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Friday, May 4, 2012

Mobile Media Set For Takeoff

This past week Apple reported a remarkable earnings story that had the whole financial world buzzing. For the 1st quarter, 2012, they had earnings of $11.6 billion vs. $6.0 billion for the same quarter a year ago. Most analysts had projected earnings to be in the $10 billion range.  In the quarter they sold 4 million macs, and 11.8 million Tablets. Currently, they are selling 400,000 I phones a day across the world. In China, sales have quintupled in the last year.

Analysts are falling all over themselves to talk about the $100 billion cash stash that Apple has. With that they could swallow the entire upcoming IPO (Initial Public Offering) from Facebook or buy all of McDonald’s. It is staggering when you consider it. Will Apple be the first company to have a capitalization of a trillion dollars?

I consider all of the stock market buzz to be mostly noise.  This Apple news signals to me a significant breakthrough in the media world. This year, mobile media is now 5% of online billing and about 1% of the total domestic advertising handle. But, look closely, my friends. Big players are starting to pile in. With Smartphones and Tablets exploding the big guys now see scalable platforms in mobile via display, search, video and in-app. Mobile spending should be up 50% this year.

The future looks bright beyond belief. I have seen several projections but International Data Corporation’s appears to be the most widely quoted with tablet shipments projected to be up over 50% this year to over 100 million and top 195 million units in 2016. Smartphones are set to reach 660 million units this year and an amazing 1.1 billion by the end of 2015. How is that possible? There are 7 billion people on earth so 15% will get a Smartphone in 2015? Actually, it is within reach as many who have a Smartphone get a new model every two years and couple that with organic category growth and a billion plus units three and a half years from now is definitely within reach. (By the way, what is a Smartphone? There is no formal definition but I use the one from PC Magazine that describes it as “a cellular phone with built in applications and internet access)

Can anything stop this growth?  Well, remember Research in Motion and the Blackberry? Now, they are fighting for survival. Or the problems Motorola had when they dominated flip-phones but did move fast enough to web-enabled handsets. The issue is that the players may be different 5 years from now but people want the world in the palm of their hands. Mobile media will capitalize on that desire.

As has been true of every emerging medium, there will be hiccups as you experiment with its possibilities. Don’t let the little bumps in the road deter you—the potential is tremendous and you do not wish to be left behind.

If you would like to contact Don Cole directly, you may reach him at doncolemedia@gmail.com

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