During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Best Buy announced that it will reorganize part of its business to focus on sales of connected devices such as tablets, smartphones and computers. Best Buy has created a new retail “connectivity business group,” Forbes said Friday, that will sell the aforementioned devices in Best Buy Mobile and Best Buy retail stores with 3G and 4G wireless service plans. Forbes explained that the connectivity business group (CBG) is similar to Best Buy Mobile but incorporates more devices and will include 15,000 employees from Best Buy Mobile and another 20,000 from Best Buy retail stores who previously worked to sell tablets and computers. Consumers likely won’t see any form of CBG branding and the changes will mostly affect Best Buy’s training practices for its Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores. Both stores will sell the products and Best Buy Mobile will likely begin offering connected laptops and tablets in addition to its current smartphone catalog. More →
As connected devices continue to proliferate in the United States and around the world, a new study suggests Apple’s iOS products are the three most widely used mobile devices in two key markets: the United States and the United Kingdom. Mobile ad network JiWire on Tuesday released its latest Mobile Audience Insights Report, which offers data on various market trends in the third quarter of 2011. In both the U.S. and U.K., JiWire found that the most widely used connected devices between July and September were Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Smartphones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform following in the No.4 spot in both regions, but they are oddly all lumped together whereas other entries in JiWire’s top-10 charts are listed by device, not platform. Read on for more. More →
Mobile data connections are poised grow 11% in 2011, driving global mobile data revenue to $314.7 billion. Market research firm Gartner on Thursday said mobile data connections will reach 5.6 billion this year compared to 5 billion in 2010, driving global revenue from mobile data up 22.5% from the $257 billion earned last year. “Mobile data traffic will increase significantly as more people will have access to mobile data networks, there is a migration toward smartphones and an increase in sales of media tablets,” said Gartner analyst Jessica Ekholm in a statement. “Mobile data volumes will continue to grow as mobile data networks become faster and more ubiquitous, while at the same time the number of data users and data usage per user is expected to grow.” Gartner sees global mobile data connections growing steadily over the next few years, reaching 7.4 billion in 2015 creating $552 billion in revenue. Preparing networks for this growth is something carriers need to focus on. “What carriers currently need are innovative ways to increase data revenue while finding smart solutions to manage a growing demand in data,” said Gartner research director Sylvain Fabre. “Ultimately, it will be the consumer who chooses the content he or she wants to use, and carriers need to ensure that the quality of experience is good. A substandard user experience may lead to higher churn.” Gartner’s full press release follows below. More →
Amazon announced on Wednesday that AT&T will sponsor a new Kindle 3G with Special Offers, a deal that has lowered the price of the device $50 to $139.99. In a statement, AT&T’s CEO Ralph de la Vega said that the Kindle 3G is “by far the fastest growing connected device” on AT&T’s network. Amazon’s “Special Offers” devices come at the cost of ad-sponsored content. Users will see advertisements at the bottom of the screen and can launch the “AdMash” Kindle application to choose which advertisements are displayed. The $114 Kindle Wi-Fi with Special Offers device, which launched in April, is currently the best selling version of the popular eReader. Read on for the full press release. More →
In a report titled Emerging Wireless Consumer Devices published this month by Berg Insight, the firm claims that sales of connected consumer devices will grow 77% in 2011. Berg estimates that 22 million consumer devices with embedded cellular connectivity were sold in 2010, and that number will nearly double in 2011 to 39 million. In 2015, Berg thinks over 270 million connected consumer devices will be sold globally, representing a compound annual growth rate of 65%. The category, as defined by Berg, includes devices with integrated cellular connectivity such as tablets and eReaders, and it excludes cell phones. The firm also notes that connected portable gaming consoles such as Sony’s NGP will be a new and significant entrant into the category later this year.
Ever wonder how many devices that aren’t mobile phones are connected to a mobile network? Today, in a press release, AT&T announced that it has added 3.4 million connected devices — that’s eReaders, netbooks, digital photo frames, personal navigation devices, home security monitoring, smart grid devices, etc. — to its wireless network since the beginning of 2010. Nearly 900,000 of those devices were added in Q2, bringing the total number of such devices to just under 6.7 million. “AT&T has certified more than 850 specialty consumer and machine-to-machine devices [...] for use on its wireless network,” boasted the press release. While the number of connected devices still pales in comparison to the number of mobile phones, this figure is sure to explode in the next several years as companies and consumers build and demand more connected devices. We’ve got the full press release for you after the bounce. More →