Apple

Mobile Facts Change So Fast! – a repository for key mobile stats and facts (2011+)


On at least three occasions, I have written posts that incorporated a summary of notable stats about mobile apps and the mobile space in general to set the scene for a topical discussion.  But the facts change so fast that I was continuously updating the posts, and the posts had a tendency to grow and grow at the rate of foursquare subscribers.  (See here for 2010 post) So, I’m starting afresh and focusing specifically on notable mobile facts starting with these:

A mobile marketing strategy is a must-have for retailers - and, I would venture, anyone that sells products to consumers.  In fact, with today’s predictive marketing capabilities, retailers and marketers can target purchase intenders at the time and place of potential purchase.

Nine out of 10 smartphone shoppers use their phone for “pre-shopping” activities like finding store locations, comparing prices and reading product reviews. Source: Google via Shop.org Think Tank. 07/24/2013

Teens and Mobile (July 2011 data, except where noted) – Pew Research:

  • As of July 2011, 77% of teens have a cell phone (Teens, Smartphones & Texting).
  • Older teens ages 14 to 17 are substantially more likely to have a cell phone than younger teens ages 12 and 13 – 87% of older teens have a cell phone, compared with 57% of younger teens.
  • 23% of teens have a smartphone; 54% have a regular cell phone (or are not sure what kind of phone they have), and another 23% of teens do not have a cell phone at all.
  • Overall, half (49%) of all American teens have gone online on their mobile phones in the last 30 days.
  • The bulk of teens are 12 or 13 when they get their first cell phone (see: Is the age at which kids get cell phones getting younger?)(September 2009).
  • See more in the Teens, Smartphones & Texting report.

Teens and Communication choices (July 2011, except where noted) – Pew Research:

Texting dominates teens’ general communication choices. Overall, 75% of all teens text, and 63% say that they use text to communicate with others every day.

  • 39% of teens make and receive voice calls on their mobile phones every day.
  • 35% of all teens socialize with others in person outside of school on a daily basis.
  • 29% of all teens exchange messages daily through social network sites.
  • 22% of teens use instant messaging daily to talk to others.
  • 19% of teens talk on landlines with people in their lives daily.
  • 6% of teens exchange email daily.

Teens and Texting (July 2011, except where noted) – Pew Research:

The volume of texting among teens has risen from a median 50 texts a day in 2009 to 60 texts for the typical teen text user.

Older girls remain the most enthusiastic texters, with a median of 100 texts a day in 2011, compared with 50 for boys the same age.

Click here for more on what teens do with their phones.

26% of American teens of driving age say they have texted while driving, and 48% of all teens ages 12 to 17 say they’ve been a passenger while a driver has texted behind the wheel (September 2009 survey; see Teens and Distracted Driving)

This is the year of the Tablet:

About 68.7 million tablets shipped worldwide in 2011, according to IDC, which forecasts 106.1 million units to ship this year (April 17, 2012)

Smart Phones have reached the tipping point:

86% of mobile internet users are using their devices while watching TV.  Are people fast forwarding through your commercials or engaging with their smart phones while they’re on?  If so, has your commercial motivated them to do something related to your brand or prompted them to do something else to pass the time?

Android Apps Reach 400,000

In December 2011, Google celebrated their ten billionth Android app download, and now new research from mobile app analytics firm Distimo reports that there are 400,000 apps available in the Android Market. (Scroll all the way down for a post about Android apps reaching 90,000 in July 2010!)

Free apps make up a considerable portion of that 400,000, and Distimo’s research indicates that the ratio of free to paid apps has jumped from 60% to 68% over the last eight months. Distimo pegs the prevalence of free apps on the current popularity of the freemium  app economy, which also isn’t much of a surprise considering the potential payouts inherent to the model.

Mobile Is a Hotbed of VC

Mobile marketing was the most active segment within digital advertising for mergers, acquisitions and investments in 2011, according to a new report from marketing and media investment bank Petsky Prunier.

