iPad: Users Younger, Wealthier more Engaged

Users of the iPad and iPhone mobile devices, based on the iOS platform, tend to be younger and wealthier than typical mobile subscribers, according to a recent survey by The Nielsen Company. Only about 15% of iPad users are more than 56 years old compared to 33% of all mobile subscribers. However, while more than 10% of both iPad and iPhone users are 18-24, compared to less than 10% of all mobile subscribers, the most substantial difference occurs in the 25-36 age bracket. About 40% of iPad users and 30% of iPhone users fall into the 25-36 category, compared to about 20% of all mobile subscribers.

How Engaged? Tips to Up iPad Ad Interactivity Even More
Early advertisers on the iPad – Target, Dove and Ford Lincoln – all sounded the same trumpet call: their iPad campaigns had higher levels of user engagement than their online campaign counterparts. Since then research firms have been scrambling to quantify just how much more engaged iPad users are with advertisers. New figures come from Mobclix, which just launched the Mobclix Index, a new monthly series of infographics that aims to shed more light on the constantly shifting mobile ecosystem. Platforms including Apple‘s iPhone and iPad, Google Android, Research In Motion‘s BlackBerry and Windows Mobile 7 will be highlighted. Based on advertising data resulting from the total number of iPad ads served by Mobclix (300 million impressions per month on average), the Index finds that, yes, there is increased engagement on gaming apps played on the iPad versus the iPhone.

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Second Life: Now for iPad, but not for Tameside …

Ah, Second Life. Unfortunately, it ain’t what she used to be. The brands all left, there have been more than a few virtual scandals in recent years, user numbers have fallen off (as have staff numbers, after a 30% staff layoff) and the newest official Linden Labs viewer software didn’t exactly get rave reviews. However, there is still a relatively large and loyal SL contingent that is eager to access their digitized world wherever and whenever they can. Enter the Pocket Metaverse iPad App for  Second Life. Some people have been begging and pleading for a reliable Second Life viewer for the iPhone since day one. Those same people really began clamoring for something more mobile when the iPad came on the scene. Pocket Metaverse Pro ($2.99) is just that app. With versions for the iPad and iPhone (and free versions to boot), Pocket Metaverse is more than adequate for accessing Second Life and other similar Open Grid virtual worlds while on the go.

Not everyone’s a fan of SL though, notably the good people of Tameside, whose Council just scrapped a £36,000 virtual town hall in Second Life. Tameside Council, in Greater Manchester, ‘rented’ an island in the virtual world of Second Life and built a computerised town hall, hoping it would encourage users to access local authority services. But the project has been abandoned after council chiefs admitted they could not justify the cost.

IT council chiefs ditch Sadville after splurging £36k (go.theregister.com)
Council scraps £36,000 virtual town hall in Second Life (telegraph.co.uk)
Council’s £36,000 on ‘virtual’ HQ (thesun.co.uk)
Linden Lab guns for service-based Second Life viewers (massively.com)
Linden Lab Fail. (rcaston.com)
Second Life Owner Linden Lab to Lay Off 30% of Its Workers (dailyfinance.com)

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iAd

Apple unveils iAd
Apple has revealed details of its new mobile advertising platform, allowing advertisers to run campaigns that “combine the emotion of TV with the interactivity of the web”, as the company targets delivering one billion ad impressions a day. The platform, called iAd, will be pre-installed in the new iPhone 4.0 operating system, set to be released this summer, and will give advertisers the ability to run full-screen video and interactive ad content without requiring the user to navigate away from an app.

What iAd Won’t Do For Marketers
For online marketers, there is a lot to like about Apple’s mobile ad platform, the iAd: an ad that stays inside the app doesn’t force the consumer to choose between the app or leaving the app to satisfy a passing curiosity about an ad (and guess who usually wins in that scenario).

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iPad Kerfuffle

Apple announced this morning that it sold more than 300,000 iPads on opening day. The comprehensive number includes pre-order pickups, deliveries to channel partners and walk-in sales at Apple Stores. Additionally, customers went home and downloaded more than 1,000,000 apps (oh, it’s on) and 250,000 ebooks.
The underlying problems, things like the lack of multitasking, expandability, the anemic iBookstore selection–all that stuff has been covered in the initial reviews. It’s something else entirely to actually have an Apple iPad in your hands, playing with it–you’ll discover quirks that only come from use, and the Internet community has been very vocal about them.
Here are some examples of the ways our Most Innovative Companies are taking advantage of Apple’s new tablet.
Even though the iPad looks like an iPhone built for the supersize inhabitants of Pandora, its ambitions are as much about shrinking our laptops as about stretching our smartphones. Yes, the iPad is designed for reading, gaming, and media consumption. But it also represents an ambitious rethinking of how we use computers. No more files and folders, physical keyboards and mouses. Instead, the iPad offers a streamlined yet powerful intuitive experience that’s psychically in tune with our mobile, attention-challenged, super-connected new century. Instant-on power. Lightning-fast multitouch response. Native applications downloaded from a single source that simplifies purchases, organizes updates, and ensures security. Apple has even developed a custom chip, the A4, that both powers the machine and helps extend its battery life to 10 hours. The iPad’s price puts it in the zone of high-end netbooks: $500 for a basic 16-gig, Wi-Fi-only model.
Before the iPad was launched, most of the information we had about the device was provided by Apple and a few trusted partners. With it now in stores, consumers and business can see for themselves what there is to like about it – and what is missing. For the most part, marketers’ business case for the iPad – eventual large scale adoption because of the Apple name, the promise of iPad apps etc – appears to hold true, according to the numerous reviews that ran this weekend. That said, there are some missing features and functionality with the iPad that should give marketers pause.
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NPD: Puma Phone, Solar MacBook

