UK Device Usage Reminder for Traditional Broadcasters

Ofcom produced the latest in their line of rather colourful reports yesterday. It’s the Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014 (pdf). For adults read 16 & over and for 2014 read late 2013!

Their headlines/press releases, which were picked up by the media, highlighted the increased usage of devices by the silver surfers as they are affectionately known by the Mail Online amongst many others,  BUT what caught our attention was the demographics in particular of the Most Missed Media responses.

The overall top 3 devices being chosen as being those most missed at 79% being the TV Smartphone and Online devices (computer, laptop, netbook tablet etc). Across all demographics this total varies between 72% and 83%.

BUT and it’s a big one the TV constituent v’s the online devices including smartphones which overall is about 50/50 (42%/37%) starts with the 16-24 year old group at 13%/65% only going above half with the 45-54 year olds.

This group also figured as  the most increased users of tablets compared to last year increasing from 19% to 44% and on the smartphone front the next group 45-54 year olds were found to be the top increased usage going up from 46% to 66%. As they adopt surely they will increasingly, more likely, be able to do without their TV’s for content!

Smart TV’s have been added to the list of devices added to online access this year and make a pretty impressive start at 9%. We wonder if they include all streaming devices which are another online content source

Undoubtedly much more in the 95 pages of the report

The arrows in the charts relate to any significance testing between 2012 and 2013.    

Purple Paym ents launches

The Payments Council today launched Paym the new system for easing money transfers using mobile phones between friends family & others!

How it works in their words:

  • “To receive money through Paym, you first need to register your mobile number and the current account you’d like payments made into with your participating bank or building society.
  • Your friends will then be able to pay directly into your current account using just your mobile number – no sort codes or account numbers. You don’t need a smartphone to receive payments and you still receive the money if your phone is off or out of coverage.
  • To send money using Paym, use your existing mobile banking or payments app to select a friend’s number from your contacts or enter a mobile number manually. It’s possible to send without registering your mobile number for Paym.
  • You’ll be asked to confirm the name of the recipient. Once you’re happy, check the amount and press send. If the person you’re sending money to hasn’t yet registered, you won’t be able to send them a payment using Paym. You could contact them to suggest they register, or use an alternative form of payment.
  • You’ll receive confirmation that your payment has been sent. And because you’ll be using your existing mobile banking or payments app it couldn’t be easier, it’s just as secure and most payments are processed almost immediately.
  • You can send up to £250 a day through Paym, although some participating banks and building societies offer a higher daily limit.
  • Visit to find out how to register or go to your bank or building society’s website for more information.”

You need to have the mobile banking / payments app from, and an account with, one of the current providers ie:

(links are to the bank’s/societies system – HSBC gets the prize for the shortest link!)

Allegedly later 2014 joiners will be Clydesdale Bank, first direct, Isle of Man Bank, NatWest, RBS International trading as NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and Yorkshire Bank. The Nationwide Building Society is planning to join in 2015 and Metro Bank is looking at it!

Some of the payment systems of the individual banks have been around for quite a while eg Barclays Pingit was introduced in February 2012.

The Payments Council reckon that the 9 carriers, so as to speak, enable about 30 million people to use the system from today!

Another purple patch has been provided by Trajectory, the futures partnership,  who in their research for Paym discovered that the average IOU stands at a massive £21 between friends and family.

Top of the pile with a massive £3.7 billion outstanding are parent to children loans BUT encouragingly there is £1.7 billion going the other way!

Security will obviously be an issue and the FAQ’s provided are:

“Is Paym safe & secure?

  • Yes. The service has been developed by the participating UK banks and building societies to meet with their high security levels.

Is my personal information safe?

  • Yes, your details are held securely, and are fully protected by data protection laws. The only information stored will be the details needed to send or receive payments.

What happens if my mobile is lost or stolen?

  • It isn’t possible to send a payment using Paym without your app’s password or security code, but you should still contact your bank or building society immediately to report a lost or stolen phone.
  • Your bank or building society will be able to suspend the service and reset your security settings.
  • You get the same legal protection with Paym that is already applied to your other current account, online and mobile payment services. You are covered providing you didn’t act fraudulently or without reasonable care.”

In general there’s a daily transfer limit of £250 but some providers may vary this on request.

Sounds good, although the name encourages us to a derogatory pronunciation of Pay – ummmm rather than the no doubt preferred Pay – em!

