Keep an I on our weekend (Spring forward Easter Backup edition)

Our top couple of articles in this somewhat shortened week were: 

  1. UK E-commerce eTowns could see eGDP grow to 12.4% by 2016
  2. News Consumption in The early Mobile Age  

Preceding the coincidence of Easter Monday with All Fools Day, spring forward day (in the UK) is, believe it or not, World Backup Day so you are all encouraged to do the deed on Sunday to avoid being an April fool! Those 23 hours over here are going to  disappear rather rapidly!

Update April 1 – Amazing tracking by Google (analytics) of some visitors from on high to our site earlier today.

Before we give you your Easter surprises we thought we should introduce you to a  personal assistant who was launched last month and is called Indigo and who will soon be available across virtually all ecosystems. She is “.. the world’s first intelligent personal assistant app to offer consumers personalization and persistence across platforms and devices.” “She is the first step in our vision to move virtual personal assistants from merely a gimmick only offered with specific devices to one that helps across ecosystems, wherever technology and humans interact.”. is  Laurence Flynn’s recommendation and he should know as the CEO of the developing company Artificial Solutions. Why not register for updates to be amongst the first to know of it’s availability for your devices. In the meantime you can interrogate her at AskIndigo on Twitter. We wonder if the logo has any connection with the Third Eye? Just wondering due to our obsession with everything I!

Now then back to our Easter surprises/entertainment:


  • A couple of rather popular videos

We never owned an iPad







The Welsh Maradona (Part ii)

Tablet sales to overtake PC’s in 2017

Earlier this week IDC released their latest Smart Connected Device Tracker report forecasting worldwide shipments of smart connected devices through 2017.

Their and many of the other commentators headlines have been “…tablet shipments will surpass desktop PCs in 2013 and portable PCs in 2014” but we think the most interesting element is the likely crossover of Tablet & total PC’s certainly on an annual basis in 2018. With the holiday buying season favouring Tablets we think on these projections that they will exceed PC’s in quarter 4 of 2017.

Click to enlarge

We have been looking at the crossover point for nearly a year now and it has come in from 2022 in just under a year. The reason as we have mentioned before is more the flatlining of PC’s as opposed to huge increases in the Tablet forecasts.

Whilst it’s a bit Apple’s and Oranges looking at the Gartner IDC combo where we forecast the 2022 cross over the 2016 TOTAL Tablet & PC forecasts came to just under 890 million units wheras now IDC are forecasting this total to be just over 690 million units. The difference is 140 million less PC’s and 60 million tablets.

In the IDC forecast which envisages the connected devices shipments (which of course includes smartphones) nearly doubling from last years 1.2 billion to 2.25 by 2017.

We think  Bob O’Donnell IDC’s Program Vice President for Clients and Displays makes a most valid point when saying  “Consumers and business buyers are now starting to see smartphones, tablets, and PCs as a single continuum of connected devices separated primarily by screen size,”

If we look back to when truly mobile devices overtook PC’s it was likely 2010/11!

The only omission from the connected devices is the largest screen that is most watched at home ie the ubiquitous TV. We wonder whether with a lot of help from Apple and others this will become the “home hub” for in house screens.

We shall see.

We will leave you with our favourite chartists very colourful depiction of the figures we have used as the primary source for our graphic!

News consumption in the early mobile age

The *commercial international broadcasting arm of the BBC have with InSites Consulting done a 9 country survey of news consumption by screens/devices.

  • Countries – Australia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, the UAE & the USA
  • Screens – Laptop (and desktop), Smartphone, Tablet, and TV.
  • Respondents – 3,610 (so we guess that’s sort of 400 ish per country)
  • Respondents are said to be “top income earners  and owners of at least three devices” as above

The released findings are of an overall nature, rather than by country, and show a, sort of, bias towards continuing/increasing TV screen use for news consumption.

Peoples news consumption time is TV 42% laptops 29% smartphones 18% and tablets 10%

43% of tablet owners watch more TV than they did 5 years ago with most (presumably more than 50%) ”saying they use tablets alongside TV”

Second screening abounds with 83% of tablet users saying “ …they have used their tablets while watching TV.”

In the ubiquitous breaking news scenarios they find that TV is tops! “Users turn to television as their primary and first device (42%), with the majority (66%) then turning to the internet to investigate stories further.”

As this is the *commercial side of the BBC there were questions on the ad front and TV again was found to have a strong showing.

By and large everyone expects to see adverting on all screens TV 87% Smartphones and laptops 84% and tablets 79%.

And they respond best to adverts online (Laptop/desktop) 1 in 4, then TV 1 in 5, with smartphones and tablets being last at present at 1 in 7.

