Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Near-Field Communication (NFC) - Technology, Patent and Competitor Landscape Report - Key players, innovators and industry analysis

NEW YORK, Dec. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

Near-Field Communication (NFC) - Technology, Patent and Competitor Landscape Report - Key players, innovators and industry analysis

NFC is a technical standard established by the NFC Forum through the various standards established in 2004 to standardize the communication, electromagnetic as well as physical characteristics of NFC for interoperability and development perspectives. There is no publicly available patent repository that clearly lays out the 'essential patents' to enable use of the NFC technology, or the patents on the application side that leverage the 'essential patents' to deliver various applications to consumers.
As companies firm up their NFC business strategies in light of competition, the firms will also like to have strong visibility into the competitive IP strategy/IP landscape in the NFC area. This report on NFC helps answer the pertinent questions a firm may have:-
• A comprehensive listing of all the probably essential patents based on NFC standards ISO/IEC 14443, ECMA-340 and ECMA-352. (patents whose technology is relevant to the standard and whose priority date is before 2004)
• The various patents that leverage the NFC standard to deliver the various applications to consumers
• Those patents that are apparent improvements to the standard/essential patents (being defined as the patents whose priority date is after the NFC forum of 2004)
• The hardware related patents that consist of constructional part of the transmitter/receiver antenna or coil involved in NFC communication
This data was collated by the Dolcera team through deep analysis of over 6000 patents obtained through a combination of key words and IPC/ECLA codes in the Thomson Innovation database. The Dolcera experts went through these patents to identify about 1500 patents relevant to the NFC technology which were then each analyzed in deeper detail. The detailed and thorough reading of patents was done to classify the patents into probably essential patents, application patents and the patents that improve on the standard (herein referred to as standards based).
This is the first report of its kind and is now available as a publication from the Dolcera Reports umbrella and provides an extensive analysis and market appraisal of the commercial opportunities open to players in the rapidly expanding Near-Field Communication market. The report has been compiled by following best of breed patent analysis practices by a team of experts. The analysis method allows sufficient time by the experts to go through the patents before they are classified into each of the above mentioned categories.
The final report is delivered using a Web2.0 platform. The underlying assumptions of how patents are classified is clearly and transparently laid out - which means that a customer can clearly read the underlying logic of why Dolcera experts believe a patent is probably essential. The entire platform through which the report is presented is extremely flexible in that it allows one to alter the classification of documents if their underlying assumptions are different from the experts.
System Description
Near field communication or NFC is short-range wireless technology, operating at a distance of 10 cm or less. NFC operates at 13.56 MHz with data rate ranging from 106 kbit/s to 848 kbit/s. Most of the RF energy is concentrated in the allowed 14 kHz bandwidth range, but the full spectral envelope may be as wide as 1.8 MHz when using ASK modulation.NFC architecture is composed of an initiator and a target, where the initiator actively generates an RF field that can power a passive target. For such reason, NFC targets can have very simple form factors such as tags, stickers, key fobs, or cards that do not require battery, even though NFC peer-to-peer communication is also possible (i.e. both devices are powered).NFC employs two different coding to transfer data: if an active device transfers data at 106 kbit/s, a modified Miller coding with 100% modulation is used; in all other cases Manchester coding is used with a modulation ratio of 10%.NFC devices are able to receive and transmit data at the same time. Thus, they need to check the radio frequency field and can detect a collision if the received signal matches the transmitted signal's modulated frequency band.1. Executive summary2. Introduction to NFC 2.1.
System Description
2.2. Operating Modes2.3. Applications3. Taxonomy for near field communication4. Top cited patents for NFC5. Key findings5.1. Major players in NFC technology5.2. IP activity in NFC technology5.2.1. Priority year wise5.2.2. Publication year wise5.3. Geographic distribution of IP activity in NFC5.4. Key NFC patents5.5. Major player analysis5.5.1. Top assignee - Technology distribution5.6. Standards based analysis5.6.1. Top assignee - Standards based5.6.2. Filing trend - Standards based5.7. Probably essential patent analysis5.7.1. Top assignee - Probably essential5.7.2. Filing trend - Probably essential5.8. Application based analysis5.8.1. Top assignee - Application based5.8.2. Filing trend - Application based5.8.3. Top assignee - Mobile based data transfer applications5.8.4. Top assignee - Application based data transfer5.9. Analysis of NFC related hardware5.9.1. Filing trend – Hardware5.9.2. Top assignee - Hardware6. Appendix: Search strategy6.1. Patent classes6.2. Concept table6.3. Thomson Innovation search7. Appendix B: Sample analysis7.1. Application based categorization flowchart7.2. Standard based categorization flowchart7.3. Sample categorization
Table of figures
Figure 1: Inductive coupling
Figure 2: Modes of operation
Figure 3: Taxonomy of all the relevant patents
Figure 4: Taxonomy - NFC standards
Figure 5: Major players according to number of patents
Figure 6: Priority year wise IP activity
Figure 7: Publication year wise IP activity
Figure 8: Geographical distribution
Figure 9: Top cited patents
Figure 10: Top assignee - Technology distribution
Figure 11: Top assignee - Standards
Figure 12: Filing trend - Standards based
Figure 13: Top assignee - Probably essential
Figure 14: Filing trend - Probably essential
Figure 15: Top assignee - Application based
Figure 16: Filing trend - Application based
Figure 17: Top assignee - Mobile based data transfer applications
Figure 18: Top assignee - Application based - Data transfer
Figure 19: Filing trend – Hardware
Figure 20: Top assignee - Hardware
Figure 21: Application based categorization flowchart
Figure 22: Standard based categorization flowchart
List of Tables
Table 1: Top cited patents for NFCTable 2: Patent class codesTable 3: Concept tableTable 4: Thomson Innovation search
Companies Mentioned
Sony Corp, Panasonic, Toshiba, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, ST Microelectronics, NXP BV, Broadcom, Hitachi, NEC, ZTE, Fujitsu, Canon, Research In Motion, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
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Visa Add's $1.565 Billion to their "Litigation Escrow Account"