The twitter handle is @paymnow

British Internet Retail Sales account for all of March Retail Sales increase

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

Overall figures showed an increase in sales of  0.1%% on last month which contrasted with expectations of a fall following February’s strong performance. The good weather got an honorable mention!

All the figures we quote are now the new seasonally adjusted statistics issued by the ONS. January 2014 was the one year in six when an extra week occurs statistically and we have annotated our headline graph to show an approximately comparable level of sales.

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Compared to February internet sales rose by 1.4%  (£9.5 million) and without this increase ALL retail sales would have fallen in the month on a weekly basis.
  • Internet sales , excluding food, have flatlined as a percentage of all sales since March 2013 varying between 17.1% and 16.5% on a monthly basis. March was 16.6% and the average over the period was16.7%.
  • Internet sales remain at over 10% of all retail sales (excluding automotive fuel) for the 13th consecutive month.
  • Online food sales continue to exceed £100 million a week for the sixth consecutive month and increased by 1.2% in the month
  • For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 47 pence was spent on non-store retailing 37 pence in non food stores and 16 pence in food stores!
  • We do think the ONS needs to do more analysis of internet sales as already nearly half (47% this month) are effectively categorised as sales by online retailers virtually irrespective of the underlying goods or services! 

March and year to date stats for internet sales:

  • Months sales 10.7% (10.6% last month 10.5 % a year ago) of all retail sales
  • Quarterly increase on Q4 2013 0.5% and Q1 2013 9.9%
  • Monthly year on year increase of 7.1%.(11.5% last month 18.8 % a year ago)
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on February 2014 annualised +6.7% (2) on March 2013 +16.1%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 6.7% on 2013 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!

The ONS words this month are:

Key Points

The amount spent online increased by 7.1% in March 2014 compared with March 2013 and by 1.4% compared with February 2014.

Internet Sales in Detail

Seasonally adjusted Internet sales data are provided within this release. These seasonally adjusted estimates are published in the RSI tables (187 Kb Excel sheet) and include:

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

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

  • Average weekly spending online in March 2014 was £680.3million. This was an increase of 7.1% compared with March 2013.
  • The amount spent online accounted for 10.7% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel, compared with 10.5% in March 2013.
  • The online spend in department stores increased by 22.2% year-on-year but decreased by 8.2% in household goods stores.

Table 4 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total Internet sales by sector and the proportion of sales made online in each retail sector.

Table 4: Summary of Internet Statistics for March 2014

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.

Click to enlarge

The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since January 2009  to an all time high of £34.8.billion an increase in the month  of 0.6% annualised 6.7%. The average this year is 14.8%. The long term compound average growth rate is around 23%.

Click to enlarge

The published weekly figure was £680.3 million which was well below our estimate as was the moving annual total at £34.8 billion!

The average monthly increase has been around 0.6% but we’re going for another above average April increase so are looking for £695 million and a moving annual total of close to £35 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. Due to the exceptional 5 week month in Jan 2014 there is a 6 yearly jump to allow for the 53rd week!

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 (March June September and December are 5 week months). 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 which happened this year the previous one being in 2008.

Keep an I on our Week, Infamous edition

Our top articles this somewhat Apple centric week were:

Derren Brown’s “Infamous” stage show is well worth a visit and continues throughout the UK into July


We’ll leave you with Lindsey Stirling’s  new song (courtesy of Lzzy Hale) “Shatter Me” the video of which has already had nearly 2 million views since its release on Thursday

Apple still not returning to growth

With Apple‘s revenue guidance of $36 – $38 billion for the three months to June it looks as if they, on a moving annual total basis, will by & large continue to flatline for the 6th successive quarter.

They will have been (billions):

  • $169.1
  • $169.4
  • $170.9
  • $174.0
  • $176.1 and
  • $177.8 (using the mid point of their guidance of $37.0 for Q3).

This period of consolidation has arguably been accompanied by a lack of new product range announcements. The last one we would consider to have taken place was the iPad way back in 2010. As Tim Cook was at pains to point out on Wednesday its been the fastest ever takeoff of any product range they ever introduced.

His words were:

“It absolutely has been the fastest growing product in Apple’s history, and it’s been the only product that we’ve ever made that was instantly a hit in three of our key markets, from consumer to business including the enterprise and education. And so, if you really look at it in just four years after we launched the very first iPad, we’ve sold over 210 million, which is more than we or I think anyone thought was possible at that period of time. It’s interesting to note that that’s almost twice as many iPhones that we’d sold in a comparable period of time, and over seven times as many iPods as we’d sold in the period of time. So, I think it’s important to kind of to put that in perspective. We’ve come a long way very, very quickly.”