The iPad Revolution:

Only 13% of Web Traffic Is Mobile:

While mobile devices are expected to surpass laptops and desktops for accessing the Internet, they account for only 13% of web traffic today (still not shabby).  This is due in part to the lack of mobile optimized websites, a situation that is changing.  Within the 13%, more than 80% of comes from iPhone and iPads:

40% of Mobile Phones Are Smart Phones (Source: Nielsen)

Becoming the Primary Means for Accessing the Internet

Mobile devices and connected TVs are expected to overtake personal laptops within the next year as a means for accessing the Internet.  I hope your website is optimized for mobile and mobile search…

“I Love My MacBerry”  – Literally

  • A study using MRI scans showed evidence of not only addiction to iPhones but also Love.  (I admit it.  I’m hopelessly hooked.  I’m even willing to put up with the fact that my AT&T iPhone often hangs up on me.  Is that a sign of codependency?)

iPads, iPhones, iPods and More – How Many Were Sold in Apple’s 4Q 2011

  • The Company sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter.
  • Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during the quarter, a 166 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. (That’s 20.37 million iPads in Apple’s fiscal 2011 2H – ALONE, which does not include what will likely be a huge holiday purchase season for the device, and annualizes to 44.5 million per year)
  • The Company sold 4.89 million Macs during the quarter, a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.
  • Apple sold 6.62 million iPods, a 27 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

iPads, iPhones, iPods and More – How Many Were Sold in Apple’s 3Q 2011

  • 9.25 million iPads were sold during Apple’s 3rd quarter, 2011, up 183 % vs. year-ago (That would annualize to 37 million per year.)
  • 20.34 million iPhones were sold, up 142 percent vs. year ago (That’s a pretty nice stat – and impressive given growth of the Android.  A testament to the dramatic growth of smartphone in general)
  • (That means that nearly 30 million iPads and iPhones were sold this quarter.)
  • 3.95 million Macs, up 14 percent vs. year-ago (iPads cannibalizing Macs.  I would say, “yup.”  Especially laptops – by all manufacturers – and, perhaps MacBook Airs.  I think the Christmas season is going to blow the current iPad number out of the water)
  • 7.54 million iPods, a 20 percent unit decline from year-ago.  (I saw a young man on the subway today using the iPhone as an iPod with headphones – ironic as he had to hold the relatively large device.)
Observations,  Implications and Hypotheses:
  • Nearly 30 million iPhones and iPads were sold.  Compare that to less than 4 million Macs (laptops and desktops, up only 14 percent vs. year-ago) – and less than 8 million iPods, DOWN from year ago.  iPads and iPhones seem to be cannibalizing laptop, desktop and iPod sales.
  • More than twice as many iPads sold as Macs.  iPads are definitely cannibalizing laptop sales
  • iPad sales equivalent to 1/2 iPhone sales
  • In sum, iPads are HOT.  They’re starting to reach a tipping point from: it’s cool to have one to it’s not cool not to have one (I hope that made sense, i.e., it’s becoming embarrassing to not have one – I predict I’ll give into peer pressure within the year at most)
  • Quite a large increase in iPhone sales given growth of Android penetration; hence, it seems that the overall pie is heating up

Source: Apple 3Q earnings report

Being Mobile at Home

Don’t mistake mobile device usage with being mobile… A good chunk of time spent with smart phones, PDAs, iPads, eReaders and other such devices is spent at home.  Think about it.  Picture your well-wired friend – or maybe it’s you – with a laptop before you, a smartphone in your hand, an iPad on the sofa beside you, and an Internet connected TV shimmering its HD (or 3D) images from across the room.  In fact, the latest data from ComScore shows that tablets have the highest share of traffic for digital news consumption during evenings, beating out computers (as well as smart phones) in at-home news consumption. (Source: Moxie Pulse)  Moreover, GlobalWebIndex data suggests that, globally, half of those who access the mobile web do so from home or work, rather than while traveling or “roaming,” or while in a public place.

91 MM Americans Use Mobile Search

Overall, more than 91 million US consumers use the Internet through a mobile device at least monthly, and this increase in on-the-go web usage goes hand in hand with more search activity, particularly for local content.  20% of mobile search users do so almost every day.

Meanwhile, the debate between App and Wap (ok, browser) continues, with mobile search engine usage currently exceeding search via apps by 70% as of August 2011 – According to Yahoo! and Ipsos, via eMarketer.

Facts from Jimmy Wales at OMMA Global (September 26, 2011)

  • One out of every two Americans owns a smartphone [whoah, that's DOUBLE the 25% shown for Q2 2010 if you scroll down]
  • 15.1 million tablets shipped worldwide (I have seen other numbers for this metric that I will add to this post… Ok, eMarketer is estimating 24MM for 2011 and 46MM in 2012)

Android is #1 U.S. Mobile Operating System – Q2 2011

  • As of June 2011, the Android operating system accounted for 39% of the total U.S. mobile market, making it the #1 mobile operating system in the country.
  • Apple maintains its share of 28% share, while Blackberry OS from RIM (Research in Motion)  has fallen from market leadership (nearly 40% in 2009 – scroll down) to third position with only 20% market share.
  • These three operating systems (representing 87% of the market) are followed by Windows Mobile/WP7 (9%), Palm/HP Web OS (2%), and Nokia’s Symbian OS (2%)
  • Apple is the leading handset maker in the United States whilst Android is the top mobile operating system. (Nielsen)
  • Apple overtook Nokia to become the world’s leading smartphone vendor in July (Nielsen research and IDC figures)
  • According to a report by the NPD Group, the Android operating system accounted for 52% of the smartphones sold in the second quarter of 2011, up from 36 percent sold in Q1 2011 according to previous data by Gartner.


Geolocation: What Art Thou to Me? Part VII


Welcome to the continuation of a day in the life of geolocation and me.  Not really a day but several years.  I started keeping this little journal (in chronological rather than blog order…) several years ago (three?) when I first met Baratunde Thurston and Dennis Crowley and joined Foursquare.  I was so fascinated by the “game” from so many perspectives: a user, the founders, national marketers, local retailers, data junkies like myself.  So, in the name of good ethnographic and social anthropological research, I started keeping this journal of my time with geolocation.  I welcome you to check it out should you like to share my thoughts:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Little to no mention of geolocation here at Social Media Week NYC thus far. Get Glue (not really LBS) was represented on a panel. No sign of Dennis Crowley. Pinterest and Instagram (which does have a bit of a geolocation aspect) are all the talk at the moment.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Facebook has recently enabled Near Field Communication (NFC). Is this this first step towards social commerce such that you can transact within the social environment as you can within the Facebook newsfeed?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Starting in August 2011, I have posted several entries about Amex’s foursquare program. (See, for example, January 13th above.) For more insight and information, check out this live stream video of a Social Media Week panel. As a consumer, I did not realize at first that the strategy came from the B2B perspective, i.e., as a value add/service for AMEX’s small business customers (AMEX Open). The consumer insight was that AMEX cardholders, especially affluent ones, don’t want to pull out coupons or even show their foursquare checkin to a waiter or clerk. This way, by activating a special offer by simply checking in on foursquare and getting the discount credited directly to the user’s AMEX account, it can all be done discreetly (and simply). Now that I’ve got it all connected, I really like it, although… I haven’t had any relevant check-in specials pop up recently. Maybe I need to get out more.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dennis Crowley (the founder of Foursquare) is starring in an ad for Best Buy and Samsung smart phones.  Does that mean Foursquare is in the public consciousness or that smart phones have gone mainstream. Or both? I have to remind myself that there are people who don’t have smart phones. In fact there are people who don’t have access as to the Internet, as evidenced by a public service campaign I saw recently.  To the second point, I recently had a moment of insight during a recent trip to Atlanta.  As I sat on the MART public transport system with my new iPad, I downloaded an app of the public transport system to familiarize myself with the journey, mapped the journey from the transit stop to my hotel, sent “text” messages to my tennis partner, checked my email, thumbed through my digital photo album and listened to music, I looked up to realize that no one else on the train was using a mobile device.  Ok.  One.  There was one person using an iPhone.  For those of you in NYC, I invite you to count the number of smartphones and tablets in use in any one car of a subway, particularly in Manhattan.  I would venture to say 75-80% are “plugged in.”  Very useful, of course, because it’s completely taboo to make eye contact with anyone else on the train.

American Express continues to leverage and expand its program with foursquare – and twitter.  It’s expecially evident during these three weeks of restaurant week.  I was pleasantly surprised during a recent visit to Aquavit that AMEX would reimburse me $5 for my $24 meal if I checked in and activated the offer on foursquare.  In fact, when I check into four restaurants (on my way…), I will receive an additional bonus – $20, I believe.  Today, I checked into China Grill and was devastated to realize that I had left my linked AMEX in my office!  I had taken it out of my wallet to buy a cookie for someone in my office.  That $4 cookie just became a $9 cookie!

Similarly, I recently checked into Andy’s Deli and received a notification that I would get $5 back if I spent $10.  This is part of a “Shop Small” program to encourage small, local establishments to accept AMEX.  I immediately upgraded my $3 salad to a $10 expenditure that included extra add-ins as well as two big bottles of water.  Unfortunately, I realized the next day, when I unlocked a similar special at the nail salon, that I needed to click through one more screen to activate the deal.  I had not done so the day before.  Hence, my additional $7 in expenditures went unrewarded.  I contemplated going back to buy 4 bottles of water for $7 rather than $12 but didn’t want to mess up my pedicure on the walk home.

August 19th, 2012

I’ve just been ousted as Mayor of the Central Park Tennis Center.  Truly devastating after 212 check ins.  I’m not kidding. :-(

Techno-Disaster Averted


ImageWalking home from tennis with my iPad and my iPhone in my open summer purse.  Saw the lightning…

Quickened my gait.  Felt the raindrops!

Jumped a bus.  Arranged the devices as best I could.  I’ve seen this before…

Pulled the cord.  Leapt to the pavement.

Dashed three blocks in my Pliner wedge sandals.  Running between the raindrops, as my mother likes to say.

Made it home!

Watched the people scurry to safety from my window.  Watched the light show from my desk.

Techno-disaster averted.

I Want My WiFi Free


I recently flew to Atlanta on Delta Airlines to attend orientation for my new role as Managing Consultant with Capgemini Consulting.   I must admit that I was not looking forward to flying Delta. Given the choice, I typically fly JetBlue or, when the occasion presents itself, Virgin America – the Apple of air travel.

The last time I flew Delta was coming back from Florida. The trip was uneventful but somehow stressful.  I had flown JetBlue there and even though they lost my luggage for a day, they handled it so nicely, I went away with a really good feeling – a good customer experience.

The time before last I flew Delta to Las Vegas, and I recall spotting a mouse in the waiting area. So, my expectations were not high.

When I arrived at the Delta terminal, however, I was blown away by the technology.  In the waiting area of the gate was a high white table with what looked like iPads, available for passengers to use, as well as plugs for charging their own devices. It looked like something you might find at a trade show or conference. Very slick and modern.

When we boarded the plane, we were informed that there would be in flight wifi available. But not just available. Free. What?  You’re giving me something free on a domestic flight?  I promptly booted up my new iPad to check it out. Aha. The free wifi was sponsored. Brilliant. A much better business model than asking passengers to pay $15 or $20 for access. And a much better consumer experience. After all, I’m telling all of you about it.

And as for the advertiser, well the advertiser got a captive audience that visited a sponsored web page to activate the coverage.  Moreover, the page had an opt out lead generation component so that users would be added to the company’s mailing list unless they unchecked the box.

In addition to this on screen and direct marketing component, the advertiser had a short promotional video incorporated into the in flight television entertainment.

All in all, I thought it was an excellent program. A win win for all involved, And a reason to give Delta a second look.

You’ve Been Placed. And You’ve Been Spotted


Product placement has become to video what social media is to media.  It is intrinsic to its fabric.  It has become second nature.  It has become indiscernible.  And that is why I continue to enjoy observing and calling out the placements I spot.  Here is my third installment.  (Stay tuned for more.)

  • Colbert and Wheat Thins: Colbert coins the term “Sponsortunity” on an episode in which he reads at length from the branding memo for “Wheat Thins” that only someone in brand management could have written.  A real treat and must-see for those in marketing.
  • Diet Coke: Diet Coke seems to have used product placement in its own ad (“Not All Stars Appear On Screen”) during the Oscars.  The commercial shows the evolution of a film from script to production with cameo appearances by Diet Coke cans, e.g., in the hands of the writers and those producing the film and placed on the shelves of the door to the sound stage.

  • Apple: I find it so interesting to see which programs use Apple computers but cover up the otherwise highly visible Apple on the back of each device.  Example: Two and a Half Men.  Clearly, the producers like the aesthetic and how it fits with Ashton’s character, but, I guess they did not strike a deal with Apple, so they cover up the fruit.  Other shows go all the way – do they get paid for that?  In Showtime’s “House of Lies,” the consultants use Lenovo Think Pads.  I would expect no less (and it makes me cringe a little when I think back to my pre-Mac years).

For more examples, check out: Place the Spot, Spot the Placement and Spot the Placement, Place the Spot.

Mobile Facts Change So Fast – 2010


On at least three occasions, I have written posts that incorporated a summary of notable stats about mobile apps and the mobile space in general to set the scene for a topical discussion.  But the facts change so fast that I was continuously updating the posts, and the posts had a tendency to grow and grow at the rate of foursquare subscribers.  So, I’m breaking 2010 into its own post.  It’s not meant to relegate it to the past because it’s not only fascinating but important to see from whence we’ve come.  So feel free to compare these stats and info graphics to those in the 2011-2012 post.

Smartphone Penetration and Share Q3 2010

  • Twenty-eight percent of US mobile subscribers have smartphones as of Q3 2010, according to data from The Nielsen Company
  • 41% of recent mobile phone acquirers have smartphones
  • Among US smartphone owners, the Apple iPhone OS has practically caught up to the market-leading RIM Blackberry OS, with 28% and 30% marketshare
  • Google’s Android OS is now at 19% and growing.
  • The Android is less than 2 1/2 years old – AndroLib.com

Smartphone Penetration and Share 1st Part of 2010

  • Droid outsold Apple: In the first half of 2010, Google-powered Android phones outsold Apple’s iPhone in the U.S. (Nielsen)
  • Among consumers who purchased a smartphone in the first half of 2010, 27% opted for Android phones, compared with 23% who bought an iPhone. Android’s total market share of 13% still lags well behind both Apple (28%) and Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry (35%).
  • Look at Droid go!  Look at Droid grow!

App vs. WAP

  • The discussion of Apps vs. WAPs is heating up with the growth of the Android market and the number of Android champions – Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Google, etc.  The advantage of the mobile app is that it can tap into other mobile apps – and, for me, it’s just cleaner and faster to get to.  The advantage of the WAP (wireless application protocol) is that it can be richer and closer to the online experience.
  • Apple has revolutionized the mobile space by spurring the development of 200,000+ mobile apps for Apple platforms.  Google is calling the browser the “killer app” for mobile that will eradicate the need for developers to create different apps for each platform: Apple, Android, etc.  Personally, I don’t see the app marketplace going away any time soon.  The use of browser applications may increase as connectivity speed increases (says the poor woman with the AT&T service plan), but I would advise my clients to cover their bases with iPhone, iPad, Droid, and WAP versions – at the least.

Apple’s Spring Season (quarter ending June 26th, 2010)

  • Apple sold nearly 12 million iphones and ipads in the quarter ending June, 2010
  • 3.5 million Macs and 8.4 million iPhones were sold, with  iPhone sales increasing 61% versus year ago.
  • The Company began selling iPads during the quarter, with total sales of 3.3 million.
  • iPod sales declined 8% versus year ago, tapping out at 9.4 million units

Apple’s Summer Season (quarter ending September 25th, 2010)

Apple sold:

  • 3.89 million Macs (+ 27 % vs. YAGO)
  • 14.1 million iPhones (+ 91 %)
  • 9.05 million iPods (-11%) – looks like iPhones are cannibalizing iPods
  • 4.19 million iPads (that means 7.49 million since introduction last quarter)

RIM sold 12.1 million units in their last reported quarter – as a point of comparison

Apple achieved its highest revenue ever this quarter ($20.3 billion)

Apple Apps

  • As of September 1, 2010, there are at least 250,000 third-party applications officially available on the App Store, with over 6.5 billion total downloads (“Apple Special Event” via wikipedia)
  • As of June 22, 2010, there were more than 11,000 new applications created exclusively for the iPad (Apple)
  • This does not include “unauthorized” iPhone apps
  • There is a category of apps developed to help people discover… apps.  Notable examples include: AppMiner, BargainBin and StoreExtend for finding bargains and seeing what’s new; Apple’s own iPhone Apps Recommendations and Genius offerings; and Appsfire, Appsaurus, Appolicious, Apptizr and Chomp for recommendations and reviews.
  • iPhone customers who go to the App Store download almost twice as many programs as those who use Google Inc.’s Android Market or BlackBerry’s App World, according to a study from Nielsen Co. (via Bloomberg, September 13, 2010)

How Wired Are We – U.S.?

  • There were 291 million U.S. wireless subscribers as of June 2010
  • 93% of Americans have a mobile phone
  • The number of consumers accessing the mobile Internet in the United States has jumped from 54 million in May 2009 to 72 million in May 2010, a year-over-year increase of 33 percent (Nielsen)
  • Multipurpose smartphones that allow users to access the web and email as well as run thousands of apps and share text and picture messages reached 25% of the U.S. mobile market in June 2010, up from 23% in the prior quarter and 16% just one year ago (data from The Nielsen Company published on its blog Nielsenwire). By the end of 2011, Nielsen predicts smartphones to overtake feature phones in the U.S. market.

How Wired Are We – Globally?

  • There are approximately 5 billion mobile phones in the world; that’s more than two mobile phones for every three people on the planet.  (4.6 billion at the end of 2009; 4.7 billion according to U.N. in February; expected to reach 5 billion in 2010)
  • There are currently 636 million mobile subscribers in India, representing 65% of the population.  The subscription base is expected to reach full penetration by 2014, creating a market of 1.2 billion mobile subscribers. (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India – TRIA, Gartner, Informa Telecoms and Media – July and May 2010)

Ad Networks for Sale

  • In November 2009, Google purchased AdMob for $750 million
  • In January of 2010, Apple acquired Quattro Wireless for $275 million
  • After stating that Google and Apple overpaid for their acquisitions, RIM opted not to purchase Millenial Media for the ad network’s $400-500 MM asking price

The All Elusive Mobile Metrics and Analytics

  • Nokia acquired Motally, an analytics firm that provides companies with data that helps them profile their customers – August 20th, 2010

Mobile Advertising

  • US mobile ad spending is expected to increase nearly 80% in 2010 to reach $743 million. eMarketer estimates that mobile ad spend will exceed $1 billion in 2011 ($1.1 billion) (eMarketer, October 2010)
  • Brand recall rates from mobile marketing are 20 times greater than for the web and 10 times greater than for direct mail (HipCricket via Mobile 4 Franchises – October 26, 2010)

Mobile Health

  • 70% med students own iPhone/iTouch, + 39% vs. 2009. 24% plan to switch to Android –ePocrates, summer 2010
  • Stanford School of Medicine has given an iPad to every incoming student in the Class of 2014.
  • According to an interview with Manhattan Research’s Monique Levy posted on the blog sitePixels and Pills, nearly 75% of physicians have smart phones – 3 times the general population.
  • According to Manhattan Research, as reported on darkdaily.com, smartphone penetration among physicians is expected to reach to 82% by 2011, with more than half that number using the devices for such tasks as administrative work, continuing medical education, and patient care.
  • 20% of physicians plan to get an iPad within the first year of its introduction – Epocrates, February 2010
  • 20 million U.S. adults are accessing health information from cell phones, smart phones or PDAs – a number that has doubled in the last year (March 2010, mmm)

Android Apps

That actually took me quite by surprise.  I had heard and believed estimates that there would be 150,000 Android apps by the end of 2010 back, I believe, in late 2009 or at the start of the year.  But during Internet Week, I was hearing numbers closer to 40,000 (apps available at that time) and over a recent dinner with Sony Ericsson execs, the number I was hearing was 60,000.

But Sebastien Chalmeton tweeted this morning that Android had surpassed the 100K mark – on about the same day that foursquare passed the 2 million mark, by the way, so I am hereby sharing that up to date mobile stat.

However… on July 14th, I attended a talk by a Google mobile executive, and the number he was given by Google PR was, in fact, 65,000, which is more consistent with what I had been hearing  I will have to circle back with AndroLib to understand the discrepancy.  Quite a contrast with Apple’s App Store – single provider, single source of data.  Does Droid have that kind of walled garden approval structure?

  • A year ago, there were 10,000 Android apps – AndroLib.com, July 10, 2010

Geolocation: What Art Thou to Me? Part V


Each day, foursquare has a unique impact on my life as I watch the way in which it influences my city, myself, and increasingly, my world. I decided therefore, a few months after joining the network – May 20th, 2010 – , to keep a little diary of my new life with foursquare

