Juniper Research: Shipments of hybrid “phablets” will reach 120 million by 2018


Sales of “phablets” are on the rise, according to research firm Juniper Research, whose latest report studies the market for these smartphone and tablet hybrids, with screen sizes of at least 5.6 inches. While 20 million of these devices were reportedly sold through 2013, Juniper predicts over 120 million units will be shipped by 2018.


CES 2014: Mobile tech and apps from the Consumer Electronics Show


Each year, Las Vegas plays host to the Consumer Electronics Show, where the biggest and newest trends in technology are shown off to eager attendees from around the world. Can’t make it to the show this year? That’s alright, as we’ve got a look at some of the newest tech and apps being shown at the convention this year.


Adroit Digital: 55% of consumers would consider replacing PC with tablet

Image via Adroit Digital

Image via Adroit Digital

Advertising company Adroit Digital has released the results of its latest survey, aimed at measuring tablet usage and how those tablets are changing the way content is consumed. With tablet usage on the rise, the study found 55 percent of consumers would consider replacing their traditional PC with a tablet.


Google I/O: Here’s how to make money on Google Play; IAP revenues up 700 percent Y-o-Y

android-logo-250-250At a Google I/O session today covering monetization in Google Play, Ibrahim Elbouchikhi, Google Play product manager for commerce and monetization, revealed that in-app revenues increased 700 percent year-over-year from May 2012 to April 2013.

Elbouchikhi also says since launching the ability to monetize through subscriptions a year ago, revenue has doubled each quarter. He notes internet radio service Pandora as a perfect example of a top grossing app which monetizes its users via a subscription model.

Android for tablets is starting to show some growth now, Elbouchikhi reveals. In the past 12 months, Google was seeing a 1.7 times higher purchase rate of apps on tablets compared to apps on smartphones. “The additional cost of optimizing your apps for tablets is well worthwhile,” he says. Additionally, there’s a 2.2 times higher purchase rate on recent platform versions compared to prior ones. “Take advantage of the latest features, whether its Google+ sign-in or all the latest APIs released at I/O this week.” On top of all this growth, average revenue per user (ARPU) is 2.5 times greater year-over-year.

Below is a chart, showing that higher-rated apps in Google Play monetize better:App ratings monetization

Google hasn’t been slowing down at all when it comes to adding and optimizing forms of payment. In July 2012, Google introduced the Google Play gift cards at retail. Google also launched promotional campaigns for Google Play credit by partnering with pre-paid phone providers, offering a $50 Google Play credit if a user purchases a particular pre-paid phone, for example. Carrier billing, one of the most lucrative forms of monetization in various parts of the world, is now available to 50 percent of Google Play’s daily active users. Google also optimized the purchase flow, making it more contextual, faster and simpler. According to Elbouchikhi, Google has dropped latency by 35 percent when users make purchases. Looking forward, Elbouchikhi says Google will invest more in expanding Google Play gift cards to more markets as well as carrier billing. (more…)

Animoca: 7-inch tablets dominate the Android tablet market, Samsung the leading manufacturer

Animoca logoAndroid-focused mobile game developer and publisher Animoca today released Android tablet data gathered from its network of users, which showed that four of the five most used tablets were of the 7-inch screen variety, and Samsung devices were the first and second most popular tablets overall.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 (includes p3100 and p3113) took an 11.8 percent share and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 grabbed an 8.3 percent share. Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices also faired well, coming in at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, with a 7.5 percent share for the standard Kindle Fire and a 4.9 percent share with the HD model. Another notable tablet was Asus’ Google Nexus 7, which generated a 3.8 percent share.

Beyond the No. 7  spot, the remaining tablets each claimed less than a one percent market share. So, given an error margin of 0.1 percent and the slight differences between the No. 8 tablet onward, Animoca says it couldn’t be sure of the correct ordering.

Developers should be creating mobile apps made for their target audience, and knowing which devices to develop for like tablets, in terms of screen size, hardware specifications, and platform market share, is important.

Animoca previously released similar data that analyzed for most used devices on its network, taking a look at the top Android smartphones in markets like the U.S., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and India.

The Hong Kong-based game company collected data for this report from 978,000 users worldwide who used Google Play and played an Animoca game on a tablet device between February 18 to March 20.

Ludei adds 3D support to its HTML5 platform


HTML5 platform provider Ludei today announced it’s adding 3D support to its game development platform, allowing developers to deliver WebGL 3D games to most smartphones and tablets.

Ludei’s platform will support 3D games using the open WebGL standard, a JavaScript API and the browser equivalent of OpenGL, used in triple-A console and PC games.

“Our 3D rendering allows today’s most popular mobile devices to run a 3D HTML5 game with the same great user experience and performance that native gamers are used to.” Ludei CEO Eneko Knorr said.

Developers can use Ludei’s technology to deliver their 3D titles cross-platform to Google Play, the Apple App Store and more. Developers interested in using Ludei’s new 3D technology can get started here.

Ludei is showing off its new product at GDC 2013 in San Francisco. We’ll have more on it on Wednesday when the show floor opens.