In terms of our news consumption throughout the day by device they include on their infographic a graph of a “typical” 24 hour day’s usage.

Their words are “Smartphones and laptops are most popular throughout the working day, peaking at around 1pm. TV usage spikes dramatically from 5pm onwards, and at its peak time of 7pm TV use is 50% higher than for any other device.”

Now at an individual level we have carried out a local unitary survey and produced a very different graph of a typical working day spent largely in our office followed by an evening at home! Our words might be “desktop is most popular throughout the working day interspersed by occasional external smartphone peaks with TV taking over from mid to late evening whilst tablets peak early in the morning and late at night!

Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News Ltd concludes “There’s been speculation for years that mainstream uptake of smartphones, laptops and tablets will have a negative impact on television viewing, but this study has found that the four devices actually work well together, resulting in greater overall consumption rather than having a cannibalising effect.”

As per our headline these are very much the early days of “the mobile age” and we think increasingly TV news content will be consumed on mobile devices and less on TV screens. The evening peak may well remain but a lot of dual and triple screening will likel be involved. Advertising will be everywhere but we hope that increasingly for a modest fee it will become an option!

As far as online website news consumption is concerned we were somewhat surprised to find in yesterdays comShare European survey that the BBC, in terms of top 20 sites only figured in the UK ( 7th)and Ireland (12th) amongst the 18 countries.

*BBC World News and, the BBC’s commercially funded international news platforms are owned and operated by BBC Global News Ltd, part of the BBC News Group.

BBC World News, the international 24-hour news and information channel is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and over 350 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms. The channel’s content is also available on 151 cruise ships, 40 airlines and 23 mobile phone networks. For further information on BBC World News visit is one of the most respected brands on the internet and complements BBC World News in its offering of high quality, up-to-the minute international news, business, sports, weather, lifestyle, technology content and in-depth analysis. Launched in November 2007, the site attracts 58 million unique visitors each month and is available on PCs, tablets and mobile devices. It is the global online destination of choice for audiences who demand the full picture.

BBC Advertising sells advertising and sponsorship solutions on behalf of BBC World News and For more information on BBC Advertising see

Is Denmark the most typically digital country in Europe?

Towards the end of last week comScore released their excellent “2013 Europe Digital Future in Focus”.

It’s part of their series which we commented on before and follows the UK version.

We cannot recommend it highly enough and encourage you to download the report and any others which catch your eye.

To date they cover:

  • The UK
  • The US
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Brazil
  • Mobile

As a taster here’s our compilation of the top 20 sites visited across an impressive 18 countries in December 2012. We’ve gone for commonality and omitted the country specific sites which don’t usually cross borders to a great extent.

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The sites are, sort of, in order of highest position and occurrence.

Denmark has the greatest number of these recurring sites in their top 20 and Russia the fewest. We still are a bit old school in terms of classifying Russia as European!

Go and have a look it is very worthwhile!

Disclosure: We have no commercial relationship with comScore

UK E-commerce eTowns could see eGDP grow to 12.4% by 2016

Google announced last week the top 12 UK eTown  winners. They were:

  1. Stratford upon Avon, West Midlands
  2. Edinburgh, Scotland
  3. Richmond, London
  4. Stansted, East of England
  5. Towcester, East Midlands
  6. Bournemouth, South West
  7. East Marlow, South East
  8. Blackpool, North West
  9. Harrogate, Yorkshire & Humberside
  10. Blaydon-on-Tyne, North East
  11. Newtown, Wales
  12. Belfast, Northern Ireland

Our links are to local news releases/articles/information where located!

The winners are assessed in our words by:

  • splitting the countries out with England having 9 regions
  • for each of the 12 regions gathering a postcode/area/town Google adwords penetration figure
  • This figure is basically the population of the “towns” divided by the number of adword customers in the “towns” (small < 10,000 population or < 25 adword customer towns are dispensed with)
  • The top 5 in each region are shortlisted to go to the next phase
  • A random sample of 50 small and medium sized businesses (< 50 employees) are selected for each “town”. They are quota’d by size for even distribution purposes (ie 1 employee, 2-10 employees and 11-50 employees)
  • A total of the “Scores” for each town is calculated
  • Example scores are website (10) Social network presence (5) Website allows eCommerce (7) Blog (3) plus an average of 2 (Google’s mobile site tester).

So that’s all there is to it! Ipsos MORI’s detailed account is available to all!

Click to enlarge

A couple of the winning town’s have come up with a quote from the 2010 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) “Connected Kingdom Report” in which they predicted that the internet’s contribution to GDP will increase from 7.2% in 2010 to 10% in 2015.

