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July 21, 2018

28.4 billion Mobile app downloads in 2018, q2

"mobile app consumer spending"

Mobile App Consumer Spending


 
Q2 2018 –has set new  records for global mobile app downloads and consumer spend. Topping the record-setting Q1 2018 levels, there were over 28.4 billion mobile app downloads globally across iOS and Google Play in Q2,2018  up 15% year over year according to the report by AppAnnie

This number is particularly staggering all the more because the numbers reflect  new downloads and does not include re installs or app updates.

Furthermore consumers spends on mobile apps exceeded  $18.5 billion across iOS and Google Play combined – a growth rate of over 20% year over year. 
Most of the downloads came from Google play as it  significantly widened its lead over iOS , exceeded 20 billion in Q2 2018, up 20% year over year and widened the gap between itself and iOS by 25 percentage points to 160%. However global consumer spend on iOS App store grew 20% year over year. 

The mobile app download on Google Play was led by India which was the largest driver of mobile app downloads in terms of growth and market share.On the iOS, ,United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia saw the largest growth in mobile app downloads year over year.Most of the the mobile app growth was led by FIFA World cup 2018, as , Video Players &  Sports apps drove growth in Google Play downloads quarter over quarter in Q2 2018.

The impact of Sports downloads was even more pronounced on iOS where Sports apps were the largest driver of growth in global iOS downloads, followed by Finance and Travel apps. According to AppAnne out of  the top 10 Sports apps in the US by time spent on Android phone during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup  were (June 10-30, 2018), Telemundo Deportes, FOX Sports GO, and FOX Sports ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively, for average megabytes per user – an indication of users live streaming World Cup matches on mobile.FOX Sports downloads increased by 95x for the same period, while Telemundo Deportes En Vivo grew 444x,

In the UK, over 6 million hours were spent in the top 10 Sports apps by time spent on Android phone during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup, up 65% from the 3 weeks directly prior. Sports streaming service fuboTV saw the largest impact, growing at a whopping 713 percent and adding 309K new users in the U.S., while Hulu saw the smallest impact at 18 percent growth. for example.

Sports apps on iOS were the third largest contributors to absolute growth in consumer spend and in market share in Q2, while Entertainment and Productivity apps were numbers one and two, respectively.In-app subscriptions for both Sports and Entertainment apps drove the consumer spending increases. On Google Play, Games, Social, and Music & Audio apps saw the largest download growth, quarter-over-quarter.


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January 9, 2018

voice asssistant war between google and amazon hots up



According to a Google  blog post this morning, “The Google Assistant is now available on more than 400 million devices.” When Google says “devices” it’s including Android smartphones, tablets, TVs, headphones and Google Home smart speakers. However its not clear how many Google Home, Mini and Max speakers were sold in 2017.

In terms of numbers Four hundred million is huge  but that includes mostly Android smartphones. Based on a review of data from NPR, Strategy Analytics and Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, it appears that Google Home has roughly a 25 percent share of the US smart speaker market.Specifically, Strategy Analytics estimated that Google’s share of Q4 smart speaker sales was 24%.Walker Sands (“Future of Retail 2017“), in a survey of 1,622 US adults, found that about 23% respondents owned a smart speaker. If the results can be generalised to the broader population, then something like 56 million assistant-powered speakers are in US homes today. The survey was conducted in late Q3 or early Q4, before Christmas.

Meanwhile Rival Amazon is also making announcements at CES with a range of device makers. Alexa is being integrated into a set of expensive augmented reality glasses ($1,000) from Vuzix. More significantly, it will be added to PCs and laptops from Acer, Asus and HP. This represents a significant potential challenge to Cortana. Meanwhile data suggests that Amazon has now taken over from Apple as the virtual assistant leader, if not in absolute device numbers then in terms of visibility and momentum.

According to a range of third party estimates, Amazon has roughly three-fourths of the smart speaker market to Google’s 25 percent.Suggesting that it’s gaining on Alexa, last week Google said there was robust demand for Google Home. The company asserted it “sold more than one Google Home every second since Google Home Mini started shipping in October.” That means, since approximately October 19, Google has sold nearly 7 million devices. That’s not all of Google Home sales but suggests the totality of devices sold is below 10 million.

Last year, Alexa was the clear winner of CES, with companies like Ford, Huawei, and LG agreeing to integrate their products with Amazon's virtual assistant. Since then, Alexa has only gotten bigger - Amazon says that it sold " tens of millions " of Alexa-enabled products, led by its own Amazon Echo Dot, over the holiday season. 

Among the list of devices the Google Assistant is being integrated into are “smart displays”.They will initially come from JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony. Google was rumoured to be working on its own answer to the Amazon Echo Show, which will have a screen.It’s not clear if a Google Home branded smart screen device is still in the works or if the company will rely on these and other third parties instead. The screen creates a range of obvious new user experience possibilities as well as new marketing and commerce capabilities for brands, publishers and marketers. That same potential with the Echo Show has to date been mostly unrealised.