Prior to this the iPhone first appeared in 2007 and the iPod way back in 2001

Tim Cook also at a more general level was definitely saying they’re “right” not first on the product range introduction side.

His actual words were:

“As you probably know from following us for a long time, we didn’t ship the first MP3 player, nor the first smartphone, nor the first tablet. In fact, there were tablets being shipped a decade or so before then, but arguably, we shipped the first successful modern tablet and the first successful modern smartphone and the first successful modern MP3 player. So it means much more to us to get it right than to be first.”

Some think Apple may have missed some opportunities. With pressure from the likes of Carl Icahn (who was happy with the results and accompaniments)  to increase the share price which has now cost over $130 billion. The less expensive action  of having their 7/1 share split, which might enable their inclusion in the exclsive Dow Jones Index of 30 companies is most welcome and we look forward to a share price of in excess of $100 in the near future!

We feel a more dramatic use of this $130 billion could have been undertaken either on the product development or acquisition fronts. Arguably, its main competitor, Google is more adventurous/experimental.

The next 12 to 18 months will we envisage see a new product line emerging likely on the wearables front.

We fear with the dropping of the “hobby” description of the Apple TV streaming device together with 20 million unit sales to date that the once vaunted REAL Apple TV may be ditched. This we think is possibly the most missed opportunity of the decade if not the first quarter of the century!

Apple revenues Flatline for 5th consecutive quarter


ROUNDUP am April 24

From Apple:

From elsewhere:

Instant analyst opinions/headlines:


Update (April 23) 9.45pm BST:

Revenues margins and hence EPS way above analysts estimates & Apple guidance – share price up 8% so far!

  • Q2 Revenues/EPS: $45.7bn/$11.62
  • Q2 Unit sales (millions) iPhones – 43.7 iPads – 16.4 Macs -
  • Dividend increase to $3.29
  • Buy back shares program increased by 50% to $90bn
  • 7 for 1 stock split planned
  • Q3 Guidance Revenues/Gross margin $36-$38 bn / 37% – 38%
  • Share price : Close $524.75 – After hours + 8% ish ie+ $43 Current

Updated schedule below.

We’ll do a roundup tomorrow am.

Apple results, for their Q2 2014 (13 weeks ending March 29) should be released around 9.30 pm BST followed fairly rapidly by their Conference Call at 10pm BST (2pm PDT) which you can listen to live.

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

  • If their revenues are less than $43.6bn this quarter it will be the first year on year quarterly decrease we think since Q4 of 2002 – a distinct possibility but we’re sure they will try to avoid this! ( A return to growth is predicted, by many, from the next quarter onwards).  
  • Quarter 2 results consensus (Professionals/The Street) Revenues / Earnings per share – $43.5bn / $10.22
  • Quarter 3 mid guidance consensus Revenues / Earnings per share – $39bn / $8.50
  • Possibly an increased dividend from $3.05 to $3.35 per share

Click to enlarge

Whilst no new product announcements will be made many think that a new larger iPhone 6 and iWatch are on the horizon whilst we are still hopeful of a REAL Apple TV in the not too distant future!

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 a rounded set of results 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!

We’ll leave you with the latest iPhone 5s add showing you how powerful it really is!

Mixed Views on our Technological Future

Pew Internet Research  in conjunction with the Smithsonian magazine have just had a look at what US citizens think of their technological future.

The report is “US Views of Technology and the Future – Science in the next 50 years” (pdf)

In general there is some optimism around but we were surprised at the gender differentiation at an overall level with a significantly less rosy view from the female sector!

Looking 50 years out our health stands a good chance of improvement but our unpredictable weather is likely to continue!

You can even participate in a small (13 questions) Science and Technology Knowledge Quiz and see how you compare with the average American?

Easter Festivus 2014

It’s the traditional (internet) Easter egg hunt weekend so we’ve got together a few selections

Google search


  • Do A barrel roll
  • Tilt
  • Google in 1998
  • Anagram
  • Binary
  • Festivus

and try hovering on I’m feeling lucky for some additional options!

