The NEW .uk Shorter Sharper Shnappier Shecond Level Domain is Short of Launched

We’re tempted to continue with “surely shum mishtake here” but we won’t!

From yesterday you can check who has the first right, as Nominet  call  it and primary right, as we call it to the new .uk domains when they are planned to be formally launched on 10 June this year.

Simply enter your domain name eg!

There is a rather long (17 pages to be precise) pdf  which gives a lot more detail including the list of reserved names which will not be generally available as our Government (and their agencies) require them.

We probably missed it when the decision was made to go ahead with .uk but from yesterday for new registrations there is an automatic first right to the .uk which we think is rather a nice touch. This should certainly boost registrations for Nominet in the short term – we really do hope they start releasing regular monthly statistics again.

Click for ... the launch

We are still very confused by Nominet’s practices concerning Press & News Releases – yesterdays announcement was a News Release  and wasn’t mirrored by a Press release. In the past their agency have told us that there is no difference in the distribution. We would have thought “from the roof tops” was in order in this particular instance, it’s a huge step forward and woul benefit from the widest possible publicity.

There also remains a reluctance to contact directly all their existing registrants and they say this will be done after the launch. Again we would have thought NOW would be most appropriate.

Perhaps there is some concern about their ecosystem which had a little glitch yesterday which the Register inappropriately headlined! It’s only anecdotal but we think in general it holds up pretty well compared to, lets say, some banks!

Having had historic reservations on .uk now that it is happening we unreservedly support it and advise all existing registrants to check out their rights and all new registrants to get their brand NEW with the .uk right NOW.

Short is now beautiful!

Amazon sold 10 million Kindle Fire tablets again last year

IDC yesterday released their worldwide tablet shipment estimates for the last quarter of 2013.

At 76.9 million they are pretty close to the pre-Apple estimates of Digitimes which we commented on last week and confirm the growth slowdown

Whilst only a total annual figures for the year of 217.1 million and 144.2 million for 2012 are mentioned our favourite chartists provide some interesting figures to assist us on the vendor front.

  • Apple is definitive at 74.2 million being about 34% in market share terms with an increase this quarter.
  • Samsung we estimate is around 41 million that’s 19% market share and shows a drop this quarter
  • Asus (including Google‘s Nexus) we estimate is around 12 million that’s 5.5% market share
  • Amazon comes in at just under 10 million which is virtually the same as last year and is 5% market share. Their remarkable profile, of circa 1 million sales every quarter apart from the holiday season when it jumps to 6 million, continues.

We’ll leave you with the iChart


We check our devices for updates at least every half hour

KANA software a leading customer service solution provider recently acquired by Verint have done some recent representative polling of UK adults to check the frequency that we  check our devices by age, gender and activity.

Unsurprisingly the younger you are, in general, the more frequent is your response apart from the 55-64 year olds who possibly haven’t got time as they prepare for retirement!

In terms of what we are checking on various devices and their frequency the dreaded email heads the list although Twitter is up there near the top well ahead of facebook.

Most frequently checked devices – all age groups
Email on smartphone  36.00
Twitter for replies 39.00
Phones for texts 48.00
Missed calls 49.25
PC or laptop for email 54.00
Facebook for messages 57.00
Checking voicemail  65.00
Source: Kana


Scarily we apparently spend 14 days a year complaining or waiting to complain. KANA explain “The average UK adult spends a “fraughtnight” — or nearly two weeks — each year waiting for service, making complaints and using digital channels to direct their ire at companies that provide poor service.

The average UK consumer has used 7.4 channels of electronic communication in the past six months. Amongst 18-to-24 year olds, this figure rises to 8.4 channels. The figure is lowest in the 65+ age bracket, but even this age band uses 6.2 methods of electronic communication.”

Apples Revenues Due to Decline this Quarter

Apple results for their Q1 2014 (13 weeks ending December 28) should be released around 9.30 pm GMT followed fairly rapidly by their Conference Call at 10pm GMT (2pm PST) which you can listen to live.

ROUNDUP am January 28

From Apple:

 Share price (WSJ) –It was down about $44 at the end of after hours trading last night

 From elsewhere:

Instant analyst opinions/headlines:

Our view

Continues to be what we’ve been banging on about for a while which is that revenues by and large are flatlineing as per our graphic which for this quarter is based on the mid point of their guidance ie $43bn. If this is met it will be the first time we think since Q4 2002 that a quarterly decline will have taken place

iPhone introduced 2007, iPad introduced 2010 whats next – hopefully another disrupter and the obvilus volume higher priced item is a very HD TV – we will have to wait & see!