The new smart screen Google Assistant devices will make video calls, access Google Photos and show YouTube videos.Amazon’s Echo Show and Fire TV have been blocked from showing YouTube for allegedly violating Google’s terms of service and not offering Google products reciprocity on Amazon.com. The Google Assistant is also coming to more smart TVs this year In addition to existing offerings from Sony and NVIDIA, introduced last year, TV makers integrating the Assistant include including TCL, Element, Hisense, Westinghouse and LG.

While Alexa for screens works exclusively with Amazon's own echo hardware,Google Assistant  is compatible with devices made by other companies including new models from Sony ,LG,Lenevo, and JBL, a brand of Samsung's Harman division.


As of now Amazon seems ahead of the competition as got in on the smart speaker market early, and has moved quickly to ensure its stays out in front. Now, by most measures, the Amazon Echo is dominating the smart speaker market . The company has built on the lead with an avalanche of new hardware released in the last year: The tablet-like Echo Show, which has a screen; the Echo Look fashion camera; the Echo Plus home hub; the Echo Spot alarm clock; the redesigned Echo.

Plus, partners like Sonos and Ecobee have released their own products with Alexa built in, so you can talk to (and shop from) Amazon from an ever-increasing number of places. And with 30,000 skills, or apps , now available for Alexa, customers can do a lot more with those devices - giving them fewer reasons to switch. This is all a part of Amazon's ongoing playbook to get Alexa everywhere. Now, with its market share established and its position looking to be firmly entrenched, Amazon is entering a new phase in its master plan.


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January 7, 2018

google issues seo guidelines for voice search



Consumers are increasingly turning to voice for search. While Amazon Alexa or Cortana-enabled products uses results from Bing.Google Assistant or Apple Siri, is powered by Google.Brands and publishers are have realised that they need to be on top of SERPs across voice search as well Following these best practices guidelines published by Google recently will be increasingly important for your content to surface in voice searches. 

Google Research blog recently has published the search quality raters guidelines, contractors guidelines to evaluate Google’s search results, specifically for the Google Assistant and voice search results. It is similar to the web search quality guidelines, but it changes in that there is no screen to look at when evaluating such results; instead you are evaluating the voice responses from the Google Assistant.

It is important to note that comScore predicts that 50% of all searches will be by voice in 2020. Gartner forecasts 30% of web browsing will be done by voice the same year. Voice adoption is growing quickly and discovery through Voice SEO will become critical.

According to searchengineland “The Google Assistant needs its own guidelines in place, as many of its interactions utilize what is called ‘eyes-free technology,’ when there is no screen as part of the experience.” Google has designed machine learning and algorithms to try to make the voice responses and “answers grammatical, fluent and concise.” Google said that they ask raters to make sure that answers are satisfactory across several dimensions.Here are some of the voice search and voice assisted search guidelines issues by google. 

Information Satisfaction: the content of the answer should meet the information needs of the user. 

Length of the query: when a displayed answer is too long, users can quickly scan it visually and locate the relevant information. For voice answers, that is not possible. It is much more important to ensure that we provide a helpful amount of information, hopefully not too much or too little. Some of our previous work is currently in use for identifying the most relevant fragments of answers. Formulation: it is much easier to understand a badly formulated written answer than an ungrammatical spoken answer, so more care has to be placed in ensuring grammatical correctness. 

Elocution: spoken answers must have proper pronunciation and prosody. Improvements in text-to-speech generation, such as WaveNet and Tacotron 2, are quickly reducing the gap with human performance.

top 5 silliest inventions in silicon valley

"silliest inventions in silicon valley"
"funniest tweet over silicon's valley bizarre inventions"

The funniest and silliest Silicon Valley Inventions 


 
For every 10 things invented at silicon valley last year, there were atleast 8 things that count among the dumbest and screwed up this year.From a office tent called a pause pod to a the app-enabled vending machine Bodega.Silicon valley in its efforts to reinvent how people live and interact succeeded in altering the human mind by sheer idiocy and brain freeze. Here are the top 5 silliest silicon valley inventions that did not manage to make hay while the silicon valley sun was at its fiercest
1)Juicero 
What was “invented”: A wifi-enabled juicer with a powerful press designed to squeeze juice from a proprietary bag of fruit and vegetables. 
What already existed: Your hands, Capri Sun, juicers. 
Juicero was the silliest and most infamous, $400 juicer that sold its customers prepackaged bags of fruit and vegetables that, it said, could be pressed into delicious juice using only its machine. But Bloomberg figured out that the machine was unnecessary. You could just squeeze the bag with your bare hands and get about the same amount of juice from the vending machine.Five months and $118.5 million of investment later, Juicero was dead. The CEO of Juicero was last seen emerging from Burning Man, drinking an expensive snake oil from a company that also calls it “raw water" 

2)Bodega 
What iwas “invented”: A replacement for the corner store. 
What already existed: Vending machines, minibars. Bodega set a record time for a startup to experience public backlash. Bodega was an app-enabled vending machine with bougie products that aims to put your beloved, locally owned corner store out of business. “The vision here is much bigger than the box itself,” Bodega’s co-founder Paul McDonald told Fast Company. That interview ran on September 13th. On September 14th, Bodega apologised to “to anyone we’ve offended.” The apology focused on the name, which the company assured that it had market tested in “Latin American communities,” and 97 percent of respondents didn’t think it was offensive. What Bodega missed was that the entire concept was offensive.

