Android Sales Up, But iPhone 7 Performs Strongly

Android remains the dominant ecosystem across the world, but Apple’s iPhone remains the most desirable smartphone in the world.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (Communications Technology) measures consumer behaviour about smartphones to gain insights and identify trends. Its 60 country-based consumer panels measure what the sample buys, and what they intend to buy.

Its Q3, 2016 panel report shows that iOS achieved year-on-year (YoY) growth in most markets except China (down 5.4% to 17.1%). Japan tops iOS use with 51.7% (up 1.4%).

Android had growth in most markets with Europe combined up 4% to 75.2%, China up 7.9% to 82.6%, and Australia up .8% to 55.7%.

Kantar Worldpanel is about what has been bought by its panel of representative people – brands mainly rely on it for marketing strategy development. Other figures from IDC (sell-in) and Gartner (sell-out) show Android globally at around 85-90% and iOS at 10-12% in Q3, 2016. Different methodologies produce different figures and one cannot compare YoY with specific quarters – it is about trends.

Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, commented:

“Apple iPhone 7 – The lack of the headphone jack has proved to be a non-issue for US iPhone consumers, as iPhone 7 was the top-selling device in the three months ending October 2016, achieving 10.6% of smartphone sales, despite not being available for the full quarter.

“Apple iPhone 7 Plus is the 4th best-selling device in the US at 5.3% but behind the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7/Edge.

“Google achieved 0.5% of smartphone sales in the US, a strong showing given that the Pixel was only widely available from October 20th. In that short time, Google has reached market parity with more established brands like Huawei and Microsoft, who are also at 0.5%.

“Android remains the dominant ecosystem, topping 75% across the globe, except those regions most focused on premium devices (Japan). This is no surprise as Android’s business model provides consumers with a variety of brands and price points.

“It is unlikely that any other OS will ever reach Android’s penetration. But the apparent lopsided market share figures are not a reason for doubting the strength or future of the position held by Apple’s iOS. While Android dominates regarding the raw number of devices, it powers, Apple remains the most desirable smartphone brand in the world.”

Guenveur also commented on the news that Nokia would make a return under Android soon and its impact on other major players.

“Whenever I mention the Nokia brand name, I often hear the response, ‘That was my first cell phone!’ Nostalgia for Nokia handsets runs very high since Nokia took an early market lead at the dawn of the cellular phone industry. The Nokia brand name’s re-emergence will likely have its largest impact in Europe.

“For Samsung, already facing increased competition from Huawei across mainland Europe, this may signal an additional threat, as Nokia’s strength was in the mid- and low-ends of the market, exactly where Samsung is currently losing customers to Huawei.

“And for Huawei, the Nokia-branded products rolling out of the Foxconn factories could create obstacles for its bid to become the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.”

By: Ray Shaw

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Six key points for marketers from Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends report

Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends presentation covers everything from growing online engagement in the developing world to data storage, electric cars, voice recognition and the re-imagining of human-computer interfaces. Here we cover some of the top trends in advertising and branding from the 2016 report.

Venture capitalist and former Wall Street analyst Mary Meeker delivered her annual internet and technology trend presentation, in partnership with consultancy KPCB.

At 213 slides long, ‘Internet Trends 2016? covers a broad range of topics predicted to shape the future, such as voice recognition, internet engagement trends, the developing world, privacy, the automotive industry, online retail, social media, variation in consumption trends of different generations and more. Here’s some highlights which apply to marketing, primarily centred around social media trends, online advertising, apps and mobile use, messaging and voice recognition.

1. Growing social media trends

Video consumption

One trend which exploded between 2014 and ‘15 was video viewing on social media, primarily on Facebook, with one average user-shared video view per day in Q3 2014, and eight in Q3 2015.

Snapchat’s daily video views also experienced rapid growth, with two per day in Q1, 2015, and 10 in Q1 this year.

Between 2013 and 2015, all major messenger platforms experienced growth:
•WhatsApp grew fastest, from 400 million active monthly users (globally) in 2013, to 1 billion in 2015,
•Facebook Messenger grew from 200 million to 800 million, and
•WeChat from just under 400 million to just under 700 million

With the emergence of chat bots likely to draw more and more users to messaging apps, Meeker predicts they will increasingly become a second home screen, where consumers can engage with all their required brands and services via chat and inboxes, perhaps redefining or replacing the need for individual apps displayed on a home screen.1

2. App use

Average global app use per user:
•33 apps installed on device,
•12 apps used daily,
•80% of app usage time spent on three apps,
•four hours spent on phone per day, and
•most commonly used apps: Facebook, WhatsApp, Chrome.

