If you still think mobile sites are a passing trend, you have fallen behind your consumers and your fellow businesses. With consumers and businessmen more and more obsessed with smartphones and the mobile sales conversions rising even higher, mobile optimization is a necessary move to successfully establish your online presence. Here are five ways that mobile optimization is a must for every business’ success:
According to a Pew Research survey, almost 60 percent of Americans owned a smartphone as of January 2014. And those same Americans use their phone for everything. It’s their camera, their calendar, and their entertainment when they are bored. They invest in everything from car chargers and cradles to smartphone speakers so they that their phone can forever act as the extension of their arm that it is. It is radio, GPS, and email, in addition to such menial tasks as phone calls and texts.
And this smartphone co-dependency transfers to the way they consume products and interact with businesses. Mobile sales rose over 50 percent in 2013, according to Google’s new Mobile Playbook, with almost a fifth of all sales now coming from smartphones and tablets. And if your business doesn’t have a functional mobile site, Google found that almost half of consumers won’t hesitate to turn to a competitor.
2. Mobile is Under-Appreciated
While those numbers should be enough to motivate every business into getting a clean mobile site, GetElastic’s infographic on mobile websites reported that just over a third of businesses had any sort of mobile site in 2013, meaning they are handing off a significant number of future customers every day to more tech-savvy companies.
And while having a mobile site is good, it isn’t the end of the road for mobile interaction. You need to have the right information clearly visible. That means address and hours for brick-and-mortar businesses and an easy-to-use shopping cart for e-commerce companies. Bottom line? Mobile isn’t an upcoming trend. It’s the standard, and if you don’t have it, you are behind.
Even though tablets are still a growing market, GetElastic found that tablet users are the most likely to make a purchase, with 72 percent of tablet users making at least one purchase on their tablet a week. In fact, over half of tablet users said that they preferred shopping on their tablet to other electronic devices, making them over three times as likely to make a purchase than smartphone users.
If you are eager to turn mobile tablet views into sales, your site needs to be simple, clean and fast. GetElastic noted that almost all online shopping carts (97 percent) are abandoned due to a cluttered screen.
4. Mobile Optimization is Just the Beginning of Consumer Interaction
Finally, once someone has been to your mobile site, GetElastic found that they are almost guaranteed to engage your business in additional ways. Over 70 percent of users will continue to interact with your brand once they’ve seen your mobile site, whether that is by continuing their research or visiting your store. A quarter of visitors will visit your retail site, and 17 percent will make a purchase afterwards, too.
5. Mobile is Fast
Mobile is an on-the-go and on-a-whim kind of marketplace, so what happens when a mobile site is slow? We already know that a poor mobile experience could send up to 40 percent of consumers to competitors. But over half of the people who do make mobile purchases will do so within an hour of their mobile search. That gives you 60 minutes or less to have a consumer browse your merchandise, pick a product, put it in their shopping cart, and pay for it.
If the site is slow and cluttered, that 60 minutes blows by and users will be much more likely to abandon their shopping. And if consumers have experienced a slow mobile site—slow enough to deter them from purchasing something—43 percent said they weren’t likely to return.
LG and Acer are both claiming “world firsts” with their latest product launches, revealed ahead of Berlin’s IFA tech show.
LG is returning to the tablet market with the G Pad, which the company is marketing as the only 8in-class device to feature a “full-HD display”.
Acer has announced the Liquid S2 , the first smartphone capable of recording video in the 4K “ultra-HD” format.
It allows the companies to get the jump on rivals in what will be a busy week.
Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Lenovo, Toshiba, Philips and Dyson are among other companies to have scheduled press conferences between 4 and 11 September at the consumer electronics event in the German capital.
The 8.3in G Pad marks LG’s return to the sector following its announcement in June 2012 that it was putting “tablet development on the back burner” in order to focus on smartphones.
LG has since improved its standing to become the world’s third best-selling smartphone-maker after Samsung and Apple, according to tech analysis firm Gartner.
Its latest figures suggest LG sold 11.5 million handsets in the April-to-July quarter giving it a 5.1% market share.
LG is returning to the tablet market with the G Pad, which the company is marketing as the only 8in-class device to feature a full-HD display
LG hopes to replicate that success by launching an 8.3in tablet with a display featuring 273 pixels per inch (ppi), which is actually slightly higher than that needed to show 1080p video in full-quality.
