Digital Bytes: Mobile use soars over Christmas

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, mobile use soars over Christmas, app downloads top 40 billion and Sony gear up for a new assault on the smartphone market…

Mobile use soars over festive period

Use of the mobile web reached an all-time high over Christmas, new figures have revealed. Conducted by eDigitalResearch and IMRG, the research shows that 89% of the 2,000 online consumers surveyed went online on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day, with around 30 per cent accessing through their smartphone and 21 per cent doing so via a tablet device. This is an increase of 8 per cent and 13 per cent respectively on 2011’s total. “The traditional Christmas Day and Boxing Day routines are changing,” eDigitalResearch’s head of research Derek Eccleston said. “More and more people this Christmas settled down to watch the television with their smartphone or tablet device to hand. Nowadays when someone sees a product being advertised or something that catches their eye on TV, the first thing they are likely to do is to reach for their Internet enabled device and search for it online.” Andy Mulcahy, head of communications at IMRG, added: “We know from previous research that 80 per cent of consumers use their mobile devices in front of the TV (known as ‘second screening’). This propensity for dual visual engagement is an interesting development, as it essentially makes TV adverts and sponsored programmes retail channels, and uniquely time-sensitive ones at that.”

App downloads top 40 billion

There have been more than 40 billion downloads from the App Store since it was set up, Apple have revealed. Just under half that number came in 2012, and 2 billion came in December alone as people got new iPhones and took advantage of the wealth of apps on offer. “It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, said. “Developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world.” There are currently 775,000 apps available for iPhones, iPads and iPods on the App Store.

Sony reveal new smartphone

Sony are making a fresh bid on the smartphone market by launching a new product in 2013. The Sony Xperia Z, dubbed a ‘super phone’ by the company, has been unveiled at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, and the company is hoping it will help them rival the likes of Apple and Google in the smartphone field. “The ingredients are there for us to garner the kind of market share that I think we deserve,” Sony Chief Executive Kazuro Hirai told the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, it is understood that Apple are working on a cheaper version of the iPhone with an eye to a possible 2013 release. The cheaper model would reportedly feature a less-expensive body made of polycarbonate plastic, rather than the aluminium used on the iPhone 5.

Samsung launch connected fridge

As we noted in our Trends for 2013 article, the Internet of Things is set to be huge this year, and Samsung have made an early gambit in this sphere by unveiling a Wi-Fi enabled fridge at the Consumer Electronics Show. The full-size fridge-freezer features a 10 inch touchscreen and runs on Google’s Android operating system. It also comes pre-loaded with cloud-based note-taking app Evernote, allowing foodies to note down their shopping list as the fridge’s stock runs low. The Samsung T900 will retails for around $4,000 (£2,500) and will be available in the spring.

LinkedIn tops 200 million members

Finally, LinkedIn has hit the 200 million member mark. It has taken less than a year for the social network to double its tally, having accrued 100 million members in March 2011. “This milestone is more than just a metric — it’s a reminder of the global footprint and the scale of impact our network has each day,” said the company’s Deep Nishar. “Members come first at LinkedIn and we remain focused on creating economic opportunity for every professional in the world. We look forward to bringing the power of the LinkedIn network to many more professionals in the coming years,” The company have also put together an infographic to celebrate their success.