English: Visa logo
Image via Wikipedia

SAN FRANCISCODec. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced it had decided to deposit $1.565 billion(the "Loss Funds") into the litigation escrow account previously established under the Company's retrospective responsibility plan (the "Plan").  Under the terms of the Plan, when the Company funds the litigation escrow account, the value of the Company's Class B shares – which are held exclusively by U.S. financial institutions and their affiliates and successors – is correspondingly adjusted via a reduction in the Class B shareholders' as-converted share count. This has the same effect on earnings per share as repurchasing the Company's class A common stock, by reducing the as-converted class B common stock share count. The Company will make this deposit by using funds previously allocated to its current $2 billion class A repurchase program, which was announced on July 27 and October 26, 2011, and which will exhaust all funds available under that program. The deposit of the Loss Funds will be conducted in accordance with the Company's certificate of incorporation currently in effect. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mercator: EMV, NFC and Contactless Deployment in the US

EMV, NFC, contactless in US

Boston, Mass., Dec. 21, 2011 -- If Visa's view of the world comes to pass, merchants, acquirers, and issuers will be embarking on the most complex update to their payments infrastructure in 20 years. The EMV card security standard, designed to eliminate counterfeit cards, is now an issue for U.S. organizations. At the same time, interest in smartphone-based mobile payments based on NFC is ramping up. Both technology waves will come to U.S. shores simultaneously, and entities that accept, process, route, or assume the risk for payments must prepare.

Mercator Advisory Group's new report Moving Parts: EMV, NFC and Contactless Deployment in the U.S. examines the larger issues as well as specific instances of EMV and contactless payment acceptance. The report details the state of global EMV deployment, dissects the nuanced deployment options for EMV authorization and authentication, and (given the Durbin Amendment's impact on debit processing fees)examines the likely role of the PIN code in debit card issuance based on the EMV standard.

Highlights of this report include:

The fundamental shifts in payment transaction origination and acceptance the United States will soon see, and the impact they will have on how merchants will make acquisition decisions.

The ramifications of Visa's support for EMV contact and contactless payments in the United States and the choices that now abound for issuers.

The nuances affecting successful contactless payment acceptance, and the reasons PayPass and PayWave cards may behave differently.

The long-term outlook for the personal identification number, or PIN, chip-and-pin, and chip-and-signature.

"The expected EMV rollout in the US will require no little choreography on the part of merchants, acquirers and issuers because it will touch every payment device." states George Peabody, director of Mercator Advisory Group's Emerging Technologies Advisory Service. Given the coincident timing of the EMV announcement and the arrival of NFC, merchants have to carefully plan their POS infrastructure investments over the next five years and more. Timing is everything."

