The Internet of Somethings

A new consortium has been set up today:


The current members are:

  • Atmel
  • Broadcom
  • Dell
  • Intel
  • Samsung
  • Wind River

(We couldn’t help but notice that it shares its initials with amongst others The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and The Orkney Islands Council!)

Even we noticed names NOT present ranging from A through Z.

At least some of these are amongst the claimed 50 members of the competing AllSeen Alliance  who count the following majors amongst their number:

  • Cisco
  • HTC
  • LG
  • Microsoft
  • Panasonic
  • Qualcomm
  • Semantec

We wonder if a third consortium/alliance including the likes of Apple and Google may appear in due course – we have our doubts!

Satellites and Drones and White Spaces

… are possibly the 21st Century version of Trains and Boats and Planes!

Many articles are appearing following the Wall Street Journals exclusive on Google possibly spending $1 billion on satellites to compliment Project Loon. O3B Networks are also allegedly involved.

At the other end of the spectrum so as to speak the Microsoft 4Africa Initiative have been undertaking, comparatively quietly, a project in Kenya aimed at bringing the internet to millions at minimal cost by utilising the spare unused frequencies between broadcast channels (white space).

Bringing the internet to all often concentrates on Africa (and its 58 countries), with its land mass where the internet is unavailable to many. In the overall numbers game Africa’s total population is circa 1.1 billion of which nearly 40% live in South Africa Egypt and Nigeria which have at least some internet structure and availability.

As we have mentioned before nearly 2/3 of the unconnected world are in Asia.

We’ll leave you with Microsoft’s video about their Kenyan venture.


A Third of Most Valuable Global Brands are Techs

BrandZ part of the WPP group  have just published their consistently excellent  Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2014” which is  commissioned by them and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor.

All you need and more is available from the BrandZ 100 site!

Now on to the results (our Technology categorisation is, as ever, our broad definition which adds 13 brands to the BrandZ category – mainly from their Telecoms and online only retailers sectors):

  • The top 4 overall most valuable brands are from the technology sector
  • 6 of the overall top 10 are from the technology sector
  • 11of the overall top 20 are from this tech sector
  • 32 of the 100 are from this tech sector
  • Of the Top 20 risers (the greatest value increases over 2013)  a staggering 9 are techs (Tencent + 97%,  Movistar +56%, Facebook +68%, BT +61%, Baidu +46%, Yahoo +44%, Amazon +41%,  Google +40%  and Siemens +36%.)
  • 3 of the 7 newcomers to the top 100 are techs Twitter at #71 {the highest new entrant) Linkedin at #78 and PayPal at #97

Click to enlarge

Nick Cooper, managing director of Millward Brown Optimor commented “Google has been hugely innovative in the last year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a multitude of partnerships that see its Android operating system becoming embedded in other goods such as cars,”

Last year we thought Google might make #1 which has happened but our hoped for top 5 for Amazon just d out on a top 5 position.

Next year we reckon Google will stay there Apple & IBM could both move down the charts allowing some uplift for Amazon. Tencent will also likely make further huge strides.

We’ll leave you with their Top 100 countdown video.

From Apple to Mobily

Brand Directory are one of the first to come up with a 2014 brand table – in their case the Global 500 2014.

The top 5 by value we would categorise as coming from the technology sector and elsewhere at Warc they categorise 9 of the top 10 as Tech brands with Walmart being the only exception at number 9. The top UK company is Vodafone is at # 16.

Overall Brand Value Rating Sector Country
ranking $ billion
1 Apple 104.7 AAA Computers USA
2 Samsung 78.8 AAA Semiconductors S Korea
3 Google 68.6 AAA+ Internet USA
4 Microsoft 62.8 AAA- Software USA
5 Verizon 53.5 AAA- Telecoms USA
6 GE 52.5 AAA- Miscellaneous USA
7 AT&T 45.4 AA Telecoms USA
8 Amazon 45.1 AAA- Internet USA
9 Walmart 44.8 AA+ Retail USA
10 IBM 41.5 AA+ IT Services USA
16 Vodafone 29.6 AAA- Telecoms UK
77 Toshiba 13.7 AA Electronics Japan
145 Canon 8.2 AA Office business equip. Japan
500 Mobily 3.0 AA Telecoms Saudi Arabia
Source: Branddirectory, Global Brand Index 2014


This encouraged us to look at their sector categorisations – they have 50 and of these we would allocate 8½ to our wide view of the technology sector. The ½ relates to Miscellaneous where of the 9 companies we would count 4 as techs!

