The Tile with a shelf life

A rather clever development, crowdfunded using Selfstarter, which has raised nearly $2.7 million from just under 50,000 backers and is now available for preorder throughout the EU & Australia/New Zealand (+ North America of course) using Amazon payments. They are due to ship winter 2013/14.

In a mix of our and their words it is basically an iOS compatible “lost and found” device which “keeps track of your stuff” via their app. It’s attachable, stickable, waterproof and has a speaker.

It uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology and its individual range is 50-150 feet but this is expandable through thetileapp community.

Ten tiles per account and the tiles last for a year + you will be informed when they are due to be retired so you can replace them with the latest versions.

$18.95 each + volume discounts and an Eu shipping charge of $14 – But just think how much they could save you both financially and timewise!

No plans for android, Blackberry or Windows Phone versions unless/until a while after they support Bluetooth 4.0. 

We’ll leave you with their promo video

Tablet shipments to be over 250 million this year

Both Strategy Analytics and Display Search have just produced their latest tablet shipment estimates and they are, to say the least, impressive!

For quarter 2 Strategy Analytics estimate a figure of over 50 million which we think is a first outside of the traditional bonanza in quarter 4 every year. It also shows an increase on quarter 1 of some 27% and is as they report 43% up on quarter 2 of last year. For the year to date it looks as if there is an increase of around 68% on last year.

They quote a “branded” figure of 36.2 million which is well ahead of yesterdays Digitimes figure of 29.3 million. The white box percentage of branded we calculate to be 42.8% or 30% of the total.

Display Search have forecast tablet shipments through 2017 and by inspection the 2013 figure is well over the 250 million level and might be as high as 275 million.

If this higher figure is achieved then sales in quarter 4 could well exceed PC’s as we have mentioned before.

Their other graphic (our header) splits sales by screen size and shows the dominance of the minis both currently and through 2017 when they look to be at a lower than 30% figure.

 Interesting times & more to follow!

Worldwide Tablet shipments year to date up by over 40%

Digitimes have just released their quarter 2 global estimates and they virtually show branded tablet shipments (their figures exclude “white box” shipments) almost flat lining between Q1 and Q2.

Back in December last year they forecast annual Branded shipments to be 140 million this year and 210 million including white box shipments. So whilst it’s a complete guess we might be looking at total shipments around the 45 million level.

The ranking of suppliers this / (last) quarter they give as:

  1. Apple (1)
  2. Samsung (2)
  3. Asustek (6)
  4. Lenovo (8)
  5. Acer (5)

Notable by their absence are Google (3) and Microsoft (4). Barnes & Noble (Nook) are unsurprisingly unmentioned.

They also give unusually a processor ranking:

  1. Apple
  2. Texas Instruments
  3. MediaTek
  4. Nvidia
  5. Samsung
  6. Intel

We’ve updated this & last quarters averages and await developments with interest!

Keep an I on our Week (Blooming Summer edition)


Our top three articles this week were:

  1. Big Data Grows the UK Digital Economy
  2. TV Connectors get Smaller Smarter & Cheaper 
  3. Apple Tablet Market Share well below 40%

This years Tech Rich List retains its popularity and we have our quarterly  review of Apples results (to June).

 We’ll leave you with Joss Stone’s  just released video The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind)


TV Connectors get Smaller Smarter & Cheaper

So earlier this week Google announced their Chromecast and Now (Sky) have announced their TV box.

We haven’t seen any UK pricing or availability for the Chromecast but its $35 over there which might be less than £30 over here.

The NOW TV Box is £9.99 including delivery!

Before saying what we think they can do we first would critique the names.

TV Box is we think a bit functional and surely could be improved on. We may return with an option or two  following a large helping of inspiration (Skyscape springs to mind)!

Chromecast we, sort of, understand but we think the addition of an – er would of made it, how shall we say, … more active! The Chromecaster has a certain je ne sais quoi!

Now what does it say on/in the box:

Sky NOW TV Box:

  • Makes your TV a smart TV
  • Small enough to fit in your hand
  • Streams Sky Movies & Sky Sports with a NOW TV account
  • Lets you watch Sky News and catch-up TV on the BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 apps
  • Gives you Spotify, Facebook & loads more apps
  • Requires an HD ready TV and a wireless broadband Internet connection (at least 2.5Mbps)
  • Avaialable in the UK NOW!