This report is 23 pages long, with four figures and three tables. A valuable glossary of contactless terms is included.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Visa, MasterCard, Michael's, Maestro, U.K. Card Association, VELO, Silicon Valley Bank, and Bank of America.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group's Emerging Technologies Advisory Service have access to this report as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other membership benefits.

Please visit us online at www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com.

For more information and media inquiries, please call Mercator Advisory Group's main line: (781) 419-1700, send E-mail to info@mercatoradvisorygroup.com.

For free industry news, opinions, research, company information and more visit us at www.PaymentsJournal.com.

Follow us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/MercatorAdvisor.

Source: Company press release.

KPMG: Privacy, Security Issues Hamper Wider Growth of Mobile Banking, Despite Increasing Consumer Acceptance

NEW YORKDec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers still prefer to conduct their banking by computer and/or branch visits but a greater number today are embracing mobile banking, and many others might do so except for privacy and security concerns, according to results of a survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm. 

KPMG's fifth annual Consumers and Convergence survey discloses that 33 percent of U.S. consumers have conducted banking transactions on a mobile device, compared with 19 percent a year ago and 9 percent in KPMG's 2008 survey.  Among age groups, 41 percent of U.S. consumers age 16-34 conducted mobile banking, compared with 25 percent for older adults. 
While most respondents (57 percent) said they still prefer to use a computer or bank in a branch, another 39 percent cited security and privacy concerns as blocking their adoption of mobile banking.
In addition, banks apparently need to do a better of job of educating consumers as to their capabilities.  Fifty-four percent of respondents thought that their current bank either does not offer banking through a mobile device, or that they did not know if their bank offered this service. 
"Consumers are clearly open to using their mobile devices to conduct everyday transactions and will steadily move in this direction for years to come," said Mitch Siegel, a principal in KPMG LLP's Financial Services practice.  "With mobile banking now gaining widespread acceptance, the challenge for banks will be to develop a mobile payment solution that effectively allays security and privacy concerns."
Consumers expressed a high level of specific privacy and security concerns over conducting financial transactions on a mobile device, including the potential for credit card information to be intercepted, the threat of unauthorized parties accessing personally identifiable information and even receiving unsolicited promotional material.
Siegel said that banks have enjoyed a significant edge in ensuring trust, but the trust factor is growing more vulnerable in the digital age.  "Consumers are increasingly willing to adopt new technologies and digital business models, and that spells big opportunities and risks for service providers, retailers, media companies, banks and the host of other players vying for a piece of the digital value chain," Siegel said.
In fact, when asked who they trusted the most with their data, 53 percent of respondents identified their banks, but 29 percent said they put their trust in secure payment systems, such as PayPal.  "Whoever will master the privacy challenge will gain a significant competitive edge," said Siegel.
In the KPMG survey, 72 percent rated the "brand/reputation of the service provider" as very important in gaining trust with respect to data privacy and security, followed by 60 percent who said better disclosure of privacy/security measures implemented by the service provider, and 59 percent who felt privacy and security audits by an independent third party or a trust mark.
"Mobile commerce is evolving, and telcos, media companies, retailers, financial institutions and other service providers cannot assume that their previous reputation is enough to gain the consumer's trust when handling financial and personal data," said KPMG's Siegel. "There will be new winners and new losers, but the winners will be those who get the trust element right." 
The KPMG study also found 23 percent of consumers very willing to use their mobile phones as a wallet, with 30 percent of younger adults, those ages 16-34, much more willing to do so.
"U.S. consumers are warming up to the 'mobile wallet' concept in which the mobile device will function as a payment and financial transaction instrument," said Siegel.  "Banks are actively engaged in developing platforms and interfaces that will make this concept seamless and familiar for the consumer, while also developing business relationships with players involved in developing the end-to-end eco-system."
KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.kpmg.com/us), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International").  KPMG International's member firms have 145,000 people, including more than 8,000 partners, in 152 countries.

