Security As a Differentiator

blackberryEngadget posted an interesting article today on ‘BlackBerry reveals the lengths it went to make Android Secure’. This is after BlackBerry CEO John Chen previously revealed that BlackBerry could quit the handset business next year if it doesn’t sell enough handsets.

With the new Android Priv device, BlackBerry is trying to use its reputation as a secure device vendor to differentiate itself from the very many other Android vendors.
Security researchers will, no doubt, be eager to test the security claims and hence it remains to be seen if BlackBerry championing a secure Android handset is a wise or foolish endeavour.

This got me thinking about security as a differentiator. This might equally be applied to apps as well as handsets. Consumers are becoming ever wiser to privacy and security concerns and in the right circumstances this might be able to be used to tip the balance in favour of the app you are creating. However, as with BlackBerry (and indeed Snapchat), it really depends on how secure your solution really is.

iOS Taking Market Share From Android

kantarKantar has some new research for Q1 2015 showing that Android switchers are driving iOS sales growth in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. iOS share has increased by 1.8% to 20.3% since last year. Meanwhile, in the U.S., iOS reached a market share of 36.5% and Android 58.1%. iOS growth is mainly being driven by phablet sales.

Where Enterprise Mobility is Headed


Globo have a new infographic that gives some insights into enterprise mobility. 40% of employees now BYOD, double that in 2012. Blackberry is now irrelevant and Windows Mobile has failed to gain much traction in the Enterprise.


1 in 4 Android phones have software that hasn’t been updated since 2012 that gives companies a potential security issue.

Comprehensive Mobile Device Usage Report (and data)

scientiamobile.pngScientiamobile has a MOVR report for April to July 2014. It’s a free report (pdf) based on WURFL and WIT usage data. It gives information on smartphone and tablet use across manufacturers, devices, operating systems, screens size and countries. 

The report covers only a small subset of the raw data that’s also available as csv and JSON data. The data is useful if you wish to analyse usage in a specific country or for a class of devices.

Areppim Mobile OS Market Share

areppim.pngAreppim has a chart showing how OS market share has changed over time. The chart is based on data from StatCounter Global Stats which means it’s based on browser views (user agents) as opposed to OS device shipments.

Over the last year, iOS market share has been stable while Android has increased at a monthly rate of 2.17%.

As these numbers are based on browser views they might better represent the installed base than OS device shipments. However, with the trend for people using apps rather than the web, measuring OS market share this way might have it’s own inherent biases.

Kantar Interactive Smartphone OS Stats

kantar.pngKantar has a great new interactive web page that shows multiple countries and how smartphone OS market share has changed over time in your selected country.



The data can also be viewed as a Word File.

VisionMobile’s Developer Economics Q1 2014 Thoughts

visionmobile.gifVision Mobile has a new Developer Economics Q1 2014 report based on a survey of 7,000 app developers in 127 countries. As might be expected, iOS and Android are very dominant and iOS remains as top revenue earner. However, if you want apps to provide revenue, read on.

The ecosystem was worth $68 billion in 2013 and is projected to grow to $143 billion in 2016. This seems like a huge incentive for companies to take up mobile if they haven’t done so already. However, where’s the money? We are told…

"60% of developers are below the “app poverty line”, i.e. earn less than $500 per app per month"

How can this be? How can such a large, tens of billions, market result in such a low income per app? The report provides some extra insights on the revenue distribution across and within platforms… 

Even on iOS, a few apps (mainly games I guess) represent the majority of the income. So why do developers continue to develop apps when they aren’t likely to make any money? The report provides some insights on developer motivations…


It can be seen that Hobbyists, Explorers, Product Extenders, Enterprise and, to some extent, Guns for Hire and Digital Media Publishers don’t really care about the ability to generate revenue.

What does this mean for entrepreneurs in the mobile space? Well, if you are thinking of making money from apps (‘Hunters’ as Vision mobile calls them) then you are probably wasting your time unless you think you can be part of the small slice of the market (games?) that makes the majority of the money. Instead you probably need to change your business model to become one of the other categories of developer.

Market Share vs Installed Base

guardian.gifThe Guardian newspaper blog has a thought provoking post on why an 80% market share might only represent half of smartphone users. The main insight is that the latest sales don’t necessarily reflect the installed base. This is something I have previously mentioned in the context of stats, fragmentation and as long ago as 2009 and 2008. The same reasoning might also be applied to PCs.

The best indication you can obtain is one that measures use, in the geographic region you are targeting, for the type of app you intend to create. Obviously, this might be a chicken and egg situation as you might not have created your app yet. However, if you are re-writing an existing app you might actually have the numbers and that’s where it get more interesting.

On a recent project, in the UK, we has usage across smartphone devices prior to a re-write. What was interesting was the use was very similar to the current reported sales shares. Why, I don’t know. This was just one case, for one type of app so it probably doesn’t prove much statistically. However, it did make me question if, when people buy a new phone, they tend to experiment more with new apps that might cause the installed base to be less significant.