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Showing posts from September, 2007

Germany Slow to Adopt Digital Lifestyle Trend

Parks Associates and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced the preliminary agenda for their upcoming conference, with a focus on the role of digital media as a fundamental driver for growth in multiple sectors of the digital lifestyle markets. CONNECTIONS Europe, produced by Parks Associates in partnership with CEA, is an executive conference and showcase to be held December 4-6, 2007, in Berlin, Germany, at the Adlon Kempinski. Parks Associates' research indicates companies need to develop and market richer digital media offerings in order to spur the German home networking market. "While home network penetration has grown in Germany, there has not been an upsurge comparable to France or the UK," said John Barrett, director of research, Parks Associates. "More competition combined with digital media offerings such as video-on-demand, IPTV, and multi-room DVR are required to promote greater adoption of home networks." The Parks Associates stud

Exposing Online Ad User Segmentation Data

ComScore announced the introduction of their Ad Metrix Publisher, a new service that provides insight into the online advertising landscape by reporting where display ads are actually viewed across the Internet -- and the characteristics of the people who are exposed to them. Ad Metrix Publisher captures all types of display advertising, including static and rich media or interactive ads, for the U.S. market. "comScore Ad Metrix Publisher, the inaugural service from our Ad Metrix product suite, is the first online advertising measurement service to accurately account for the number of ads displayed and tie those views to actual Web users," said Alistair Sutcliffe, vice president of comScore Advertising Solutions. Understanding the reach, frequency and audience composition for an online advertising plan is vital information for any media planner. Ad Metrix provides the tools for optimizing the placement of online ad dollars, thereby fulfilling the promise of the Internet t

Memory is New Must-Have Mobile Accessory

Revenue from shipments of removable memory cards for mobile phone handsets is expected to be over $7 billion in 2007, compared with $5 billion expected from headset shipments -- including both Bluetooth and wired headsets -- according to ABI Research. In fact, memory cards will continue to be the highest revenue-generating mobile phone accessory category over the next five years. ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey says, "With few exceptions, memory cards for handsets are bought by users separately from the handset purchase, whereas an increasing number of headsets are now being supplied in-box with the handsets." "Earlier handset vendors only provided wired headsets, but now even Bluetooth headsets are being presented in-box with the handsets. Therefore, greater after-market sales of memory cards versus increasing in-box sales for headsets are resulting in stronger growth and higher revenue from memory cards when compared with headsets." The recent

Broadband Video Content Revenue Upswing

The number of paying users of online video sites has grown significantly between 2006 and 2007, according to a new research report from Parks Associates. Their report entitled "Broadband Video: A Market Update" finds that the number of broadband households paying for online video content now stands at nearly 12 million -- up from a little more than three million in 2005 to 2006. "We have seen widespread use of the Internet as an electronic delivery medium for video content over the past couple of years," said Kurt Scherf, Parks Associates' vice president and principal analyst. "Certainly, the availability of higher-quality content and a significant base of products like the iPod that allow for more seamless content-to-device linkages have provided a boost to the online video space." Although this recent consumer data points to more widespread use of the Internet as a video delivery network, Scherf indicates that the market has been characterized by

Online Retail Gains from Search & Social Nets

Online shopping has become more pervasive among Web-enabled consumers, according to the latest results of a U.S. market study commissioned by iCrossing. Moreover, purchases are increasingly being influenced by independent recommendations. The study reveals that while search engines have retained their popularity as a research tool -- and prior experience with a company's products remains an influential factor in the purchase process -- social media sites have grown in importance as places where consumers gravitate to obtain information about products and services. Key findings of the market study include: - Online shopping continues to grow. 39 percent of online adults reported making a purchase online at least monthly, versus 30 percent in 2005. This is an increase of 30 percent over two years. - Social media is increasingly relevant to online retailing. 42 percent of all consumers view information about brands and products on sites like Wikipedia to be extremely or very influ