mopay Extends Carrier Billing Capabilities by Introducing Broadband Billing

mopay customers observe significant increase in sales volume when combining mopay broadband billing with other payment methods
MUNICH & PALO ALTO, Calif.--()--mopay, a global leader in innovative payment solutions for online merchants, today announced its product extension into broadband billing. This new alternative billing channel available on the mopay payments platform enables online merchants to charge purchases directly to consumers’ Internet service provider accounts. Two of the top-five mopay customers already use mopay broadband billing in their payments portfolios and have seen significant increase in business volume since its launch.
“With the prevalence and surging growth of online purchases, merchants are looking for ways to offer to consumers the easiest possible check-out. Offering them a tailored portfolio of payment methods will result in higher conversion rates”
Key to the success of online merchants is a fast and simple check-out for their consumers. mopay’s broadband billing option takes its established simple, secure and fast payment process to another level, seamlessly integrating a new billing method alongside its direct carrier and landline billing options. Thus mopay is able to offer yet another highly relevant billing method for customers without access to payment options such as credit card or bank account. Activation of mopay’s broadband billing option in an existing mopay implementation is fast and uncomplicated, literally requiring the flip of a switch. mopay customers adding the broadband option saw an increase of overall business volume via mopay of up to 25 percent within one week after implementation.
Integrating a broadband billing solution directly into its payment platform, mopay extends the portfolio of payment options to enable consumers to charge purchases through virtually any communications account – including mobile phone, landline phone, and now, broadband. The purchasing process using mopay broadband billing is quick and intuitive; instead of providing for example a credit card number at the point of payment, the consumer simply selects their Internet service provider and logs into their existing account. The amount of the transaction will then be billed to the consumer’s Internet service provider bill. Two of the top-three leading European cable companies Orange and SFR (both headquartered in France) were among the first to offer mopay to their customer base of a combined 26 million. mopay is currently operating in more than 80 countries globally and is planning to roll out its broadband billing product within the next 24 months.
“With the prevalence and surging growth of online purchases, merchants are looking for ways to offer to consumers the easiest possible check-out. Offering them a tailored portfolio of payment methods will result in higher conversion rates,” said Kolja Reiss, managing director of mopay, Inc. “At the same time, consumers are demanding purchasing options other than credit cards and standard wallets. At mopay, we are constantly looking for new payment methods that help meet the needs of both merchants and consumers. The very positive effect of adding mopay’s broadband billing solution to an existing mobile payments offer is just the latest example of our commitment to providing world-class service and products.”
About mopay:
mopay is a global leader in innovative payment solutions for online merchants. mopay’s core platform enables merchants of virtual, digital and physical goods to bill charges directly to consumers’ cell phone and land line accounts. mopay operates in more than 80 countries across the globe, reaching more than 3.3 billion consumers. The company has a blue-chip customer base including major brands such as Bigpoint, Gameforge, Innogames, Sulake and Travian. mopay, part of the MindMatics group, has more than 80 employees at locations in the United States, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Brazil and China. For more information, visit www.mopay.com.

First Data Releases December 2011 SpendTrend® Mid-Month Flash

Discounts Drove Solid Card Spending Growth in Early December
ATLANTA--()--First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® Mid-Month Flash analysis for the first half of December 2011 compared to the same period in December 2010. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.
“Historically, there has been some slowing in spending between Black Friday and the last week before Christmas. This year we did not see that occur as consumers kept spending on discounted goods”
For the first two weeks of December 2011, overall dollar volume growth was steady compared to November levels. Card spending growth was stronger than this period last year. Retail dollar volume and transaction growth were both up from November. Among retail categories, clothing/accessory and general merchandise stores posted healthy dollar volume growth in early December and were up significantly from November.
As consumers continued their holiday shopping, they were more willing to utilize credit. Merchant discounting and improved consumer confidence drove consumers to put purchases on credit cards and propelled credit growth rates close to double-digit levels.
“Historically, there has been some slowing in spending between Black Friday and the last week before Christmas. This year we did not see that occur as consumers kept spending on discounted goods,” said Silvio Tavares, SVP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes SpendTrend.
For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit www.firstdata.com/infoanalytics or call SpendTrend Customer Care at 800-430-0169. To participate in the SpendTrend conversation, please follow First Data at http://twitter.com/FirstData and join us athttp://on.fb.me/spendtrend.
Around the world, every second of every day, First Data makes payment transactions secure, fast and easy for merchants, financial institutions and their customers. First Data leverages its vast product portfolio and expertise to drive customer revenue and profitability. Whether the choice of payment is by debit or credit card, gift card, check or mobile phone, online or at the checkout counter, First Data takes every opportunity to go beyond the transaction.
First Data SpendTrend, a macro-economic indicator, is based on aggregate same-store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network. First Data SpendTrend does not represent First Data’s financial performance.