Puma and Droga5 promise a more playful breed of mobile phone
Puma claims it has created the “first mobile phone dedicated to encouraging an active life outside of the phone.” According to the apparel company, its phone will use the latest 3G cellular technology, but also have a “playful” side, featuring applications like “icon messaging, sarcastic calculator, scratching turntable [and] easy peasy video calls.” Droga5, the agency behind the Puma-phone campaign, says more than 500,000 units have been pre-ordered.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is such a tease. First it hints that Apple is working on intelligent power monitoring systems and solar-powered iPhones (and don’t forget the solar iPad rumors), and now a patent explores the possibility of sun-lit MacBook displays. AppleInsider points us to a patent entitled “External Light Illumination of Display Screens”, filed in 2008 but revealed this week. According to the patent, Apple is developing displays that can be backlit by the sun in order to save battery life.
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Mobile: VW 2010 GTI

VW 2010 GTI
AKQA San Francisco did a good (if predictable) job avoiding TV spots for the 2010 GTI launch. You have to admire any digital agency that could pull this off – I couldn’t imagine many of the others doing it – even AKQA’s other offices.

They need to buff up their rationale for using the iPhone though – it comes across as tactic first (an iPhone app!) and post-rationalized strategy after. I wonder if the channel choice was a client mandate (in a Volvo S-60ish way) or an agency initiative? They also talk about “80% increases” in enquiries without showing a comparison, which makes it meaningless.

The app/ game itself was made by Aus-based Firemint.

Blah blah blah. All in all a good effort though, but more strategy please.

It’s clever of AKQA to  promote the campaign within FB itself and encourage people to fan their brand through the video clip

Volkswagen ‘launches’ the 2010 GTI on the iPhone with Real Racing GTI game (mobilecrunch.com)
Volkswagen Launches New Car Through iPhone Game [IPhone] (kotaku.com)
Volkswagen Becomes First Auto Manufacturer To Launch a Car Exclusively on a Mobile Device (slumpedoverkeyboarddead.com)
VW 2010 GTI – mobile car launch through the itunes App store (nickburcher.com)
Blue Plate Special: Real Racing GTI For iPhone/Touch (geardiary.com)
Volkswagen launches free version of Real Racing to promote 2010 GTI (tuaw.com)
New VW GTI Launched With iPhone App, Mazda Diesels Could Come To U.S.: Today’s Car News (blogs.thecarconnection.com)

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Mobile: Touchscreen, TwitterPeek, eReaders

The number of touchscreen mobile-phone users in the US has grown 159% during the past year – to 23.8 million in August 2009 – and has substantially outpaced the already-strong 63% growth of smartphone use, according to a study of touchscreen mobile phone adoption in the US by comScore, Inc.
iphone 159% growth
A new gadget designed specifically for people who want to tweet on the go was launched Tuesday by gadget maker Peek. The device, dubbed TwitterPeek, does one thing and one thing only: it lets people tweet. It doesn’t access e-mail. It doesn’t make phone calls. It tweets. That’s it. TwitterPeek, which looks like a smartphone, features a QWERTY keyboard and comes in black or aqua blue. The idea behind TwitterPeek is simple. After buying the device, users need only to input their Twitter credentials to get going. The gadget lets them tweet, reply, retweet, send direct messages, and download followers. It supports one account at a time. Users can also view TwitPics by clicking the “view content” option from the TwitterPeek menu. The company claims its battery lasts three to four days with average usage.
twitterpeek
In what appears to be indicative of Twitter’s success and growing popularity, a new gadget has hit the market that has been developed specifically – and solely – for users to send and receive tweets. TwitterPeek, a $99.95 device with a QWERTY keyboard, color screen and click-scroll wheel offered through Amazon.com, could prove to be the hot selling item for the holiday season. On one hand, it’s less expensive than a smartphone upgrade. On the other, it could also prove dud-worthy if demand never materializes.
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With the iPhone still the hottest smartphone, there’s much speculation about how its future will pan out. For some the money’s on gaming, but new research from Flurry is surprisingly different: eBook apps are overtaking games in the App Store.
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