Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, December 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

Time for the last mobile stories wrap-up of 2013! It’s been a crazy year for mobile, and December was no different. In fact, a lot of the stories are about how great mobile has been for businesses and consumers alike. Also, there a lot of “what’s coming around the corner” stories that show what 2014 might look like.

1. Windows 9

Could the next edition of Windows be around the corner? Windows 8 didn’t exactly win over the hearts and minds of new customers or old fans, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Microsoft hurried the next version out.

2. Blackberry has another bad month

While there were several stories of Blackberry not exactly having a great final month of 2013 (abysmal Christmas sales, for one), a story from the beginning of December captured just how bad things have gotten. They literally wrote two letters to their customers to remind them they are “very much alive.” Ouch!

3. Cyber Monday Sales

The numbers for Cyber Monday came in shortly after the event, and it’s not entirely a surprise that 2013’s edition was another blockbuster. Sales were way up and it seems that mobile played a huge part in helping to break records.

4. Phablets Big in 2014?

Bob O’Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, seems to think the phablet will overtake traditional small tablets in the new year. Considering they’re a huge hit over a growing number of countries, especially South Korea, it’s not a far-fetched idea.

5. New Features Coming to Galaxy S5

While the S5 didn’t perform as expected, some new features coming out may change that. The quad HD display is ok, but reports of an eye scanner for extra security adds a much more interesting wrinkle.

6. Real Live Buttons

Remember phones that had actual buttons you could press for Menu, Back and the like? Those were the days. Well you can now relive them with the low-end Galaxy Core Advance.

7. Amazon Acquires Gopago

Amazon quietly made another acquisition in December: Gopago, an app that allows customers to pre-pay for goods before picking them up at the store. Not only that, but could this be part of Amazon’s secret “ambitious” new project?

8. Thanksgiving Apps

Thanksgiving sales were up this year, partially due to mobile – and it also turns out Americans also opened more apps than ever before. Over 1.3 billion were opened, a more than 2/3 jump over 2012.

9. Lumia 1320 Lands in China First

Showing the growing Chinese market for companies, Nokia has decided to release the Lumia 1320 in China first. The budget phone will soon also land in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other countries, yet no word about the US yet.

10. Smartphones in 2014

The smartphone war is just going to pick up like crazy in 2014. So what should smartphone companies focus on if they hope to make any ground on competitors? In short: playing with the accepted shape, form, and design.

Did we miss any big news from December? Let us know in the comments!

The Best Apps for a Truly Unforgettable Valentine’s Day [Infographic]

Love is in the…cloud! Valentine’s Day is coming up and aside from finding chocolates and a good restaurant you’re also looking for the best apps for the big day. Let this fun infographic from PGi help!

[Click to enlarge]

Mobile How To: Deploying Your Handset Detection Stats for Bigger and Better Things

Use Handset Detection to Make More Mobile SalesBy now you’ve used Handset Detection to find out just which handheld devices are accessing your website or online store. It’s undoubtedly been a treasure trove of interesting statistics, numbers, and tidbits.

However, there’s a big difference between knowing this cool stuff and putting it to good use. And if you don’t have any solid ideas on how to use the information you gather from us, what’s the point?

That’s why we’re here to help! Check out the following ideas for ways to implement your info into Handset Detection. Also, let us know below how you’ve used Handset Detection by taking our survey!

Rock Your Site’s Mobile Functionality

Online sales are the big story in commerce everywhere you look. They were a big winner during the holidays in 2012 and they will continue to thrive in 2013 throughout the year. If your website or store isn’t taking advantage of the shoppers you could attract, you’re going to miss out on many opportunities (i.e. sales, fans and loyal customers).

The amount of phones and tablets out there at the moment is honestly a little intense. Granted many of them are knock-offs of bigger brands, but still – there are a ton of options for consumers. That also means you no doubt see some unexpected results when you use Handset Detection.

