March 3rd, 2014
Gartner’s latest tablet sales numbers show that Android tablets sales exceeded iOS tablet sales for the first time in 2013. Android now has a 61.9% market share while iOS market share has decreased from 52.8% to 36%.
As with smartphones, Gartner says smaller low-cost (7") tablets are driving growth. Apple say they won’t go this small because this small size doesn’t make for a good product.
February 26th, 2014
IDC has some new forecasts that predict smartphone sales growth is likely to stall and that the respective market shares will be roughly the same in 2018 as they are now.
Four years is a long time in mobile and it’s brave of IDC to forecast that far ahead. IDC says the smartphone market is becoming saturated and the new emphasis will be to bring prices down. I personally believe iOS will see a larger erosion of market share than IDC predicts, due to very low cost Android devices. It’s unlikely Apple will try to compete at this level. However, from an app developer viewpoint I don’t think this increased market proportion for Android will have much added value. Low end users are less likely engage in activities that result in app generated revenue.
UPDATE: As several people have pointed out to me via twitter, IDC were also the research company that predicted Windows Phone would soar to no 2 by 2015.
February 18th, 2014
Last night I was at Mobile Monday London
where the topic was Accelerators and Finance. John Spindler, CEO of Capital Enterprise gave a presentation on available finance and accelerators in the UK and Jessica Stacey from NESTA gave some insights into NESTA’s research into accelerators. John then chaired a panel consisting of Jessica, Simon Cook of DFJ Esprit, Brian Taylor from PixelPin, Diane Perlman of Microsoft Ventures, Simon Devonshire from Wayra (Telefonica) and John Bradford of Techstars London. Here are some aspects I found noteworthy…
- One of the main benefits of accelerators is gaining contacts
- While money might be the initial attraction, the amounts (typically £75k) tend to be too small to take the company through the accelerator and additional funding is usually required
- It was mentioned that accelerated companies can gain as much from their peers as they do from the more formal accelerator activities
- Many startups actually spin out of startups and/or end up investing in further startups
- Between 5% and 9% of of the TSB applicants get funding
- Only a small proportion, estimated to be 1% of 1% of UK SMEs go through the VC route
- For the Techstars accelerator, about 10 or 11 companies get picked out of every round of about 1500 applicants
- When picking, the team tends to be more important than the individual or idea
- An accelerator usually accelerates something that already exists and it’s rare that it’s just an idea on paper unless it comes from someone who has previously had ideas that have proven to be successful
With so few companies actually taking the accelerator route, there was a question as to what non-accelerated companies could take/gain from the accelerator ecosystem. Diane Perlman said that Microsoft extends some of the networking aspects of Microsoft Ventures to BizSpark members thus widening the benefit. John Bradford explained that similar techniques, used by accelerators, can be applied to any startup. For example, if you need advice find the three cleverest people you know and seek their advice while taking them out for coffee. Ask them to recommend three other clever people and repeat the process several times. When you get to about 27 people you will find patterns in their response that you should find useful.