The July 2011 edition of CrossTalk has been released. Once again, it’s filled with pertinent information, including a mix of news, free market research, for pay market research, and a listing of upcoming events. Essentially, it’s anything and everything for anyone interested in the events shaping the telecom and broadband industries. Get yours today, and stay connected!
How much is enough for Cupertino? With another record setting quarter, fueled by the unrelenting consumer demand for iPhones and iPads, Apple outpaced Wall Street expectations with room to spare (predictions: $5.85 a share, revenue $24.99 billion; actual results: $7.79 per share, revenue $28.57 billion). Even with declining iPod and less than expected Mac sales, the company continued its string of breakout results on the strength of iPhones (20.34 million sold during the quarter) and iPads (9.25 million, up 183% compared to Q3 2010). The bottom line? With Apple on its winning streak, Android nipping at its heels, and new products on the horizon from Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and RIM, homes will be filled with new and varied networked devices. Will the telecom industry keep up?
For more information, go to http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/apple-q3-a-blowout-2034-million-iphones-925-million-ipads/52718
Actiontec announced the release of another free whitepaper, “The Service Gateway… The Future of Connected Home Applications.” With energy management and home automation applications becoming more and more prevalent, broadband providers need to differentiate their offerings to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. One way to do this is to offer a service gateway, a dedicated home network add-on device designed to manage a smart home’s energy applications, home health monitors, and home automation, features that today’s gateways and broadband routers don’t support. Service gateways are also robust enough to handle any future application uses, so that consumers need not worry about outgrowing their device.
Actiontec released a new whitepaper recently, this one giving a detailed overview of Wi-Fi Direct. Titled “An Industry Look at Wi-Fi Direct,” the paper covers the salient points of the new standard from a perspective of the telecom industry, including applications and a market update. Wi-Fi Direct, for the uninitiated, allows devices to connect to one another directly without having to join a traditional network, and should be available as a software upgrade on Wi-Fi hardware devices. We recommend this whitepaper to anybody who needs to come up to speed quickly on the basics of Wi-Fi Direct.
To download this whitepaper (pdf), go to http://www.actiontec.com/crosstalk/AEI_whtppr_IndustryLookatWiFiDirect.pdf
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Netflix raised their prices for their mailed-DVD/video streaming combo service from $9.99 a month to $15.98 a month. The 60% increase has set off a consumer firestorm, with massive numbers of Netflix customers threatening to quit one or more of the company’s services (44% of those surveyed by The Diffusion Group responded that they would probably cancel the DVD-by-mail service, 34% would cancel the streaming service, and 37% were looking to cancel their Netflix subscription altogether). Howerver, according to most pundits, Netflix is taking this tack to steer more users to streaming-only options, which the company sees as the direction it wants to take in the future.
For more information, see http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=o8uqg7bab&v=001MtBt-olyudkecW61TR-VV_UVVeL_036qJ1HX_rDiib3RR_48_DprkMv6mPI_Zg2ClheVU_2yGx_l3jz58YtR2hp7Phdv5YCpIj707_CxEs-Vp8Z5N7uJjK5Kh-5kxcjVOaqLd9vpUxLac5Ck6JG11beMExKDbyI-Sl54IkXEz41XrY8pX9f8tlAxeLwMKRYBGYNJWR9K3St_NpR_IMEMF0e007a4oHed4crlHZPW9PnGwVw28sznpL6ev9NKZUH8TgTVgw-noyRPghCDN_uvVrg2NlfxBwIstao_9-kwqWnqqmBqTNCKqw%3D%3D
Two free-of-charge studies hit the web recently. The first, from Pew Internet, covers smartphone ownership. In it, Pew finds that over 1/3 of adult Americans own a smartphone, with particularly high levels of ownership in demographics such as well-educated, non-white, and 45 years-old or younger. Meanwhile, of those who own smartphones, 68% access the Internet or email on their phones on a daily basis.
The other study is from our old friends at the FCC and concerns the current state of wireless competition. While the report comes to no conclusion as to whether or not there is not enough or too much competition, it contains valuable information about the wireless industry as a whole, including smartphone penetration, the cost of voice minutes, and the number of smartphone apps. Also, lots of charts.