Enterprise Apps to Drive Hosted VoIP Service

In North America and Western Europe, large companies will play an increasing role in VoIP adoption, according to a recent study from ABI Research. Hosted services will be used on a more regular basis as well, becoming a stronger engine for enterprise VoIP growth in the future. "Increasingly, hosted services will interest larger organizations and will be offered by a greater number of service providers -- as premises-deployed, small-business VoIP solutions become more cost-effective -- targeting advanced features and applications," says Stan Schatt, ABI Research vice president and research director. The hosted services market for VoIP applications initially focused on smaller companies. Typically, SMB companies do not have the IT staff or the budget to install their own VoIP systems. As a result, they often rely on service providers for VoIP services that include the type of features found in large enterprise phone networks. Larger companies tend to deploy their own soluti

The Coexistence of MySpace and Facebook

Nielsen//NetRatings announced that among those aged 12-17, visitors to both MySpace and Facebook spend more time at each site than those teens who visit just one or the other. In August, teens who visited both sites spent on average 20 percent more time on MySpace than MySpace visitors alone. Facebook benefited to an even greater degree from dual visitors , who spent on average 26 percent longer at the site than exclusive Facebook visitors. "Teens who enjoy social media are intensive users and highly engaged. They are venturing onto multiple networks to experience new features and broaden their connections," said Jason Lee, media analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "This demographic is typically drawn to what's new, and since they are growing up online, they are not afraid of learning the latest Web technologies." Since Facebook's registration was opened to the public last year, the site has seen triple digit traffic growth, increasing 117 percent from 8.9 mill

Secure HD Video & Wireless Home Networks

Wireless communication within the home, whether for computer data, audio, or telephony, is becoming an established fact in much of the industrialized world. The next logical step is to stream video. But the exponentially greater amount of data involved -- particularly for high-definition TV -- introduces a higher order of difficulty, and questions remain about whether wireless video will ever become more than a niche market. "How popular will wireless home video distribution become?" asks ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson. "It's the very early days for this market, so it's hard to tell for sure. What is clear is that among the connectivity technologies competing in this space, Wi-Fi (802.11n) and wireless HDMI (UWB) are closest to offering practical solutions." Consumers might want a wireless video distribution solution, but most will not pay a premium for it. So initial interest will come from two groups -- tech-savvy early adopters at the high

How Walled Gardens Can Limit Mobile Growth

The message from U.S. mobile phone service subscribers to their network operators is clear -- stay on the same course and value-added service (VAS) adoption will be minimal. Some 35 percent of respondents to an In-Stat consumer survey of primarily North American users still only use voice services from their mobile providers, reports In-Stat. This presents a huge opportunity for the entire mobile service industry to get these consumers to partake of some mobile data and entertainment offerings, the high-tech market research firm says. That said, VAS growth tends to remain elusive. "There is a potential dark cloud on the horizon for the cellular operators, however, as unlimited Internet access packages may disrupt today's enhanced service offerings, which are currently very tightly coupled to what a particular service provider wishes to offer," says Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst. I believe that the mounting evidence that identifies closed "walled garden" bu

Semiconductor Role in Next-Gen CE Products

Recent teardown research from IDC's semiconductor analysts provides insight into the value chain for cutting-edge consumer electronics (CE) products, such as the Apple iPhone, the Apple TV, and the Slingbox AV. "Teardown research analyzes product bill of material (BOM) costs and, more importantly, allows us to witness technology adoption and integration trends firsthand," said IdaRose Sylvester, senior analyst for IDC semiconductor program. "It also allows us to evaluate the competitive supplier situation from one product generation to the next." IDC's teardown analysis of the iPhone reveals that many of its revolutionary features, including PDA functionality, strong multimedia playback, and Wi-Fi, are made possible by the semiconductor content found in the device. "As a result, IDC sees new opportunities for semiconductor companies to sell into the converged mobile device market, now that Apple has pushed these features to the consumer," added