In fact in their updated 2012 forecast for the UK within “The $4.2Trillion Opportunity” BCG see it growing to 12.4% by 2016.

It’s certainly an area of GDP which even in these challenging times will likely show consistent growth in the medium term

Google also just announced over the weekend their latest UK competition which is for British non-profit organisations. It basically invites them to answer “How would you use technology to change the world?” and you have to tell them “… how you would use innovation to tackle the world’s toughest problems and transform lives.”

Entries required by 21 April this year via their website pages. There are four prizes of £500,000 + lots of other goodies! The finalist judging panel includes Sir Richard Branson, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Jilly Forster. You must be a UK registered charity to apply.

Keep an I on our week (Tablet Bargains edition)

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. Link your Car to Automatic
  2. Crowdsourcing Happiness 
  3. Cultural Vibes of The Tech Titan Brands

Lots of offers around in the lead up to the upcoming mini spendfest particularily on the tablet front:

So it looks as if they are both trying to prolong the Tablet sales momentum built up last month as noted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) when reporting the February Retail Sales figures!Link

A while back we were impressed by the Disney Paperman short movie. There’s now a College Humour update which is quite amusing and not as inappropriate as its title “Paperman Threesome”!



Disclosure: We have Marketing Affiliate arrangements with Amazon but none with Nook

Cultural Vibes of the Tech Titan Brands

Added Value, part of the WPP stable, on their rather impressive site, have revealed the results of their Cultural Traction 2013 Study.

The net effect of their machinations, as we understand them, involving 160 brands, 62,250 respondents across 10 countries, is a “Vibe” score.

We’ll let them continue ”A brand’s VIBE score is a composite of four dimensions, statistically formed from dozens of attributes reflecting cultural impact and relevance.

  • VISIONARY: brands leading the way and getting our attention
  • INSPIRING: brands that have a point of view and stand for something I want to be a part of
  • BOLD: brands that have swagger with substance
  • EXCITING: brands that are disruptive and have momentum”

On our Technology definition the major multinationals did rather well across almost all countries with the possible exception being China where the likes of Taobao, Sina  and Tencent were in their top 10 technology companies. They are, sort of their equivalent Amazon / ebay, Twitter / Facebook and an online conglomerate respectively.

Click to enlarge

The rankings we have used are simply deduced from the global and country listings (e & o e)! We have, sort of promoted Amazon (even although it has no global ranking) to reflect it’s importance in particular in the English speaking world (excluding Australia) together with China and Germany!

Much more worth investigating on their site in particul;ar their case study of Apple v’s SamsungFrenemies at the Gate“.


Disclosure; We have Marketing Affiliate relationships with Google and Amazon

Internet & Technology sales boost all retail sales

The Office for National Statistics (ONS)  published the monthly retail sales figures for February today (pdf) We’ve cut the report down to exclude the 86 pages of tables. The full version is on the ONS site.

The overall figures were significantly better than expected with the forecast being of a 0.4%-0.5% increase in sales volumes against the actual of 2.1% These are the best figures in almost a year. Online sales together with tablets and other technology sales got much of the credit as did a lack of snow!

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Internet sales continue to exceed 10% of all retail sales for the year to date
  • All internet sales excluding food dropped to 15.4% this month. The difference of this to all sales remains at  an uplift of just under 60%.
  • Online food sales at 3.6% of all food sales continue at record levels again.
  • The decline in the rates of growth of  the major online only retailers noted in previous months seems again to be recovering and was at a healthy 17.5% this month. It looks as if it is readjusting to around 10% -15% compared to an  average of over 20% since the statistics were first compiled. These figures include the online sales of all the majors ie  Apple, Google, eBay, Amazon (including LoveFilm), Asos, Netflix and Shop Direct (Isme Very, Littlewoods etc)

February data:

  • Year to date internet sales of all retail sales 10.0% (10.4% revised*)
  • Monthly year on year increase +10.1%.(+11.9% revised*)
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on January 2012 annualised + 8.1% (2) on February 2012 +14.6%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 17.5% on 2012 and contributing 7.7% to the overall growth of 10.1% This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow) unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

As always the “history” has been revised* by the ONS which this month went back as far as January 2012 with quite large changes Internet sales last mont going up by just under 3%.

The ONS words are:

Internet Sales – Key Points

  • The average weekly spend online (Internet sales values non-seasonally adjusted) in February 2013 was estimated at £540.5 million. This is an increase of 10.1% compared with February 2012.
  •  The amount spent online accounted for 9.7% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel.
  • As expected, more was spent online in the non-store retailing sector than any other sector. Spending online now accounts for 64.6% of total spending in this sector. In the food sector 3.6% of spending was made online up from 3.3% in February 2012. This sector has the lowest proportion of online spend in relation to all spending.