Unless you’ve somehow managed to get 100% iPhone or Android visiting your site, you’re going to have a mixture of devices to deal with. By no means will you be able to deal with them all. As a result, you have to focus on where you think the most money or exposure will come from. For example, if iPhone users are your biggest customers, focus on making their experience the best possible. If Android users are your main visitors, find out how you can improve their experience on your store. Better yet, focus on both, as you’ll undoubtedly find yourself with a mix of both. But if for some reason Blackberry users, or users of other devices visit you the most, you’ll know about it if you’re keeping an eye on your Handset Detection stats.

Know They Customer, Know Thyself 

You may be able to revamp your product, service, or website entirely just by knowing who visits your site using what device. Up until now you may have struggled trying to figure out what niche your business falls into, but with Handset Detection that becomes much easier.

For example, Apple users tend to skew a little younger demographically. As a result, you may want to rethink your big idea of selling Metamucil online. On the other hand, if you have mostly off-brand users visiting your site, your high-end products might not sell so well. Try to lower costs or shift focus entirely to a cheaper product.

Finding your niche this way can also help you market your store or website. If you’re enjoying lots of attention from Blackberry 10 users, give them some love with a Blackberry 10 specific coupon. Alternatively, if your #2 user base is Windows tablets, give THEM the coupon so you can build them up closer to your Blackberry 10 users.

Have your Handset Detection stats helped you improve your online store or website?

Breaking Mobile News You May Have Missed 1/18/13

*Love Handset Detection? Take our quick survey and make us even better!*

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Apple Cuts iPhone 5 Parts Orders

With sales not quite what they expected, Apple has cut iPhone 5 parts orders in half. Does this also have something to do with the (possibly fake) cheaper iPhone model?

2. Google Wants You to hack Glasses

The New York and San Francisco hack-a-thons are coming up, and Google will be there with the Google Glass project. They will be willingly allowing developers to take a crack at the tech to learn how to create software and get the skinny on the Internet enabled glasses.

3. Nokia Cuts Jobs?

Despite doing great recently, Nokia is still chopping 300 jobs and another 800+ getting shuffled around. Seems no matter how well you’re doing it’s still not enough to keep everybody.

4. Connected Cars

Looking for a real smart car? Google’s driverless vehicle is a ways off, but in the meantime other makers are looking to connect their cars in various ways, although they’re careful due to safety reasons.

5. Facebook Calling

Need to make a call to a friend but don’t want to stop looking at status updates? Facebook now allows free calling between iPhone users, as long as they’re both using the Messenger app!

6. Peak of the iPhone

Is 2013 the last growth year for the iPhone? Analysts are saying the company will peak this year and will level off or even descend in the next five years.

7. Lumia to Carry X-Box’s Blobster

Nokia’s Lumia phone will be the only phone to carry X-Box’s new Blobster game. It’s yet another exclusive it gets with its Windows Phone 8 platform. Will it have any interactivity between the actual X-Box console?

8. Trees Literally Call for Help

It sounds like some sort of hippie dream, but talking trees are a reality…well, sort of. In Brazil, trees are set up with Gemalto radio tech to call for help when they’re getting cut down. The range is up to 20 miles and should help with illegal logging

We think we were pretty thorough this week. But did we miss the big mobile news you were most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed 1/03/12

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Google Glass in 2013?

Google says their augmented reality glasses will hit this year. However, the feature set is “still in flux” according to some experts and the effects of the glasses on the eye are up in the air. Still, it’s a step forward to truly never having to talk to another human being in person ever again, which is what we’re all working towards, right? Right?

2. Step on Your Battery

Want to recharge your phone battery? Stomp on it! Wait, wait, don’t do it yet, because the technology to recharge a battery by abusing it is still being developed at Georgia Tech. The technology may effectively change the recharger market forever in the future, though.

3. Nexus 4 “Sells Out”

Sure, the Nexus 4 is sold out everywhere, but sales may or may not be all that great. T-Mobile has started restocking shelves, but it may only be because the company was unprepared for the onslaught.

4. Samsung & Android on Top in USA

Apple had a great quarter due to sales of the iPhone 5, but Android still owns the US right now with almost 54% of smartphone sales. Samsung is having a great quarter as well with almost 27% of the smartphone population using a Samsung device.