High-Def DVD Competition Impacts Demand

The last quarter of 2007 is seen by many as a crucial time in the life of both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) formats, according to the latest assessment by Understanding & Solutions (U&S). It is also a crucial time for PS3, having underperformed last year in the U.S. market due to its high price, delayed availability and the unexpected success of the Wii gaming console. Though DVD player prices are falling across the board, there is growing concern that the consumer does not fully understand the high definition (HD) concept -- and the confusion is further compounded by the choice of two different disc-based formats. Taking everything into account, U&S says that BD has been the leader for much of the year, accounting for close to two thirds of HD discs sold in the U.S. market. In Europe, the BD format share is at a lower level, but it enjoys a stronger performance in Japan. However, developments over the past few weeks have the potential to erode BD's current lead, an

Digital Terrestrial Television Demand Peaks

Annual shipment trends for Digital Terrestrial Television-enabled Set Top Boxes will be uneven over the next several years as the timing of digital switchover and DTT service availability varies dramatically from country to country, according to a recent study by ABI Research. A decline in Western Europe will come as the result of an earlier switchover to digital in most countries, along with the need for consumers with analog TVs receiving Over-the-Air (OTA) signals to obtain DTT STBs or to join pay-TV services. The peak in North America in 2009 is related to the timing of the digital switchover, and highlights the need for those with free OTA service on analog TVs to convert to digital television broadcast reception. "The spike in 2009 reflects a jump in North America and continued growth in Eastern Europe and the Middle East & Africa region," says Stan Schatt, ABI Research vice president and research director. "After a subsequent decline, annual shipments again

Comcast Leads ATT in New Broadband Subs

Comcast continues to lead the North American market in terms of overall broadband access subscriptions -- boasting a total of 12. 4 million at the end of the second quarter of 2007, according to the latest market study by Strategy Analytics. Whereas AT&T and Comcast were on roughly the same level twelve months ago -- each with roughly 9 million subscriptions -- Comcast now leads, boasting a 3 million net new subscription increase compared to Q2 2006. This translates into a 32 percent year-over-year growth rate. Collectively, the top three North American operators maintain a 45 percent market share. I believe that the market penetration consolidation is still more an indication of the apparent lack of meaningful competition within the region -- instead of superior service offerings. The North American telco/cable duopoly is alive and well, with price-points maintained significantly above the leading global markets within the Asia-Pacific and European regions -- relative to the co

Painful Dismemberment of a Media Monolith

StrategyEye reports that Time Warner is slowly coming around to face the harsh reality -- creating a media monolith for the 21st Century wasn't such a good idea after all. Conceived in 2000 as the biggest media merger in history, America Online found a cable strategy and Time Warner found an Internet strategy, as the pair merged in a stock swap valued at $350 billion. Seven years later, the lesson-learned is fodder for an MBA case study. Time Warner has said that it will consider the possible sale of its AOL dial-up internet access business in the U.S. market, after doing the same in Europe, in a bid to boost its share price. However, chief executive Richard Parsons believes selling off the internet arm would be difficult given that it contributes to visitor traffic on the AOL.com portal -- the primary surviving remnant of the America Online business unit. "It's much more complicated here than in Europe," he told investors at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia media co

New Demand for Portable Navigation Devices

Greater public awareness, lower entry price points, more sophisticated features, and additional channels of distribution are all key trends contributing to the surge in demand for consumer navigation devices. Portable navigation devices (PNDs) remain the most popular segment of the consumer navigation market, representing 62 percent of the total worldwide market and nearly doubling in size with 93 percent growth over last year. IDC expects the entire consumer navigation market to grow by 53 percent worldwide in 2007. By far the largest regional market represented in IDC's forecast is Western Europe, where the PND segment has been historically strong, followed by the U.S. However, IDC also expects increased demand for PNDs in Asia-Pacific where China already owns a GPS satellite network. IDC suspects the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing will spark PND popularity in China as the world navigates to the games. According to IDC's special study, PNDs are not the only segment of the

IPTV to Gain Next-Generation TV Advertising

Telcos that have invested heavily in infrastructure upgrades to deliver IPTV services will now have to invest further -- in next-generation advertising technologies -- according to a market study by Heavy Reading. As the last-to-market player in the pay-TV sector, telecom network operators don't have the business processes and relationships in place to compete directly with incumbent cable and satellite pay-TV providers for advertising dollars, notes Aditya Kishore, senior analyst with Heavy Reading and author of the report. "Telcos need to use that lack of history to their advantage. Advertisers and programmers are exploring new approaches to make TV advertising more measurable and effective," Kishore explains. The existing mass-market advertising model was developed in an analog world and is increasingly becoming unpopular. The deployment of digital TV infrastructure enables a wide variety of new advertising approaches, many of which are dependent on the provider'

