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« Time to Confirm some Mobile User Numbers: SMS, MMS, Mobile Internet, M-News | Main | iPhone sells 16.2M in Q4, Apple barely misses out title for 2nd Biggest Smartphone Maker 2010 »

January 17, 2011

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Comments

Piot

"Don't let anyone tell you that MMS is a failure, it is the fastest-growing new service ever, it reached 2 Billion users and over 30 Billion dollars in annual revenues in only 9 years"

Tomi, how much of that revenue goes to the carriers?

Leebase

I will be forwarding this on to our CEO.

Lee

Baron95

I have a question. Since most US operators charge you for SMSs sent AND RECEIVED, won't users be pissed off for receiving unsolicited SMS?

As a a matter of fact, there are explicit FCC regulations that prevent direct marketers to call you or send you SMS that would cause a charge to the consumer.

Wonder why you never get telemarketing calls on your mobile phone in the US? the same FCC rule, since in the us called party is responsible for air charges.

So a Fortune 500 company sending unsolicited SMS/MMS would very quickly be subject to a class action lawsuit or FCC enforcement action or both.

Anyone care to explain how to get around that?

Thanks.

 Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Piot, Leebase and Baron95

Piot - most of it is to carriers obviously. The majority of MMS revenues is still person-to-person MMS which is all operator revenue. But more than half of all MMS revenue is generated in Asia and of that, the majority is content revenue (which gets typically about one third to operator, two thirds to content and their partners) so a significant, but minor part of the total pie is to content partners

Leebase - thanks!

Baron95 - have you downloaded my free eBook from Lulu. I explain there very clearly what is engagement marketing, and a central element to engagement marketing is permission. If you get explicit prior approval for the marketing communications, there is no problem with FCC rules. I am TOTALLY against unsolicited spam and I cannot imagine unsolicited spam to be 'desired'..

Thank you all for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Baron95

Yes, Tomi, I have, and I'm very familiar with the opt in concepts.

But then, lets restrict the Universe of SMS users to those that have opted in to a service or those who can reasonably be expected to opt in.

I think we can all agree that that is a tiny fraction of the 4.9B SMS users, right?

And how do you reach those customer to make them opt in if you can't send them SMS or call them on their phone? Do they go to a web page on a PC? That just restricted the universe of users to PC/Internet users - a much lower number as you yourself published. I find it very unlikely to impossible to make people "opt in" via a Wap page - I just imagine scrolling through the legal disclaimers on ta 3 line Wap phone - LOL. So if we are requiring a full browser - than that is a device at least capable of HTML, email, etc.

What is the universe of users who would opt in and yet have no access to email or a full browser?

agoedde

Quick comment after reading the first half:
I think you're going overboeard when you predict the death of email anytime soon. Most of the emails I write would have to be split into several SMS, which is somewhat impractical. Attachments to SMS? Not really doable, and uploading to a web server + sending the link just takes a lot longer for me, and is more inconvenient for the recipient. Also, email is practically free, while there is currently only one German mobile provider who offers a decent, unlimited SMS package (as far as I'm aware) - and I'm not a customer.
So for quite a few useage scenarios, I'm confident I'll still be sending email in a decade - unless something better comes along to replace it (and this is not SMS in its current form).
Oh, and I still need to fax things every now and then. Even completely obsolete technology stays around longer than necessary.

Baron95

Well, I don't know how much profits MMS generates, but Apple, who until very recently didn't even support MMS reported CY4Q today.

16.24M iPhones 986% growth), 7.33M iPads.

What a profit machine - they generated another $9.8B in free cash flow, $6B net profits, on $26.74B in revenue.

This is just amazing.

Kevin Holley

SMS, the innovation of which is /short/, was created in various standards bodies - see Wikipedia. It was not invented by an individual.

Chris Brisson

Wow.. amazing post! Chock full of great information and stats. Thanks for writing this!

Juan

Amazing post.

Can I ask what do you think about the ploriferation of smartphones under U$S 200?

I think 2011 I the year that smartphones take over dumbphones & featurephones on sales, thanks to Android and new cheap chipsets. Some examples:

http://www.broadcom.com/products/Cellular/3G-Baseband-Processors/BCM2157

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4211576/China-gets-sub-100-Android-phone-design

How that affect your SMS is better theory?

Cheers!

Bob Shaw

Facebook has just launched an app that allows access to most popular features of Facebook from 2500 different feature or dumb phones manufactured by companies like Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG etc.

http://www.facebook.com/blog.php?post=483824142130

Facebook joins many other high profile brands who already provide access to their customer base through feature phones.

http://pro.gigaom.com/2011/01/facebook-built-an-app-for-feature-phones-should-you/?utm_source=gigaom&utm_medium=problockfixed

I guess more companies have started realizing that despite the hype surrounding smart phones most of the mobile phone world resides outside smart phones and the high cost of smart phones combined with high data plan costs makes it unlikely that things will change significantly in the short term. Considering this, providing access beyond smart phones is the most practical way to reach their wider customer base.

Tomi - they are listening to you.


 Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Baron, agoedde, Kevin, Chris, Juan and Bob

Baron - you said we should limit to those who have opted in or reasonably will opt in. No, the addressable market for SMS is 4.2B active users - anyone who sends SMS is definitely a viable target to 'engagement marketing' as they will become more satisfied by their services - but the real market oportunity is bigger than 4.2B because SMS user base is still growing, and there are people who start to use SMS because of engagement marketing campaigns - seen in a dozen countries. Go read that chapter, Baron, and see the evidence. Just saw Egypt numbers a few weeks ago in engagement marketing using SMS, again in the 30% and above range. You have no idea what I am talking about if you still think customers will not fall in love with engagement marketing based advertising. Read the chapter and then come and lets discuss.

You asked how do you get audiences to sign in - with just about ANY means that you get audiences to sign in - look at TV shows for example, USA's hit show Pretty Little Liars for example - 12% of their total audience signed up in the first season. McDonalds has 1/8 of the total Japanese population already signed up, working tirelessly at every campaign run at McD in Japan, to convert more and more of their store shoppers onto their opt-in database.

agoedde - I report what I see. If you want to believe that the sky is red, go ahead. I report on this blog the facts as they come in. The evidence by now is overwhelming, we have seen the beginning of the end to email. It won't die next year or two, but it won't survive as a mass market vehicle into the next decade. You don't need to believe the evidence. Have a nice life in your alternate universe. I don't have time for those on this blog who refuse to accept real measured numbers.

Kevin - and you are wrong. SHORT messaging may have had many inventors but SMS Short Messaging Service has one - Matti Makkonen as recognized in the literature and as our industry gave him the just awards.. I couldn't care less what Wikipedia says haha.

Chris - thanks!

Juan - The under-$200 dollar smartphone is reality, has been for more than a year, we see them all over Asia already. But the market for phones is so big, that in the year 2011 the world will not get to the half-point, that is likely to happen in 2013 or possibly 2014. But I totally agree with you, that it is inevitable and well before the end of the decade all phones - including those sold in Africa etc will be smartphones.

I don't understand your statement of smartphones vs SMS. I am about to board a plane, I'll read the blog again and see what you may have meant. The two are not competitors, I hope I have not been somehow suggesting that they are.

Bob - THANKS! haha, yeah, maybe Tomi knows a thing or two haha..

Thank you all for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Juan Pablo

Thanks for your kind reply :)

What I meant is, that you explain very well the advantages off SMS over mail.

My question is, in a year, or two, or tree, when touchscreen smart phones will be the common denominator, you think that SMS will still be the best channel?

Or email, whit all the associated capabilities (organization, attachments, folders, tags, history, etc.) will desplace SMS?

Cheers,

JP

(sorry for my grammar, English isnĀ“t my first language)

Baron95

Tomi, thanks for the additional info - I'll find time to re-acquaint myself with the SMS opportunity.

 Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Juan and Baron

Juan - thanks for the clarification. Yes, email use on smartphones is growing somewhat, but SMS growth on all phones is far bigger. Email is in every way an obsolescent communication technology. Not obsolete, meaning out of date, but becoming so, like fax was ten years ago (now fax is obsolete haha).

The problem with email and smartphones, is that email is very easy to understand, familiar to technologists, and works on personal computers that all of us affluent people in the Western World already have. Because email is free, its easy to fall into the trap into thinking, it will soon be the messaging choice for all on smartphones too. It won't be. It is of 'preference' ONLY for older people who already use email. Younger people prefer faster forms, SMS and IM. Older people who never used email, and already use SMS, have no reason to even consider setting up an email address and then have to 'learn' to 'go read the emails' - its horribly cumbersome for older people - if they have already learned to use SMS.

So yes, I understand your question and argument, and yes, there is growth of email on smartphones - that is almost exclusively ONLY those people who currently already use email at work. All others prefer SMS already. Email has no chance whatsover of replacing SMS, not in ten years into the future haha..

Baron - hi, thanks, yeah please enjoy. And also go read the SMS chapter in the free ebook, the Insider's Guide to Mobile available on Lulu, I think it will help you more. As you probably noticed as you're a regular reader here, I just today posted a new blog about Eric Schmidt the soon-to-be ex-CEO of Google, where he says, 'put your best people on mobile' as his parting guidance to all companies. Then you need to understand why 4.2 Billion people are already addicted to SMS haha..

Thank you for the comments

Tomi Ahonen :-)

oz

Very interesting article and data. Thank you.

Question on the customer side:

Why should I send or receive an SMS , if i can send or reply a message or post for free, easier and faster on the web ?

I dont use SMS/MMS anymore. I dont like to receive them either.

Thank you.

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evden eve nakliyat

doing well, but is not growing market share in smartphones, in fact it is bleeding market share again. We do not know the exact number until we have the final count of all smartphones sold in Q4.

John Klem

Does any one have a list of which Fortune 500 (or 1000 even) companies have deployed on a standardized smart phone platform. For instance, one might assume Apple Computer has provisioned its employees with iPhones. But what about the other 499?

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Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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