3)Lyft Shuttle 
What it “invented”: Lyft, but for people who are cool with traveling on a set path in a shared vehicle for a lower rate. 
What already existed: A bus. Lyft Shuttle, launched as an experimental service in March of this year, was promoted as a cheaper, commuter-friendly alternative to hailing a Lyft. 
As the Verge noted, the entire thing more or less duplicated what a city bus already does: travels on a fixed route, picks up and drops off riders at predetermined spots and transports a larger group of people at one time.The only difference was that the Proceeds from the bus went back into the system that keeps the bus running, not into the coffers of a VC fund. Incredible work and Great job, Lyft. 

4)The Office Tent called Pause Pod 
what was the invention:your daily getaway at office
What already existed : your workstation 
Long days at office,terrible sleeping habits with day long stress and caffeinated delirium.This is where Odd Company's Pause Pod came in and tried to make a difference, to  increase your productivity at office.The Pause Pod was a kind of portable tent like pod a private pop up space where you could set up anywhere at your office, except inside that corner office where you boss sits the whole day.It was a tent which you can pitch up anywhere and disappear inside leaving your co workers bewildered and wondering what you are doing inside.

5)WeWork:
What was the Invention : A shared office space. 
What already existed : Roomates: 
With an $18billion valuation ,WeWork is worth more than Elon Musk's SpaceX.But unlike Elon Musk's rocket start up,WeWork has no moonshot ideas.WeWork just rents real estate and brands properties.WeWork is like WeLive  akin to living like roommates in a shared office space in a kind of communal offshoot.This is called “co-living” in the world of WeWork. In the real world, it’s called having roommates. If you elect to have a roommate rather “co-living” with someone, it tends to be cheaper, and you get to choose your own decor.




tech trends which will define 2018


 


From Space tourism to electric cars and the rise of virtual reality,technology is  transforming  our worlds faster than we can imagine. It is said "You cannot predict the rain , but you can build an ark". 2018 will see the dawn of newer technology which only existed in the realms of science fiction movies just 10 years ago.

While 2017 has seen AI Bots,Machine Learning, 3D printing, AR and Blockchain starting to become more  relevant and mainstream 2018 will be a year when many of these newer  technologies like Cryptocurrency Blockchain, Electric Cars Virtual Reality will find more acceptance and become advanced.Here are some of the technology trends which will make a big impact in 2018. 

1)Artificial Intelligence comes of age: There are three broad reasons for AI’s phenomenal growth in the last two-three years. First is the rapid advancement in machine- and deep-learning algorithms. Second is the availability of humongous amounts of data (hence known as Big Data) on which these algorithms can be trained. Third is the dramatic increase in computing power that includes more efficient computer processing units and graphic processing units. 

The results are clearly visible. In December, Alphabet-owned AI firm DeepMind announced that its AlphaZero algorithm took just 4 hours to learn all chess rules and defeat the world’s strongest open-source chess engine, Stockfish.

AlphaZero, which was modelled on DeepMind’s AlphaGo Zero computer programme, vanquished a world-champion programme in each game of chess, shogi (Japanese chess) and the Chinese game, Go, within 24 hours. Since automation and AI are better than humans with routine tasks, it has understandably given rise to the fear that automation and AI will take away our jobs and become more intelligent than human beings. In his 2006 book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, American author and futurist Ray Kurzweil forecast that AI would surpass humans. By 2099, he added, machines would have attained a legal status equal to that of humans

2)AR and VR will become communal experiences: Right now VR(Virtual reality) is an isolating experience.You can put on a headset and immerse yourself into an make believe world in a universe where you and your own self inhabit.Going forward VR will allow a more immersive experience with your surroundings. VR and AR ( Augmented Reality) will allow communities to experience the world together.We will get to play work and explore the world in the form of alternate realities and our reality distortion field will be all about larger sharing VR  experiences.

3)Big Data overload and privacy concerns  Today every company in the world has begun to mine big data on consumer habits and shopping behaviours.In 2018, data collection is going to become an even higher priority. With consumers increasingly talking to smart speakers throughout their day, and relying on unlimited digital devices for most of their daily tasks, companies will soon have access to—and start using—practically amounts of personal data. This has many implications, including reduced privacy, more personalized ads, and possibly more positive outcomes, such as better predictive algorithms in healthcare. To add to the problem, a lot of data has a lifespan. At some point in time, these data becomes outdated and its no longer longer relevant.But often it is held onto anyway in the mistaken belief that some day it might come in useful. It is important to remember also that collecting and storing data costs money - data requires storage, electricity to power it and, if the information is sensitive (including customer records) attention to be spent on security and data compliance. Of course, the problem becomes even bigger when we take into account the predicted growth in the data companies will produce: A recent article on Forbes predict a 4,300 percent increase in annual data production by 2020. 