On the 8½ basis 82 (16%) out of the Global 500 are techs.

A critique of the sector allocations might question Google & Amazon being categorised as Internet – in fact  looking at the remaining 11 constituents (ebay, facebook, QQ, PayPal, Priceline, Yahoo, Baidu, QVC, Semantec, Netflix and WeChat) their appears to us to be a remarkable diversity of brands. Even more so than Miscellaneous!

They also categorise differently the most powerful brands where Ferrari comes out on top and the other AAA+ rated brands are Google, Coca Cola, Disney, PwC, Hermes, Red Bull, L’Oreal, Rolex, Mckinsey and Unilever. Only one tech here then and we might argue, subjectively, for Apple’s inclusion (who fall short by a single+) ahead of Google.

Much more to digest on their interactive table including the history from 7 previous years. 

Its Safer Internet Day

And this years message is “Let’s create a better internet together

Microsoft are also supporting the “day” and urge you to join their #Do1Thing movement.

  • You can Watch SID TV all day
  • Take the QUIZ
  • Admire their Infographic

Click to ...









  • Watch their Video

and follow them on twitter:

+ join the conversation #SID2014

We’ll leave you with a slightly scary video from Microsoft – delay your posts especially if you’re using #Hashtags!

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.

Having the Digital Time of our Lives

Microsoft together with Brand Republic have been trying to “… understand the changing landscape of consumers’ wants and needs” and having done some research across 8 countries are now sharing, at least some of it on both Brand Republics website and their own.

Apparently we:

  • know our information/data is valuable
  • are fascinated with measuring the everyday performance of our bodies and minds.
  • are making permanent the things we want to remember, deleting the things we want to forget and shaping our profiles to create multiple identities that reflect the professional self, the fun self, the studious self.
  • are turning towards smaller, more tailored, more intimate, localized networks to fulfill our online needs.
  • want to understand the inner workings of products and enjoy new experiences through the process of creating rather than merely consuming.
  • want to be Not always off. Not always on. IntelligentlyON.
  • are expecting more and more opportunities to be pleasantly surprised by digital technologies that know us so well.
  • regard new technology as engaging all our senses and bringing the digital world to life.

Much more besides in an impressive piece of research.

Research methodology:

Online survey with regular and heavy internet users in UK, USA, China, Brazil, Sweden, Czech Republic, Russia and Germany, 1,000 respondents in each market – 8,000 in total

Tablet sales this quarter to be 70-80 million

The first couple of estimates from IDC and Witsview (the display research division of TrendForce) for Q3 tablet shipments have been produced over the last couple of days.

No real surprises and whilst growth continues the market, compared to some of its previous frenzies, has been relatively subdued. In fact IDC’s first 3 quarters of the year show global shipments all within the 40-50 million range with Q1 being the highest so far.

IDC are somewhat critical of some of the white box products (in total they account for over 20% of the market according to Witsview).  “These low cost Android-based products make tablets available to a wider market of consumers, which is good. However, many use cheap parts and non Google-approved versions of Android that can result in an unsatisfactory customer experience, limited usage, and very little engagement with the ecosystem. Android’s growth in tablets has been stunning to watch, but shipments alone won’t guarantee long-term success. For that you need a sustainable hardware business model, a healthy ecosystem for developers, and happy end users.” said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. We couldn’t disagree with that.

Click to enlarge

That of course is all about to change. Traditionally ie over the last 2 years Q4 shipments have been something like 50% up on Q3 with for example Amazon selling 5-6 million Kindle Fires against a rest of the year runrate of something like a million a quarter. Certainly here in the UK Tesco and Argos have come up with seasonal offerings and new products abound from, , Amazon Apple Google Microsoft and Samsung to name but a few!

