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.

CloudOn updates its mobile productivity app, expands to iPhone with Microsoft Office capabilities

CloudOn announced today that it has updated its mobile productivity app to version 3.0 and launched its iPhone app, the first app to bring Microsoft Office integration to the Apple handset.

For years, productivity in the workplace has been tied to Microsoft Office and PCs. Many people around the world know how to use Microsoft Office products, but now they are more mobile than ever, using different types of devices that aren’t a PC like smartphones and tablets. CEO and co-founder of CloudOn Milind Gadekar told Inside Mobile Apps that was the thinking behind the creation of the company.

“We kind of looked at it and said let’s leverage the legacy and behavior of the billion of workers who already use Office and created billions or trillions of documents all in that format,” he says. “These documents are now being saved in Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive and hundreds of different cloud storage providers. Let’s take Office and make it accessible and usable across all devices.”CloudOn iPhone screenshot

The mobile productivity app, which first launched in January 2012. on iPad, allows users to create, review and edit Microsoft Office and Adobe documents and the ability to share documents via cloud storage providers including Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and now Microsoft SkyDrive as part of the version 3.0 update.

The startup also announced that version 3.0 optimizes the app for Android tablets running the Honeycomb version of Android’s OS, Ice Cream Sandwich (version 3.1 and higher) and Jelly Bean (version 4.1 and higher).

CloudOn is an official partner of both Microsoft and Adobe, which allows the company to use Microsoft Office and Adobe services in CloudOn’s app.

CloudOn has a feature dubbed FileSpace, which captures the events — edits, annotations and more — of a user. Eventually, the company wants to to expand this functionality into a group productivity feature where multiple people can share and collaborate on files.

“We have to create this building block because this is one of the building blocks we need to start capturing events so that once I invite you into my world space, you have full visibility into the full event thread,” Gadekar says. “That’s where it comes to life — in a group productivity environment.”CloudOn FileSpace screenshot

Gadekar says competitors to CloudOn include the traditional productivity giants including Microsoft Office (and Office 365), Google Docs and Apple iWork. Gadekar adds that what differentiates CloudOn from the competitors is its horizontal thinking versus the vertical thinking of the competition. Meaning, each competitor has a vertical productivity solution that doesn’t deviate outside of their solution, while the CloudOn app works on different types of devices and provides multiple cloud storage provider options.

CloudOn, which has grown to more than two million users in 10 months, raised $16 million in Series B funding back in May 2012 led by The Social+Capital Partnership and earlier investors including Foundation Capital and Rembrandt Venture Partners, with total funding raised at $26 million, according to Gadekar.

Looking into the next year, CloudOn plans to figure out how to monetize CloudOn in the first half of 2013, and in the second half, the company plans to start catering its app to enterprise services.

Right now, the CloudOn app is available for free, and doesn’t monetize at all, for iOS, Android and Kindle.

Rumble ready to roll out Nightmare Guardians to tablets, preps multiplatform publishing

KingsRoad developer Rumble Entertainment activates on its multiplatform strategy with a second game, Nightmare Guardians, launching on tablets in early 2013.

The company has an aggressive growth strategy aimed at being both developer and publisher right from the point of launch. Rumble secured a $15 million first round of funding nearly a year ago before any of its games had been released. But, as CEO Greg Richardson tells Inside Social Games, Rumble was already hard at work on developing a suite of titles to straddle mobile, social and open web platforms. By covering all the rapidly growing bases, the company is better set up to act as a publisher of third-party titles on any or all of these platforms.

An interesting use case comes from releasing Nightmare Guardians straight to tablet. Based on research collected by Rumble, tablet players spend an average of 25 to 35 minutes in a game session. In contrast, smartphone players only spend 3 to 5 minutes — which isn’t enough time for most games to do the matchmaking needed to create quality synchronous multiplayer. Additionally, smartphones run on a range of connection types — 3G, 4G, WiFi, etc. — while most tablets tend to run games on WiFi only.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t care about smartphones,” Richardson explains. “We definitely have ambitions for smartphones, but we wanted to hit [tablets first]. Our 3D graphics and production values are better suited to tablet screens.”

Read the rest of this story on our sister site, Inside Social Games.

