Monthly Archives: November 2012

Great Insight into Relevant Smartphone Usage

I thought this was a great article so i posted it via BII MOBILE INSIGHTS: 50 Million Shoppers To Use Smartphones This Holiday – Business Insider. Enjoy!

People Watching TV Are Also Doing Other Things (Marketing Pilgrim)
According to Nielsen, many people don’t just watch TV, they are also using a mobile device to multitask. Mobile is no longer just for techies. 50% of us are walking around with smartphones and 20% of people in the U.S. who have a TV also have a tablet. That’s amazing. Even more amazing, 40% of Americans use their mobile device while they watch TV every day. Yes, that’s what they’re saying, every day. When you pull back to “at least once a month,” the number more than doubles to 85%.

simultaneous mobile tv usage

The takeaway here is that TV time is a good time to promote your product. Shoppers are relaxed, part of their brain is bored and they have the means to research and buy— laying right on their lap. All you have to do is figure out how to get their attention.

Let the “Showrooming” Begin! (IDC via Internet Retailer)
This holiday season, 48 million shoppers (about 20% of the U.S. adult population) will use their smartphones to compare prices and research products while shopping in stores, a practice known as “showrooming,” according to IDC. This represents a 134% increase from 2011 when 20.5 million shoppers engaged in showrooming. IDC forecasts the number of showrooming shoppers will grow to 59 million next year, 69 million in 2014 and 78 million in 2015. This year, showrooming will influence $700 million to $1.7 billion in holiday retail purchases. Big-ticket items, in particular those that consumers can easily evaluate by reading descriptions, specifications, ratings and reviews, will be the biggest target of consumers shopping with smartphones.

Mobile Shoppers Don’t Just Compare Prices (Vibes via Internet Retailer)
Consumers who use their mobile phones when shopping are doing more than just comparing prices. They’re gathering more information on products and in the process sometimes using a retailer’s site or app, finds a new study from mobile marketing and technology firm Vibes. Retailers that operate physical stores need not fear “showrooming,” where consumers in stores compare prices between retailers and later make a purchase online or through mobile commerce. Rather, Vibes points to the full spectrum of activities of mobile shoppers in stores and concludes that retailers armed with their own sites, apps and deals can convince shoppers to buy in-store. While 54% of mobile shoppers have compared prices in-store, 51% have looked up a product review, 45% have scanned a QR code or bar code for more information, 33% have researched a product on the store’s web site and 28% have used a retailer’s app in-store.

The Rise Of The Mobile Shopper: Here’s How To Win (BI Intelligence)
In this report, we’ll first gauge the size of the mobile commerce opportunity in dollar terms, and then look at some of the top mobile commerce trends. The bottom-line: Purchases from mobile devices are on track to account for $154 million in Cyber Monday sales this year, and over $10 billion in 2012 sales, according to BII forecasts based on comScore data. Tablet consumers spend more per transaction than PC-based shoppers. Tablets’ role in commerce will drive more brands and retailers to design tablet-optimized sites and campaigns. Mobile payment apps will come to serve as full-service shopping suites, incorporating loyalty programs and couponing. Gamification-influenced marketing campaigns will be increasingly influential.

Mobile Means More (Success)
Mobile phones are changing how people buy, so you need to adjust how you market now to gain a huge business advantage. This “digital layer” that connects customers, merchants all the time, has resulted in a sea change in customer behavior that is shaking up how, when, and why people buy. This transition to mobile can be overwhelming. Where do you start if you’re self-employed or have less than $100 to invest? Here are three actions to take right away:

  1. Make your website mobile-friendly
  2. Make buying from you a game
  3. Offer customers the ability to stay in touch

Mobile is no longer the future of business. It’s an option that consumers want now.

