Jumptap Data Suggests Kindle Fire Jumps to One-Third of Tablet Traffic

  • Mobile ad provider Jumptap found that the Kindle Fire accounted for 33 percent of tablet traffic in January, rising from 20 percent in December and only 4 percent at its launch in November.
  • The Kindle Fire has cut into the iPad’s traffic, which dropped to 48 percent in January from 65 percent in November. However, with the new iPad launch likely, it is expected that iOS will see a boost in traffic.
  • The study also found that overall tablet traffic has increased about 50 percent monthly since November, when the Kindle Fire launched.
  • “Jumptap derives its MobileSTAT data by tracking the advertising that appears on its mobile network, which reaches 95 million users in the U.S. and 21,000 apps and websites,” reports GigaOM. “The ad network also found that Android and iOS represent 91 percent of the mobile OS market, with Android enjoying 58.8 percent of mobile market share while iOS follows with 32.2 percent.”

Forrester Report: iPad Controls Tablet Market Share Over Android Rivals

  • Apple holds 73 percent of the tablet market with the second largest competitor, HP, only claiming 6 percent of the market. Third place goes to Samsung with 5 percent, followed by Motorola and Acer with 4 percent and 3 percent shares, respectively.
  • Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps wrote that Android tablets have been priced near iPads, but have inconsistent branding. Amazon and Nook have at least expanded upon the platform, building features on top of Android.
  • “Tablets are about services,” Epps told Bloomberg in a telephone interview. “That is where Amazon has succeeded where others have failed.”
  • Epps also says the tablet market is growing much faster than anyone expected.
  • “About one-third of the U.S. adult population will own a tablet by 2016, as more people bring them to their workplaces, according to Forrester,” Bloomberg reports. “The majority of tablets used for work are paid for by the employee, the research company also said.”

Google Retires the Android Market Name: Recasts as Google Play

  • The Android Market will now be called the Google Play Store as Google attempts to “make it clearer to consumers that Google offers a broad catalog of content in addition to the apps programmed for smartphones and tablets based on its Android operating system,” Reuters reports.
  • Google Play, which launched on Tuesday, is described by The New York Times as “a one-stop-shop for all of Google’s software services and applications.”
  • Google has been expanding its Android offerings to include digital books, music and videos to better compete with Apple and Amazon. These offerings were available through many different sites and the apps all had different names, adding to the overall confusion in dealing with the Android Market.
  • With the rebranding, Google will rename their media applications to feature “Play.”
  • Updates will start rolling out to Android devices in the coming weeks, but “the Web hub, which all Google users can access, will be open to the public and available for browsing immediately,” reports The New York Times.

Mobile Devices Enabling New Economies: Tablets to Outsell PCs in 2013

  • A post on research-based blog Asymco shows some trends in technology that suggest tablets may outsell PCs by the third quarter of next year.
  • Some of the speculations include: the annual sales growth of the iPad will double this year as well as next; Android sales will have 80 percent growth each year; and “Windows 8 tablets will account for 7 percent of all Windows PCs in the final quarter of 2012, jumping to 20 percent by 2013,” GigaOM reports.
  • “Tablet hardware is improving quickly, which brings software innovation as app developers take advantage of more processing power and graphics capabilities,” the article states.
  • “Input on tablets can be a challenge, but one look at the Asus Transformer Prime and its keyboard dock offers a glimpse of current and future solutions. Remote desktop solutions abound, and some, such as OnLive, don’t even require you to have your own PC; you simply connect to one in the cloud.”

Shutterfly to Purchase Kodak Photo Gallery Service for $24 Million

  • As Kodak sheds most of its businesses to focus on enterprise services and desktop printers, it is looking to sell its online picture service Photo Gallery.
  • Although the deal has not been officially finalized, Shutterfly will likely acquire the division, offering $23.8 million.
  • “The agreement comprises the initial, stalking horse bid in a Court-supervised auction process under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that will ensure the maximization of value for the assets,” the press release states.
  • “Under the current agreement, current Gallery customers uncomfortable with being shipped off to Shutterfly will be able to opt out and either download their stored pics or buy them on DVDs. Otherwise, their accounts will be transferred in a way that is ‘preserved, and protected’ — that is to say, almost entirely unlike the way they’re handled on iOS and Android,” comments Engadget.

