488 million smartphones were shipped throughout 2011 compared to 414.6 million PCs. This can only mean good things for mobile website growth.

Google’s Android platform made up 49%of smartphones shipped last year, followed by Apple iOS with 19% and Nokia’s Symbian with 16%.

Android shipped a total of 237.8 million devices – a 244% increase on 2010.

Canalys said Android’s upward trajectory is largely thanks to Samsung shipping a cool 91.9 million units.

smartphone apps

Manufacturers Huawei, LG, Sony Ericsson and HTC also received a nod for helping make Android the world’s number one smartphone platform.

Smartphones would have pulled even further ahead had tablets not been included in PC shipment numbers. Tablets accounted for 6.2 million devices or 15% of total PC units.

Canalys vice president and principal analyst Chris Jones said tablets were a double-edged sword for PC numbers.

“In 2011 we saw a fall in demand for netbooks, and slowing demand for notebooks and desktops as a direct result of rising interest in pads,” Jones said.

“Smart phone shipments overtaking those of client PCs should be seen as a significant milestone.”

“The greater availability of smart phones at lower price points has helped tremendously, but there has been a driving trend of increasing consumer appetite for internet browsing, content consumption and engaging with apps and services on mobile devices.”

Canalys predicts smartphone growth will taper off as the market matures. Vendors will ultimately seek to exercise greater control, with an eye to increasing profitability.

The analyst predicted that even handset manufacturers who’ve traditionally paddled at the low end of the smartphone pool will shift their focus to high end devices.

Posted in Mobile News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

iPhone Karaoke Noiseless Microphone and Music Apps

The mobile applications market is crammed full of crazy, fun and highly inventive products that are tailored especially for passionate music lovers. Each application has their unique features and each are doing their little bit to help reinvent the way that we create, share, experience and even sing along to soundtracks of our lives.

iPhone Karaoke Noiseless Microphone
karaoke app

I for example love singing based applications, games and gadgets and stumbled on a peculiar but possibly groundbreaking new karaoke mobile product for the iPhone.  The Noiseless USB Microphone allows you to sing as loud you desire without offending anyone in earshot.

iphone music app

Besides the weird toilet plunger design the product is quite simple, just insert your mouth into the noise reduction unit and bellow out a version of your favorite artist’s anthem.  The microphone is designed to work with Sega’s Karaoke Application for iOS which has the built in ability to record and playback your songs monitoring things like pitch and tone.

This product was clearly created in the east and has already been quite popular in the Asian markets where both karaoke and inventive mobile applications have become part and parcel of their culture.

iphone music apps

The Noiseless USB Microphone is set to retail at $93 which is quite expensive but may just end up saving you a relationship or some embarrassment should you be thinking of trying out for the next American Idol or X Factor.

Posted in Apps & Devices | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile phone eases the symptoms of depression

Mobile phone eases the symptoms of depression

Feeling glum? Your mobile phone may be the key to turning that frown upside-down.

The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine center is developing digital technologies, including a mobile phone, to treat depression and other emotional disorders.

The phone, which goes by the name of Mobilyze!, notices when you’re depressed and offers suggestions like contacting friends.

mobile websites

A small, early-stage trial indicated that Mobilyze! reduces signs in depression. The device reads moods through sensor data, activity level, location, social context and mood.

The phone monitors your lifestyle patterns and flags isolating behavior.

Director of the new Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies and a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern’s Feinberg School, psychologist David Mohr, said: “We’re trying to develop individual algorithms for each user that can determine specific states.”

“By prompting people to increase behaviors that are pleasurable or rewarding, we believe that Mobilyze! will improve mood.”

“It creates a positive feedback loop. Someone is encouraged to see friends, then enjoys himself and wants to do it again. Ruminating alone at home has the opposite effect and causes a downward spiral.”

Northwestern is hard at work on other mental health technologies, which may include mobile sites and apps.

“These new approaches could offer fundamentally new treatment options to people who are unable to access traditional services or who are uncomfortable with standard psychotherapy.”

“They also can be offered at significantly lower costs, which make them more viable in an era of limited resources.”

mobile world

Other technologies in development at the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies include:

A medicine bottle that monitors pill use

“People whose depression is being treated by primary care doctors often don’t do very well, partly because patients don’t take their medications and partly because the doctors don’t follow up as frequently as they should to optimize the medication and dosage when necessary.”

Virtual coaches who teach social skills to teens

“When people have the confidence and skills to better manage difficult interpersonal interactions, they are less likely to become depressed.”

A web program for cancer survivors

“People are more likely to stick with an online program if they know that someone they like or respect can see what they’re doing,” Mohr said. “People can get feedback from the group, share goals and check in with members if someone has stayed offline for too long.”

Posted in Mobile News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment