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70,000 Downloads!

March 16th, 2012

First4apps reached over 70,000 downloads yesterday of all of our apps! Here’s to the next milestone (100,000?) – cheers!

Click on the image for the full graphic …

70211 App downloads for first4apps!

70211 App downloads for first4apps!

Why Businesses cannot afford to ignore mobile internet in 2012!

February 24th, 2012

What was the one thing you made sure you left your house with today, other than your keys, handbag or wallet? Your smart phone by any chance?

I would bet a small fortune, in fact, I’d bet a large fortune that your phone is within reaching distance of you right now. You might actually be reading this on it….

If you’re in business, what do think your customers have on them at ALL times?

Put simply, the opportunity for UK businesses using mobile Internet right now is MASSIVE.

With 1 in 4 UK consumers using mobile Internet every day (that’s 15 million of us), the mobile landscape provides a wealth of opportunity for all businesses. Why? Because the one thing all our customers have in common is that they have a mobile phone. Our customers and prospects are more accessible to us than ever before.

In 2011 over a billion pounds was spent right here in the UK through mobile devices. But it’s not all about retail and mCommerce (mobile commerce)!

Whatever industry sector you’re in, there is a place for mobile apps and mobile websites. If you check your website statistics, I’d estimate that upwards of 20% of your existing web traffic comes from mobile devices and that figure will be rising. So people are already trying to engage with you on mobile.

Therefore as a minimum, a mobile website should be something that any business with a website presence should have.

Mobile apps are something that I’m regularly asked about as to whether I believe they have a place in all businesses. My answer to that question is a resounding definitely!

In my view, there are three uses for a mobile app by a business:

1) To sell through it
2) To engage better with customers / prospects (Marketing)
3) To streamline business process

All businesses can use number 2 and that’s why I believe that mobile apps can be leveraged for any business.

As the mobile landscape evolves, it’s creating a wealth of opportunity for all businesses and its one businesses can’t afford to miss.

I believe that all businesses can use apps to engage better with customers and prospects, leading to increased sales and growth. Apps are more than just a gimmick. They are a platform that enables any business to get better connected with customers and keep that business top of mind.

Mobile apps and mobile websites provide your customers and prospects with not only immediate access to your businesses products or services, but also convenient access. Your customers and prospects are now more accessible than ever before and they like convenience, if you make it easy for them, they are more likely to buy from you!

Mobile apps and mobile web provide this convince and so much more.

Just think about the things mobile has killed or is killing – don’t let your business be one of them!!

A few things mobile is killing:

o Calculators
o Alarm Clocks
o Cameras
o Video cameras
o MP3 players & Hi-Fi’s
o Teletext (does anyone use that anymore?)
o Watches (They’re a dress piece now – not for telling the time)

A question for you to ponder:

Q: Did the iPhone kill the iPod?

Our Apps Hit 50,000 Downloads – first4apps

February 3rd, 2012

Today we hit the 50,000 downloads mark, which is great news for us, but even better news for our clients!

Distimo Stats - 50000 downloads for first4apps

Distimo Stats - Click to see larger image.

Research Company Deloitte Make Predictions for 2012

January 20th, 2012

Deloittes telecommunications predictions for 2012 make interesting reading … for example the number of apps available on all markets will double this year. 2012 will also see a significant increase in the production and sales of sub £65 smartphones. For the rest of their predictions, read on …

 

Deloitte analyses top trends for the telecoms industry for 2012
17 January 2012

The number of £65 “smartphones” in use will reach 500 million.
The number of apps available will surpass two million by year-end 2012, double the total as of December 2011.
The volume of data sent between devices via short-range wireless connections, bypassing the Web, will double in 2012.

 

The Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice at Deloitte today announces its predictions for the telecoms sector in 2012, forecasting that the over half a billion low-cost smartphones (costing less than $100, or £65) will be in use by the end of 2012.

 

Jolyon Barker, global lead for Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry, comments: “This year’s predictions cover a range of topics, including the future for apps, demand for data and the rise of devices with near-field communications technology.

 

“The number of apps available reached one million in December 2011 and will double again by the end of 2012. However, the proportion that are paid for remains small. Only a fifth of downloaded apps sell more than 1,000 copies and only a tiny proportion of unpromoted apps will ever become successful.”

Simon Kerton-Johnson, lead telecoms partner at Deloitte, adds: “The number of devices with embedded near-field communications technology is set to soar to 200 million by the end of 2012. NFC – the transfer of small amounts of data over a very short distance – has been dominated by the ‘wave and pay’ notion of embedding a credit card into a mobile phone but the application of the technology is likely to have a wider reach.”