Despite Legal Action, Aereo Wants to Bring TV Broadcasts to Devices

  • Aereo is a New York City-based startup that aims to bring broadcast TV signals to all devices — PCs, tablets, smartphones — with small Internet-connected antennas, closing the gap between broadcast TV and the Web. But the startup won’t ever start up if networks have their say.
  • NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and Univision Communications are suing the company for copyright violation, claiming Aereo doesn’t have the right to take broadcast signals and retransmit them on the Web.
  • “Anytime new technology comes along that attempts to dramatically rethink the way content is distributed and consumed, those that have traditionally profited from the status quo tend to stand up and object,” comments ReadWriteWeb. “At the same time, it’s not entirely clear how copyright law applies to a case like this. It’s not an uncommon side effect of living in an age of rapid technological innovation that often outruns the pace of the lawmaking process.”
  • Aereo plans to move ahead with its plans.
  • “In a somewhat similar approach to Slingbox, Aereo assumes it can get around legal barriers because it’s just tuning into live TV, not re-broadcasting it without permission (which would be summarily illegal), and is licensing one TV antenna per-person, to be streamed one broadcast channel at a time. Not on-demand content for mass consumption, which would be a no-no in this case,” adds TechCrunch. “So, upon news of the lawsuits, Aereo promptly responded with a denial, saying that the broadcasters lawsuits did not ‘have any merit,’ essentially the equivalent of … ‘thank you very much, we’ll see you in court.’”

Survey: Do Hyperconnected Young People Lead Fragmented Lives?

  • Pew surveyed a panel of experts in technology and education, finding that many believe the “hyperconnected” lifestyle promotes the ability to multitask and generally has positive effects.
  • “However, the panel of 1,021 people also believed that this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience, and a lack of deep-thinking ability,” reports TG Daily.
  • Experts say the positives include “public problem-solving through cooperative work, or crowd-sourcing; the ability to search effectively for information online, and then sift the wheat from the chaff; synthesizing information from many different sources; communication and concentration,” the article states.
  • But one person on the panel said: “What I generally see is an over-dependence on technology, an emphasis on social technologies as opposed to what I’ll call ‘comprehension technologies,’ and a general disconnect from deeper thinking.”

Vevo to Lock Out Non-Facebook Sign-Ups: Bad News for YouTube?

  • All new and current Vevo users will have to use Facebook to log in starting March 9th.
  • “To get the full Vevo experience, please enter through Facebook. This way you’ll enjoy a richer experience while watching and sharing music videos and all of our other content,” the site says when new users create a new account.
  • “Facebook integration on Vevo has only been around since September 2011, when Vevo partnered with Facebook to offer social integration and Open Graph support so friends can see what others are watching live,” reports The Verge.
  • The integration poses a threat for Google, especially if Vevo continues considering moving its entire music video service from YouTube to Facebook once its contract with YouTube expires at the end of this year.
  • Not only would Facebook host the second-largest video site on the Web — a major traffic draw — the social network would also share in the ad revenue.

After Losing Starz, Netflix Announces More Captions and New Content

  • Netflix has announced some good news, despite its recent loss of hundreds of movies via Starz.
  • New content is coming later this year including Oscar winners such as “The Artist,” “Undefeated” and “Rango.” New theater releases “Act of Valor” and “Good Deeds” are also Netflix pay-TV window exclusives.
  • By the end of last year, the service achieved closed captioning on 80 percent of the hours streamed and “90 percent of streaming is now done on devices that have been updated to support optional captions,” Engadget reports, noting that some embedded TV and Blu-ray player software might not be able to be updated for captions.
  • “So, is the red envelope company doing enough to keep you hanging around, or are you going to blow through the last few eps of ‘Lillyhammer’ and pull the eject button?” asks Engadget.

Are Media Companies Reluctant to Sign On for Apple Streaming TV?

  • Just as content owners have been pulling more material from Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Plus, media companies aren’t jumping into agreements for Apple’s rumored streaming TV service.
  • “Citing unnamed sources, The New York Post says that media companies are unwilling to agree to Apple’s terms over content packages and pricing,” reports Mashable. “‘We decide the price, we decide what content’ is Apple’s negotiating stance on the matter, says a source.”
  • The service will directly compete with other streaming services like Netflix as well as cable TV providers.
  • “It’s possible Apple is designing a service that would enable owners of iOS and Apple TV devices to purchase subscriptions to individual channels, similar to the way users can purchase subscriptions to newspapers and magazines via the Newsstand. Or Apple could bundle those channels together to create its own cable TV-like group subscription offering,” according to Mashable.