  • Your favorite online entertainment on your HDTV
  • Movies, TV shows, music, and more from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Chrome
  • Remote free … works with devices you already own, including Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones®, iPads®, Chrome for Mac® and Chrome for Windows®. Browse for what to watch, control playback, and adjust volume using your device.
  • Compatible with WiFi-enabled Android 2.3+ smartphones and tablets; iOS 6.0+ iPhones, iPads, and iPods; Chrome for Mac® and Chrome for Windows®; and Chromebook Pixel.
  • Power cord required
  • WiFi required
  • Not (yet) available in the UK

We’ll leave you with their video “How to cast”

Apple tablet market share well below 40%

That’s according to WitsView  who have bravely brought out their Quarter 2 global shipment estimates 2 days after Apple released their results including their actual product sales figures. By & large we think their Apple market share is there or there abouts.

To get the WitsView estimates into the perspective of other forecasters we have updated our Q1 averages with their inclusion. They were in the top 2 behind IDC. Again on the calibration from they currently forecast a 2013 total of 196.5 million units which is 10% ish lower than the latest IDC forecast we’ve seen of 229 million.

So they are showing a 12.4% drop from Q1 which is, sort of,  what we expected. We do think their years forecast is on the low side implying around 60 million units in the historically bumper Q4.

Some of their comments we found rather interesting:

  •  “Apple … saw its 9.7” iPad entering the end of life cycle in Q2”
  •  “Amazon’s 2013 new models are all concentrated after September and the brand is in an empty-product period, “
  • “Google’s … Nexus 7 had the 1st generation approach the end of life cycle in Q2 and saw a significantly dropping shipment. The single-quarter shipment will bounce back to more than 2 million units in Q3 as the 2nd generation product is projected to ship smoothly.”
  • “… several highly-anticipated models will be revealed in Q3, including Apple’s heavyweight Generation 5 iPad and the new Android 10.1” tablet”

We await the other forecasters estimates and opinions with baited breath! 

Meanwhile here’s the promo video for the new Nexus 7 which we rather liked. It’s due for shipment in the US around July 31 but is billed as “coming soon” in the UK. In the meantime you can preorder it over at Currys for £199.99 with availability for you lucky buyers from Friday the 13th of September!

Will Apple Revenues show the first Decrease this Quarter since 2002

Apple results, for their Q3 2013 were released last night around 9.30 pm BST followed fairly rapidly by their Conference Call at 10pm BST (2pm PST).

ROUNDUP am July 24

 From Apple:

 From elsewhere:

 Instant analyst opinions/headlines:

UPDATE July 23 – 9.45pm BST – Results announced:

  • Revenues $35.3 bn
  • EPS $7.47
  • Unit sales millions Macs  3.8, iPods 4.6 iPhones 31.2, iPads 14.6
  • Guidance Q 4 Revenues $34 – $37 Gross margin 36% -37%
  • Share price after hours + 4.6% @ $438 ish (Formal close was at $418.99)


Updated scheduleWe will likely do a roundup of tyhe results and initial comments tomorrow. Apple just managed to show a year on year revenue increase but they are flatlining!

Original post July 23 am

The, sort of, headline figures to look out for we think are:

  • If their revenues are less than $35 bn this will be the first year on year quarterly decrease we think since Q4 of 2002!
  • Quarter 3 results consensus Revenues / Earnings per share – $34.1 bn / $7.29
  • Quarter 4 mid guidance  consensus Revenues / Earnings per share – $37.2 bn / $7.87
  • The share price continues it’s comparative weakness and closed yesterdays at $426.31  well down from its peak of just over $700 in mid September last year

The source of much of our information is Philip Elmer-Dewitt editor of Apple 2.0 to whom we, and likely many others are indebted. We’ve collated certain of his information and apologise lest we have miscompiled in any way!

Click to enlarge

Our normal graphic uses simple averages (mean) for the Professional (blue) and Independent (green) figures together with the mid guidance information from Apple. We also add our guesses. We’re going a bit low on some of these. 

We will in particular to see if our revenue flatlining prediction continues.

We will report back later after the results are released and the Conference call has taken place. Usually the Q & A session adds value. We shall see, or rather hear, if this continues to be the case!

Big Data Grows the UK Digital Economy

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) in conjunction with Growth Intelligence (GrowthIntel/GI)   have produced a rather insightful study (supported by Google) – “Measuring the UK’s economy with Big Data”. Basically, in our words, comparing the Digital economy as measured on a traditional – Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)  basis with a Big Data  one.

The results show that the old SIC basis significantly underestimates our digital economy on almost every measure.