Consumer Electronics Outlook for the Holidays

As in recent years, consumer electronics (CE) products will be popular holiday purchases in 2007, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. The company's latest survey yielded over 2,000 responses from North American consumers -- more than 80 percent of these respondents have plans to purchase a CE product this holiday season, the high-tech market research firm says. "In 2007, High Definition Televisions (HDTV) top consumers' holiday wish list, most likely due to plummeting price tags for these products. HDTVs will bump digital cameras down to the third spot," says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. I believe that we will also witness a second-wave of new gaming console purchases during the holidays. We typically see these type of deferred CE product purchases from families with limited incomes. The research report entitled "2007 Holiday Spending on Consumer Electronics" covers the North American market for CE product categories. It contains exten

PC Market Shift in Global Networked Economy

Worldwide personal computer (PC) shipments are projected to rise by 12.6 percent in 2007 to 257.5 million units, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. This projection represents a slight increase from IDC's previous forecast, reflecting a 28 percent year-on-year increase in portable PC volume with single-digit increases for Desktops and x86 Servers. This update increases projections for 2007 by less than half a point from the June 2007 forecast of 12.2 percent and increases the compound annual growth rate for 2006-2011 from 9.3 percent to 9.6 percent. Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) and Rest of World are driving the raised expectations. Strong growth during the second quarter showed not only relentless adoption of Consumer Portable PCs, but also gains in Desktop and Commercial markets. In contrast, the United States, Western Europe, and Japan adjusted expectations for 2007 and 2008 slightly downward, pushing some growth into 2009. With slower growth in more

Analysis of Portable Multimedia Player Market

Compelling video content and good video viewing experience trump cost of video content as the top two factors that will drive consumers' usage of next-generation, video-focused portable entertainment devices, according to Parks Associates. The data is pulled from the latest Parks Associates survey, and is based on analysis that groups portable multimedia player (PMP) owners' perceptions on 12 individual video consumption factors into five major usage driver categories. The results indicate that 44 percent of owners choose appealing video content and optimized video viewing experience as their top motivations to watch more videos on the portable platform -- compared with 33 percent who are motivated by cost of content, 19 percent by personalization and connectivity features, and 16 percent by ease of use. "The PMP market has not reached one tenth of its potential yet, and this data explains why," commented Harry Wang, Senior Analyst and author of the report. "N

Mapping Shifts in TV, Internet and Mobile Use

According to a recent IBM global market study, 19 percent of survey respondents said they spend six hours or more each day on personal Internet usage. That compares with 8 percent who said so about the TV. One to four hours of TV usage was reported by 66 percent, compared with 60 percent for the Web. The number of TV viewers using DVRs continues to expand, with 24 percent of U.S. respondents saying they have a DVR and watch 50 percent or more of TV programming in replay mode. Of those viewers, 33 percent said they are watching more TV since owning a DVR. Australians show opposing trends from the U.S., with most respondents preferring live TV and replaying less than 25 percent of programming. Watching video content on the Web is a increasingly popular. An average of 67 percent of consumers said they have watched or want to watch online video. The most popular video destinations are user generated content sites like YouTube, with 39 percent of respondents saying that's where the

Austin City Limits Live Webcast This Weekend

Austin City Limits is being webcast live once again, sponsored by AT&T. If you have a broadband connection, then select the 500k radio button on the top right corner of the page for the best audio/video reception. Enjoy!