Elan Financial Services Acquires $700 Million in Financial Institution Credit Card Portfolios

MINNEAPOLIS--()--Elan Financial Services, a unit of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), has completed the acquisition of the credit card assets of 28 financial institutions, in a portfolio comprising approximately $700 million of outstanding balances. The portfolio, which includes small business and consumer cards, was acquired from FIA Card Services, N.A. The terms of the agreement and purchase price were not disclosed.
“This portfolio of financial institutions represents a significant opportunity for Elan”
Among the 28 financial institutions, the portfolio includes cards offered by financial services firm Edward Jones to its clients through its network of more than 11,000 U.S. financial advisors.
By purchasing this portfolio of credit card assets, Elan will own the assets but will continue to brand and to market the credit cards under the respective financial institution names. Current clients may continue to use their existing cards until Elan issues new cards in mid-2012.
“This portfolio of financial institutions represents a significant opportunity for Elan,” said Pamela Joseph, vice chairman and head of U.S. Bancorp Payment Services. “They are highly regarded financial service partners to millions of Americans and we share their commitment to adding high quality financial services for their clients that can help them achieve their goals.”
By partnering with Elan, financial institutions provide their clients with a competitive credit card product branded with the financial institutions’ logo and backed with full sales and marketing support from Elan. Customers will receive 24-hour customer service and fraud monitoring from one of the most sophisticated and experienced credit card issuers in the nation.
About Elan Financial Services
Elan Financial Services provides a complete range of processing and payments services, including credit card issuing, prepaid card solutions and ATM and debit card processing. Elan Financial Services is a leading credit card issuer for more than 1,700 clients across the United States. It provides transaction processing, terminal driving and the necessary monitoring and support services for over 27,000 ATMs nationwide, and supports more than 20 million ATM and debit cards. Elan also owns and operates the MoneyPass surcharge free ATM network. For more information call 800-343-7064, or visit www.elanfinancialservices.com.
About U.S. Bancorp
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $330 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2011, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,089 banking offices in 25 states and 5,092 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp and its employees are dedicated to improving the communities they serve, for which the company earned the 2011 Spirit of America Award, the highest honor bestowed on a company by United Way. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.

Gemalto Awarded "Agile Innovation Award" from BearingPoint

BearingPoint Awards Gemalto for its Innovation Efficiency

AMSTERDAM--()--Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, today announced it has won the prestigious BearingPoint innovation management award (“Agile Innovation Award”) for its think tank initiative “BIG” (Business Innovation Garage). BIG provides Gemalto’s 10,000 employees company-wide with a structured process to submit and manage any innovative ideas they have. Ideas covering wide-ranging fields of application – from communication, payment, transport, Internet access, and machine-to-machine application – are systematically challenged, audited, developed and eventually selectively turned into incubation cells.
“We recognize Gemalto’s ability to deliver and test prototypes very quickly, and set clear milestones for either developing the project or discarding the idea”
BearingPoint is an independent consulting company which core business is Business Consulting. With operations in 15 countries, it provides the combined expertise of its consultants both in the management and the technology domains. The “Innovation Management Trophies” are organized by BearingPoint, by the editorial board of L’Expansion1, the research firm Harris Interactive and the Ecole des Ponts (the prestigious French school of engineering). The jury ranked Gemalto first amongst a number of nominated global industry leaders.
The award specifically recognized eGo, a revolutionary new technology that uses intra-body communication properties to convey digital credentials onto devices such as a person’s car, phone or door-lock. It is exemplary of how Gemalto fosters innovation and structures individuals’ dreams into development of incubation cells.
We recognize Gemalto’s ability to deliver and test prototypes very quickly, and set clear milestones for either developing the project or discarding the idea,” commented Isabelle Denervaud, Associate Director Innovation and R&D, BearingPoint. “The BIG process is remarkable in that it ensures the same level of employee buy-in, for both “go” and “no-go” decisions.”
The cultural diversity of our highly talented workforce worldwide is empowered by the BIG process to express ideas and new business opportunities that will potentially become our commercial successes of tomorrow,” added Tan Teck-Lee, Gemalto’s Chief Innovation & Technology Officer. “BIG is an efficient innovation process, tailored to identify the best projects and develop them in a start-up mode. Gemalto is honored to be distinguished by BearingPoint, who shares the same ambition of always delivering best value to their clients.”
1 L’expansion is a French monthly trade & financial publication aiming to inform readers on trends and figures of French industry as well as carrier and management consulting, through deep study & analysis.
Readership: decision-makers in the industry – high Salaries. 345,000 readers (source AudiPresse Premium 2011).
About Gemalto
Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security with 2010 annual revenues of €1.9 billion and over 10,000 employees operating out of 87 offices and 13 Research & Development centers in 45 countries.
Gemalto is at the heart of our evolving digital society. Billions of people worldwide increasingly want the freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain, and work—anytime, anywhere, in ways that are convenient, enjoyable and secure. Gemalto delivers on the growing demands for personal mobile services, identity protection, payment security, authenticated online services, cloud computing access, modern transportation, e-healthcare and e-government services. Gemalto does this by providing secure software, a wide range of secure personal devices, and managed services to wireless operators, banks, enterprises and government agencies.
Gemalto is the world leader for electronic passports and identity cards, two-factor authentication devices for online protection, smart credit/debit and contactless payment cards, as well as subscriber identification modules (SIM) and universal integrated circuit cards (UICC) in mobile phones. Also, in the emerging machine-to-machine applications Gemalto is a leading supplier of wireless modules and machine identification modules (MIM). To operate these solutions and remotely manage the software and confidential data contained in the secure devices Gemalto also provides server platforms, consulting, training, and managed services to help its customers achieve their goals.
As the use of Gemalto’s software and secure devices increases with the number of people interacting in the digital and wireless world, the Company is poised to thrive over the coming years.
For more information visit www.gemalto.comwww.justaskgemalto.comblog.gemalto.com, or follow @gemalto on Twitter.