Google unveils new Nexus devices, Android 4.2 OS

Google has expanded its Nexus line adding a Nexus 4 smartphone, a revamped version of the Nexus 7 tablet with options for 3G data, and a new 10 inch tablet dubbed the Nexus 10.

Unveiled today via blog post, all three devices run the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.2. The new version of the mobile operating system adds gesture typing controls, improved dictionaries and text-to-speech capabilities, support for multiple user profiles, wireless display sharing with an HDMI wireless display adaptor, expanded, actionable notifications and improvements to Google Now. Google has also introduced something it calls the Photo Sphere camera — its own answer to iOS 6’s panorama mode.

On the tablet side of things, the brand-new Samsung-built Nexus 10 has the highest resolution of any tablet currently available. The device comes witha 300ppi 2560 x 1600 display, larger the iPad’s 2048 x 1536 Retina display.  The Wi-Fi only device comes with front and rear cameras, 2 GB of RAM and a 1.7 GH dual core Exynos processor. The 16 GB model will cost $399 and the 32 GB model will cost $499, making the Nexus 10 a full $100 cheaper than the comparable models of iPad.

While the Nexus 7’s technical specs remain unchanged, Google has introduced new models with higher storage capacity and added the option for 3G data. Google has also lowered the price on the Nexus 7 line to make it even more competitive against Amazon’s and Apple’s offerings. The Wi-Fi only Nexus 7 now costs $199 for a 16 GB device and $249 for a 32 GB device. An HSPA+ 3G enabled device with 32 GB of storage capacity will cost $299. By comparison, the standard 16 GB Wi-Fi only iPad Mini is priced at $329, and a comparable 32 GB LTE iPad Mini will cost $559.

Finally, the new Nexus 4 smartphone comes with a 4.7” screen with 320 PPI display and 1280 x 768 resolution. The device also has a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 2 GB of RAM, an 8 MP rear-facing camera and is available with either 8 or 16 GB of storage. The phone has both NFC and Bluetooth, but does not support LTE internet. Prices range from $199 for a 16GB device with a two year contract to $349 for a fully unlocked 16 GB device.

The Nexus 4 smartphone and the Nexus 10 tablet will be available for purchase through the Google Play store on November 13. The new versions of the Nexus 7 tablets are shipping now.

Google pushes for higher quality tablet apps on Google Play

iOS may have the lead in the tablet market now, but Google is looking to change that by improving Google Play’s tablet resources. The company has just released a blog post outlining how to create top-quality Android apps for tablets, accompanied by case studies and documentation.

The company’s new Tablet App Quality Checklist is basically a cheatsheet for developers to help them create Android tablet apps that will meet “the expectations of tablet users” — i.e., look as good as those found on iPads and Kindle Fires. According to today’s post, Google is also doubling down on its promotional efforts; the company is creating a new set of Google Play collections specifically to showcase high quality tablet apps.

Its a logical move for Google to try to improve its tablet experience. Until the release of the Nexus 7, most Android-based tablets — with the exception of Amazon’s line of Kindle Fire tablets — hadn’t been able to do much to challenge the market dominance of Apple’s iPad.

Now that Google has its own horse in the Android tablet race, it doesn’t take much of a leap to see that the quality of Android tablet apps has to improve. Not only to ensure that developers want to see the same kind of conversion and monetization they see from iPad apps, but to ensure Android tablets sell at all. With Apple heavily rumored to release a smaller, lower-cost 7” tablet in time for the holidays, Android tablets likely won’t have the advantage of a significantly lower price-point when consumers are looking at their tablet options.

Agawi teams with Microsoft to bring cloud-based gaming to Windows 8

Game streaming startup Agawi, announced today it is partnering with Microsoft to bring its service to Windows 8 devices.

Agawi got its start in 2010 as iSwifter, a YouWeb incubated company that streamed Flash-based social games to mobile devices. At the time, Flash-based games were much more advanced and lucrative than mobile titles, but as mobile gaming evolved many social game developers went into mobile themselves, cutting out the need for middleman services like iSwifter’s.