Ultra-Mobile Device Multifaceted Form Factor

A whole new class of always-on Internet-connected products, collectively termed Ultra-Mobile Devices (UMDs), will become popular over the next five years, according to ABI Research. By appealing to a wide range of buyers UMDs will reach shipments of nearly 95 million units by 2012, and should prove extremely profitable for their makers. "Mobile Internet Devices and UMPCs" is the first study covering both types of devices. It categorizes in unprecedented detail the buyers who will be adopting them, and what applications they will be running. "UMDs are a very exciting, potentially very lucrative area," says ABI Research vice president Stan Schatt. "What makes this market so intriguing is that products will assume so many different forms. That product differentiation will be an integral part of the ultra mobile device marketing plan." UMDs are of two types, Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs), which run Windows and business applications and are aimed at business us

Entry for the Cisco Connected Life Contest

In a sea of multi-play product launch sameness, how can a forward looking broadband service provider (BSP) deliver something truly unique and remarkable for their customers? That's the question that I considered as I prepared my entry for the Cisco Connected Life Contest . Moreover, will real innovation bubble-up to the surface, and see the light of day? I wonder. Regular readers of my columns may recall that I'm eager to offer ideas and suggestions. When I was previously approached by Dell, regarding the introduction of their Idea Storm microsite, I gladly submitted my " Dell Customer Corps " concept for their consideration. Service Delivery Platform Innovation I prefer to avoid the obvious topics, and use my deep-domain knowledge to propose something off the beaten track -- so to speak. That's exactly why I decided to tackle the issue of service delivery platforms (SDP), and more specifically enhancing the consumer experience in a distinctive way. I

More Shifts in Media Advertising Expenditure

Total advertising expenditures in the first half of 2007 slipped by 0.3 percent to $72.59 billion versus the same period in 2006, according to data released by TNS Media Intelligence. "For the first time since 2001, media advertising expenditures have declined for two consecutive quarters," said Steven Fredericks, president and CEO of TNS Media Intelligence. "While the protracted downturn in automotive spending has been a prime contributor, the overall results reflect weakness across a wide range of industries and advertisers. Given the uncertainties about near-term economic growth and consumer spending, we expect core ad spending will continue to face challenges during the second half of the year." Internet display advertising maintained its growth leadership position, registering a 17.7 percent increase to $5.52 billion in expenditures. Consumer magazines posted a 6.9 percent gain to $11.50 billion in advertising. Outdoor expenditures were up 3.6 percent to $1.

Why VDSL2 is the Primary Enabler of IPTV

Although fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) IPTV initiatives are now capturing more industry attention, VDSL2 technology will continue to thrive as a key element of telco broadband rollouts for the foreseeable future, according to the latest market study from Light Reading. "With about 1.3 billion copper phone lines in place worldwide, VDSL2 presents carriers with an opportunity to expand revenue-generating services across those phone lines with only a modest investment, especially as compared with running fiber all the way to the customer premises," notes Denise Culver, research analyst with Light Reading. VDSL2 typically can be deployed for about one third of the cost of FTTH, which has caught the attention of carriers in Europe, Asia, and North America, regardless of whether they've announced fiber deployments. Furthermore, Culver says telco deployments of VDSL2 and FTTH are not necessarily mutually exclusive. "In many cases, carriers are utilizing VDSL2 in combination w

Google Video Sites Attract Growing Audience

ComScore released its Video Metrix report for July 2007, revealing that nearly 75 percent of U.S. Internet users watched an average of three hours of online video during the month. Google video-related sites topped the July rankings with both the most unique video viewers and most videos viewed. July saw Americans view more than 9 billion videos online, with Google Sites once again ranking as the top U.S. video property with nearly 2.5 billion videos viewed (27 percent share of videos), 2.4 billion of which occurred at YouTube.com. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 390 million (4.3 percent), followed by Fox Interactive Media with 298 million (3.3 percent) and Viacom Digital with 281 million (3.1 percent). In total, nearly 134 million Americans viewed online video in July, or approximately three in four U.S. Internet users. Google Sites also captured the largest online video audience with 67.8 million unique viewers, followed by Fox Interactive Media with 35.8 million and Yahoo! Sites