The extra resolution should also make text sharper, although it also means the device’s processor has to work harder to display all the pixels which will take its toll on battery life.
LG is also promoting the inclusion of its proprietary QPair app which allows the G Pad to be paired with other Android smartphones so that calls or messages can be handled via the tablet.
“LG’s recent financial results have looked quite promising when it came to smartphone sales, but I think this particular tablet might struggle to match them for third place in the market,” said Jas Badyal, an analyst at telecoms consultancy CCS Insight.
“Along with the iPad Mini and Amazon tablets there’s also reports that Tesco plans a tablet of its own, so the firm even faces the worry of the supermarkets getting involved in the future.”
Acer’s Liquid S2 is able to shoot 4K video thanks to its inclusion of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 800 processor.
But as the 6in-screen on the Taiwanese company’s phone has a lower resolution, owners will need a 4K-television or alternative display to make the most of the format.
The extra processing horsepower does, however, mean that users can film video in 1080p at 60 frames per second allowing them to create a four-times slow-motion effect.
Other devices running off Qualcomm’s chip – or alternatively Nvidia’s rival Tegra 4 processor, which also supports the ultra-HD standard – may also be announced at Ifa, meaning the Liquid S2’s unique status could be short-lived.
French company Archos has also opted to unveil its new devices ahead of the tech show.
Its new line-up includes the 80 Childpad – a tablet featuring an application which takes owners to a special version of Google’s Play Store which only features programs that Archos’ staff have judged to be suitable for a younger audience.
Sony has already announced plans for its Android-compatible SmartWatch 2 but has yet to put the device on sale.
The Korea Times has quoted a Samsung executive as saying the firm would unveil its first Galaxy Gear smartwatch at Ifa, but that the device would not feature the flexible display shown in recent patent documents.
Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona kicks off with a fresh tablet from Samsung and a new Android handset from Huawei.
About 1,500 exhibitors are taking part at the MWC in Barcelona.
Samsung’s tablet features an 8 in (20.3 cm) screen with a resolution of 189 pixels per inch (ppi) making it slightly bigger and more detailed than Apple’s bestselling iPad Mini.
Huawei’s Ascend P2 has a 4.7 in screen with 315ppi, and a 13 megapixel camera.
The Chinese firm said it also featured a facility called Magic Touch, which allowed it to be used while wearing gloves – similar to Nokia’s Lumia 920.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.0 is being promoted as a device on which users can multi-task – running two apps in split-screen mode – and can act as alternative to “traditional pen and paper” thanks to its included stylus, the S Pen.
The South Korean firm adds that it is light enough to be held by one hand, and can also be used to make phone calls.
According to the research firm IDC, Samsung was the world’s most successful smart device manufacturer in the October-to-December period, accounting for 21.2% of all shipments.
However, that position was secured in large part due to its smartphones, and IDC noted that in the tablet sector Samsung came in second with a 15.1% market share compared to Apple’s 43.6%.
“The Note 8 marks Samsung’s relentless charge to grab a slice of the tablet market from Apple, but also to defend itself from the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7,” said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight.
“I think there’s a diminishing window of opportunity because Amazon and Google are playing by different rules – they are effectively willing to sell their hardware virtually at cost and then make money through content sales, whereas Samsung is a hardware manufacturer selling something for a margin.
“It’s very difficult for consumers to tell the difference between these products – but what does make Samsung stand out is the fact they are prepared to carpet bomb marketing with an eye-watering budget, which effectively marginalizes some of the other companies trying to get into the tablet space.”
The Galaxy Note 8.0 is being made available in Europe, South Korea, China and a limited number of other countries in the April-to-June period.
Huawei describes its Android-powered Ascend P2 as the world’s “fastest” smartphone thanks to it being the first to include an LTE Cat 4 chip which – in theory – allows 4G download speeds of up to 150 megabits per second,
The device also includes an NFC (near field communication) chip, allowing it to support wireless payments, and is relatively slim measuring 8.4 mm (0.33 in) thick.
However, its screen is lower resolution than recent models from LG, HTC and Nokia, and can display 720p HD video rather than 1080p output. But this may help it last longer between recharges, and the device also features a larger than average 2420 mAh battery.
Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona kicks off with a fresh tablet from Samsung and a new Android handset from Huawei
According to IDC, Huawei accounted for 10.8 million smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter, making it the world’s third-biggest vendor.