At the end of August iSwifter rebranded as Agawi, expanding its streaming options to include mid-core games and hardcore games as well as the Flash-based games it originally supported. According to Agawi’s press release users will also be able to play “popular AAA games” through the service in the coming months. The company currently has a userbase of 3 million players, and offers a Flash web browser for iPad owners through the iTunes App Store.

Under the terms of Agawi’s deal with Microsoft, Agawi will use Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform to stream games to Windows 8 devices, a category that includes desktop computers, laptops and Microsoft’s upcoming line of Surface tablets. At last week’s Lumia 920 launch event, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed the company plans to produce more than 400 million Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices in 2013; if the OS is a hit, Agawi will be well positioned to catch up to its more established competitors in the game streaming market, OnLive and the Sony-owned Gaikai.

Guest Post: For Surface to succeed, app development will be key

Editor’s Note: This guest post comes from Kerry Butters, a contributor for the consumer information site Broadband Genie.  A writer with a passion for all things technology, Butters specializes in security, gadgets and social media.

There’s been much speculation that Microsoft’s upcoming line of Surface tablets could be the devices that will finally pose a challenge to Apple’s dominance of the tablet market. Analytics firm Gartner predicts the iPad will retain a 61.4% share for the whole of 2012, a feat considering the stiff competition being waged by Amazon’s Kindle Fire line of devices and Google’s hyped Nexus 7.

The success of any mobile device really lies within its app store and Apple, Google, and to a lesser extent Amazon, have established rich app store ecosystems. In order for Microsoft to make the Surface devices a success, they will not only have to be great tablets with attractive price points, Surface will need to attract developers. As we have seen with RIM, this isn’t necessarily an easy feat — even their promise of a $10,000 bonus for successful developers wasn’t enough to attract more apps to the flagging Blackberry platform.

Currently, iOS supports more than 700,000 apps for the iPhone and the iPad. Google Play, the official Android market has more than 600,000. Meanwhile, although Windows Phone has just passed the 100,000 app milestone, the RT version of Surface will only run Metro apps and the Windows 8 version will only run existing Windows applications.  Surface devices will need an app ecosystem able to rival Google’s and Apple’s, especially if the RT version of the tablet is to be viable. However, according to a recent report from The Register, it seems that only pre-approved developers will be able to make metro-style apps.

Although the report suggests that this restriction may only apply to Windows smartphones, with Microsoft not releasing more developer information until Sept. 12, the company’s actions seem to be indicating that it is prepared to take its time to establish its app ecosystem. Thus it seems that Microsoft’s attitude might end up being the deciding factor in the fate of its Surface devices.

The open, easy to work with Android platform is the most popular mobile OS in the world for a reason — despite its security issues — and Surface will suffer if Microsoft makes it too difficult for developers to make Metro-style apps, considering there will be new coding standards to get to grips with, even for existing Windows app developers.

All-in-all, it’s difficult to see how Surface is going to make a real difference to the market in the short-term, and only time will tell if Microsoft’s venture will eventually dethrone main rival and market leader Apple.

Amazon revamps Kindle with cheaper 7” version, $299 9” HD Model

As widely anticipated, Amazon has refreshed its popular Kindle Fire tablet, revealing a revamped 7 inch model and a new, more powerful 8.9 inch HD model.

Unveiled today at Amazon’s Los Angeles press event, the updated Kindle Fire keeps the original’s 7 inch display and boasts a new, faster processor which will boost performance by 40 percent according to Amazon, twice the RAM of the original model and a longer battery life. The new Kindle Fire will retail for $159 when it ships on September 14, strategically undercutting the price of Google’s fast-selling Nexus 7 Android tablet, which costs $199 for the 8 GB model.

Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD is 8.9 inches with a 1920 x 1200 display. Physically, the new tablet is 8.8 mm thick and weighs in at 20 ounces. The processor is a TI OMAP 4470, which Amazon claims can process 50 percent more operations per second than the standard Kindle’s Tegra 3 chip. Amazon has also added stereo speakers and dual band Wi-Fi antennas. The Kindle Fire HD only comes in a 16 GB model. It will cost $299 and a 4G LTE model will also be available for $499. Data plans will cost $49.99 per year and will cap at 250MB of data per month. The Kindle Fire HD will ship on November 20.

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