How WiMAX Will Drive Wireless M2M Apps

A new market study predicts that the cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) market will be impacted by the growing momentum behind the deployment of WiMAX as a next-generation WWAN communications technology. WiMAX is even more spectrally efficient and cost-effective to operate in mobile carrier networks when compared with W-CDMA and CDMA EV-DO, making WiMAX very suitable for low data rate, low ARPU M2M applications -- when and where WiMAX connectivity is available. Sam Lucero, ABI Research senior analyst, says "Sprint and Clearwire are the two most significant service providers deploying WiMAX in the United States. Sprint, a CDMA-based operator, has selected WiMAX as its path to 4G service offerings." Sprint will work with Clearwire -- a Craig McCaw startup that has received $600 million in venture backing from Intel and $300 million from Motorola -- to provide joint coverage to each other's respective customers on the nationwide WiMAX networks deployed by the two companies

South Korean Mobile Operators Leading VAS

With one of the most advanced wireless services and device markets in the world, the South Korean handset market is among the world's sophisticated pioneers of Value-Added Services (VAS) marketing, according to an In-Stat assessment. All three mobile operators -- SK Telecom, Korea Telecom Freetel (KTF) and LG Telecom -- have adopted CDMA technology and have migrated to a high speed CDMA200-1X EV-DO network, the high-tech market research firm says. "Comprehensive value-added services, including mobile banking, mobile finance transactions, mobile wallet, multimedia and location-based services, have all been introduced and are well accepted among Korean mobile users," says Jill Meyers, In-Stat analyst. "While Korean phone makers are gaining traction in overseas markets, international handset brands are having success entering the Korean market." I believe that much of the Asia-Pacific region continues to lead the rest of the world in advanced applications of mo

Online Gaming Market to Triple in Five Years

The global online games market is already worth $4 billion and is expected to triple in the next five years, according to the latest Strategy Analytics outlook for the global online games market. The report entitled "Online Games: Global Market Forecast," notes that the rapidly expanding Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) market, lead by Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft franchise, is blazing the way for electronic sell-through and digital distribution of both PC and console games. In terms of revenue, the online games category is currently the largest category out of the three main online entertainment markets (music, games and video). Strategy Analytics estimates that the global online games market generated $3.8 billion in 2006 and projects that the market will grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.2 percent in the 2007–2011 forecast period to reach $11.8 billion and represent approximately one third of the total games software market

Business Case for Mobile Data Applications

Business is on the move, beyond the traditional office. The benefits of working remotely now go well beyond telecommuting, and an increasingly complex ecosystem of applications that enable work to be done from mobile devices is developing. Mobile data applications and services used by business customers will generate over $100 billion in worldwide revenue by 2012, according to a recent forecast from ABI Research. Business applications and services for the mobile handset include communications, information access, computing, integrated information access or computing, and business process solutions. "Serving the business customer with mobile applications and services provides great opportunities," says ABI Research principal analyst Dan Shey. "But the growing complexity and interconnectedness of that ecosystem also requires great commitment by value chain players. Before creating any strategy for pursuing this segment, mobile communications companies must understand th

Growth of Proximity Mobile Payment Systems

A Smart Card Alliance market study concludes that proximity mobile payment will become the new technology of choice for consumers using mobile phones for retail payment transactions in the United States. The findings and conclusions derived by the Smart Card Alliance "Contactless Payments Council" are presented in their new white paper entitled "Mobile Payments: Leveraging NFC and the Contactless Financial Payments Infrastructure." The white paper discusses what is necessary to implement and deploy proximity mobile payment systems, the relevant technical and business issues from the perspective of the various stakeholders -- for example, mobile operators, the financial industry, end-users, providers and vendors -- and outlines the potential opportunities and barriers that may impact its market adoption. Today's consumers increasingly value convenience -- services or features that they regard as useful. Mobile payment pilot projects and implementations carri

Enterprise Applications for Social Networking

The Social Networking application market was relatively small in 2006, coming in at $46.8 million, according to a new market study by IDC. By 2009, however, this market will grow to $428.3 million creating a new application segment and establishing social networking as a new communications tool used for many purposes other than consumer socializing. "Social networking is the new must-have communication application and is being used for both marketing and operational efficiency," said Rachel Happe, research manager for the Digital Business Economy at IDC. "Social networking applications drive engagements, information exposure, and conversions as well as reducing marketing and operational costs." There are three social networking segments emerging, IDC's research indicates. These include: self-service applications used by groups and marketing campaign teams; brand applications that focus on persistent customer engagement; and enterprise applications that provi