3)Blockchain will increasingly become mainstream: One of the biggest technological trends in 2018 would be the rise and acceptance of blockchain.The rise of blockchain technology wont be just limited to cryptocurrency in 2018.Cryptocurrency will move into larger areas of governance.We have seen some amazing things in the cryptocurrency market in 2017 including the rise of the ICO where companies like Tezos raised almost 250 million, the "big 3" (Bitcoin, Litecoin, & Ethereum) have gained in the 1000%'s, and a massive explosion of interest in both the traditional financial markets as well as the consumer markets here in the in 2017. 

4)Electric cars: Self driving cars are still in the labs.So forget about them and start to embrace electric cars.In 2018 we are likely to see new electric cars promising ranges of 200 miles or more.In 2018 the Tesla Model 3 and the second generation of Nissan are set for release.Long term investment on petrol cars will also start declining. 

5)Smart Soundbars. Riding high on  the back of voice controlled speakers multi room audio looks all set to grow.While there  is an explosion in the hardware market , we are witnessing significant growth in premium multi room systems and smart soundbars in particular.Technavio’s market research predicts the global soundbar market to grow steadily at a CAGR of above 16% by 2021. One of the major factors driving growth in this market is the increasing number of smart homes.Many homes in developed nations such as the US and UK are being remodeled to smart homes.A smart home consists of media and entertainment gadgets, consumer electronic devices, and other smart electronics that can interact with each other through a home network.2018 is also likely to see more of Dolby Atmos and high resolution audio 




January 6, 2018

ripple and ethereum adds to the upheaval in the alt coin world


The virtual currency boom has got so heated that it is throwing some of the richest and most powerful people into disarray.At one point last week one of the founders of virtual currency who is also among the largest owners of Ripple tokens was worth more than $59billion.

Ethereum and Ripple two Bitcoin rivals jostled for attention during the  early days of 2018 cryptocurrency war   as it marked two records in the alt coin world: Ethereum's per-coin value broke $US1000 ($1276) and the rising value of Ripple supposedly boosted its co-founder Chris Larsen to an estimated net worth of $US59.9 ($76) billion.Riding in the digital currency's surge in the last few weeks, the co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple is now one of the five richest people in America. 

 Chris Larsen, co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple, has 5.19 billion of the company's digital coin XRP and a 17 percent stake in the company, according to Forbes, citing sources at Ripple. With XRP hitting a high of $3.84 on Thursday, Larsen's holdings are worth about $59.9 billion. That puts the former Ripple CEO just ahead of Larry Ellison, who ranked fifth on Forbes 400 list with a worth of $58.4 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ranks fourth, with a worth of $74.4 billion. 

Despite a very real speculation bubble around cryptocurrency, these financial gains are mostly on paper and the two coins couldn't be more different.

While Ethereum bills itself as a blockchain app platform where transactions are used to pay for decentralised computing power,Ripple is the world's only enterprise blockchain solution for global payments. Ripple's core proposal is to facilitate fast, cheap transactions, mainly between banks, through a separate but related entity called Ripple Connect. The Ripple coin (XRP) exists independently in the hopes that banks will someday use it via Ripple Connect.

Ripple is a kind of  real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), currency exchange and remittance network by Ripple. Also called the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) or Ripple protocol it is built upon a distributed open source Internet protocol, consensus ledger and native cryptocurrency called XRP (ripples)

Ripple connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates via RippleNet to provide one frictionless experience to send money globally.Released in 2012, Ripple purports to enable "secure, instantly and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks." It supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodity or any other unit of value such as frequent flier miles or mobile minutes.

Used by companies such as UniCredit, UBS and Santander, Ripple has been increasingly adopted by banks and payment networks as settlement infrastructure technology, with American Banker explaining that "from banks' perspective, distributed ledgers like the Ripple system have a number of advantages over cryptocurrencies like bitcoin," including price and security. 

On 1 Jan 2018, the market capitalisation of XRP was 87 billion USD, making it the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap Thanks to one digital currency's surge in the last few weeks, the co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple is now one of the five richest people in America.

Meanwhile according to CoinMarketCap, Ethereum currently has a market capitalisation of about $96 billion (£70.7bn).Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum allows developers to build applications on its network. The majority of initial coin offerings and other trading games are based on Ethereum. Ethereum's particular blockchain technology means that the currency is more naturally resilient to cyberattacks.

The explosion in Ripple's valuation over the last few months is the starkest illustration yet of the mania that has spilled over into the broader universe of virtual currencies.These coins with names such  as Cardona, Stellar and Iota are generally new twists on Bitcoin Technology which uses a decentralised network of volunteer computers to keep a record, known as blockchain, of all technologies.

Cryptocurrency founders can often hold large amounts of the digital coins they create.The anonymous bitcoin founder known as "Satoshi Nakamoto" has 980,000 bitcoins, or about 4.7 percent of all bitcoins that will ever exist, based on widely accepted analysis by Sergio Demian Lerner. 