However, it could still only claim a 4.9% market share since Apple and Samsung dominated the sector – something the Chinese firm itself acknowledged describing itself as a “brand in the making” at its Barcelona launch.
“Because this is a very aggressively-priced LTE phone, Huawei have a good chance of getting it into operator portfolios for 2013,” said Ben Wood.
“Brand awareness and credibility remain a challenge for Huawei. But this is a company that will never give up.
“Huawei is determined to make inroads into the mobile phone market, though the competitive intensity of this segment means they will need to spend a lot of money to succeed.”
Huawei said the phone was already confirmed to go on sale in France in June, and should launch elsewhere around the globe around the same time.
Other early MWC announcements include:
A 16 gigabyte version of Acer’s budget Iconia B1 tablet.
The Samsung HomeSync – a 1 terabyte hard disk designed to allow families to share content between their Samsung devices and display it on their television.
A marketing campaign from Asus – the maker of the Google Nexus 7 – suggesting it will be the latest to launch a tablet that can also make calls at its event on Monday.
In past year’s Sony Ericsson also held a major press conference on the Sunday ahead of Monday’s official start to MWC.
But the business – which is now controlled in whole by Sony – has opted for a smaller event on Monday this year.
The move reflects it decision to launch its flagship Xperia Z phone earlier in the year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Other firms have also preferred to hold one-off events, such as Blackberry with its Z10 and Q10 unveiling in New York last month.
It is also notable that Samsung has chosen to hold off updating its key Galaxy S handset until later in the year. It unveiled the Galaxy S2 at MWC in 2011.
Apple has revealed its new smaller tablet iPad Mini with a 7.9 inch screen that is set to blow away its rivals in the tablet market this Christmas.
The widely-anticipated 7.9 in (20.1 cm) iPad Mini, which is 7.2 mm thick and weighs 0.68 lbs, was announced at an event in San Jose, California.
The entry wi-fi-only model, with 16GB storage, will cost $415 and be available on 2 November.
The iPad Mini will compete directly with similar sized tablets from Google and Amazon.
Apple’s vice-president of marketing Phil Schiller told attendees that the device was 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the third-generation iPad, which was released in March this year.
The other wi-fi-only models will have a recommended retail price of $535 for 32GB and $660 for 64GB.
The devices with cellular capability will be released “a couple of weeks” after the wi-fi-only models, the company said. They will be priced at $568 for 16GB, $691 for 32GB and $815 for 64GB.
The firm also announced upgrades to its Macbook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini ranges of computers.
Its new iMac machines have been made 80% thinner than previous models, Phil Schiller said.
The full-sized iPad, which is just seven months old, was given its own lower-key upgrade. Calling it the “fourth generation” iPad, Phil Schiller said its new A6X chip meant it had twice the CPU power of the third-generation model.
Apple has revealed its new smaller tablet iPad Mini with a 7.9 inch screen that is set to blow away its rivals in the tablet market this Christmas
Paddy Smith, online editor for Stuff.tv, said some Apple users could see the iPad upgrade as a “kick in the face” as it is such a new product.
“I think a lot of people will be upset to see a new full size iPad so soon,” he said.
“For many people that represents a pretty major purchase, something you wouldn’t want to do more than once a year.”
The iPad Mini launch ends years of speculation that Apple was considering launching a new, smaller version of its bestselling iPad range.
In 2010, late founder Steve Jobs described 7 in tablets as being “too small”.
However, Apple’s apparent change of heart comes in the face of mounting pressure from its closest competitors, who already offer smaller – and crucially, cheaper – products.
However, consultants IDC predict that the new device will boost Apple’s already dominant position in the tablet market.
It said that Apple will hold a 68% share of the market in 2012, compared to 29% for Android tablets.
Both will fall off slightly next year with the launch of Windows 8 tablets, IDC said.
Barnes & Noble is set to take on Amazon and Apple with two new versions of its Nook tablet unveiled today, joining an already crowded marketplace.
The new devices are a Nook HD tablet with a 7-inch screen, starting at $199, and a Nook HD+ with a new 9-inch screen, starting at $269.
In addition to new HD screens and a lighter body, Barnes & Noble is also increasing the services the Nook offers, adding a video purchase and rental service, allowing users to maintain different “profiles” and making it easier to browse titles in its book and magazine stores.
New York-based Barnes & Noble, the largest traditional U.S. bookseller, has invested heavily in its Nook e-reader and e-books.
