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RAIN 3/4: Android pulls ahead in U.S. as mobile data use expected to "explode"

Posted on: 03/04/2011

NEW STUDIES OFFER LOOK INTO PRESENT, FUTURE STATE OF MOBILE

Google’s Android mobile operating system looks to be pulling ahead of its competition, but overall smartphone penetration may be less than you expected. That said, a new forecast from Cisco expects mobile data traffic to “explode” by a factor of 26 within five years.

First off, a new Nielsen study has confirmed that Android is the most popular mobile OS in the U.S., topping BlackBerry and Apple (NYT coverage here). In January, Canalys reported Android was the most popular mobile OS worldwide.

However, “anyone who believes we’re nearing some sort of saturation point” with smartphones (and tablets) would do well to check out new data from investment bank RBC Capital Markets. It estimates 394 million people own a smartphone or tablet, compared to 2 billion Internet users and nearly 1.3 billion PC users. “The potential for growth is huge,” RBC notes (Engadget coverage here).

That sentiment is backed up by Cisco, which recently predicted that mobile data use is set to “explode.” The company forecasts that, by 2015, there will be nearly 800 million mobile-only Internet users worldwide, mobile data speeds will increase by 10 times and global monthly data traffic will increase by a factor of 26.

“Mobile data is well on its way to become a necessity,” Cisco writes. Ars Technica has more here.

ATLANTIC LOOKS TO “REDEFINELABEL WEBSITES WITH UNIQUE CONTENT

Atlantic Records is filling its website with unique content, most of it pulled out of old vaults. The site offers old photos, posters, interviews, studio performances and a general “treasure trove of memorabilia” — like Ray Charles’ first contract, ad copy from 1967 about Aretha Franklin, or the 1960 Ray Charles ad pictured.

“Most label sites offer little more than a list of their acts and some promotional materials,” writes CNet. “But Atlantic is trying to give visitors a reason to stick around.” You can read more on the story here.

FORTUNE: PANDORA NOT RIDING NEW DOT-COM BUBBLE, JUSTTYPICALIPO

With Facebook valued at 25 times its revenue, Twitter at 100 times and now Pandora — “without having made a cent in net profit” — going public, it’s hard not to recall the dot-com bubble of the late 90s. Is another one on the horizon? And if so, is Pandora a Netscape — ready to crash-and-burn when the bubble bursts — or is it an Amazon that can stand firm and endure?

Well, it’s actually neither, argues Fortune. Pandora is “a typical IPO candidate – that is, a company that has yet to post a profit but nevertheless offers a reasonable promise of profit growth in the future. Pandora is actually a good example of how the tech IPO market should be working in a time when people are worried about bubbles.” Read more here.

HYPEBOT OUTLINES 6 TRENDS SET TO “CHANGE RADIO FOREVER

Though “radio hasn’t changed much in the last ten years,” Hypebot sees six trends on the horizon that will flip the medium on its head. At the top of the list is the “Democratization of Radio,” driven on by the #2 trend, in-car web-connected music apps. Personalization services and real-time listener analytics are also on Hypebot‘s list.

“You can’t beat radio at its own game,” Hypebot observes (here), “but once the rules change, you can create a new one. Once the barriers fall to offering in-car programming, an era of infinite creative destruction will commence.”



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