However Mr Chris Larsen's ballooning net worth and the value of Ripple tokens mostly drew comments about the irrationality of the virtual currency markets which appear to be driven largely these days by the feat of missing out (FOMO)




twins who sued zuckerberg becomes 1st bitcoin billionaires


 
The twin brothers who sued Mark Zuckerberg claiming he stole the idea for Facebook are worth more than $1bn after capitalising on the astonishing rise in Bitcoin. An $11m (£8m) bet on Bitcoin made by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss over four years ago has multiplied by almost 10,000% after Bitcoin reached a new record breaking high in december 2017.This is believed to be the first billion-dollar return made by a cryptocurrency investor, a landmark moment for the twins who sued Mark Zuckerberg and claimed that Facebook's idea was originally theirs.

In 2009, the Winklevoss twins received a settlement from Facebook valued at more than $65 million.According to the Telegraph, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss bought 1 percent of all currently mined bitcoin for a price of $11 million in 2013 with the lawsuit money received from Facebook. Since then, the $11 million crypto-bet has multiplied by almost 10,000 percent, making the twins the first bitcoin billionaires.

Seven years ago, the value of a single bitcoin was worth a quarter-of-a-cent. Today, that single bitcoin is worth upwards of $2,200.The twins used part of their settlement money to invest heavily in bitcoin.Bitcoin has grown exponentially since then: According to Fortune when the Winklevosses first invested, the cryptocurrency was trading at $120 per coin, a far jump from the more than $11,000 it has reached today. That's an increase of over 9,000 percent. 

In October 2015, the brothers launched Gemini, a bitcoin exchange described by the Financial Times as “one of the first regulated and licensed digital currency exchanges in the developed world. 

Interestingly the first bitcoin transaction was made by a software programmer on “Bitcoin Talk” known as Lazlo Hanyecz who offered to 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas. For the first three days, no one took him on his offer with Hanyecz writing: “So nobody wants to buy me pizza? Is the bitcoin amount I’m offering too low?” A user eventually paid about $25 for two pizzas. In today’s bitcoins, those pizzas would have cost cost Hanyecz $22 million.




January 5, 2018

travis kalanick to sell 29% of his uber stake, worth $1.4billion


 
Former Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick  is all set to sell around 29% of his Uber stake to Softbank in the process making him richer $1.4billion according to Bloomberg post today. The former Uber Cofounder remains one of the wealthiest people in the world on paper.However  post his stake sale, Travis Kalanick would become an actual billionaire for the first time.

Interestingly during a Vanity Fair’s 2016 New Establishment Summit he boasted and touted the fact that he had “never sold a single Uber share which was an expression, of his own faith in the company’s future.


Reports indicate that the former Poster boy  and cofounder of Uber Travis Kalanick had reportedly offered to offload even more of his share which was as much as 50 percent, the most a board member was allowed to sell in the transaction with SoftBank and its consortium of investors, who have agreed to buy equity in the company at a lower $48 billion valuation. But that figure was reportedly scaled back due to the large volume of investors attempting to sell

The SoftBank deal, which is expected to close later in January, will limit Kalanick’s remaining influence at Uber via a number of corporate governance reforms, though he’ll remain an Uber board member.

Kalanick was pressured to resign last year after the company became mired in legal woes and government investigations into the way it conducts how it does business.

Uber has come under increasing criticism in the last 2 years and has been rocked by a steady stream of  workplace and sexual harassment including gender discrimination scandals and negative publicity in recent years, including revelations of questionable spy programs, a high-stakes technology lawsuit, and embarrassing leaks about executive conduct including digging up dirt on journalists and spreading personal information of a female reporter who was critical of the company.Uber was forced to pay $20m to settle allegations that the company duped people into driving with false promises about earnings.

The Federal Trade Commission claimed that most Uber drivers earned far less than the rates Uber published online in 18 major cities in the US. 

More PR disasters followed led by a A #DeleteUber campaign which went viral after the company lifted surge pricing during a taxi protest at a New York airport against Donald Trump’s travel ban. A total of roughly 500,000 users reportedly deleted accounts after the scandal erupted.

Uber also faced lawsuits from Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google’s parent Alphabet which accused Uber of “calculated theft” of its technology. The suit, was a fatal setback for Uber’s autonomous vehicle ambitions, alleged that a former Waymo employee, Anthony Levandowski, stole trade secrets for Uber which later fired the engineer.


Travis  also clashed with Benchmark, one of the company’s earliest and biggest investors, which is also selling part of its stake





apple developers combined earned more than starbucks,dupont, mcdonald's


 
2017 was  indeed one of the best years  to be an Apple developer.Apple announced on Jan 4th that developers who make apps and games for its iOS mobile operating system earned $26.5 billion in revenue in 2017. That’s an increase of 30% over what developers generated from sales in 2016, and more than the annual revenues of Starbucks, Qualcomm, DuPont, Kraft Heinz, or McDonald’s, according to Fortune.

Apple said iOS customers made $890 million in purchases alone during the seven-day period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.Apple also set a new record for App Store sales on New Year's Day, which was a 25% increase from the same day a year earlier with consumers reportedly spending around $300 million on apps on 1st Jan, the most for a single day since the App Store launched in 2008. 