Barnes and Noble CEO William Lynch unveils the new NOOK HD plus, left, and NOOK HD in New York
Barnes & Noble will continue to sell its smaller black-and-white e-reader, called the Nook Simple Touch, for $99, and a backlit Nook Simple Touch for $139.
The Nook HD runs on Google’s Android 4.0 system and includes Barnes & Noble’s own app store and browser. It is an upgrade to the hardware and services offered by its previous tablets, the Nook Tablet and Nook Color, which Barnes & Noble is phasing out.
However, Barnes & Noble faces a tough battle.
Seven out of every 10 tablets sold in the second quarter were iPads, according to IHS iSuppli.
Amazon.com has a 4.2% share of the tablet market, while Barnes & Noble has a 1.9%, according to iSuppli.
However, experts say the bookseller is in with a chance.
“If the decision the consumer is making is whether to buy based on hardware, these new Nooks will beat out Amazon,” said Forrester analyst James McQuivey.
“But that’s not the decision every consumer is going to make – hardware is only as good as the services the hardware enables.”
So far, Amazon offers more services, James McQuivey said, with a bigger app store, and more extensive video library, not to mention Amazon’s vast product offerings and its Amazon Prime free-shipping service.
In an attempt to measure up, Barnes & Noble is launching a video service that lets users buy and watch movies and TV shows on their mobile devices and televisions.
The offerings will come from major studios including HBO, Sony Pictures, Viacom and Warner Brothers. Scrapbook and catalog browsing features have also been added.
One wild card working in Barnes & Noble’s favor this holiday: Wal-Mart and Target, increasingly threatened by Amazon’s online retail operations, won’t carry the Kindle. The retailers will sell Barnes & Noble’s Nooks, as well as other tablets like the iPad.
“This is going to be a lot of fun to watch over the next year,” James McQuivey said.
The new Nooks are available for pre-order online and in stores beginning on Wednesday and will begin shipping in late October and begin arriving in stores in early November.
The Toys R Us chain is being sued over allegations it stole one of its former partners’ trade secrets to develop its own tablet computer.
Fuhu – the Los Angeles based creator of the Nabi tablet – claims the toy chain copied the design, user-experience and online services of its device.
Toys R Us used to have exclusive rights to sell Fuhu’s machine in the US, but this deal has since lapsed.
A spokeswoman for Toys R Us was unable to comment at this time.
Fuhu is part-owned by the Taiwanese computer-maker Acer, the gadget manufacturer Foxconn and the memory chip producer Kingston.
Fuhu, the creator of the Nabi tablet, claims Toys R Us copied the design for its new tablet Tabeo
It began life as an internet software provider before shifting into the tablet market in November 2011, when it announced it would be selling the Nabi through the Toys R Us and Babies R Us chains in the US.
The machine came pre-installed with popular games including Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja as well as an educational maths-learning program and a painting app.
At the time, a Toys R Us executive said he expected the device to “be a hit with our customers” in the run-up to Christmas.
It also received positive reviews from Time and Wired magazines, among others.
But Fuhu alleges the chain subsequently did “virtually no promotion” and only sold about 20,000 units over the period because it had not ordered more.
Child-targeted tablets proved to be one of the season’s hot categories with rival devices – including the LeapPad Explorer Tablet and the VTech Innotab – selling out in the run up to the holiday.
In January 2012 Fuhu and Toys R Us ended their exclusive agreement.
Eight months later the store announced it would sell its own Android-powered hand-held – the Tabeo – in the US from October.
The announcement followed in the footsteps of another retailer, Amazon, which had seen its own-branded device become a best-seller.
Fuhu claims the Tabeo copied the butterfly-shaped bumper used to protect the Nabi, the device’s software eco-system and the firm’s “business blueprint” in order to release a product ahead of Christmas this year.
“We created a highly innovative product,” said Robb Rujioka, Fuhu’s co-founder.
“Cheap knock-offs will devalue our brand and the children’s tablet category as a whole.”
Fuhu is now demanding all Tabeos be turned over to it as well as unspecified monetary damages.
It has also launched a successor to its original product with improved specifications, which is sold via other retailers.
Samsung has released a new tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 launch comes midway through a patent trial involving the South Korean firm and Apple, in which each company has accused the other of copying its technology.
The new Android tablet distinguishes itself from the iPad by featuring a stylus and a screen which can measure 24 levels of pressure sensitivity.