The number of companies in the sector is measured as being  40% higher and the employment share in the most recent years is double!

Click to enlarge

In terms of company locations a UK map shows, to us, a fairly predictable geographical spread but their further analysis is interesting.

“Using our preferred Growth Intelligence sector product measure, the 10 TTWAs with the most digital economy companies are London (64,630 companies -24.3%), Manchester (7,324 – 2.7%), Guildford and Aldershot (6,158 – 2.3%), Luton and Watford (5,147 – 1.9%), Wycombe and Slough (4,979 – 1.8%), Birmingham (4,965 – 1.8%), Reading and Bracknell (4,914 – 1.8%), Bristol (4,714 – 1.7%), Crawley (3,867 – 1.4%) and Brighton (3,730 – 1.4%).”

We’ve added the %’s of the total UK wide numbers and on our calculator these 14 locations account for just under half (48.8%) of all the companies.

We wholeheartedly support the observed shortcomings of traditional statistical data collection and analysis. As they say “It is clear we need a new way of measuring the economy …” and they have done just that! We hope this and future analysis will persuade Governement and their agencies to update their methodology to more accurately reflect and report the digital economy.

Fascinating data and analysis!

Keep an I on our Week (Ashes – Lords edition)

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. Challenging Digital Teenagers 
  2. More than 80% of Connected TV owners continue to Dual Screen 
  3. It’s nearly Time for Smartwatches 

This years Tech Rich List retains its popularity and we have our monthly review of Internet Retail Sales (June).

Apple reports its quarterly results on Tuesday which will likely show flatish revenues. We will do our usual analysis.

Rather a lot of British sporting activities and some British/English winners this weekend. For a different view of the tour de France and Chris Froome‘s amazing journey Google have some rather interesting coverage!

We’ll leave you with their rather impressive 3D video of the route.

Internet Retail Sales up by over 18% in June

The Office for National Statistics (ONS)  published the monthly retail sales figures for June yesterday (pdf) Full details  are available on the ONS site.

The overall figures of a 0.2% increase continuing last months upward trend  were  well received as they were slightly ahead of expectations.   Departmental store discounts, were noted as having contributed to the good news!

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Internet sales continue at the 10% level of all sales for the first half of the year
  • For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 48 pence was spent on non-store retailing 37 pence in non food stores and 17 pence in food stores!
  • All internet sales excluding food dropped back again to 15.5% (15.6%) and have now been within a range of 15.5% -17.0% since November last year.
  • Online food sales at 3.3% of all food sales continue at close to record levels. For the first half year On a year to date basis they stand at  3.43%
  • The decline in the rates of growth of the major online only retailers noted in previous months does seem to have reversed. After a 4 month lull it looks as if we are returning to the average of around 20% or more as recorded 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)

June quarter two and year to date stats:

  • Year to date internet sales 10.1% (10.2% revised1) of all retail sales
  • Quarter 2 internet sales 15.2% year on year increase and 1.2% up on quarter 1
  • Monthly year on year increase +18.3%.(+12.1% revised1)
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on May 2013 annualised +17.8% (2) on June 2012 +14.3%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 24.0% on 2012 and accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail sales. This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

As always the “history” has been revised1 by the ONS which this month went back as far as June 2012 with some largely favourable changes to Internet sales. They were revised upwards in 5 of the last 6 months!.

The ONS words are:

Internet Sales – Key Points

  • Average weekly spending online (internet sales values non-seasonally adjusted) in June 2013 was £586.9 million. This was an increase of 18.3% compared with June 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 66.5% of total spending in this sector. In the food sector 3.3% of spending was online. This sector has the lowest proportion of online spending in relation to all spending.

 Internet sales in detail

  • Internet sales estimate how much was spent online through retailers across all store types 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 proportion of sales that each sector makes to total internet sales.

Table 2: Summary of Internet Statistics for June 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 weekly Internet sales figures by sector and the proportion they represent of all online sales.

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.

Click to enlarge

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 £31bn an increase in the month (adjusted re restatements and revisions) of 1.49% annualised 17.8%. The average this year is 13.8%. The long term compound average growth rate (from 2007) is a little under 24%.

Click to enlarge

The published weekly figures at £587 million was below our estimate (£600) but we met our £31 billion moving annual total target due to historic revisions. July weatherwise has been above average todate so we are looking for a hot month so we will stick with our £600 million target together with a moving annual total of £31.3 billion ish.

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.