According to TheVergePokemon Go nabbed the top app spot once again, re-launching the app late in the year with new AR features – which were built on top of iOS ARKit.

Apple's numbers reveal that purchases in December 2017 exceeded more than  a billion dollars  in App Store purchases during the holidays, which is interesting, especially given the fact that most data and research reports claim that the majority of smartphone users in the United States download zero new apps per month.

One of the reasons for Apple's spectacular success was the redesigned the App Store.Over the past year Apple has made several changes in its apps store, including adding search advertising, improving developer tools and introducing new ways for third-party apps to make money.

For smaller developers, these efforts provides more incentives to build products, especially on emerging platforms like ARKit and the Apple Watch.The AR kit allows iPhones and iPads  to run augmented reality with ease.

Furthermore, with the release of iOS 11 in September 2017, App Store received a complete design overhaul, bringing a greater focus on editorial content and daily highlights, as well as a design similar in style to several of Apple's built-in iOS apps.Since its 2008 release, App Store has generated over $70 billion in revenue for developers.

Apple generally takes a 15% commission of app store sales.

Interestingly while originally developing iPhone prior to its unveiling in 2007, Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs did not mean to let third-party developers build native apps for iOS, instead directing them to make web applications for the Safari web browser.However, backlash from developers prompted the company to reconsider, with Jobs announcing in October 2007 that Apple would have a software development kit available for developers by February 2008.The SDK was released on March 6, 2008;

In October 2016, in an effort to improve app discoverability, Apple rolled out the ability for developers to purchase advertising spots in App Store to users in the United States. The ads, shown at the top of the search results,are based strictly on relevant keywords.Apple expanded search ads to the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand in April 2017, along with more configurable advertising settings for developers.

In December 2017, Apple revamped its search ads program to offer two distinctive versions; "Search Ads Basic" is a pay-per-install program aimed at smaller developers, in which they only pay when users actually install their app.




January 4, 2018

top 5 indian cities for online food ordering



 
The Top 5 cities in India contribute to over 85% of the online food ordering market in India. In terms of order  volume  Bangalore is leading the way with 32%,with NCR a close second with 20%. Mumbai and Hyderabad follows with 14% and 12%.Pune takes the 5th spot with 10%.

The Restaurant industry is estimated to be USD 56 Billion and the delivery industry is pegged at USD 15 Billion Casual Dining (44%) dominates the organised segment while QSR(quick service restaurants) is one of the fastest growing segment.

According to the latest data from Redseer consulting provides some interesting insights on the  indian online food delivery market  Online food delivery grew at a staggering pace of 150% to reach USD 300 Million in Gross Merchandising Volumes. 

On an average Online food delivery players handled 1,60,000 orders in a day with and average order value of $5.Online Food Delivery Aggregators dominate the market with 70% market share, and have a reach in 20+ cities while internet kitchens with their niche offerings are limited to 4-5 major cities.

In terms of revenue models,among the major source of revenue for aggregators is the commission that they charge their partner restaurant (13%-23% of average order value) while Internet Kitchens have taken a full stack approach and 100% of the bill value goes to them.

Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune contribute 40% to the GMV(gross merchandising volumes) of Indian e-tailing industry and these cities are the top contributors for other verticals too. 

Among the largest factors  that has enabled the online food ordering has been the large share of young working population with high disposable income and easy access to internet through web/mobile  which has accelerated the growth of online medium in these cities.

Among the top 3 biggest challenges facing the online food ordering start ups in India are

1)High delivery cost coupled with low average order value
2)Low stickiness of the customers to platform and high preference for offers and discounts
3) A diverse population with non-homogenous food preferences.




didi to acquire 99, declares war on uber


 
The war between Didi and Uber is set to escalate and intensify with the Chinese ride hailing app set to acquire acquire 99, one of Latin America’s major ride-hailing companies.This acquisition is set to increase Didi's dominance across Uber's strongholds and beyond Didi's traditional market, -mainland china despite both of them being funded by the same tech giant SoftBank.Late last month SoftBank had bought a sizable stake in Uber at a significant discount, after investors and employees put shares equal to about 20% of the company up for sale,according to the the Wall Street Journal.Founded in 2013, the South American the app based taxi hailing ride 99 has been Uber’s fiercest competitor in Brazil, the most populous country in Latin America.Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are Uber’s two busiest cities in the world as ranked by the number of trips that take place there according to Bloomberg. 


Like Didi, 99  originated as an app for hailing existing municipal taxis, before venturing out into private ride-hailing. In January 2017, the company scored a $100 million investment from Didi, and in March secured an additional $100 million from Japan’s SoftBank the first time.Now it seems that Didi is buying the Brazilian ridesharing startup, in a deal that values 99 at $1 billion.In case this is true, it would seem like a full blown war between Uber and Didi inspite of being funded by the same parent company Softbank.Didi currently is said to have over  more than 450-million users on its platform and handles more than 25million rides per day. Post acquisition of 99, Didi will have access to  14-million registered users in Brazil as it pushes into the growing Latin American car-share market.