You have now entered Part V this ongoing journal – tracking the personal, sociological and historic milestones associated with the rapidly growing service/game/application. Check my archives for Parts III,  III and IV.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It’s a 40-something sunny day in Manhattan.  I know that because of my desktop widget, but I also know that because Central Park is trending on foursquare, with 38 people currently checked in there.  This made it a lot easier and quicker for me to check in as I headed out for my fourth run this year.  The other times it was snowing and/or in the 20s.  I welcome the opportunity to check into something trending as it takes longer and longer and longer for Foursquare to catch up to where I actually am when I try to log in.  I have been working at Time Warner Cable since January 3rd, but Foursquare thinks I have been there half that time because I am able to successfully check in about half the time.  I suspect this is due in GREAT part to the AT&T network/performance of the iPhone on the AT&T network, and I know that this is one of the most frustrating elements of Dennis Crowley’s business plan, but I can’t help being a bit annoyed with Foursquare as well as AT&T as I stand on the subway platform waiting for my check in to pleeeease go through.

All that said, the fact that I was in fact able to check in efficiently means that I have a relatively accurate reading on how long it took me to run to and from the Park and make it around the (mostly uphill, it seems…) lower loop.  39 minutes is the time.  Please stop laughing.  My current goal is to outpace the horses, the bicycle cabs and the people who walk.  There will be a large celebration on the day I actually outrun another runner.  Thank you to my good friend Fred for running with me.  I shudder to think how slowly I would run without him!

A few months ago, I noticed that “Fall for Dance” at City Center showed up as a venue on Foursquare.  Great marketing.  And a few nights ago I saw another theater venue – Radio City?  or Carnegie Hall? trending.  Now that’s foursquare going mainstream.

This week is social media week.  How many new participants do you think there will be by this time next week?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Last week, I used my first foursquare Nearby Specials.  And, I must say (a) it was quite easy (b) it influenced me to spend $40 more than I had planned.  I was at the Modell’s near my apartment to pick up one or two cans of tennis balls.  As I waited in line – thinking about a past “tip” I had left suggested that one might not want to come to this store if in a hurry… I decided to read the nearby specials.  I saw that if I spent $50 at this store, I would get $10 back.  Gee, I thought, I could use another sports bra, and I’m sure to use up any tennis balls I buy.  So, I did.  I added the sports bra and several cans of balls to my purchase.  I showed the special as it appeared on my iPhone to the girl at the register, and simple, I got $10 back.  Gee, I thought, I just got a bunch of free tennis balls.

This is in contrast to an experience I had the week before at Bed, Bath and Beyond. BBB has trained me to think that there is always a coupon available.  Hence, I am reluctant when in the store to buy anything if I don’t have a coupon with me.  Surely, I thought, however, there must be a mobile coupon available and so I dutifully googled BBB and promotion code.  My phone asked me for my phone number, and, as I navigated the escalator, I attempted to enter it.  Two rejected attempts – rejected rather rudely, by the way, in red font.  As I came to the top of the escalator and saw the huge line at checkout, I decided to buy my Vornado fan another time, which I have yet to do.


Wednesday, September 
21, 2011

My doorman just ousted me as mayor of my apartment building.  I never thought I would see the day.  Game On!

American Express is doing some very interesting things with “synced” foursquare and card accounts.  When you check in or check out a venue, you, as a linked AMEX member, are served with an additional list of special offers.  I first found out about this at the US Open.  AMEX had a huge presence there.

Saw my doorman on the way in just now, and he asked me about foursquare and the whole mayorship race… I feel kind of bad now.  He’s sweet and new to foursquare.  I shouldn’t make him think it’s a competition… but, am I willing to give up being mayor of the venue I created – still hoping for a swarm someday.  I told  him we could trade off.


Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Made my third trip to 16 Handles today, now that I’ve realized they have hot fudge sauce – one of my top 10 food delicacies.  Quite scary to know that HOT fudge sauce is less than two blocks from my apartment at any time.  I’ve settled into a small amount of  frozen yogurt with lots of fruit and a significant dollop of fudge sauce + some coconut shavings and a few chocolate covered pretzels.  (This could get dangerous.)  In any case, 16 handles uses a loyalty card app – check in 4 times and get $2 off the fifth purchase.  I’ve had 1 out of three successful check ins so far.  I’ll let you know the name of the app tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I continue to check into my apartment building diligently.  3 days away from reclaiming my mayorship!  (Though it’s probably more important to have a good relationship with my doorman…)

Friday, September 30, 2011

The AMEX sync program came up during one of the presentations at the OMMA Global conference this week.  I believe it was the one by Fred Wilson, co-founder of Union Square Ventures.  I asked about the popularity of the program given how complex it was to sign up.  He admitted/agreed that the sign up process could be more integrated – not even taking into account that I learn

ed about it offline and had to go online to even start the application.  I believe he said they have 300,000 participants, a number that would be higher if it were more turnkey but that it was clearly a successful program that is being renewed and extended.  (I’ll get the details for you when I have a moment to review recording.)