DRM: Secure Content Storage Association Launches Project Phenix

  • The new Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA) already has its first project underway.
  • Fox, Warner Bros., SanDisk and Western Digital are coming together for “Project Phenix,” that “will enable consumers to buy, store and playback HD Versions of movies and TV shows at home or on-the-go, easily and seamlessly,” the press release states.
  • The project is compatible with UltraViolet and the alliance will approve various TVs, tablets and display devices, “so that users will be able to download cloud-based media to compliant WD and SanDisk storage,” reports Engadget.
  • The project aligns with the SCSA’s goal to secure high-definition content, which comes into competition with popular Internet options like Netflix.
  • “We’ll see the technology available to license later in the year, which promises to render content ten times faster than streaming media on “over the top Internet” (translation: streaming services),” the article states.

Future Looks Promising for PlayStation Vita: 1.2 Million and Counting

  • Exceeding expectations, Sony has already sold 1.2 million PlayStation Vitas worldwide and more than 2 million games for the device.
  • The new Vita launched last week in the U.S. and Europe after its December debut in Japan.
  • Analysts expect millions more will be sold as the device is launched in other parts of the world. One analyst from Wedbush Morgan Securities estimates 4.3 million Vitas to be sold this year.
  • Even with competition from advancing smartphones, the handheld gaming console has made an impressive start in the gaming market.
  • “It’s archrival, the Nintendo 3DS, sold about 400,000 units during its launch week in Japan, though it has since gone on to sell millions more,” notes AllThingsD.

Analyzing Android Market Apps: How Many Google TV Devices in Use?

  • Less than a million of Logitech’s Revue boxes and Sony’s Google TV devices are activated, and more than half of those are Logitech’s set-top boxes.
  • Google TV includes pre-installed apps like the TV and Movies app, crucial to the Google TV experience. “The active install base for this app, according to Google’s Android Market, currently is 500,000 to 1 million. The same is true for all the other apps that come pre-installed with Google TV, which suggests that the number of Google TV devices that are currently being used by consumers is less than 1 million,” GigaOM reports.
  • “It’s worth pointing out that the number of active devices doesn’t necessarily translate to sales numbers. People could have bought Google TV devices and never turned them on. Devices that haven’t received the Google TV 2.0 update, which was rolled out last fall, also aren’t part of any Android Market data,” the article states.
  • In comparison, Apple has sold 4.2 million Apple TV units and Roku has sold 2.5 million boxes.

What Happens When There are 50 Billion Devices for 8 Billion Humans?

  • With the anticipated tens of billions of devices connected to the Internet by 2020, some security firms at the Mobile World Congress are concerned the new Internet of Things will face data security issues with the current network security designs for humans, not machines.
  • “Put another way, could a not-so-smart client on a machine-to-machine (M2M) network become a future target of malicious Internet activity?”
  • “The nature of malicious attacks will not be made harder or easier by the infusion of M2M,” ReadWriteWeb reports based on an interview with Adaptive Mobile’s Cathal McDaid.”While consumers may drive newer and more sophisticated communications protocols for their mobile devices, M2M communications may not require an upgrade of format for the foreseeable future — certainly not, by McDaid’s estimate, within the next 20 years. So during that time frame, the same protocol will need to be supported as the foundation for secure communications between machines.”
  • “The fact is, as you make more ‘doorways’ into the Internet, the challenges of controlling access will become ever more acute,” Alex Brisbourne of KORE Wireless tells ReadWriteWeb. “Machine devices will add significantly to the ‘access doorways’ — just as increasing delivery of smartphones, etc., will do.”
  • Brisbourne goes on to explain that smartphones are in general open in terms of Internet access, enabling virus, malware and security attacks. Oppositely, machine to machine or M2M will likely be very closed.

MTV Mobile Launches Social TV App in Europe, Integrates Facebook

  • MTV unveiled its social TV app called “Under The Thumb” for Europe — with no immediate plans for U.S. expansion — that “will let users watch MTV content on mobile devices, share it on the go with others, and then watch those on-demand programs simultaneously with those friends,” TechCrunch reports.
  • MTV is working to make the mobile and computer experience seamless as well as integrating Facebook.
  • “The main part of the service ‘Tiny Thumb’ which offers celebrity news and MTV highlights, as a limited selection of episodes to watch, will be free to use. ‘Super Thumb’ unlocks further shows, seasons and content to subscribers on a monthly basis for €2.99, and those who pay up €29.99 annually will have access to everything — that content is only available to those users who take contracts with MTV Mobile, the company’s mobile service,” TechCrunch writes.
  • Despite no announcement regarding a U.S. launch: “But of course the U.S. is aware and is following what we are doing. All the content is cleared and we have buy-in from at the Viacom level but no short term plans to launch it there,” said Michel Dupont, SVP of MTV in Europe.

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