Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009 A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.
Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls
Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download
Japan keeps giving us great examples of mobile advertising and marketing, and increasingly they do it with engagement marketing methods. Here is a good example. The pop music artist SEEDA has done a clever promotion of the new single, by creating a series of customized video messages by SEEDA about given Japanese landmarks - and always when one such message commences, the fan will first hear the new song of course. Its for fans, they have to register for the service of course, but pretty clever. What fans would not want to see what their fave artist thinks of given famous locations.
Chinese mobile phone subscribers have passed 700 million. And about 7 million of those are now 3G subscribers. The Chinese 3G market had been delayed for several years as the government was trying to decide how to share the technology requirements, but for this year they finally gave the spectrum and standard allocations. China Mobile (over 500 M subscribers, world's largest mobile operator) was forced to take the Chinese domestic TD-SCDMA standard. Its main rival, China Unicom (150M subscribers), formerly running the CDMA standard network, was given the most desirable WCDMA (ie UMTS ie GSM-compatible) network for 3G. And the CDMA version of 3G (CDMA2000 EVDO) was given to the former fixed-only operator, China Telecom.
Now the Chinese customers, who have been very eagerly using their basic mobile phones to surf the internet, send SMS text messages, buy ringtones and ringback tones, and consume MMS based multimedia content, have finally been able to get 3G phones. And in less than one year they have already snapped up 7 million. Many analysts suggest that within a few years there will be something nearing (or even exceeding) 100 million 3G phones in China.
This has a particular opportunity for Chinese makers. First of all, roughly speaking half of the world's 1.2 Billion mobile phones manufactured annually, come from factories situated in China. Nokia has for example the world's largest handset factory in Beijing (I've had the privilege to visit the facility). But the Chinese domestic market is very competitive and Chinese consumers very value-sensitive, and thus many brands not familiar to Western observers, thrive in China, like TCL, Konka, Amoi, Bird, G-Star, Gaotong, Skyworth, Changhong, Haier, etc. Usually only Huawei and ZTE are even recognized as Chinese makers. Now, what of that Chinese 3G opportunity? It can very rapidly propel a couple of successful handset manufacturers into a Top 5 global position. ZTE just reported that they had sold 14.2 Million handsets in Q3 of 2009. That is more than SonyEricsson or Motorola in the quarter and puts ZTE temporarily into 4th place among worldwide handset makers. Lets see if ZTE can hold this position in the 4th Quarter and considering how much SE and Moto have been struggling, as ZTE is partly gaining on Chinese domestic 3G sales, we could well see a newcomer in the Top 5 biggest handset makers for the first time for many years, and quite surprisingly, it won't be RIM who was looking like the strongest growing handset maker. But RIM was in the 8-9 Million range in Q3 and expected to be in the 9-10 Million range for the fourth quarter. Looks like the Chinese have passed the Canadians..
Now if ZTE can do this, look out to other Chinese makers, especially Huawei, but essentially any one out of that group (there are actually many more) could become big global makers too. China is just that big as a market.
Hey, this is a big moment here at the 7th Mass Media blog. We have been reporting ever since the book and on my two blogs, that mobile has seven unique abilities (as a mass media channel, obviously other unique abilities as a communiation technology, payment method etc). The seven are widely reported, quoted, in my book and many places. Just this past Friday I was blogging at Communities Dominate blog a major update blog about mobile as a media channel, and again listed our familiar seven unique benefits you cannot do on any other of the older 6 mass media, not in print, not TV, not even on the internet.
So my dear friend Raimo van der Klein (who tweets as @Rhymo) of Layar the Augmented Reality browser, and also of MoMo Amsterdam, discussed with me and suggested AR is the 8th mass medium. I thought about it long and hard, and found that no, AR (at least currently) is not really a new mass medium, but yes, it is unique media content that is new. It is a new media format, in fact, like the 'record' was a new media format for the young recordings industry, and later the video cassette became a new media format for recordings, etc. We have unique media formats for mobile already - ie these are media types you cannot replicate on previous six media, not even on the internet (commercially, that is, obviously) - such as ringing tones, ringback tones, the cameraphone dictionary, QR codes etc. Augmented Reality gives us a new media format for mobile. But AR is also a unique ability of mobile. We may very well get a vast range of new media formats, like TV first copied cinema formats (movies, documentaries, concerts, news reels, and serials) but then invented TV formats unique to TV, like the music video, 24 hour news, talk shows, game shows etc.
So, AR is now the 8th unique benefit of mobile. Before you say that you can do AR on special goggles, yes, but how do you bring media content to the goggles? Mobile can deliver content to AR. And if you think you have the web cam and screen on a laptop, why not do AR on a laptop - well, a laptop is awefully heavy to handle to get the AR effect - to move the device around,to see the AR effect. If the image is still, it could just as well be a picture.
So here is the new list of 8 unique benefits of mobile. And you read it first on the 7th mass media blog.
1 - mobile is personal 2 - mobile is permanently carried 3 - mobile is always on 4 - mobile has a built-in payment channel 5 - mobile is available at the point of inspiration 6 - mobile measures audiences most accurately 7 - only mobile captures our social context 8 - mobile offers Augmented Reality
Thank you Raimo! You're going into the next book haha..
Yeah, more and more of the weird stats around mobile. I told you back in 2000, that we will take our phones to the bathroom with us. Today, 70% of British consumers do so according to research by the UK recycling specialists Purple Gossip, and covered in GoMo News. The research also found that 75% of Brits sleep with the phone in bed. Findings very consistent with other similar research past few years.
I picked up this story in the the November 2009 issue of Telecom Review. Turk Telecom's Vitamin is a mobile phone based education solution that has won all kinds of m-education awards. It is used already to teach 10 million kids via their phones, and has been exported and translated into English, Arabic etc. Very cool, bridging that digital divide with the 7th mass medium.
Had just an interesting exchange with Raimo van der Klein, my very dear friend from MoMo Amsterdam who is now obviously incredibly busy with the dramatic popularity of their company Layar, the world's first augmented reality browser. (and Layar is my fave story, everybody who has seen me this Autumn has also heard my Layar stories haha).
So yeah, Raimo suggested Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media channel.. Hmmm. Makes me wonder. It certainly sounds pretty compelling and obviously they are delivering media content, ads and information (and games) via augmented reality, to mass audiences. I do like that.
A mass media, as a new emerging medium definitely today already. A mass media, probaby very soon yes. Is it part of the 7th mass media, ie inherent to mobile, or is it perhaps something that transcends mobile and extends beyond, we have to see. It also has me thinking about 'virtual reality' as perhaps a sister of augmented reality, and/or perhaps a new mass medium. Perhaps virtual reality is the 8th mass medium as we have that already and AR is the 9th. Am not sure. Gotta think about this for a while. But haha, certainly a good thought. Any readers want to leave your comments?