However it would be too early to say if this will be an all-out acquisition or a matter of Didi taking a controlling (but not fully acquired) share. An all-out acquisition would be an aggressive, turn for Didi, which has traditionally mostly focused on investing in comparable regional startups rather than buying them outright. Other ridesharing companies that Didi has invested in include Grab in Southeast Asia, and Careem in the Middle East.Didi has not disclosed the terms of the 99 acquisition, but the New York Times reported the deal  to be worth around $600 million. 

If this is true it marks the clearest sign yet that Didi will not stay confined to China and will actively aid and directly compete with Uber’s rivals across the globe.According to quartz which reported the deal weeks ago before it was finalised, some Didi employees had relocated to Brazil to help 99 launch in new cities. 

The regional growth strategy of the Chinese ride hailing app also appears to align with Didi’s own global interests. Just last month, the company was reported to be planning an entry into Mexico alongside expansions in its Asian home market, most recently expanding into Taiwan through a franchising model. The acquisition  is a reminder to the fact that Uber and Didi have not yet reached a proper truce and seems to be fighting for increasing dominance. In August 2016, the two companies ended their rivalry in mainland China when Didi acquired Uber’s operations while investing $1 billion in Uber’s global business. In exchange, Uber took a roughly 17% stake in Didi.Meanwhile Didi currently has international tie ups and partnerships with over seven "major international players", serving more than 1,000 cities worldwide, including Southeast Asia’s Grab, India’s Ola, US-based Lyft and Europe’s Taxify.


flipkart vs amazon : who is burning more cash

flipkart vs amazon : who is burning more cash"

Indian Ecommerce biggest Players and registered users


 
Cash burning by indian ecommerce start ups have witnessed a new record.During the Holiday season between September and December, the cash burn—the amount companies spend to run their businesses—is reached up to $400 million, according to research firm RedSeer Consulting.

Flipkart, whose cash reserves have gone up to more than $4 billion after SoftBank, Tencent Holdings and eBay put around $2.8 billion into the company in 2017 , thinks now that profitability is not the highest priority right now and its more about creating a marketshare.Flipkart’s CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said Amazon India’s cash burn has been three times higher than that the Indian ecommerce giant,and despite the massive spending,Flipkart was ahead of Amazon. Krishnamurthy, who took over the reins as the online retailer’s chief executive a year ago, told TOI in an interview that Flipkart was the most disciplined consumer internet company in the country, having brought down its cash burn by 50% in the last year. 

Generally Festive season sales make for a huge share of the total annual sales in segments like apparel, consumer goods, and home decor. So companies go on massive advertising spends during this time in the name of great indian shopping festivals.

Earlier, Flipkart had halved its monthly spend to USD 20 million from USD 45 million and also succeeded in raising its biggest-ever funding round of $2.5 billion.Flipkart's monthly cash burn right now is about Rs 260 crore ($40 million).Compared to that  Amazon India is losing about Rs 600 crore per month as it eyes market leadership.

So where does the cash go?A bulk of it goes on discounts as Indians are among the most price sensitive when it comes to ecommerce .In India massive discounting have been key to garnering volumes when it comes to online shopping. According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, 30% of an Indian e-commerce company’s expenses go towards discounts.

Another significant change has been the " changing customer demographics and the emphasis in penetrating the tier 2 cities.In 2017 tier-II becoming a more important share as a part of the total customer base)…E-tailers are more dependent on third-party logistics players for delivery (to tier II areas) which adds to the overall expenses” 

The one area where spending is seen flat or marginally lower this year is advertising. For companies are now increasingly spending on low-cost channels such as digital marketing.Amazon is believed to have spent almost $1billion last year in India after launching its popular subscription service Prime at a discounted rate, which offers faster delivery and a digital entertainment platform. Amazon registered its highest international losses ever at $936 million for the quarter ending September 30 last year, largely due to India spends. 

According to Flipkart CEO “Its competitors are burning 2.5-3 times more money than us. I don’t even know how they get by with this. Despite that, we stand at least 40-50% bigger than the second player in the market,” he said, directly taking on Amazon, which has spent more than $2 billion in India since starting operations here in 2013.

However the question that needs to be asked to Mr Krishnamurthy of Flipkart is why did it take the company till its recent funding to understand the importance of increasing its marketshare rather than focus on profitability “Few months ago, Flipkart was not talking like this. The reason is, they have excessive funds now and it is in direct competition with Amazon. By burning more cash they want to retain more market share, said Satish Meena, forecast analyst at Forrester Research to Entrackr."However he added "Excessive burn will not give kind of scale you are looking for. Because there is time factor for consumers as well. Flipkart should invest more in infra and generate customer loyalties" 

According to a report from Quartz  Flipkart prior to the funding coming in,  had reduced its monthly burn to about $20 million last year, but increased its spends during the festive season discounting in categories like smartphone to shore up sales. “We did a lot of work in 2017 to reduce the burn, which is at a very healthy level. We are not going to do anything drastic to cut down on anything else to optimise on burn,” Krishnamurthy said. But profitability is not something the company is actively looking at this year. 

