Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Afternoon Amusements: Verizon, the iPhone, and analysts; Angry Birds = big ad dollars; some holiday cheer

Glad its Friday? Me, too. Here are a few random items, some left over from earlier this week:

I missed this post on TechCrunch about the incredibly popular mobile app Angry Birds. The app, and the way it is being handled in the Android market versus the iPhone market illustrates a few good points.
According to the TechCrunch story, Angry Birds has been downloaded over 30 million times since it was launched. In the iTunes App Store, there are four different versions of the game -- a free "Lite" version for the iPhone, plus a standard 99 cent version. There is also a $4.99 iPad version, plus a just released "Seasons" version in time for the holidays -- it costs $1.99.

But over in the Android world, the app is free and Google is providing ad support through its AdMob team. You remember the whole AdMob acquisition issue, right? Back in January it was one of the most important issues out there until Apple dropped its tablet news on the market. At that time everyone was talking about the Google acquisition of AdMob, and the effect Apple's acquisition of Quattro Wireless would have on the FTC review.

Now here we are, almost a year later, and the developer of Angry Birds is pretty optimistic about mobile advertising -- boy, is he feeling good. "By end of year, we project earnings of over $1 million per month with the ad-supported version of Angry Birds,” Peter Vesterbacka, of Rovio Mobile, is quoted by TechCrunch as saying.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball also saw the piece a little late this week, as well. (He beat me to posting a reference to it, I was holding it until this afternoon -- darn that guy!) He posted it, I think, because he sees that how it illustrates that an ad supported app in the Android market can generate big dollars just like some of the paid apps in iTunes.

For me, however, it illustrates what a dedicated mobile sales team can accomplish if given the right product and the right numbers. It also might provide some guidance to those developing tablet solutions for both the iOS and Android markets. If Apple's iAds can't prove a profitable way to go, one could keep sales in house, while relying on network sales for your Android products. Just a thought.

Fortune ran a story that has some fun with the various predictions from analysts concerning future sales of iPhones on Verizon once that carrier (we assume) gets the device next year. Some of the predictions are hilarious, but these are "analysts" after all.

But the real story might be to see how well the iPhone does at Verizon versus Android at Verizon. Right now Android accounts for 80 percent of all smartphone sales at the carrier. Just a little over a year ago RIM's BlackBerry accounted for 93 percent -- this shows not only the growth of Android since it has been introduced, but also smartphones, in general. How much of all of this will go to Apple?

Finally, how about a little holiday cheer care of the North Point Community Church, from Alpharetta, Georgia. I don't know who found this first, but no matter. It is a great illustration of where we are in the life of tablets -- last year only the guy "playing" the iPhone could have been part of the "North Point Band".

Enjoy your weekend.