Top Resources For Mobile Web Design (Downgraf)
This article gives a comprehensive list of mobile web design resources, tools and plugins. Many only cost a few dollars to use:

  • 320 and Up: HTML5 starter kit
  • 960 Grid on jQuery Mobile: Scaling plugin
  • Foldy960: Responsive web aid
  • JQTouch: Swipe technology
  • jQuery Mobile: Website creation tool

Check out the full article for more helpful tips.

The Smartphone War Is Down To Two Players (Gartner via All Things Digital)
Apple shipped 36.2% more smartphones in the third quarter of 2012 than it did in the same quarter a year earlier, but that wasn’t enough to protect its market share from an unceasing Android onslaught. Apple’s share of the global mobile OS market slipped to 13.9% from 15% in the third quarter, according to Gartner. Meanwhile, Android’s market share rose to 72.4% from 52.5% a year earlier. Remarkable that Apple can increase iPhone sales by a full third year over year and still lose traction to Google’s mobile platform. Android is a juggernaut. And the rest of industry? Floundering in the market’s shallows, but here’s the race to be third.

Is Apple’s iMessage Killing Texting After All? (Read Write Mobile)
We recently reported that texting was on the decline. In the third quarter of this year, the number of text messages people sent to one another in the U.S. dropped by about 2%. That may not sound like much, but considering how fast texting had been growing, the fact that the number declined at all is significant. It’s not that people are any less connected or firing off any fewer messages. They’re just doing it in different ways. One of the biggest culprits is indeed iMessage, which operates exactly as text messages do, but bypasses the carrier entirely for Apple to Apple communications. Another culprit is Facebook’s Messenger app. It turns Facebook’s desktop IM feature into a very SMS-like communication method, again without having to route messages through the mobile provider.

chart of the day, sms/month/user, november 2012

Mobile Healthcare Faces The Future (Read Write Mobile)
One industry has been surprisingly slow to embrace the benefits of mobile: healthcare. That said, we are starting to see progress in mHealth adoption. According to researchers, 62% of doctors use a tablet in some shape or form and 71% of nurses use a smartphone at work. The mHealth industry is forecast to be a $11.8 billion market by 2018. Mobile healthcare is about more than just how doctors and nurses operate on a day-to-day basis. Mobile technology promises to contribute to wellness, preventive care, personal health records, communication with physicians, diet tracking, prescription reminders and many other health-related improvements. For instance, 30% of smartphone users are expected to use wellness apps in one form or another by 2015. By that year, analysts predict there will be nearly two billion smartphone users on the planet. You do the math.

mobile healthcare

via BII MOBILE INSIGHTS: 50 Million Shoppers To Use Smartphones This Holiday – Business Insider.

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5 NYC Apartments We All Know and Love

TV shows make living in NYC look like paradise; every apartment is large with cool wall art and sexy vintage furniture. However, anyone who actually lives here knows that only the most upper of echelons can truly relate to the spacious accommodations, expensive furniture, and shady streets shown on screen. So which shows got it right? And who tried to trick us?  Here are 5 examples we can all relate to:

Jerry Seinfeld’s Apartment: Seinfeld


The outside shot of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment is actually an apartment complex in Los Angeles. Inside, though, is as comfy and “decorated by a guy” as we remember it. Images from: voteprime on Flickr and

Fictional location: 129 West 81st Street
Actual location: 757 New Hampshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California

West 81st Street goes a little something like this:


Jerry Seinfeld lived on the actual West 81st Street when making his break into stand-up in New York. Image from: Google Maps

Believability: This one makes sense. Seinfeld’s income:amenities ratio is perfection. A successful stand-up comedian deserves a clean, roomy one bedroom on the Upper West Side. If Seinfeld the show was still running today, Seinfeld the character would have Ikea’d his apartment a bit more, but I love the 90s two-toned walls and mismatched furniture. With similar apartments on 129 West 81st Street coming in at around $2,000 per month, I applaud Jerry and Dave for keeping things realistic.