We last heard from Ludei when it announced the Ludei Cloud Compiler, which allows developers to build games and web apps as HTML5-based projects and then turn them into native apps that can be easily distributed to the Apple App Store and Google Play.

GDC survey of developers finds interest in mobile greater than consoles


The Game Developers Conference polled more than 2,500 people who attended last year’s conference, finding that more of the respondents are developing for smartphones and tablets than for any other platform.

38 percent of developers surveyed released their last game on smartphones and tablets, and 55 percent are developing their current games for these platforms. 58 percent plan to release their next games on these platforms.

PC and Mac were next on the list, with 34.6 percent of developers releasing their last games on these platforms, 48 percent developing their current games for the platforms, and 49 percent planning their next games for PC or Mac.

When asked about what currently released or upcoming platforms they’re interested in developing for in the future, developers also favored the mobile devices. 58 percent expressed interest in tablets and 56 percent expressed interest in smartphones. Android home consoles, like the OUYA and GameStick, are also high up the interest curve at 37 percent.

Perhaps most telling of the games industry’s shift to the tablet and smartphone space is the declining interest in home consoles and dedicated gaming handhelds.

For example, of the the three major home consoles, most developers are currently developing for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, but these still amount to only 13.2 percent of developers surveyed. Among handhelds, most developers are currently making games for Sony’s PlayStation Vita, but these accounted for only 4.2 percent of developers surveyed.

GDC will conduct a similar survey at the upcoming GDC 2013.

Apple and Samsung remain top device manufacturers on Millennial Media’s platform

Millennial Media today released its 2012 year in review Mobile Mix Report, which showed Apple and Samsung remaining the top device manufacturers on its platform.Millennial Media logo

Apple remained the No. 1 OEM manufacturer on the mobile ad network’s platform in 2012, increasing its impressions share 5 percent year-over-year from 26 percent to 31 percent of the total impressions on Millennial Media’s top 15 device manufactures list. Samsung also maintained its No. 2 spot on the top 15 device manufactures list, thanks to a 5 percent growth in impressions since 2011 from 17 percent of total impressions on Millennial’s platform to 22 percent. The most notable newcomer to the ad network’s top 15 manufacturers list for 2012 was Amazon, landing at the No. 11.

Apple’s suite of iPhone devices — including the 4S, 5, etc. — also remained the top device on Millennial Media’s network in 2012, accounting for 15.59 percent of impressions, a 72 percent increase year-over-year. Impressions for Samsung’s flagship smartphone device, the Galaxy S, grew 182 percent in 2012, moving the device up five spots to the No. 2 position on Millennial Media’s top 20 mobile phones list. Tablet-wise, the Apple iPad stood pat as the No. 1 tablet on Millennial’s platform for 2012.

Based on ad impressions on Millennial’s network, smartphones were once again the leading device in 2012, increasing 7 percent for a 75 percent share of the total platform impressions. In second were non-phone connected devices — tablets, e-readers, etc. –, increasing 5 percent year-over-year to 20 of impressions in the ad network’s platform. Millennial Media attributed the majority of the growth of that category to the adoption rate increase of tablets. The feature phone category, as expected, fell from 17 percent in 2011 to 5 percent in 2012.Millennial Media Mobile Mix Report February 2013 1

Now the breakdown for the operating systems on devices was stagnant year-over-year. Android was once again the top OS on Millennial’s platform at 48 percent, which was only a 1 percent increase since 2011. iOS was the second largest OS, with 32 percent of the impression share, down one percent year-over-year. Millennial also broke down OS share for tablets, with iOS taking a 58 percent impression share among all tablet OS. Android took a 41 percent share, with Samsung as the leading Android tablet manufacture with a 45 percent share.Millennial Media Mobile Mix Report February 2013 2

Exclusive: Nexus 7 monetizes better than other Android tablets, says TinyCo

Mobile game developer TinyCo’s monetization data finds that Google’s Nexus 7 tablet generates 50 percent higher ARPU than the average Android tablet.

“It’s encouraging for us,” says Mike Sandwick, TinyCo’s manager of strategic partnerships. “We have a reputation that’s pretty unique in terms of our commitment to Android. It’s continuing to pay off for us and Google is making these really great devices that have great user experiences like the Nexus 7 in terms of hardware. Jellybean is just awesome. We’re very, very pro everything that’s happening on Android right now, and we’re very psyched to be able to keep developing for the platform.”TinyCo Nexus 7 50 percent higher ARPU graphic

Not only that, TinyCo says users are 50 percent more likely to make in-app purchases on the Nexus 7 compared to users of other Android tablets. Although the Nexus 7 only represents 15 percent of TinyCo’s Android tablet user base, 30 percent of TinyCo’s Android tablet revenue is generated by Nexus 7 users. Lastly, Nexus 7 users tend to demonstrate about 20 percent higher 7- and 30-day retention rates.

TinyCo didn’t take into account Kindle Fire data, which is a device that’s powered by the Android operating system, because there’s monetization system differences between the Amazon Appstore for Android and Google Play that affect metrics such as ARPU on TinyCo’s end.

