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No, Google is not going ‘horizontal’ by selling Motorola

Another excellent move by Google: Offload Motorola Mobile Devices to Lenovo, while keeping the patents to themselves.


Skimming through the news this morning, I found there is apparently a lot of confusion about the planned sale of Motorola by Google. From decrying a huge loss by Google by such infotainment sites like Wired and Slate, to seeing Google giving up on copying vertical integration of Apple (hardware + software + services), like Stratechery by Ben Thomson.

Let’s look at things from a broader perspective. The acquisition of Motorola was necessary to protect Android, after Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry outbid Google for Nortel patents. The Apple-Microsoft-BlackBerry trio made it very clear that they intend to put a drag on then-fledging Android ecosystem and extort royalties from Android OEMs. The cost of doing nothing was huge for Google – just think how much more nasty the patent wars may have turned out for Android if the acquisition hadn’t taken place. Any “profit and loss” analysis of the Motorola deal must account for the opportunity cost associated with Motorola patents. Android is, was and will be critically important for Google’s core online ad business, as I will explain in a bit.

Mobile Money: Did T-Mobile just pull an Android on banks?

Operators have been trying for ages to launch mobile banking schemes hoping to create new revenue opportunities for themselves. T-Mobile’s latest attempt, dubbed Mobile Money, offers a refreshing new perspective on the space. Drawing on the playbook of innovators like Google and Amazon, T-Mobile uses two strategies that are indeed quite un-carrier-like. Analyst Stijn Schuermans explains.

Did T-Mobile just pull an Android on banks?

Many people that follow what’s going on in mobile might have shrugged their shoulders at T-Mobile’s announcement of the new Mobile Money service. “Un-carrier brings its revolution to personal finance; frees consumers from Outrageous fees!”, titled the press release. An enjoyable bit of drama, but nothing new, right? After all, operators have been trying for ages to launch mobile payment and banking schemes. Remember all the NFC buzz of the last few years? Direct competitor Sprint launched its Mobile Wallet (a very similar service) back in May 2013, leading Forbes to label T-Mobile as “The Late Adopter That Picks Up The Innovation Kudos”.

Top 5 VisionMobile articles for 2013

With 2013 drawing to a close, we’d like to present you with the top articles from our blog for this past year – and wish you a happy and productive 2014! So, without further ado, here are the top 5 VisionMobile articles for 2013 – enjoy!

5. Developer Economics: App market forecasts 2013-2016

by Andreas Pappas
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The global app economy was worth $ 53Bn in 2012, and expected to rise to $ 143Bn in 2016. As part of our new Developer Economics: App Economy Forecasts 2013-2016 report, Senior Analyst, Andreas Pappas, examines developer population, platforms, revenues, and revenue models and shows how app store sales are just a small part of the app economy. Read the full article.

Intrapreneurial: Five ingredients of the corporate innovation recipe

The survival of large enterprises calls for innovation. It requires continually creating a new set of businesses to sustain growth and profit. Guest author Avner Mor identifies five crucial ingredients that senior management should use to succeed in their innovation program recipe.


Innovation exists in the form of ideas, innovation leaders and teams. Everyone talks innovation. Yet we see more and more opportunities missed by large enterprises to leverage their enormous assets – technologies, brands, relationships and routes-to-market – within their internal innovation programs. Innovation programs are constantly being established and funded, but months pass and success is often not materialized. I have seen quite a few testaments to this through my years at several global corporates and startups.

How do developers prioritise platforms? iOS vs Android vs HTML5

How do developers perceive different platforms and how is their platform choice affected by the type of apps they developed or the way they define success? Andreas Pappas looks into the data from VisionMobile’s Developer Economics survey in Q3 2013 to shed some light on these questions.


Not long ago, the choice of a mobile platform, i.e. which mobile platform to support was a key question for developers. That question has more or less been addressed now: iOS and Android accounted for 94% of smartphone sales in Q3 2013 and there is little doubt that they will continue to dominate the market in the years to come. For organisations that require massive scale, combined with all the perks of a mobile ecosystem (monetisation, distribution, platform services), iOS and Android are the platforms of choice with a combined Mobile Developer Mindshare of over 85% based on the last Developer Economics survey in Q3 2013.

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