Monica Geller’s Apartment: Friends


The familiar façade and brightly-colored kitchen from Friends. How long do you think it took Monica to dust all her kitcheny knick-knacks? Images from: and the Friends NBC myspace page

Fictional location: Greenwich Village, Apartment 20
Actual location: The corner of Grove and Bedford, Greenwich Village

Believability: For a girl who spends the first several seasons vacillating between poor, unemployed, employed by a diner, and then poor again (didn’t she at one point have $127.00 to her name?) the line cook turned executive chef lived in some pretty sweet digs. Together with her roommates who were even less financially secure than she (Rachel, the barista who couldn’t make a latte, and Phoebe, who was a masseuse sometimes), how much could these girls really rake in? 30 grand a year? 35? 40?

Friends explains that the apartment is a hand-me-down from Grandma Geller, and thus rent-controlled at far less than market value, but honestly – when Padmapper gives similar New York apartments a monthly rent of $3,000 – 5,000, when did Grandma need to get her hands on this gem so that she could pass it on to Monica at the feasible rate of $200 a month?

Liz Lemon’s Apartment: 30 Rock


Nothing like functional air-conditioner covers to show off a residence’s true potential. Inside, Liz Lemon’s apartment is cozy and comfy. Images from: smlhope on Flickr and

Fictional location: 160 Riverside Drive
Actual location: Right where they said it’d be

Believability: An A+ for Tina Fey & Co. Since 30 Rock is loosely based on Fey’s life as head writer for Saturday Night Live, she knows how to keep it believable. Available one-bedroom apartments around 160 Riverside Drive in the Upper West Side sit squarely at $2,000 per month, which seems entirely reasonable for a head writer raking in about 1.5 million every year. Lemon’s interior is not overly-decorative and no one is surprised when she can afford to buy it (plus the apartment next door) during the fourth season.

Don Draper’s Apartment: Mad Men (Season 4)

Don Draper's Apartment Outside

The Waverly, built in 1928, is still standing today. Image from: kelly.frombrc on Flickr

Fictional location: 6th and Waverly
Actual Probable location: 136 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village

Believability: Always sticklers for accuracy, the guys behind Mad Men would want a building still standing to represent the home of newly-divorced Don Draper. A slew of “Maddicts” took it upon themselves to discover the real deal after Draper declares “6th and Waverly” to the cabby, and have determined 136 Waverly as where the Draper-magic happens.


A contemporary apartment in the Waverly features fresh, white-washed walls, as opposed to the 60s bachelor-pad vibe. Images from: and

While the current apartments boast better lighting than the grimy glow of Draper’s pad, today’s selling price for a one bedroom is a about $769,000; Maddicts guesstimate Draper could have been sitting pretty for a few hundred dollars a month. Not too shabby for an ad executive with low expectations for interior decorating.

Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment: Sex and the City


Carrie’s well-known stoop alongside her shabby-chic kitchen and bedroom from Sex and the City. Images from: cherishtoronto on Flickr,, and

Fictional location: 245 E 73rd Street, between Park and Madison
Actual location: 66 Perry Street, between Bleeker and 4th

East 73rd street actually looks something like this:


It’s got the red brick, but is lacking the staircase. Where would Carrie be without her stoop? Image from: Google Maps

Believability: A spacious one-bedroom with walk-through closet and bathroom and a full kitchen – sounds too good to be true, although her décor is not overtly ostentatious. A quick check of Padmapper’s apartments for rent on East 73rd street sets the average rental price at $3,000 per month. Coupled with Carrie’s job as a newspaper columnist (who couldn’t possibly make over $40,000 per year, right?) and her obsession with Manolo Blahniks, we give this set location a big, fat “Yeah Right.” Sorry ladies.

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Jet Skiing + Surfing = Jet Surfing


Just when you think you’ve seen it all. Hello Jetsurfing

Now this is a sport I need to try. These dream machines from the company Jet Surf are manufactured in the Czeck Republic in 3 different models: one for beginners, intermediates, and experts.They are only distributed in France, Brazil, Russia, Ibiza (Spain), and Dubai.