5. App Development Costs

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to build an app? One of the major factors is cost – but how much does it actually cost to make an app? This infographic can give you an idea, though the final answer will be up to you!

6. Tech 150 Years in the Future

What will the world be like in 2163? Oh, wait, they’re looking at 2150, which is actually 137 years in the future…hmmm. Well, anyway, an interesting look at what could tech be out in the next 150 or so years, including cloning, the singularity, and Half Life 3.

7. iPhone 5S Colors

The iPhone 5S (or 6 or whatever) will possibly come in June, so what can we expect? Well, for one, tons of color options, plus an improved battery, a new camera, and tons of storage.

8. Blackberry Curve 9315

Want an affordable Blackberry for your T-Mobile service? You could pick up the Curve 9315…even though it’s actually just a rebranded Curve 9310, made to look “affordable” before Blackberry 10 hits (potentially) soon.

Did we miss any mobile news from the past week? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed 12/14/12

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Google Maps to iPhone

Whew! Our long worldwide nightmare has come to an end as Google Maps is back on the iPhone. Now you can safely navigate out of the national parks you accidentally drove into (…true story here in Australia).

2. Blackberry 10 Hardware

More good news for RIM and the Blackberry brand as the Blackberry 10’s L-Series hardware hints at a promising future. After being delayed for a year the new phone really needs to pack a punch.

3. eBay Announces Biggest Mobile Shopping Day

Are we in store for yet another holiday shopping bonanza? eBay has claimed December 9th was the “biggest mobile shopping day” ever with an increase of 133% over 2011. Now just what to call it – Purple Sunday? Nutty 9th? Mobile Craziness Day?

4. Apple with Six Month Product Cycle?

With the news of the iPhone 5S already being tested, one writer wonders if we’re looking at two new iPads and iPhones every year. It sounds crazy… but also extremely likely.

5. T-Mobile Gets iPhone

The iPhone is headed to the T-Mobile network in 2013. T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere promises a “drastically different” experience with the iPhone and analysts predict the move could result in 4 to 5 million phones in the first year.

6. Surface RT Great for Students

Despite many of the not-so-great reviews of the Surface, this review claims Microsoft’s new tablet perfect for the student on the go.

7. Philips Xenium X2300 with Three SIM Cards

Do you find you change your SIM card all the time? Just grab the Philips Xenium X2300 and worry no longer. The phone comes with three SIM cards which all operate at the same time and can all be switched around with the press of a button.

8. Twitter Mobile’s Photo Filters

Don’t use Instagram but still like pictures that look like they are from the 1970s? Then you’re in luck, as Twitter Mobile unleashed their new photo filters! Choose from sepia, blurry, and blurry sepia.

9. Mobile in 2013

The annual “what to expect in the New Year” posts are coming, and the mobile world is no different. Here’s one writers vision of handsets in 2013.

Did we miss any mobile news from the past week? Let us know in the comments!

Tablets Versus Smartphones: Which is Better for Shoppers?

It’s not talked about very much, but there is a mostly-friendly war going on between tablet and smartphone lovers. Each are fully convinced their particular mobile device is the superior one when it comes to everyday life. While many of us use both devices with regularity and find enjoyment out of both, there are always fanboys  (and girls) when it comes to these minor tech skirmishes.

In terms of ecommerce, though, both factions are correct that their particular device of choice is ideal. The numbers continue to show mobile devices are more important to online customers than ever before, and mobile commerce is becoming a very real thing. And both tablets and smartphones are great for ecommerce – for different reasons.

But which is better for shoppers as a whole? Is there a clear advantage to using one or the other, or is it simply a matter of nitpicking?

Tablets

There are two things tablets have in general over smartphones right off the bat: size and power. While smartphone makers are continuously cramming as much as they an inside of the tiny devices, tablets continue to have a leg up in speed and accessibility.

Smartphones are getting bigger, too, often at the expense of users’ pocket space; however, tablets will always be bigger, as that’s often the point – tablets are multimedia machines, meant to be used for games, apps, and tasks like creating spreadsheets on a plane.