We previously had thought annual shipments might reach 250 million but although NPD DisplaySearch reckon they could reach 255 million this is likely a minority view.

At the other end of the scale Witsview are talking about 186.7 million.

If, and it is of course a biggish if, the quarter produces 75 million tablets then using  IDC’s historic figures we could reach over 215 million in the year.

We are pretty confident there will be several surprises along the way!

Has Apple’s new iPad mini missed the ship?

A resounding yes is the view of IHS iSuppli as they are predicting a possible demand of over 9 million units in Q4, of which on a time basis nearly 30% has already gone, versus an availability, based on supply  data, of perhaps 3-4 million.

This is apparently due to limited production of the new retina display. They report that whilst production is ramping up limited yields are being encountered.

They comment on the rather woolly intro date mentioned by Apple at their media event and their press release on availability simply says “iPad mini with Retina display will be available later in November.”

On the pricing front IHS iSuppli’s view is that ”Apple has dropped the price point on the original mini to $299 … but that price point still sits well above the market average for 7-inch products with similar performance.”

Our view is that the iPad Air may save the day and whilst $299 is more expensive than most you do have to remember that Apple undoubtedly has the best ecosystem. We will be surprised if total iPad shipments are less than 20 million in Q4 and they could be off this chart! We shall see!

Without a doubt the android bunch will welcome these shipment delays and attempt to capitalise on these teething problems during the spendfest season.

Which sort of brings us round to Amazon who announced their latest quarterly results yesterday which showed an expectation beating increase in Net sales of 23.8% at $17 billion ish which will push their shares up significantly later today. On the not quite such good, but somewhat predictable, news their Total operating expenses were up 23.7% so they still had losses around the $½ billion level!

Apple‘s results are due on Monday so will see if IHS iSuppli’s estimate of around the 15 million total iPad shipments in Q3 is there or thereabouts.. Financial resultswise they will need to impress to keep up with Google, Microsoft and Amazon!

80% of the Global Top Ten Innovators are Techs

Booze&co. on Tuesday published their 2013 Global Innovation 1000 Study with the subheader/byline : Navigating the Digital Future. We think it could equally have used the present tense as (again using our broad definition) the top 5 and 8 out of the top ten qualify. (The logo you may not recognise is Tesla Motors)

Click to enlarge

One, to us striking, increase is yet again the rise & rise of Amazon. It’s on an even steeper ascendancy than Samsung!

As far as we understand it Biooz&co. get together the highest R & D spend for 1,000 global quoted companies using published information through June of this year. They then survey 400 industrialists to quantify the ranking of the innovators.

Simply in R& D spend amongst the top 5 innovators they reckon their spend, its overall ranking and % spend of revenue is:


  • Apple $3.4bn / (42) / 2.2%
  • Google $6.8bn /  (12) / 13.5%
  • Samsung $12.4 / (2)  / 5.8%
  • Amazon $4.6bn / (30)  / 7.5%
  • 3M $1.6bn / (85) / 5.5%

Looking at it another way the top 1,000 they record as spending a total of $638bn so Samsung managed nearly 2% of this and Google just over1%. That’s a lot!

Using their definition Software & Internet companies had the highest increase in R& D spending this year increasing by 22.1%. This would include Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Facebook. Computing  & Electronics which includes Apple and Samsung grew a mere 2.%. They classify 3M in Industrials which had a 5.4% increase in the year.

Booz&co. highlight the use of digital enablers within R & D spend and have a rather clever interactive tool you can play with  which shows many of their features.

Their words say:

“Overall, companies spend an average of 8.1% of their R&D budget on digital enablers; the Software & Internet, Aerospace & Defense, and Health industries spend the highest proportions

These tools fall into two categories: “Productivity Enablers“ and “Market and Customer Insight Enablers”

  • Productivity Enablers are commonly used, must-have enablers to establish baseline productivity
  • Market and Customer Insight Enablers are emerging enablers focused on understanding market and customer needs”

We’ll leave you with their Digital Enablers video, which includes we thought some rather impressive graphics.