Here, by the way, is the message I received as part of the signup process (scary stuff): ‎”Connected accounts can build cool things on top of what you’ve done on foursquare. Approving this connection allows them access to do things like update your status, view your check-in history and look at things like your friends list, Tips, and To-Dos.”

On another note, I am now (finally!) mayor of the Central Park Tennis Center and have also reclaimed mayorship (an unelected government position?) of my apartment building.  The game continues, Diego the doorman…

Wednesday, Ocober 5th, 2011

A lot of wait time/delays trying to check into the New York Times Center during Advertising Week.  Quite frustrating.  Typically need to enter the venue manually.  I wish the Times Center would consider getting an AT&T booster.  I read on Twitter that someone had even worse luck with Verizon, downstairs.  Amazing, in a disturbing way.

OMMA and Advertising Week are both obsessed with Facebook, and perhaps rightly so.  What impact will this have on Foursquare.  More so, what will the open graph due to get glue, which, by the way, has gotten some significant traction through corporate promotions.  If I were still in my role at a major cable operator and still working on supporting their five ad-supported VOD channels, I would reach out to Get Glue – assuming I could get approval to use social media, which is currently frowned upon.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My doorman tells me with a big smile that he is going to be mayor next week (of our building), that he is 3 days away.  I can’t imagine that will be the case if I continue to check in multiple times or even once a day.  I think I am going to let him have it – the mayorship, that is.  Though I don’t plan to show that kind of generosity to whoever is looking to be mayor of Central Park Tennis Center.


So, everything new is new again.  New iCloud, new Facebook, new Foursquare.  I can’t begin to tell you how many new passwords!  One for iTunes, one for mobile me, one for my apple ID, one for wordpress on my laptop – that doesn’t work on my computer, one to unlock my iPhone, one to access my voicemail, one for each email account, one for facebook, one for foursquare – different IDs/emails, and different passwords.  I can’t keep up.  But I digress.  What I mean by what’s new is new again is that they all have new interfaces and capabilities again.  So… what happened to my targeted, local specials on foursquare.  I don’t see them.  Maybe I’ll find them eventually.  Am I really less technologically intuitive than the general social media and/or geolocation population?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Foursquare tells me that I have checked into the Central Park Tennis Center 72 times.  So how come that is not reflected in the quality of my forehand?

Monday, October 24, 2011

I don’t take a lot of taxis, but I thought I would indulge tonight after an evening of wine and pizza, chips, pretzels,  Ritz crackers and good conversation at the Harvard Club.  With time to spare, I decided to check in.  To save time, I started by entering the four digit cab ID number.  A year ago, it would have blown my mind to find that someone else had checked in in this taxi – see post front that era with the big photo of taxis.  Tonight, there were two entries.  The question arises, therefore, how many of our many NYC taxis have been catalogued in foursquare???  (p.s. it was a very nice taxi – I think it may be a hybrid.)

Sunday, October 29, 2011

Last night I earned the Greasy Spoon badge for checking into Cafe Luxembourg. a charming and pricey French restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Whoops.  Here is what my award said: “Sticky vinyl booths, bottomless mugs of joe, apple pie fresh out of the display case… Does that waitress have syrup on her hairnet? Sounds like diner heaven to us. Now that you’ve hit 5, treat yourself to onion rings. Or a milkshake. We suggest both.”  I also received the Halloween swarm badge for checking into Snowcopalypse 2011 – on the Saturday before Halloween.  Nice idea.

I know it’s not geolocation, but it’s related: GetGlue, the application in which  you check into cultural activities such as watching a TV show or movie or reading a book, is getting more and more buzz and, as I believe I predicted, has and is starting to leverage huge commercial potential as a vehicle to drive tune-in and engagement.  I wish I had had more time and latitude to get Time Warner Cable’s  “Automotive On Demand” listed there.


For more of my geolocation musings, check out the Geolocation tab above and/or Part VI of this series.