For more, see http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Smartphones.aspx
Also, http://www.fiercewireless.com/special-reports/us-wireless-industry-10-quick-charts?utm_source=FierceWireless-homepage-slideshow links to FCC
Parks Associates released a new report recently, titled “Consumer Technical Support Services.” The report is basically an overview of support offerings and their effect on companies’ bottom lines, positively or negatively. Also included is a forecast of various technical support services through 2015. Some interesting sections include “Consumer Attitudes about Technology,” “Television/Home Theater Set-up,” and “Remote Tech Support Vendors.” The report is priced at $3,200.
For more information, go to http://www.parksassociates.com/report/techsupport-2011
Frontier Communications expanded its partnership with Yahoo! by co-branding a Frontier/Yahoo! e-mail system as well as customizing the Yahoo! front page for its customers. Frontier also announced that subscribers will also be able to access Yahoo!’s digital content on web sites integrated with the e-mail service. This extended cooperation continues a relationship Frontier has developed with Yahoo! since 2008.
The good news for cable operators: more subscribers asked about lower-cost bundles in the first quarter of 2011, compared to the first quarter of 2010, to the tune of a 3% increase. This suggests that users are still interested in cable subscriptions, as well as triple-play bundles (voice, video, and data), which is an encouraging trend. The flip side, of course, is that those subscribers are looking to spend less on monthly cable bills by switching to lower-cost bundles. Centris, the research company that uncovered this data, also found that subscribers from some of the largest cable operators, such as AT&T, Verizon, and Cox, expect to save more than those with other service providers.
To learn more, go to http://www.fiercecable.com/story/good-news-bad-news-bundles-attracting-pay-tv-subscribers/2011-06-28?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal
Also, see our white paper, “Leveraging Applications to Improve Retention and Increase ARPU” (pdf): http://www.actiontec.com/products/datasheets/AppsimproveARPU_whitepaper.pdf
A trio of reports concerning the viewing habits of the modern American family were released recently. The breakdown, as follows:
The first, a study by Yahoo, tracked viewers habits by time period during the day. They found that online viewing remained steady during the primetime evening hours in 2011, reversing an older trend that showed online viewers abandoning their gadgets during the 6-10 p.m. time frame, suggesting that, perhaps, the idea of cord-cutting, once far-fetched, may not be that far off for a majority of consumers.
Meanwhile, eMarketer finds that social media is changing the way we watch and comment on television shows. With viewers (particularly younger viewers) increasingly using Facebook and Twitter to broadcast their opinions before, during, and after a show airs, networks have begun to exploit this audience segment by displaying hash tags onscreen and encouraging performers to live-tweet.
Finally, the Leichtman Research Group released new consumer research study, “Cable, DBS, & Telcos: Competing for Customers 2011.” Among the study’s findings:
• 12% of non-subscribers paid to subscribe to a service in the past year
• Multi-channel video subscribers with annual household incomes over $75,000 spend 17% more per month than households with incomes under $30,000
• Average monthly multi-video service spending per household: $73.35
For more, see http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/29/online-video-shift-primetim/Also, see http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008468And http://www.leichtmanresearch.com/press/062311release.html
According to first quarter data from SNL Kagan, cable subscription numbers continued to fall, while telco TV rose. The hard numbers: cable subscriptions went from 24.1 million to 23.2 million; telco subscriptions rose to 4.4 million from 3.5 million. Satellite subscriptions remained flat. The largest multichannel markets were New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston, while Comcast remained the largest multichannel operator.
Skype is coming to the iPad. The company’s VoIP and video chat application is expected to debut on Apple’s best-selling tablet in the very near future. Taking advantage of the iPad 2′s dual camera set up, the video chat arm of Skype will allow users to take advantage of picture-in-picture capabilities, as well as a bigger view of their chat partner(s). For iPad 1 users, only VoIP will be available through the application. Skype, the current worldwide leader in video chat, will battle FaceTime, Apple’s home-grown video chat app, as well as an expected future Google play in this space.