Freemium Revolution Will Continue in 2012, According to ABI Research

LONDON--()--“Freemium” has been much more than just one of the biggest buzzwords of 2011. Worldwide, of the top-ranked 250 iOS apps across all categories, an average of 88% are already free to download and monetized incrementally with advertising and in-app purchases. The trend will continue in 2012, and it is entirely possible that at this time next year in certain categories all relevant iOS apps will be free.
Apple enabled in-app purchasing for free apps in October 2009 and since then developers have been remarkably quick to evolve their business models. Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst, consumer mobility, explains, “What many observers misunderstand about freemium is that it isn’t only about monetizing, but also about marketing. The threshold for consumers to download free apps is really low, so more people end up using and recommending them, which then also gives those apps a bump in distributors’ ranking systems. This means that paid apps fail to draw attention in the first place.”
However, the situation can differ substantially between different countries. In Germany, 17% of the top iOS apps are still paid, while in India and South Africa their share is already as low as 5%. In the leading app market, the United States, 10% of the top apps are free. Furthermore, revenue models vary notably between different app categories. In both navigation and weather, one-fourth of the top apps are paid, whereas in segments like lifestyle (3%), entertainment (5%), and games (6%), their share is starting to be miniscule.
According to practice director, mobile services, Dan Shey, “Apple has always had an edge against other app platforms in convincing users to pay, and if anything, the shift toward freemium is amplifying the dynamic. In-app purchases are often impulse purchases, so the payment experience has to be very smooth and simple. For Google, finally sorting out Android Market’s billing process will be one of the key issues of 2012.”
ABI Research’s new study, “Mobile Application Tracker Database,” (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1009628-Mobile+Application+Tracker+Database) provides a comprehensive review of the major mobile application stores, including cross-country comparisons. Tracking metrics cover top application titles and categories, leading developers, user ratings, and pricing, among others. The underlying data is collected directly from the included stores by using ABI Research's proprietary software.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Apple Patent Infringement Ruling Hits Android

Bloomberg News

Apple Inc. was handed a legal victory that is bad news for rival Google Inc., as a U.S. trade agency ruled that some HTC Corp. smartphones that use the Internet company's Android software infringe an Apple patent.  HTC said it would soon remove an infringing feature from its phones. Above, shoppers view HTC phones in a Taipei, Taiwan, store last week.  The U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday ordered HTC by April to stop importing handsets that infringe the patent. The Taiwanese company said it would remove the feature found to violate Apple's patent, a move that should avoid disruption to its U.S. business.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405291104577109010174484888.html#ixzz1h6yiN6cc

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