Meanwhile The world’s largest e-commerce firm Amazon has attacked Bangalore based research firm RedSeer Consulting on its India ecommerce sale rankings which have shown that Flipkart led the last week’s 5-day festive sales with a 58 percent market share in the gross merchandise value of goods sold. 

The RedSeer report further said that Amazon India saw a decline in market share during the annual festive sales worth USD 1.5 billion this month to 26 percent from last year’s share of about 32 percent. “We have noticed poorly informed speculative reports with irrelevant sample sizes whose numbers do not add up to what we are seeing in the industry. We continue to be the fastest growing e-commerce marketplace in India, including key categories such as smartphones, large appliances, fashion and more,” an Amazon India spokesperson commented upon the RedSeer’s market share report 

The Indian e-commerce market, which has 20 million monthly active customers, is expected to grow 2.5 times this year on the back of categories other than smartphones.However indian ecommerce companies needs to come out of this " obsession with marketshare" very soon and show investors  a truly sustaining model that is based on a strong revenue model based on the ability to make money for investors. Flipkart bears daily losses of over Rs 14 crore in the last financial year as it fought to stave off competition from arch-rival Amazon in one of the world’s fastest growing markets for online retail. The company spent aggressively to attract talent and customers thereby increasing losses.





India cryptocurrency registrations exceeds 20 days waiting period


 
The Indian craze for Cryptocurrency seems to have just started. A latest report from Timesofindia reports  that Cryptocurrency exchange platforms in India have a huge backlog of potential users waiting to be verified for registration. Waiting periods have gone up from a week to 20 days.The prices of digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, and Litecoin have surged over the past year, encouraging many to get into the trading of these currencies. 

Bengaluru-based Unocoin used to see 1,000 registrations a day in December 2016. Last month, it averaged 10,000 registrations a day. Its overall user base is now close to 10 million. 

Meanwhile Coinsecure, one of India's India's fastest 24/7Realtime Bitcoin Trading Platform ha s a message on its website warning users that their KYC (know your customer) process will take time. It is getting around 4,000 registrations a day. The platform has disabled its payment gateway to stop users from paying money before verification. Unocoin, too, has warned users about delays. 

Others like ZebPay are seeing a similar surge in user registrations and transactions. ZebPay has touched 2 million users.  While Unocoin in September announced a partnership with Purse.io to offer discounts on India’s Amazon branch, Coinsecure’s BitPay deal has contributed to the latter’s market presence in Asia rocketing by 388%.

A person can invest in bitcoins for as low as Rs 1,000.Once one logs into the website of a cryptocurrency exchange platform, the platform verifies the details of the user. The funds are then transferred and a digital wallet is created for the user to store the bitcoins. Currently, the price of one bitcoin is Rs 10 lakh, but at its peak last month, it was being sold for as high as Rs 19 lakh. India is quickly progressing in Bitcoin adoption and among one of the fastest growing market when it comes to cyrptocurency adoption. It currently ranks among the top 20 nations for Bitcoin use.

The Value of the Bitcoin crossed $19,000 in December last year. As of , January 2, 2018, the value of the Bitcoin converted to Indian National Rupees by Google was a whooping Rs 8,51,073.40. Competition among local startups is heating up, too. The country’s considerable mobile penetration has given rise to tools such as mobile money services.

On the other hand India’s central bank have made it amply clear they aren’t comfortable with virtual currencies. The recent spike in bitcoin’s value, which attracted hordes of investors, has only made the government more vociferous in its criticism.However, these announcements don’t make these virtual currencies, or trading in them, against the law.So, their status is in a curious limbo—they’re neither legal nor illegal in India and that has added to the confusion.

On Nov. 30, 2017, when investor frenzy was at a high with rising bitcoin prices, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the country doesn’t recognise cryptocurrencies as legal tender. Almost a month later, the government cautioned people against investing in them, warning that they are similar to fraudulent investment schemes and have no legal status yet. “There is a real and heightened risk of (an) investment bubble (in virtual currencies) of the type seen in ponzi schemes which can result in (a) sudden and prolonged crash exposing investors, especially retail consumers, losing their hard-earned money,” the finance ministry said in a notification on Dec. 29, 2017. “Consumers need to be alert and extremely cautious as to avoid getting trapped in such ponzi schemes.


Observers predict that India’s government will regulate Bitcoin in stages even though presently the Indian government does not allows cryptocurrency as a legal tender. However India’s Bitcoin industry is optimistic about the fact that in the foreseeable future government acceptance will give the cryptocurrency the backing it needs. In fact, India’s Bitcoin industry has long tried to popularize Bitcoin with strategies that include conducting security checks, requesting identification from users, such as government-verified address documents, Permanent Account Numbers (PAN) or Aadhaar IDs, and sometimes even checking bank details. Private Bitcoin companies have also launched an association, called the Digital Assets and Blockchain Foundation India (BFI), to educate lay people on Bitcoin benefits and usage.