Who wants to bring these to America with me? Pretty sure they’ll be on The Fancy available for global purchasing soon enough…

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How Sandy-Related PR Nightmare Cost Startup Uber $100,000 In A Day

Taxis are hard to get in NYC right now.

Uber, a company that makes an app you can use to summon a private cab, had to deal with an extremely messy situation in New York yesterday. Now it’s having to deal with obnoxious punditry. Let’s hit yesterday first.

Because the subways were (and basically still are) out, Uber’s black car drivers were in huge demand. To get the drivers to pick up Uber customers, Uber had to start paying them 2X their normal rate. At first, Uber passed this rate increase onto its customers through a program it calls “surge pricing.” But then customers and reporters started complaining, saying that Uber was “price gouging” in the middle of a disaster.

So, while continuing to pay drivers 2X their normal rate, Uber started charging customers 1X the normal rate. This act of generosity (and, let’s be honest, PR damage control) cost Uber about $100,000. 

So what did Uber get for its expensive pains? A nasty column from PandoDaily’s Paul Carr is what. About 12 hours ago he wrote: “As NY floods, “Robin Hood” Uber robs from the rich and… Nope, that’s about it.”  The URL for his column is: “” It’s unfortunate.  $100,000 is a lot of money for a still young startup trying to gain its footing. (A week ago, Carr wrote a column about how Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has a reckless fascination with disrupting government regulation. Carr mocked Kalanick’s alleged obsession with Ayn Rand. That’s all fair and a separate issue. Kalanick should be more respectful of some government regulation. Rand is terrible.)

Unless Carr is mailing a check, Uber obviously can’t afford to keep losing so much money. So today, Uber announced that it will return to surge pricing, but will not keep any of its normal fees. In a candid blog post, co-signed by the entire Uber New York team, he company said: “For those needing a ride this week, it’s going to be expensive.”

Kudos for the honesty despite certain backlash from critics a thousand miles away.

Here’s the whole blog post:

First and foremost, we hope that you and your family and friends are safe. The Uber NYC office is currently closed and some of our team members are without water and power.

With limited public transportation, demand for Uber rides is astronomically high. That means we’re working to get as many drivers out as possible to help New Yorkers get around the city. So, in order to maximize the number of drivers on the system yesterday, we started paying drivers 2x the fare on all trips – and in the meantime charging riders the standard 1x fare avoiding surge pricing for most of the day after Sandy. Doubling drivers’ fares tripled the number of cars on the road and kept them out there far longer. However, footing the bill for higher driver costs came at a significant expense to Uber with over $100,000 in additional payments to drivers in a single day – something we can’t continue indefinitely without breaking the bank.

So while we were mostly able to avoid higher prices the day after Sandy, the reality is that under this week’s extreme conditions, raising the price is the only sustainable way to maximize the number of rides and minimize the number of people stranded – by providing a meaningful incentive for drivers to come out in undesirable conditions.

Later this morning we will be reverting back to standard Surge Pricing for riders. It is a hard decision, but one we feel strongly about. Without raising the price, there will be less than ½ the number of drivers on the system with several times more demand on far fewer drivers. Without Surge Pricing, Uber would become essentially unusable this week. For those needing a ride this week, it’s going to be expensive; there will be a clear pricing notification in the app at the time of request. During this emergency price increase, Uber will waive all of its own fees with 100% of the fare going directly to the drivers helping New Yorkers move around the city.

You can read more about Surge Pricing on our blog:

Our thoughts and prayers are with all New Yorkers in this time of crisis. We’re going to do everything we can to continue to provide the most reliable, efficient transportation option for NYC. Be safe, and stay Uber. 

The Uber NYC Team

Josh, Andrew, Ed, Kyle and Nicole in Manhattan,

Jeremy in Brooklyn,

Betty in Queens

and Cait in The Bronx


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