Usually Mary Meeker only publishes her Internet Trends report once a year, but she had a mini-report for the end of 2012 that she gave on Monday. In that report there were a few insightful data points. The biggest one is the surge in market share for Android: it’s increasing adoption 5x faster than iPhone. I’ve often predicted that Android would take the global smartphone market share — but these numbers are huge. If this trend continues, it puts Apple in a precarious situation. Other data points of interest include the still huge numbers of feature phones: over 5 billion. The smartphone market is growing at 1 billion — but these numbers show that the world’s people still like having cheap phones for just calling and texting.

Meeker also noted that iPad adoption is increasing five times faster than iPhone adoption. There comes a time when iPhone saturation will occur — when most of those interested in having one, actually do. Smartphone makers may have to reconsider their “planned obsolescence” designs because consumers may lose interest in replacing their smartphones yearly.

Meeker also confirms the “post-PC” era statements we keep hearing by stating “that the global smartphone plus tablet install base will surpass the install base of the PC by the end of 2013.”

According to reports in today’s WSJ, social networks are beginning to show important return on investments. For example:

Hospital network Texas Health Resources has reduced the incidence of hospital-acquired urinary tract infections by 30% thanks to the use of collaboration software.

Tyco was able to win a huge contract thanks to information gleaned through its social network that had previously taken an employee six months to search for without any luck.

The Red Robin restaurant chain was able to share customer feedback on a new product vital to the success of its new strategy among managers and assistant managers at its 465 locations.

Companies continue to find creative and innovative ways to connect their employees and customers using social technology. The days of CEOs and CIOs being wary of social utilities in the workplace are quickly fading in light of metrics that show real business results.

Mobile payment systems are about to become real as companies introduce their offerings and technology to the world. Buying goods or services with your smartphone is almost second nature. We’re all getting used to searching and tapping or scanning to pay.

Scan and pay will be the paradigm shift that transforms mobile commerce. Combine scan and pay with intelligent apps and you have a powerhouse waiting to be unleashed: If you’re paying for something at the register with your smartphone, the retailer may offer you 25% off if you immediately sign up for their credit card, or offer you a heavily discounted scarf to go with your new fall coat. Impulsive shoppers better destroy their smartphones now and pull out the old flip-phone from 2001. The key to merchant success is instant analysis of what you’re buying so they can offer you a complementary or similar item to “buy now”.

Visa, PayPal, Square and Google have been tinkering in this space for quite some time and it looks like their offerings are about to show some fruition. Mobile transactions are already totaling $240 billion annually, but a recent study by Juniper Research reports that by 2015, the transaction totals may reach over $670 billion.

Smartphones, with their built-in carrier service and vast library of available apps, are perfect “wallets” — you always have it with you, and it can securely store your financial information. Some carriers in the US are beginning to test systems that will allow consumers with smartphones that have NFC (near field communication) chips to make purchases by touching the device to a merchant payment terminal. You may be wondering: what is NFC? NFC works like this:

  1. A simple connection between two devices is initiated with a physical touch
  2. There must be an “initiator” and a “target”. Your smartphone would be the initiator when making a purchase
  3. The initiator generates a radio frequency (RF) field with a range of about 4 centimeters
  4. The target picks up the RF field and receives the data completing the payment request

But your smartphone is not simply a payment mechanism. Remember the word “smart” connected to the word “phone”. Retailers will be able to offer you loyalty points, coupons, and redeemable items via your smartphone directly before or after your purchase. Starbucks is already doing this with their updated app: buying a latte earns you points that add up to free items.

As is typical in the tech industry, the different players are fighting it out for dominance. Verizon Wireless won’t allow Google’s Wallet on any of their devices, and AT&T was disabling NFC on phones to stop them from using Google Wallet. T-Mobile is piloting its own Isis payment system in Salt Lake City and Austin.

The tech wars will ultimately provide a winner — more than likely multiple systems for quite awhile. Once there is convergence, however, you’ll be the actual winner — and from then on you can leave your over-stuffed wallet with all that old-school paper money at home.

Popchips  the top selling line of popped chips and one of the fastest growing snack brands in the u.s., today announced a month long mobile fashion truck tour, giving snack fanatics the opportunity to dress like a popstar, and snack like one too.

Following the lead from the gourmet food trucks that brought high-end eats to the masses, PopChips teams up with the Bay Area’s first fashion truck, topshelf boutique, to add some flavor to fall for fashionistas of all ages. just in time for the holidays, PopChips presents an exclusive pop-up mobile fashion truck shopping and snacking experience. snackers are invited to pop over to one of the 34 local stops and check out nor cal’s premiere fashion truck, get the popstar look with hand selected affordable styles, get poppin’ with music and prizes all while snacking on complimentary popchips, of course.

The PopChips pop-up fashion truck will make 34 stops throughout northern california including a launch event at BloodHound in San Francisco on Thursday, November 1 from 5-8:00 p.m. During the month of November the truck will pop up at local retailers like whole foods and nugget markets, college and corporate campuses and local neighborhood hotspots from San Francisco to San Jose to Sacramento and beyond. The last two days of the tour are reserved for a “people’s choice pop-up” where fans can suggest the final three locations. for an up to date schedule of where the pop-up fashion truck will be, visit popchips.com/fashiontruck; to view popstar inspired looks by topshelf, visit flickr.com/photos/topshelf_boutique.

what: popchips northern ca pop-up fashion truck tour

when: kicking off on thursday, november 1 from 5 – 8:00 p.m.; additional events extend throughout the month of november

where: kick-off party at bloodhound
1145 folsom st at 7th
san francisco, ca
www.bloodhoundsf.com

who: www.popchips.com/fashiontruck and www.topshelfboutique.com

cost: free

 

The social business workflow is based on people being able to connect, communicate and share information more efficiently. Collaboration platforms such as Jive, Salesforce.com, and others have not been flexible enough to properly support the rapid transformation to mobile that is occurring in the workforce.

But there are some bright lights on the horizon. At its annual gathering in Las Vegas this month, Jive introduced an extension to their social business platform called Jive Present.

Jive states that “…it’s become a business imperative that teams have an easy, intuitive and controlled way to receive information and leverage social tools to interact with the right content and people. With Jive Present, organizations now have a powerful tool accessible anytime and anywhere.”

Since mobile devices, especially tablets, are entering the business workflow faster than any technology device ever, it’s imperative that companies keep their mobile workers connected to their internal networks. One of the biggest challenges that CIOs face is ensuring that their mobile workforce can seamlessly access important data while keeping that data secure.

By extending their platform beyond the desktop companies like Jive will offer more relevant solutions for collaborating. It’s about time that the burgeoning mobile workforce has the ability to collaborate regardless of their location.