 

The $100 (£65) “smartphone” reaches its first half billion

 

Smartphones are typically considered high-end devices; yet by year-end 2012, at least 500 million $100 (£65) “smartphones” will be in use. These devices will have the look and feel of smartphones, sporting touch screens or full qwerty keyboards. $100 smartphones will have weaker processors, less memory, slower connectivity options, lower resolution cameras – but purchasers of these devices will be happy to trade off lower specifications for lower price. The rise of the $100 (£65) smartphone is comparable to the growth of the netbook, which offered a low-cost and low-powered alternative to standard laptops. The biggest demand for $100 smartphones is likely to be in emerging markets where Internet access is low but the desire for communication and information services is growing. Yet, the $100 (£65) smartphone could also appeal to users in mature markets where it could become a perfect teenage ‘starter’ phone. This will put pressure on the supply chain to cut the price of components but also presents a challenge for app developers as low-cost smartphone owners are less likely to want to pay for downloads.

 

So many apps – so little to download

 

The demands on the developer are increasing as the variety of smartphones and tablets increases. To reach a global target market, a developer may have to make 360 different variants which has almost called time on the part-time app developer. With so much choice on offer, app-store providers should consider ways to improve and assure the quality of the products on offer. Stores should look to differentiate by considering subscription models focused on different genres, or selected by editors, that would create ‘app bundles’. As smartphones go truly mass market, there will be a growing demand for local language, local content apps.

 

Web Bypass: delivering connectivity without the internet

 

The strain on networks, both fixed and mobile, is set to force more people to turn to short-range wireless connections to transfer data. Such technology has been pervasive before in the form of infrared and Bluetooth connectivity and is set for a resurgence in the form of web bypass – cutting out the need to connect to the internet at all – as the need for the quick transfer of data between devices and users grows. Roughly one per cent of all wireless data exchanged in 2012 will be between devices rather than routed over the internet, double the level of 2011. With telecoms companies balancing the need to invest in network improvement with the demands of customers for data capacity, web bypass will emerge as a third network option alongside fixed broadband and mobile for transferring information.

 

NFC and mobile devices: payments and more!

 

Many people remain uncomfortable with the notion of using a phone to pay for items and consumer perception about the security and battery-draining aspects of NFC need to be overcome. Even if 2012 turns out to be no more than a “transitional year” for mobile payments, the NFC chips will not go to waste. There are thousands of applications of NFC – from gambling, to games to healthcare – that could build up a head of steam over the course of the year, even if the media continues to focus on the ‘digital wallet.’

first4apss Exhibiting at the London 02

January 16th, 2012

first4apps is exhibiting at Business 2012 at the O2 London from the 18th to 20th March, where Chris Williams our MD will be hosting some seminars about the benefits of a mobile presence for small to medium sized businesses.

 

First 4 Apps – Why Businesses Cannot Afford To Ignore Mobile Internet In 2012

During this high energy seminar, first4apps Managing Director, Chris Williams, will explain and demonstrate why businesses cannot afford to ignore mobile internet in 2012.

Breaking down the barriers and in no nonsense style, Chris will talk through the challenges facing small and medium sized business with mobile internet and then show you how to overcome them.

He’ll explain why having a mobile presence is vital to all businesses, no matter what your sector is, and how mobile apps and mobile websites can be used to get more enquirers, engage better with customers and grow your business.

Finally, Chris will show you how to set yourself apart from the competition and share the 7 secrets of a successful mobile app and/or mobile website for small and medium sized businesses, giving you the competitive edge, but more importantly – driving sales!

If you’re serious about your business in 2012, this is one not be missed!!

What next?

January 11th, 2012

Hello again,

As there is now less than 200 days until the Olympics start in London, I thought it best to encourage everyone to seriously consider Mobile
products as a serious means to generate exposure/revenue, with an estimated 8 million tickets being sold for the event.

The way I see this, is, there will be a lot of people converging on London, they may be there for the day or maybe a week, they may use public transport or drive themselves, one thing you can pretty much guarantee is that the vast majority will travel with the very minimum of a mobile phone and with recent trends showing, and I quote statistics from a Google study, conducted by Ipos/OTX;

  • 79% of Smartphone owners use their phone to assist with shopping
  • 70% use their phones while shopping in-store
  • 74% of smartphone shoppers made a purchase as a result of using their smartphone

More interestingly and, in my opinion, the statistic that generates more wrinkles on my forehead are;

  • Frequency: 89% of respondents use their smartphone throughout the day
  • Location: 93% use it at home; 87% while on the go; 77% in a store; 73% in a restaurant and 72% at work
  •  Activity: 81% of smartphone activity is browsing the Internet; 77% is using a search engine; 68% is using an app and 48% is watching videos. Also, 90% of users have taken action as a result of a smartphone search
  • Multitasking: 59% of respondents use their smartphones while waiting in line; 40% while socializing; 39% while in the bathroom; 27% while cooking (imagine how many of the above ticket holders will be doing these!)

