SMARTPHONE HOME SCREEN: GAME OF THRONES, PART 1

SMARTPHONE HOME SCREEN: GAME OF THRONES, PART 1

Shane BarnhillThursday,6 December 2012

The Snap:

It’s no secret that consumers are spending more and more time heads-down, engrossed in mobile apps — and a couple of recent reports highlight this trend. First, Flurry, a mobile analytics company, has released a study showing that mobile apps are gaining on television in terms of time spent daily. According to Flurry’s data, consumers spend 168 minutes per day watching television, an increase of 3.7% over the past two years. By comparison, time spent using mobile apps is up 92%, to 127 minutes per day (time spent on the non-mobile web has remained flat at 70 minutes per day, BTW).

Second, Mary Meeker released a new “Internet Trends” report this week (see below), which charts the continued rise in global mobile traffic — up to 13% of all Internet traffic in November 2012, compared to just 1% of Internet traffic two years ago.

The Download:

Clearly, mobile devices are becoming the preferred entry point to the Internet for consumers. And thus, it stands to reason that prime real estate on smartphone and tablet screens will grow in importance, especially for those “Gang of Four” companies that are taking strategic positions on the mobile app battlefield in the U.S. — Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook. I’d even add Twitter and Microsoft (and perhaps Samsung) to the discussion, due to their strong positions in social networking and mobility, respectively (sorry IBM, you may be one of “New Four Horsemen of Tech,” but your business doesn’t align with this discussion).

The Iron Throne in this Games of Thrones-style battle, is, of course, your primary mobile device’s home screen. And each of the contestants for the Throne have different strategic inroads. Apple and Google control the world’s most popular mobile operating systems. Facebook and Twitter have dominant social networking positions, and entire app ecosystems have sprung up around their social platforms. Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have valuable content offerings. Samsung and Apple (and to a lesser extent, Amazon and Microsoft) are selling boatloads of hardware.

There are many facets to this battle. However, perhaps none is more important than the real estate on smartphone home screens, given the reports from Flurry and Meeker. As consumers spend more time accessing the Internet through apps, those apps that consumers first see when they first turn on their devices become increasingly important. They serve to funnel consumers into the respective profit-making ecosystems of each mobile Iron Throne aspirant.

I’ll be researching the progress that each Gang of Four (plus 3) adversary is making in the fight for home screen supremacy, knowing full well that it’s just one battle in a larger ecosystem war that The Verge covers in detail (they also include BlackBerry – LOL!).  In the meantime, let me know which companies have claimed the most space on your phone’s home screen. I’m always on the lookout for MOAR APPS!

2012 KPCB Internet Trends Year-End Update from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Hat Tips:

TechCrunch, CNN, Slideshare (KPCB), Image Credit: Quickmeme.com

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