What does this mean for ecommerce? Obviously the bigger display comes into play right away. You spent all those long hours getting the perfect snapshot of your products, and you want consumers to see them at their full capacity. The big tablet screen allows them to do that as well as see more items at once.

Add in the increased “firepower” of most tablets and you have a big screen that is quickly filled with your store’s items. Customers don’t have to wait around for their phone to catch up – they can order and keep ordering.

Smartphones

While tablets are meant to be more portable than your average computer, there’s no beating even the dumbest smartphone when it comes to getting around. Even the smallest tablet requires some extra thought to carrying it around, including buying a separate case for it. Smartphones just fit right into your pocket.

Plus, potentially as a result of this accessibility, smartphones are used for so much during our regular day that it can be become almost an afterthought as customers click “Buy Now.” For example, they may be answering a phone call or texting their Aunt Gertrude when the subject of True Blood comes up.

Barely without thinking, the user pulls up a link to your store and buys the latest season of the show. It’s all about convenience – not to mention smartphones have become such a vital part of our lives all our information is stored on them. A few clicks and you’ve grabbed what you want.

So which is better? The argument could easily go either way, and it’s often up to the individual user. Which do you typically use to shop online? Will a new invention come along and knock both the tablet and the smartphone out of the running forever?

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed 11/16/12

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Microsoft Sued

Have you felt like the Microsoft Surface doesn’t hold as much of your stuff as you thought it would? One consumer got mad enough to sue them, claiming the little tablet only has half the amount of drive space it claims.

2. HTC 8X & Lumia 822

Two more Windows phones are headed to Verizon, the HTC 8X and the Nokia Lumia 822. Verizon’s really trying to shape up its smartphone options before the final weeks of the holiday season!

3. Apple Makes More Cool Stuff

Apple is reportedly working on two cool features for their smartphones and tablets. One is a “volume” for your vibration to cut down on noise. The second which is arguably more interesting is the auto-zoom that tracks how close you are to the screen and what you’re looking at. No need to constantly pinch, swirl, and swipe!

4. Crazy Flexible Screens From Samsung

Tired of having such rigid, unmovable screens on your mobile devices? Those days may be over soon when Samsung starts mass producing the flexible displays next year. Even better: they’re unbreakable and cost less to make. Sorry, glass, you’re done.

5. Ad Networks Cutting Out Spam

It’s one thing to just be tired of spam; it’s another thing entirely to do something about it. But that day may have come as consumers are demanding mobile ad networks cut out spam instead of letting so much of it go through.

6. Nexus 4 Sells Out

Google and LG had to be ecstatic when the Nexus 4 was unveiled Tuesday and almost immediately sold out. Some customers weren’t, though, as they found “Notify Me” buttons instead of “Buy Me” buttons when they signed on to buy too late.

7. $20 Tablet

Could a $20 tablet change the entire face of the industry? Suneet Tuli, CEO of Datawind, doesn’t really seem to care about that – the tablet is simply meant to help students in India. Nevertheless, this could be the start of something big.

8. Nexus 7 HSPA+ Sells Out

While it didn’t go as fast as the Nexus 4, the 32GB Nexus 7 HSPA+ sold out in a matter of days. It showed up as “sold out” on Google Play and there’s no word on just when there will be more for consumers to grab.

9. iPhone 5S?

Enjoying your iPhone 5? Well, get ready to toss it in the trash, because the iPhone 5S is soon to come! Well, hold off on dumping your 5 because the 5S is reportedly going to have a test production in December. Still…that’s awfully soon, isn’t it?

Did we miss some major mobile news? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed 11/9/12

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Samsung Galaxy SIII is the Champ

Whoa! This definitely has to go at the top. The Galaxy SIII took the iPhone 4S down for the first time ever to become the smartphone sales champ for Q3. With the recent news of Apple customer loyalty dropping, the company may be in some trouble!