It also allows a split-screen mode in which two apps can be used at once.
In addition Samsung has opted to retain a look it introduced in 2011 placing wider bezels along two of the device’s sides. The feature was created after a German court temporarily banned earlier models for infringing Apple’s tablet design.
The significance of this is that Apple is seeking damages in the California trial claiming that its rival’s original Galaxy Tab computers were “confusingly” similar to its own.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 launch comes midway through a patent trial involving the South Korean firm and Apple, in which each company has accused the other of copying its technology
Samsung rejects the accusation saying Apple’s US design patent showed “little more than a blank rectangle”, and it would go against legal precedent to allow it to monopolize the shape.
The judge overseeing the case has asked the chief executives of both firms to meet again to see if they can resolve the dispute without the need for a court ruling.
According to analysts at IHS iSuppli, Apple had a 69.6% share of the global tablet market in the April-to-June quarter, compared with Samsung’s 9.2% share.
The Asian tech firm began calling its witnesses at the trial in San Jose earlier this week after Apple rested its case.
Among them was Dr. Woodward Yang, an electrical engineering professor from Harvard University, who backed Samsung’s claim that Apple had infringed patents involving sending photos by email and playing music in the background.
Samsung also took evidence from Jeeyuen Wang, one of its designers, who rejected claims she had made reference to or copied the look of Apple’s iOS system app icons.
Apple’s lawyer then showed the court documents signed by Jeeyuen Wang which featured side-by-side comparisons of the two firms’ interfaces.
Samsung also presented video testimony from Rodger Fidler, a former employee at the Knight Ridder newspaper group, who developed a mock-up tablet for a concept video in 1994. He said he had shown the prototype to Apple.
The evidence is intended to suggest that Apple’s designs were not unique and therefore do not deserve patent status.
Earlier this year a court in the Netherlands rejected a claim that an early Galaxy Tab computer had infringed Apple’s design rights after hearing about the Knight Ridder effort.
Apple is claiming a total of $2.5 billion in damages claiming seven patent breaches in addition to other trade violations.
The judge could triple that figure if she decides to punish Samsung for willful misconduct.
For its part the South Korean company is demanding a “reasonable royalty rate” for five patents which it claims Apple has infringed.
Both sides are expected to present closing arguments next week.
However, Judge Lucy Koh has convinced the firms to make one last effort to resolve the lawsuit outside court.
“I see risk here for both sides if we go to a verdict,” the judge said according to a transcript provided by Forbes magazine.
“I think it’s worth one more attempt. If you could have your CEOs have one last conversation, I’d appreciate it.”
Lawyers for the companies said at the very least there would be a telephone conversation involving the businesses.
Apple has unveiled its latest version of iPad, armed with a Full HD display with 3.1 million pixels and a supercharged new processor.
Apple said the resolution of the display was 2048 by 1536 pixels. The tablet is also powered by a new A5X chip with improved graphics performance.
Chief executive Tim Cook claimed to be “redefining the category that Apple created”.
Apple dominates the market but is set to face a fresh challenge when devices running the full Windows 8 system are expected to go on sale later this year.
Apple has unveiled its latest version of iPad, armed with a Full HD display with 3.1 million pixels and a supercharged new processor
The new iPad also features a 5-megapixel camera sensor. It will be able to run on 4G LTE networks where the service is available and can act as a wi-fi hotspot for other devices if carriers allow the function.
It is 9.4 mm deep, slightly thicker than the 8.8 mm profile of the iPad 2.
Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller said the tablet has the same 10-hour estimated battery life as the previous model using only wi-fi. That limit shortens by an hour when using 4G.
The device will be available on March 16 and priced from $499-$829 – the same range as the iPad 2, which the technology giant launched a year ago.
The new iPad is due to go on sale on the same day in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan.
Apple also announced an upgraded TV box which can now handle 1080p video.
Films and TV shows will be sold via its iTunes store in the high-definition format.
IMS Research said Apple accounted for 62% of the global tablet market in 2011. Ahead of the press conference it said it expected that share to rise to 70% this year.
Analysts at Gartner said it expects Apple to sell 69 million iPads before the end of 2012. By contrast if forecasts stores will sell 22.8 million tablets running Google’s Android system, and 6.3 million Blackberry Playbook devices.
Gartner research director Michael Gartenberg said: “I’d call the new iPad an evolutionary device with some revolutionary experiences”.