ARPU FIGURES DON’T GIVE AN ACCURATE PICTURE OF INDIVIDUAL SPENDING, says a new report from Wireless Intelligence, because of the proliferation of multiple connections per user. For instance, in North America, the reported penetration rate is 92 percent, but when you take out multiple connections with the same user, the real rate is just 71 percent. Consequently, spending per user is $64 per month, rather than the reported $51. In Western Europe, the per user figure is €33 per month, while the per connection rate is €23. Source
The bottom line: The ARPU metric has been under fire for some time, not least because it only looks at revenues, and says nothing about profitability. Consumers having multiple connections is a trend that will proliferate, as more users get 3G dongles, e-book readers and other types of connected devices. This trend could accelerate the move towards another key metric in the industry.
MOBILE MAPPING GROWING, BUT PC SITES STILL RULE, according to ABI Research. The firm says that internet mapping sites will get 440 million monthly visitors next year. ABI has also noted that while big names like Google, Mapquest, Sohu and Baidu currently dominate the mapping space, more and more players, such as navigation vendors like TomTom and NAVTEQ, and even mobile companies like Nokia, are launching their own navigation sites. Source
The bottom line: Expect mobile use to fuel the next stage of growth in mapping services, as more and more devices get GPS functionality, making maps so much easier to use, and mobile mapping applications improve. PC mapping isn’t going anywhere, but mapping on the mobile makes much more sense in many scenarios. This calls into question the need for standalone GPS units – which is why GPS vendors are pushing hard into the mobile space.
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