2. The Google Wallet…Card?

Want to use Google Wallet but don’t want it on your smartphone? Well now you can, with the very real Google Wallet card! You’ll be able to use it wherever credit and debit cards are used.

3. Blackberry 10 Certified

RIM is all ready to launch Blackberry 10 now that the US has certified it ahead of the launch. However, don’t rush out to buy it just yet as the phone will be released Q1 2013 at the earliest.

4. iPad Mini is the New iPad

According to Gotta Be Mobile, the new iPad Mini is the default iPad, so get used to it!

5. Facebook Phone…Again

Is the Facebook Phone back in operation? Possibly, and it’s a phone that could redefine the word “social” when it comes to connectivity.

6. AT&T Shipping Galaxy Express and MiFi Liberate

Look for AT&T’s new Galaxy Express as well as the MiFi Liberate hotspot on November 16th. Both are for the cost-conscious crowd with the Express running $100 and the Liberate at $50.

7. HTC & Verizon Working on HD Phablet

Look for a new phone/tablet hybrid soon from HTC & Verizon, supposedly called the HTC Droid DNA. The companies will unveil the phablet at an event on November 13th – could they have some crazy surprise in store?

8. Time Travel with Yahoo

Trying to win awards for the most let-down-worthy name of the century, Yahoo’s TimeTraveler doesn’t let you go fight dinosaurs. However, it does let you plan your days and weeks out more thoroughly. Just watch out for the Morlocks! 

9. Powerful People in Wireless

With Steve Jobs no longer around, who are the top dogs in the wireless industry? Fierce Wireless’ list may surprise you…well, maybe not the first two, but still pretty interesting!

Did we miss some major mobile news? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed 10/19/12

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. iPad Mini Coming Next Week

Ready for the iPad Mini? If not, too bad, as it’s hitting the shelves next week according to Reuters. Sources say the Mini is less about making money and more about keeping competitors from dominating any aspect of the market.

2. Facebook Offering Money for Mobile Signups

In football (soccer to you Yanks) the team that wins is often the one that doesn’t stop pushing for results. Facebook must follow the same philosophy as the company isn’t satisfied with 1 billion customers – they want another billion, and are offering $1 for Facebook mobile signups in India.

3. Apple Patents Cool Things

Two big Apple patents to potentially bring cool stuff – one is echolocation, which determines how close the iPhone is near your face and other objects for better sound and pickup, the other is text to speech voice that uses contextual data to speak in your dialect!

4. Acer Iconia Tab A110 for $230

Acer unveiled the Iconia Tab A110 to compete with the Nexus 7. The tablet goes for just $230 so it’s not exactly a powerhouse but great for those looking for a cheaper alternative.

5. Another Nexus?

Leaked photos of a supposed “Nexus X” caused an uproar, especially since how close the phone looks to the Xperia ion and Xperia T. However, the pics could be totally fraudulent, so it remains to be seen if this is for real or not.

6. Quick Settings on Android 4.2

Will there be a “Quick Settings” feature for 4.2 users? A video showed this feature which nobody knows exactly what it means or does. Speculation includes Wi-Fi and display/brightness settings.

7. Global Smartphones Pass 1 Billion

Smartphone users now number over 1 billion, which took 16 years. Projections say the next billion could come in as short a time as three years, in 2015!

8. Sprint Takes Majority Share of Clearwire

While Sprint is getting bought out by Japanese company Softbank, they’re not exactly lying down in the mobile world either. They recently gained majority share of struggling provider Clearwire, which has plan to roll out the 4G TD-LTE network in the US next year.

9. Samsung Galaxy SIII Drops to $99

To better compete with the Droid Razr HD and HD Maxx Hit VZW, Amazon has dropped the price of the Galaxy SIII to $99 on Verizon and Sprint. The holiday war for your bucks has definitely begun in mobile world!

10. Disappearing Apps

A great opinion piece about technology and apps – while we in the business care about all the new devices and constant flow of apps, the public at large only want stuff that works for them! A very important reminder what we’re all in this for.

Did we miss any big news in mobile this week? Let us know in the comments!