  • Revenues $57.6 billion
  • EPS $14.50
  • Unit Sales (millions) Macs- 4.8  iPods-6.0 iPhones- 51.0 iPads- 26.0
  • Share Price -close $550.50 After hours WSJ Initially down $34 on Q2 guidance During first 10 minutes Conference call down $40 down $48 45 minutes into conference call
  • Guidance Q2 2014 Revenues $42bn – $44bn Margin 37% – 38% Revenues at this level will possibly show a reduction on the previous years $43.6bn
  • Press release
  • SEC Filing

Conference call underway led by CFO Peter Oppenheimer – No statement by Tim Cook – Straight to Q & A – Corporate Comptroller Luca Maestri responds to a question – Tim now speaks about China which looks like the great red white hope to us! “Objective is to sell the best not the most” re iPhone market share deterioration globally. Mix of sales last quarter was different to their expectations in particular higher demand for touch id iPhone 5s. Finishes at 2.56pm PST!

Click to enlarge

UPDATED Schedule to the left – initial media coverage & comment to follow tomorrow

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

  •  If their revenues are less than $54.5bn this quarter it will be the first year on year quarterly decrease we think since Q4 of 2002 –      pretty unlikely!
  • Quarter 1 results consensus (Professionals/The Street) Revenues / Earnings per share – $57.4 bn / $14.07
  • Quarter 2 mid guidance consensus Revenues / Earnings per share – $46 bn / $11

Whilst no new product announcement will be made hopefully some hints will be made as even Carl Icahn (who has around $3 billion invested in Apple) is now advising them to release more new products to get back into a growth cycle.

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.

Our normal graphic uses his info for the Professionals and Amateurs figures and the mid guidance information from Apple. We also add our guesses. We’re going for lots of 7’s in our numbers this time!

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!

Meanwhile we’ll leave you with an inspired guess on the iWatch front!

Keep an I on our Week – Burns Night edition

Our top three articles this week were

  1. Long Live Facebook 
  2. One in Four bought a Tablet in the UK in 2013 
  3. Apple catching Samsung in China 

There is also our regular review of monthly online GB retail sales for December with a 2013 retrospective.

The Burns graphic is from Paul Sims a character artist  who is Character Art Director at Ruffian Games in Dundee.

Haggis not only has it’s very own own poem by Robert Burns (extracted from his website – Robert

But also now its own website courtesy of Stahly with amongst other delicacies a free downloadable Haggis Recipe Book (pdf) which runs to 36 pages and looks …… interesting!

We’ll leave you with the traditional piping in of this consumable with its traditional accompaniment!

Piping in the haggis. Britsoc Burns Night 2013 from John Richardson on Vimeo.

Tablet sales below PCs in Q4 2013

Digitimes Research are first out of the blocks just ahead of Apple’s results due to be announced Mons0day January 27 with their tablet forecasts.

At an overall level  of 78.5 million we think they may be on the low side and would mean that they still just lag PC shipments in the quarter which we reported on earlier at an estimated 82.2

Apple in Q4 2012 sold 22.9 million iPads and, in spite of some of the shipment delays they encountered this year, we will be uber surprised if they fell short of this number. Our favourite Apple financial reporter Philip Elmer-DeWitt is, as usual, gathering together a large number if analysts forecasts and reports the overall average to be 25 million.

Digitimes reckon the white box constituent of the total was 33.8% of the total which is virtually all of the Other category. Android they report at 51.2% of the total and Windows 3.9%.

The screen size wars again see the smaller ones dominating with 58.3% being 8” or less.

Many more estimates to come which we shall report back on in due course.

Apple catching Samsung in China

A late 2013 study conducted on China’s consumers by AVANTI, TrendForce‘s  research division shows that Apple appears to be catching Samsung on a purchase intentions basis having trailed them during the whole of 2013.

One of China’s leading domestic companies Xiaomi  also looks to be making some ground on the two leaders.

Apple’s China Mobile  deal was finally signed at the end of 2013 after this study was carried out. The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are now available to China Mobile’s 767.2 million customers  for the first time with reported preorders of over 1 million it looks as Apple could overtake Samsung during the year.

Apple’s results due Monday won’t benefit from the China Mobile partnership but should increasingly impact their results later in the year.

We shall see!

AVANTI’s China consumer market survey was conducted in various different Chinese regions from November 27 to December 2, 2013; A sample of 3000 Chinese consumers were studied at a confidence interval of 95% and a margin of error of +/-1.8%.

One in four bought a tablet in the UK in 2013

CCS insight, the telecom analysts, last week came up with some rather interesting figures for forecast UK tablet sales over the next few years showing a “slump” this year from 17 million down to 14 million.

What we found equally fascinating is that the UK with less than 1% of the worlds population probably accounted for in the region of 7% of worldwide sales. We recently mentioned that these are likely around the 240 million mark. More definitive figures will be forthcoming later next week after Apple announce their quarterly results on Monday January 27.

That puts us even ahead of the USA on a people per tablet basis. Well done every body!

On a global basis one in 30 is still mightily impressive.