Mobile Operators Drive NFC Payment Upside

Despite the additional cost and complexity of adding NFC (Near Field Communication) to mobile handsets, this emerging technology will not remain the preserve of the most expensive handsets, as is often the case with cutting-edge features. Instead, according to a recent study from ABI Research, the drive from operators and their NFC application partners -- including financial services companies, retailers, and transportation operators -- will see NFC technology available across a wide range of mobile phones, from high-end smartphones to low-end handsets. In its latest analysis of the NFC market opportunity, ABI Research forecasts that by 2012, of the nearly 300 million NFC handsets to ship worldwide -- nearly 18 percent will be low-end NFC handsets. "NFC makes mobile handsets more useful for subscribers and multiple service providers," says senior analyst, Jonathan Collins. "Because of this, unlike earlier short range wireless additions -- such as Bluetooth -- the bene

Evolution of Mobile Telepresence Applications

The 2006 image sensor market saw strong growth, due primarily to one application -- camera phones, according to the latest In-Stat market study. In 2006, image sensors for camera phones comprised over three-quarters of all image sensors shipped, the high-tech market research firm says. Fueled by camera phones, CMOS sensors dominated CCDs in units shipped in 2006. "CMOS also made inroads into digital still cameras and camcorders in 2006, two markets that traditionally have been dominated by CCDs," says Brian O'Rourke, In-Stat analyst. CCDs continued to dominate the point-and-shoot sweet spot of the camera market. However, the rapidly growing digital single lens reflex (DSLR) market has been transitioning to CMOS sensors, led by Canon, which exclusively uses its own CMOS sensors. I believe that continued advances with image sensor technology will cause the evolution of all digital photography and videography applications -- in particular, the mobility of Telepresence vi

3-D HDTV Sets Coming to the Digital Home

Texas Instruments (TI) is showcasing high definition 3-D DLP technology at CEDIA Expo . DLP core technology is enabling stereoscopic 3-D capability for HDTVs that are currently on the market. CEDIA attendees will see first-hand how TI DLP Products is providing consumer electronics manufacturers with a simple, yet high performance solution that will deliver the thrill of 3-D content in the home. As the technology behind 3-D HDTV applications, the extremely fast response and refresh rate of the DLP chip allows consumer electronics manufacturers to innovate options for HDTVs that add an immersive third dimension to TV viewing. HDTVs with 3-D capabilities is especially desirable for video gaming, immersive action scenes, and watching fast-action sports. Following a similar path to DLP Product's innovation that launched DLP Cinema and the digital cinema industry, 3-D DLP HDTV opens the doors for immediate adaptation of existing 3-D computer games, software and future 3-D content cre

How Web Delivery Models Impact Television

At the IBC 2007 event, Strategy Analytics presents the findings of its analysis of the television industry value chain, and assesses the impact of emerging web delivery models on traditional TV broadcasting. According to the recent Strategy Analytics report entitled "The Television and Movie Industry Explained: Where Does All the Money Go?" less than half of the $97.6 billion generated by Europe's television industry currently goes toward content production and acquisition. Web video and IPTV offer content owners the opportunity to shift the balance in their favor. "In the last couple of years the internet has emerged as a viable platform for television distribution," comments Martin Olausson, Director, Digital Media Strategies. "As broadband access moves towards universal availability it presents content owners and emerging web players with the opportunity to permanently alter the traditional structure of the broadcast industry." The Strategy Anal

Mobile Operators Lack Niche Marketing Skills

According to ABI Research, employees in the service profession fields of consulting, law, information technology, and field engineering -- along with employees in companies of greater than 1,000 people -- demonstrated the greatest interest in purchasing cellular modems for broadband Internet access over mobile phone service provider networks. The percentage of respondents in these fields who said that they would be "extremely interested" to "somewhat interested" in purchasing this capability was nearly 60 percent. According to principal analyst Dan Shey, "The two characteristics that are common with these groups are mobility and income levels. Both enterprises operating at the global level, as well as work engagements for knowledge workers in law, consulting, IT, and field engineering, require access to large amounts of data at multiple locations. Additionally, these customer classifications command relatively higher salaries, improving their ability to pay