Google maps


  • Do the Harlem Shake
  • Beam me up Scotty

and finally our all time favourite


“Thank you David Risher…” which can be found on the Full Store Directory page  as a “secret” link & it’s not at the top!


Tesco continues to dominate UK online grocery

Tesco announced their preliminary results for 2013/14 today with “… Strong UK growth in online grocery +11%”

We think this could be a little below the overall market increase on food sales per the ONS statistics which show an increase of around 12.5% as between 2012 and 2013.

Some say they have nearly 50% of the UK online grocery market which we find difficult to accept but they are undoubtedly the number 1.

In TOTAL grocery market share Kantar World Panels latest stats for the 12 weeks to 2 March have the top 5 as Tesco (28.6%) Asda (17.4%) Sainsburys (16.5%) Morrison (11.1%) and the Co-op (6.1%).

We guess the top 5 online would include Waitrose and Ocado with neither the Co-op nor Morrison, at present.

Tesco click and collect are following Asda in setting up collection from 6 London tube station car parks from temperature controlled vans at Osterley, Newbury Park, Rayners Lane, Finchley Central, Arnos Grove and Cockfosters.

This follows Asda’s similar ventures at East Finchley, High Barnet, Harrow & Wealdstone, Highgate Stanmore and Epping.

Waitrose are aiming, a little longer term, for the temperature controlled locker facilitiea which we think could be the future! With a total of 270 London tube stations there’s a way to go yet!

Here are Tesco’s words, extracted from their results announcement, on their online sector

Clicks & Bricks

Our grocery home shopping business continues to grow strongly. We now have over 200,000 delivery saver subscribers and over 260 Click & Collect locations – including our first trials at six London tube stations. We are planning to launch around 50 non-store collection points in 2014/15, as well as adding the service to another 100 stores. We continue to build capability through the automation of ‘goods to person’ at our new Erith facility. This enables us to pick products almost three times faster than in our stores – an improvement on our Crawley and Enfield dotcom-only stores. Our new home shopping vans will be multi-category enabling us to fulfil general merchandise orders and will feature collapsible racking to carry larger items from our new general merchandise range. We will also focus on providing helpful, friendly and personalised customer service at the doorstep, with the roll-out of new training to all customer delivery assistants in 2014/15.

We have also committed to sharper prices this year for our grocery home shopping service, including market-leading delivery pricing and free Grocery Click & Collect. We will continue to focus on our most loyal customers, with a no-risk guarantee and added-value services on our Delivery Saver subscriptions.

The strong top-line growth of online general merchandise and the actions we have taken, such as tightening our stocked range, have reduced the level of financial losses in this business. We now have over 1,750 Click & Collect locations and plan to increase this number significantly. Our product offer on Tesco Direct has grown to over half a million lines, supported by 50 market place ‘Sellers at Tesco’. Clothing online continues to perform strongly, with sales growth of nearly 60% in 2013/14.

This year we launched the Hudl, our very own tablet. It was recently named winner of the ‘ReThink Retail Technology Initiative of the Year’ and we plan to launch a second device later this year. Blinkbox services continue to grow and we launched Blinkbox books last month with hundreds of thousands of books now available to download.”

GO ON increase our UK digital skills

Following yesterday’s Governmental programme aimed at seeking to reduce digital exclusion by 25% by 2016. GO ON UK today announce what they are doing to help Northern Ireland get connected where they reckon that nearly 25% of the adult population nearly 350,000 “…lack the Basic Online Skills needed to send and receive email, use a search engine, browse the internet and complete online forms. Almost a third of businesses and charities are also missing out.”  It’s what we might call a digital coldspot in the UK!

This digital skills programme which has already succeeded in Liverpool and is well under way in the North East aims to deliver a 25% reduction in the number of people below the Basic Online Skills threshold in 12 months.

GO ON UK have already launched   which is “…aimed at people and organisations who want to inspire and support others to open opportunities online, it’s home to online tools and resources and a map which features over 3,000 UK Wi-Fi hotspots, computer access points and real people wanting to share their digital skills.”

You can GET INVOLVED here

The Basic Online Skills definitions are:

Who are

  • They were conceived and created by Go ON UK, the UK’s digital skills alliance.
  • Their chair is Baroness Lane-Fox and the founder partners are Age UK, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, EE, e-on, Lloyds Bank, Post Office and Talk Talk. The site is also supported by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills.
  • was built by Carswell Gould and continues to be developed based on your feedback. Tell them what you’d like to see.