CCS insight also reckon that by 2017 almost everyone will have a tablet and comment “The forecast follows two years of explosive growth, fuelled by the easy availability of tablets ranging from premium products to devices costing less than £50. More than 43% of the UK’s population now owns a tablet, up from just 6% two years ago, and the number will almost double by 2017. In the next two years however, the market will take a breather from its massive peak, before returning to steeper growth in 2016. By 2017, CCS Insight is forecasting total tablet sales to reach 20 million in the UK.said Marina Koytcheva, director of forecasting at CCS Insight.”  

Small remains beautiful with they estimate the under 9”’s growing from 34% in 2012 to 63% last year and reaching 65% by 2017.

Useful UK analysis although we have doubts about the predicted slump with, we think, the white box revolution likely to continue.

Long live facebook

The death of facebook has been greatly exaggerated according to GWI Social which is GlobalWebIndex’s quarterly report (Q4 2013) on the latest global trends in social platform usage.

Click to enlarge

Their Q4 2013 report has facebook at the top of virtually every Social network statistic apart from the changes in active usage between Q2 and Q4 last year where the top five are:

  1. Instagram + 23%
  2. Reddit +13%
  3. Linkedin +9%
  4. Tencent Weibo +9%
  5. Yammer +8%

Facebook fell by 3% and the biggest looser was Myspace at -12%

Their study was conducted among 170,000 social media users in 32 counties which they reckon represents 89 percent of the global Internet population.

Internet sales in Q4 hit new record of over £10 billion

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

Overall figures showed an increase of 2.6 % in the month which was way ahead of virtually all expectations.   The ONS continue with their preferred three monthly view which showed an increase of 0.4% after a couple of flat months. The weather whilst unmentioned was subject of a recent separate release – “A short story questioning the impact of weather on retail saleswas published on 15 January.”

[Whilst the ONS have introduced seasonal adjustment for Internet sales this month for the first time we are only reporting unadjusted figures this month and accordingly have amended their figures where appropriate to the Non Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) ones to be consistent with the rest of ourreporting throughout 2013.]

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Overall internet sales in the last quarter exceeded £10 billion for the first time ever.
  • At 11.8% of all sales following November’s (revised) 12.0% these are the two highest ever recorded % monthly figures.
  • On an annual perspective Internet sales at £33.3 billion represented 10.4% of all sales up from 9.3% in 2012 and 8.3% in 2011.
  • Looking forward to this year if recent trends continue annual Internet sales could reach around £39 billion and be over 11% of ALL retail sales

December, Quarterly and Annual increases:

  • the year on year increases were  December 15.2% Quarterly 14.8% and Annual  15.1%.
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on November 2012 annualised + 23.5% (2) on December 2011 +15.3%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group (Non-store retailing) showing growth of 10.1% on 2011 and contributing  4.1% to the overall growth of 15.5% 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 December 2012 with in general smallish increases in Internet retail sales.

The ONS words (amended to reflect non seasonally adjusted figures are:

Internet Sales

Key Points (1)

  • Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the proportion of sales made online decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 11.8% of all retail sales (excluding automotive fuel).

Internet sales, which are seasonally adjusted for the first time in this release, increased by 11.8% in December 2013 compared with December 2012 and by 1.8% compared with November 2013. [As mentioned above we are not reporting on the new seasonally adjusted figures this month. We will incorporate them, likely in full, with respect to the January 2014 figures]

Internet sales in detail

 Seasonally adjusted Internet sales data are provided within this release. These seasonally adjusted estimates are published in the RSI tables and include:

  •  A seasonally adjusted value index; and
  •  Year-on-year and month-on-month growth rates.

ONS are currently investigating whether it is possible to seasonally adjust the proportion of sales made online. More information on the seasonal adjustment of these estimates can be found insection 4 of the background notes or in the quick guide to Internet sales.

Internet sales are estimates of how much was spent online through retailers across all store types in Great Britain. The reference year is 2010=100.

Key Points (2) adjusted by us to an NSA basis

  • Average weekly spending online in December 2013 was £957.7 million. This was an increase of 13.2% compared with December 2012.
  • The amount spent online accounted for 11.8% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel.
  • The online spend in department stores was estimated at 38.2% reflecting feedback from retailers that suggested that investment in their Internet sites has boosted sales but at the same time detracted from sales in store.

Table 5  shows the year-on-year growth rates for total Internet sales by sector and the proportion of sales made on line for each sector

Table 5, Summary of Internet Statistics for December 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.

* 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.

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 £33.3bn an increase in the month (adjusted re restatements and revisions) of 1.7% annualised 20.4%. The long term compound average growth rate (from 2007) is just under 23%.

Click to enlarge

The published weekly figures at £957.7 million was a new record and well above our £951+ mn  prediction and we were spot on with our £33.3 billion for the year. January will likely revert to form and a weekly NSA figure of perhaps £650 mn with an annual figure around £33.6 billion

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.