iOS Sales Jump, but Android Still Leads
According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, phones equipped with
) mobile operating system accounted for 52% of all smartphones sold
in the US in March and April. For the same period,
) iOS took a strong second place position, with 41.9% of all
American smartphones sold. That figure, an increase of 3.5% from
the same period last year, may be attributed in part to
) beginning to sell the iPhone. The iPhone 5, which debuted at
T-Mobile in mid-April, was the company's top selling phone for the
full three-month period ending in May.
Kantar also claims that iOS has further room to grow with the
provider, with 28% of T-Mobile subscribers who plan on changing
their phone within the coming year primarily interested in getting
In a far-off third place,
) Windows Phone took 4.6% of smartphone sales during the March and
Facebook's Graph Search Is Being Officially Rolled
) Graph Search launched in a beta version back in January, the
feature is making its official debut today and is being rolled out
to all Facebook users over the next few weeks. Employing vast
tracts of very specific user data, the tool allows users to ask
very precise questions, such as "Friends that like Batman" or
"Photos of friends that have traveled to Costa Rica."
As Mark Zuckerberg described the feature back in January, "Web
search is designed to take any open-ended query and give you links
that might have answers. Graph Search is designed to take a precise
query and give you an answer, rather than links that might provide
Graph Search will likely prove a valuable asset to the social
network, as Facebook is preparing to use it in selling
demand-fulfillment ads that target existing consumer demand rather
than focusing on generating it. Graph Search is only available on
the website, and not on mobile. Continued attempts by Facebook to
monetize its business and data will probably included a Graph
Search feature for mobile.
SpaceX's Grasshopper Moving Closer to Taking Passenger Up
Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind
(TSLA), SpaceX wants to send people into space using rockets that
can both lift off and land (landing in a capsule in the middle of
the ocean is obviously not preferable to most consumers). SpaceX's
latest launch of its reusable Grasshopper rocket reached a record
height of 1,066 feet and puts the company one step closer to
realizing its goal of sending travelers into space.
On June 14, the Grasshopper rocket lifted off to 1,066 feet and
then safely descended back to its launch pad, though the company
of the launch on July 5. The launch, which benefited from a new
sensor aboard the Grasshopper that provides thorough details on the
rocket's relation to the ground below, represents a major step for
the company. Only four months ago, the Grasshopper rocket hadn't
even reacher an altitude of 300 feet.
New Rival Has Support From American Express and Will
, the New York-based social commerce company The Fancy has raised
$53 million from
(AXP), actor Will Smith, and billionaire Len Blavatnik, among
others. Moreover, the company is valued at $600 million, with sales
of $3 million per month. Before this, The Fancy had raised $60
million in multiple rounds of fundraising. Jack Dorsey, the
co-founder of Twitter, was an early investor.
The Fancy's parent firm is Thingd, short for "Thing daemon," a
company that was originally launched with the broad ambition of
building "a database of every thing in the world." Now, with The
Fancy focusing more on consumers collecting and then buying goods
online, the site will be able to use its newest influx of
investment to compete with e-commerce rivals Pinterest and Wanelot.
Pinterest handily leads in this new e-commerce sector, with a
valuation of nearly $2 billion and hundred of millions of dollars
raised in investment capital.
Sites like Pinterest and The Fancy allow users to discover products
and designs they like, put them together on their profiles, share
those profiles, and buy those products they've discovered and
shared. Moreover, they attract retail companies that seek to take
advantage of targeted online advertising, as well as style trending
that can be concretely measured with user data.
These social consumer goods sites are also an ideal source of
so-called "affinity data," which reveals concretely and
specifically how consumers like to spend their money. Affinity data
has the potential to generate substantial demand and income, given
how valuable it can be to advertisers for maximizing their return
on investment. Affinity data offers social consumer goods companies
a lot of potential upside.
report describes The Fancy as a company that "sells items like
light-up shower heads and alcohol flasks with cigar storage." The
Fancy describes itself as "part store, blog, magazine, and wish
list." Add the social context of these sites and the affinity data
it can provide, and you've got a whole new business model that is
attracting a lot of attention from both consumers and investors.
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