Random Thoughts

Please excuse my absence over the past month. I have been buried writing a new white paper that will be out early next month. I was also busy giving presentations in London about mobile/signage convergence, have been preparing for a presentation in Germany next month and have been swamped with the duties of my day job. All in all, it’s been a very busy time.

I look forward to launching my upcoming white paper as I think it has a powerful message about the impact mobile will have on digital signage – particularly DOOH. In that paper, I will build the case outlining why digital signage operators/providers need to be concerned about the new mobile paradigm and defining how they should respond. I’ll let you know when it releases.

Earlier this month, Apple gave hints about its pricing for its new iAd service. The talk has been that Apple is asking $10 million from advertisers interested in participating in the launch of the new iAd service. For those willing to wait a while, estimates are that it will cost around a million. Makes me wonder if anybody in the ad-based digital signage industry has ever gotten $10 million for placing an ad on their network? As you may recall from my last blog post (and the articles referenced therein), I took the position that Apple was well positioned to redefine mobile advertising. It was also my position that this would have a profound impact on ad-based digital signage. I’ll have more on this in my white paper.

As you may recall from my last white paper, I noted that the adoption of smartphones – particularly the new generation of super smartphones – were going to change the playing field for mobile/digital signage convergence. Well, first quarter smartphone sales data were just released and the segment continues to do exceptionally well. Worldwide smartphone shipments were up 67 percent over first quarter of last year according to the research firm Canalys. Estimates are that smartphone penetration could reach 23 percent of the handsets in use by the end of this year, which is five percentage points higher than that forecast last year. According to the NPD Group, sales of the iPhone were up 131.6 percent over the same period last year, while sales of Android based phones were up over 1,070 percent. The growth of Android devices knocked the iPhone into third place in terms of quarterly market share. It will be interesting to see what will happen to iPhone sales in the third quarter after Apple launches its newest version of the iPhone, which is reported to have a higher definition display, more memory, a faster processor and more battery life. It is reported that Apple has placed an order for 24 million units with its Chinese manufacturing partner.

Other random observations on things that will ultimately impact the digital signage industry are: Hewlett Packard took a big step into the smartphone space by buying Palm. It is said that HP’s Palm purchase was the impetus behind ceasing work on its Windows 7 based tablet. Speaking of tablets, the iPad continues to do exceedingly well. It sold 1 million units in just 28 days. Wireless data sales for the first quarter increased by 22 percent to $12.5 billion. Starbucks launches a mobile phone payment pilot that also works at Target. Want to know why? Coupons on mobile phones take a different kind of scanner than the traditional barcode readers. Target has made a commitment to upgrade their point of purchase scanners. I’m guessing that Starbucks has done the same within the pilot stores.

That’s about it for right now. Look for my upcoming white paper in early June.


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