Internet sales in detail

Internet sales measure how much was spent online through retailers in Great Britain. Figures are non-seasonally adjusted and the reference year is 2010=100. Table 2 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total Internet sales, by sector and the contribution that each sector makes to total

Table 2: Summary of Internet Sales Performance for February 2013






We have added our annotations to the ONS table) – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food.

We have also added the sector information provided for weekly Internet Sales.

Click to enlarge

Sector summary

The non-store retailing sector comprises of stalls and markets, mail order and those retailers that sell mainly online.

* Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online  mail order retailers.

As previously mentioned the figures are no longer experimental.

The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since October 2007 being the first full year of reporting by the ONS) to an all time high of £29.4bn an increase in the month (adjusted re restatements and revisions) of 8.1% annualised 14.6%. This continues the downward trend of four of the previous six months when single digit growth has been recorded. The long term compound average growth rate (from 2007) is a little under 25%.

Click to enlarge

The published weekly figures at £540.5 million was lower than we expected (£565) but with all the revisions*  the moving annual total was as we forecast at £29.4 billion With Easter being comparatively early this year we hope the strong online and technology trends continue so are hoping for a weekly figure of £570 million with YTD retail sales again above 10% with a moving average of £29.75 billion.

Click to enlarge

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2007 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, the Boston Consulting Group forecast  in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity)  that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016.

Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS (December is a 5 week month). To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January.

Your online library is quite a site

A rather interesting, if slightly quirky, in our view, online resource was launched yesterday. It is “Bookmark Your Library” and is “… provided by The Combined Regions, The Arts Council England, from OCLC, The Society of Chief Librarians, and The Reading Agency.”

Their “… goal is to help promote the services of libraries around the country – as they provide support to everyone.”

The site was launched with a fair number of brutally honest research findings gathered together under the slogan “Use them or lose them”:

  • “60% of us are still not visiting our local libraries
  • almost half of those surveyed said libraries aren’t needed as much as they were a decade ago due to technological advances with the internet, tablets and Kindles.
  • if their local library shut down, one in five admitted they would be very disappointed, and one in ten said it would be a loss to the local community.
  • Almost three quarters of us have been to our local library at some point in our lives but on average the last time we visited our local library was 17 months ago.
  • The biggest driving force to visit a library is being a parent, with 14% saying they last visited their library to encourage their child into reading and 8% went to help a child with a school project.
  • Only a third know that their local library offers reading groups; only 1 in 10 know they offer genealogy services; and 60% didn’t know they offer music rental, something which was introduced to the majority of public libraries years ago.”

From a very brief look round the site apart from the obvious find your local and national library abilities there are many other facilities and potentially useful resources and links.


  • Ask a question 24/7 “Have you ever needed someone to ask? A burning question you wanted to answer, or perhaps needed help with a specific research topic or even homework?”
  • Find a Book Access FABLibraries database with over 9 million books with edition histories ++

Much more besides which we will likely expand on at a later date adding a permanent link in our bestselling books section.

Obligatory Twitter and Facebook presences have been set up.

Definitely one to point the kids at! Although go and “BookmarkYourLibrary it?” doesn’t have much of a ring to it!

Link your car to Automatic

“.. it could do for driving what the iPod did for music.” John Fortt of CNBC

The Automatic Link and app from Automatic Labs looks like they could be real winners, initially in the US but hopefully subsequently over here. It comes in at a remarkable $69.95!

“The Automatic Link talks to your car’s onboard computer and uses your smartphone’s GPS and data plan to upgrade your car’s capabilities. Every Link works with both iPhone and Android. Automatic works with just about any gasoline engine car sold in the United States since 1996.”


helps you make small changes in your driving habits that can lead to huge savings on gas over time.

  • Driving feedback
  • Rough breaking
  • Speeding
  • Rapid acceleration
  • Drive Score
  • Trip timeline (actual trip info + fill ups ++)

Crash Alert looks out for you by automatically notifying 911 with your location in a crash. For free.

connects to your car’s onboard computer to decipher that little ‘check engine’ light and explain exactly what’s wrong.

  • Push Notifications (“Your check engine light is on”)
  • Engine Health (Shows details of “trouble codes” and has suggestions

always remembers where you parked, so you don’t have to.

automatically pays all parking fines free! – No it doesn’t we made that one up!

Understandably it’s had quite a bit of press in the US (eg Forbes   engadget and PC Mag

We’ll leave you with their video