“With the report pointing to 25% of consumer time being spend on mobile, it’s obvious this is no longer a medium that businesses can ignore. Having said that… businesses shouldn’t be jumping to create a mobile presence for the sake of being on mobile either,” says Logan Merrick, co-founder and director, Buzinga App Development.

3. Internet and smartphone usage growth beginning to plateau

meeker global internet users

Global growth in smartphone usage is beginning to slow, perhaps a sign of its near-universal adoption, with its largest market, Asia-Pacific, growing 23% from 2014-’15, compared to 35% from 2013-’14.

“We can no longer say that social and mobile are ‘taking off’ and therefore we all need to be on social and mobile – consumers want to be treated as individuals with individual needs that switch and shift throughout their day, career, and personal activities,” says Robin Marchant, global marketing director, Squiz.

“The digital revolution as a stand alone discipline is clearly behind us. The user experience of today and tomorrow demands and integrated, multidisciplinary approach. While some businesses are still struggling to align their marketing departments and break free of brand versus digital versus direct silos, those at the helm are truly embracing a customer centric paradigm,” says Irina Hayward, head of digital and CRM strategy, BMF.

4. Online advertising

While the field is growing, online ads are proving ineffective in many ways – globally according to Unruly:
•81% of users mute video ads,
•62% put off or are annoyed with brands forcing pre-roll viewing, and
•93% consider using ad-blocking software.

5. Global dominance of Android

Android represented 81% of smartphone unit shipments in 2015, compared with iOS, which held 16% of that market.

Meeker estimates a further 7% growth year-on-year for Android and a drop of 11% for iOS.

This represents a huge jump for Android, which, as recently as 2009, only made up 4% of unit shipments, compared to iOS which made up for 14% at that time.

6. Voice recognition

As per Google, voice recognition has jumped since 2010, where it stood at 70% accuracy, to 90% accuracy in 2016. This equates to one million words recognised by machine in 2010 to between five and ten million today.

Voice interfaces, if implemented properly once technology catches up, offer a faster (humans can speak faster than they type), easier (hands free, instant) mode of computer engagement. For Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Baidu it’s a lot closer than we might think.

“As speech recognition goes from, say 95% to 99%, all of us in the room will go from barely using it today, to using it all the time. Most people underestimate the difference between 95% and 99% accuracy – 99% is a game changer.

“No one wants to wait 10 seconds for a response. Accuracy, followed by latency, are the two key metrics for a production speech system,” says Ng.

In May 2016, one-in-five searches on mobile apps in USA are voice searches. Andrew Ng predicts at least 50% of all searches will be made through images or speech.

By Ben Ice
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Android ransomware increasing in Australia: Bitdefender


Security vendor Bitdefender has warned of an upswing in the incidence of Android ransomware in Australia.

Bitdefender says there has been a sudden spike in the incidence of Android ransomware in Australia, and suggests this shows “an increased interest among cybercriminals in targeting Australia to generate revenue.”

The above graph shows the incidence of ransomware as a percentage of total Android malware reports.

Early samples of Android malware were quite basic and easily removed, the company says, but more recent examples are more persistent and can only be removed after restarting the device in Safe Mode.

So far, Android ransomware does not encrypt data on the affected phone or tablet, it just pretends that it has done so and relies on scaring the user.

This is in contrast to the Windows situation, where ransomware such as Cryptolocker really does encrypt the data. In that case, the choice is between paying the ransom (and hoping you receive the decryption key in return), and losing the files unless you can restore them from backups.

Dell SecureWorks recently noted that Australia was ranked third in the world for Cryptolocker incidents.

Bitdefender offers the usual advice: only download apps from Google Play, and install a mobile security product. Obviously they’d like you to use Bitdefender Mobile Security, but there are others such as Norton Mobile Security, which has a handy feature to warn you of known risks with apps from Google Play before you tap the Download button.

By: Stephen Withers

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