There is the common thought in the industry that iOS monetizes better than Android, but that hasn’t always been the case for TinyCo, previously citing free-to-play game Tiny Village as an example of seeing higher levels of monetization on Android versus iOS.

“We see monetization that’s surprisingly similar,” says Nick Ross, TinyCo director of analytics and user acquisition. “If you just look at it across everything, there probably are some slight differences, but those are all due to known factors like the number of Singaporean users is different from one platform to the next.”TinyCo Nexus 7 users 50 percent more likely to make in-app purchases graphic

Google manufacturing it’s own first-party tablet allows developers to test and monetize better, Ross adds.

“It’s going to encourage other people to develop on the platform, which is awesome,” he says. “We’re pro more games on the platform.”

In a recent Q & A, W3i’s general manager Erik Lundberg told Inside Mobile Apps that since tablets are a luxury item, consumers monetize on tablet better than they do on smartphones. Google itself is even helping developers create better Android tablet apps, with Google’s Tablet App Quality Checklist, seeing as it’s in Google’s best interest to push Android tablet development now that they have their own tablet device on the market.

TinyCo analyzed it’s most recent Android game Tiny Monsters for the Android tablet data it shared with Inside Mobile Apps.

TinyCo Nexus 7 generates 30 percent of Android tablet revenue and 15 percent of Android user graphic

Supercell generating $1M a day


Clash of Clans screenshot


One of the world’s hottest gaming companies, Finnish startup Supercell, is reportedly generating $1 million in gross revenue a day from just Hay Day and Clash of Clans, the company’s only two active iOS games, according to recent reports from PandoDaily and The Next Web.

[contextly_sidebar id="b73407d8cc9637e93135f2a9b0818e35"]No more than three months ago, Supercell told the New York Times in October 2012 that it saw sales in upward of $500,000 a day and $15 million in gross revenue a month, with only two games in its stable. PandoDaily later reported in November 2012 $750,000 in gross revenue. Minus Apple’s standard 30 percent cut of transactions from the Apple App Store, Supercell would be currently pulling in $700,000 a day. The revenue is also nearly split evenly between iPad and iPhone. Costs to run the company each day are said to be as low as $60,000, says PandoDaily.

“It’s weird for us, even internally, seeing all this speculation about how much money we’re making per day,” Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen told PandoDaily.

November data from App store analytics company App Annie showed Supercell in first place in terms of monthly iOS revenue, topping big publishers such as Electronic Arts, GREE and Rovio. To put it into perspective, EA has 969 iOS apps in its portfolio compared to Supercell’s two. Clash of Clans and Hay Day nabbed the No. 1 and No. 2 spots (read our reviews for both titles here and here), respectively, on App Annie’s top iOS games by monthly revenue chart. In app tracking company Distimo’s 2012 year in review report, the company put together a top 10 chart of the highest grossing cross-platform publishers, with Supercell as the single app store exception. Distimo’s analytics product ApplQ showed us in Sept. 2012 that Clash of Clans was earning as much as $103,763 a day in U.S.

Apple confirmed the Helsinki-based developer’s success on Monday, stating that Supercell, although clumped together with developer Backflip Studios of DragonVale fame, pulled in $100 million in 2012.

Supercell isn’t without fault. The Finish developer axed three games including its first title Gunshine, a beta release of Battle Buddies, and an unannounced combat strategy game that was pulled in its early stage of development, says PandoDaily.

It’s also important to note that the gaming industry is a hit-driven business. OMGPOP’s Pictionary-like drawing game Draw Something bled users shortly after getting acquired by Zynga. The same fate could be dealt to Hay Day, which released in June 2012, and Clash of Clans, which released in July 2012.

The 70-person social gaming startup is known for their “tablet first” approach, which differentiates the Finnish developer from competitors such as Zynga, EA and GREE. Supercell makes money through in-app purchases from casual farm game Hay Day and village-building game Clash of Clans. Both titles have been at the top on the top grossing iOS apps charts for months. According to our traffic tracking service app data, Clash of Clans is currently the No. 1 grossing app for both iPhone and iPad, while Hay Day is the No. 2 grossing app on iPad and No. 5 on iPhone.Supercell Clash of Clans and Hay Day AppData

Finish developers in general are killing it in mobile gaming right now. Supercell is joined by Angry Birds developer Rovio, with Angry Birds Star Wars performing very well, and Oulu, Finland-based Fingersoft, with its hit title Hill Climb Racing, and Grey Area’s location-based MMORPG Shadow Cities.

Supercell, which was founded in 2010, has raised $15 million to date, $12 million of which from Accel Partners, with other backers including London Venture Partners, Initial Capital, Lifeline Ventures and Cerval Investments. According to PandoDaily, Supercell is the fastest growing company in terms of revenue that Accel Partners has ever seen. Keep in mind that this is a venture capital firm that has invested in the likes of Groupon, Spotify and Facebook. The company was rumored by PandoDaily to be valued at $600 million, with possible acquisition suitors like EA or Zynga.

In 2013, Supercell general manager for North America Greg Harper told The Next Web that the company plans to continue growing and supporting its existing titles and launch a few more games.

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