Mobile Net Investment Seeking New Revenue

UMTS Long Term Evolution (LTE) will dominate the world's mobile infrastructure investment markets after 2011, according to a recent study from ABI Research. While LTE will encounter competition from other mobile broadband technologies, its supporters point to its flat architecture, low latency, and IP Next-Generation Network (NGN) capability to provide a range of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) services. LTE brings to the market 25 years of operating experience using TDM and CDMA technology. Vendors and mobile phone operators aim to use that experience, combined with OFDM and other techniques, to provide the best of both worlds. This also takes the industry from the current two-network approach of circuit-switching for voice and packet-switching for data to a single IP network for both services. But, will that be enough incentive to justify the required investment? "LTE faces competition from other broadband wireless technologies and it will need to demonstrate clear tec

Video Opportunity to Bypass Mobile Operators

Just like the late 1990s when 3G was being deployed, billions are now being spent to deploy systems capable of delivering video to mobile devices. However, In-Stat reports that the term "mobile" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as "cellular." New technologies and business models are now under development that will likely threaten traditional mobile phone service provider's ability to profit from video content, the high-tech market research firm says. Consumers will surely use mobile video, but without paying a fee. "Cellular operators may find that consumers won't be as interested in their video offerings once other types of service are available," says David Chamberlain, In-Stat analyst. "Of the five methods of mobile video delivery studied in a recent In-Stat report, two operate outside the current cell phone ecosystem, and a third -- out-of-band video -- seems to be allied to mobile operators for commercial convenience, not te

BMI Music Royalties Growth Sets New Record

BMI will distribute more than $732 million in royalties for its 2006-2007 fiscal year to the songwriters, composers and copyright owners that it represents -- an eight percent increase over the prior fiscal year. The rise in revenues is attributed to the company's robust music catalog, successful licensing of music across a diverse range of media, and revenue growth in foreign markets. BMI also posted record-setting revenues of more than $839 million, up seven percent from the prior year. This milestone represents the highest annual revenues and royalty distributions ever reported by a performing rights society. The increased usage of BMI's diverse repertoire throughout many broadcast mediums has, over the past several years, recast the traditional revenue structure from one dominated by conventional over-the-air broadcasting to a new picture in which cable networks, satellite audio and video services, and emerging digital media contribute increasingly significant revenue st

Usability Issues Still Limit Digital Media Growth

IDC's annual survey of Nordic consumer interest in new technologies reveals that content providers are typically not very good at providing the new services and functionality that technological developments enable. Several results from the latest IDC market survey suggest that consumers are interested in new functionalities, but are unable to find what they are looking for. The most evident examples relate to how they watch TV and listen to music while on the move. Two-thirds of Nordic households have either a hard disk/DVD recorder or a media center PC. Nonetheless, very few people actually make use of the functions that are available. For instance, only 15 percent automate recording of weekly TV shows or series, while 70 percent are actually interested in using this feature. This is apparently because the current products don't work properly -- either because the necessary electronic program guides (EPG) are not good enough or because the user interface isn't user frie

Hollywood Strategy Hinders Net Distribution

The latest report from Screen Digest examines how the individual Hollywood Studios are adapting their businesses to online movie distribution. Notably, the report finds that a viable business will emerge in the U.S. and Western Europe for movie downloading, but warns that the Studios are following a fragmented path to digital distribution, with each major following a different strategy. This is likely to hamper the development of movie downloads and ultimately confuse and fragment the consumer market. The research provides detailed analysis and forecasts of the movie distribution business in the U.S. and Western Europe, and reveals that the overall winners in this market will not only be the Studios who own the content, but major device manufacturers such as Microsoft, Apple and Sony. Unique to the report entitled "Online Movie Strategies: Competitive Review and Market Outlook" are trade level revenues and forecasts of the market for movie downloads, both rental and retail