This is not the be all and end all of the opportunities this year, there are the Paralympics to consider, also the Queens Diamond Jubilee and my Birthday (still waiting for my red Ferrari if my wife’s reading).

Stats taken from http://goo.gl/XmMfU
and http://goo.gl/TgKXx

Mike Geer

Operations Manager

First4apps

Festive ‘Mobile’ Trends and Sales.

January 5th, 2012

Hi All,

After a really busy Christmas and New year, figures are in and retailers have seen a massive increase in online/mobile sales as opposed to ‘through the doors’ sales!!

 

After eagerly waiting for performance results over the festive period I thought I would share some significant points I found;

 

Taken from The Guardian

 

“A successful online ordering service and the consumer’s preference for takeaways over dining out helped Domino’s Pizza remain buoyant, reporting a like-for-like sales increase of 3.6% for the last quarter of 2011. Domino’s, the biggest pizza delivery company in Britain, said that it achieved sales of £530.6m for 2011, compared with £483m for 2010. As many other high street retailers falter, Domino’s has been boosted by its focus on e-commerce, with online orders now making up 44.3% of deliveries.” – http://tinyurl.com/74bseh7

 

Sky.com stated

 

“The firm’s (Domino’s Pizza) website now takes orders topping £1m a day, with orders made on mobile phones now accounting for 12% of that total.” – http://tinyurl.com/74a39ym

 

In a separate article The Guardian stated some eye-opening facts

 

“As consumers swooped on discounted items – with laptops, flat screen televisions, Dyson vacuum cleaners and bed linen among the best sellers – there were 356,000 mobile visitors to the John Lewis site from the start of the sale to Boxing Day, out of a total 2.9m digital visits.

 

Mobile traffic to the John Lewis online clearance sale has soared 119% on last year’s levels and the amount of cash spent online from mobile phones was up 46% since the sale began at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

 

During this year’s Christmas shopping season, 15% of people in Britain logging on to a retailer’s website are expected to have done so from a mobile device, be it a smartphone or a tablet computer, according to data gathered from the websites of 150 leading retailers by IT group IBM.

 

Of all online sales, 11% were made from a mobile internet connection in October 2011, according to IBM – up from 3.1% in the same month last year.

 

“Mobile shopping is dramatically more significant this year than it ever has been before,” said Richard Dodd, British Retail Consortium (BRC) head of media. “People are now carrying round access to a whole world of price and product information they couldn’t have before and that means retail is an even more competitive business.”

 

The BRC-Google online retail monitor, published in October, showed that while the rate of growth for online retail has slowed this year to about 10%, mobile is booming. In the third quarter of the year, one in ten retail searches were happening on mobile devices, with the desktop search total increasing 35% year on year compared to a 168% boom in mobile inquiries. “The most notable thing within online retailing is this really rapid increase in the use of mobile devices,” said Dodd.” – http://tinyurl.com/cenys55

 

All in all the message has to be, get a mobile presence, and if you do already have a mobile presence, focus and advertise the fact……

 

For help and assistance with your ‘mobile solutions’ be it creating new and additional presence or advertising methods for your existing setup, give one of our ‘mobile experts’ a call on 0121 630 2072.

 
Mike Geer
Operations Manager
www.first4apps.co.uk

 

The Wanderers Return – The End of a Journey

November 18th, 2011

5:10 pm, and Chris, Paul, and Jon finally roll-up in front of the office in their spotty automobile! Luv that horn! (watch the video below).

 

It’s been a memorable few days – for all involved, and I’m sure that our drivers will have a few stories to tell come Monday! (I’ll post more on this next week!)

 

Thanks very much  to everyone who took part, assisted, donated, supported, and spread the word – It ‘s very much appreciated, and being for a good cause, something to be proud of. Cheers all!

 

We can still accept donations for a while yet, so visit: http://www.first4apps.co.uk/children-in-need/ for more information, to donate – you can even donate by just a text message.

 

Here’s the teams arrival, and a few last words from Chris. (There is a bit of a lip sync issue, but the message still sounds the same!!)

 

 

Will we do this again next year? Watch this space (blog!) …