Digital Marketing News Update – Rise of Android, Commodore 64 Nostalgia and Epsilon Hacked


The rise of the Android

At the risk of provoking my editor, Apple looks like it might be in danger of losing its hold on the smartphone market. New figures released in the US show Android phones are picking up steam and their market share has increased to 33% in the last quarter. Research firm Gartner has predicted that by the end of 2012 Android will control almost half of the smartphone market, leaving competitors Apple, RIM and Microsoft far behind.

Although Apple doesn’t currently dominate the market in terms of product, the lack of standardisation amongst Androids OS has meant that little has moved on around development of software applications due to the complexity of working with open source devices. With Google now moving towards providing the operating system for the majority of devices this could lead to some very real competition for Apple’s iPhone.

The point of no return in the smartphone market has yet to be reached with no one competitor holding enough of the market to secure their position in the way others have done such as Google for search engine and Facebook for social networking. These products are so ingrained in our everyday lives that any attempt to knock them off their top spot is likely to be expensive and fruitless. Google’s dominance of the market brings with it an incentive for developers to begin making great strides in the development of apps and improving the user experience.

Looking at the figures, this should make Apple quake in its boots, but how much does this type of research really matter. If we break the figures down, Android market increased in the last quarter, however sales of the iPhone 4 rose significantly in February this year and as we all know statistics can vary significantly depending on your perspective. Not only that, the increase in Android users doesn’t automatically mean a decrease in iPhone users.

As proven by the PC/MAC divide, the appeal of the two products means it’s customer base is quite distinct and Apple followers tend to be very loyal which means they’re unlikely to cross over to “the dark side” regardless of what may be on offer. Of course we all have our limits but unless Apple’s products suddenly take a nose dive I can’t see them losing many of their avid fans. And of course a bit of healthy competition is always good for seeing our favourite companies step up their game even further. Watch this space.

Editor: Don’t watch this space. I know that Android will be better than iOS, and in fact I may almost admit it may already be. But that’s not the point. My iPhone is shiny and works with iTunes. I know that I look like a X%^&** using my iPad 2 in public, but it is also shiny and works with iTunes.

Commodore 64 lives again

For those of us old enough to remember to humble beginnings of the gaming industry the Commodore 64 will no doubt provoke memories of childhood excitement rarely dampened by the several hours it took to load a simple game of tennis. Oh how we reminisce over the clunky keyboard and the endless pages of script required to load even the simplest game. Not to mention the gigantic size of the cassettes our treasured games came on.

Though much as these early gaming devices are revered, would any of use actually chose to swap our swift and compact MACs or PCs for anything even remotely resembling one. Apparently yes! Or at least that is what Commodore is hoping for with the release of its new/old Commodore 64 which promises to look and feel like it’s famous predecessor, only with some fairly major improvements. Its 64 kilobytes of memory (yes there was a time when memory was measured in kilobytes) has been replaced with 2GB and runs Windows 7 but it also has the ability to run the original games for anyone who feels the need to relive their wasted youth.

According to Commodore, no expense has been spared to make the product as close to the original as possible and it is available to pre-order for £364 but you’ll need to hook it up to a monitor or your TV as a screen isn’t included. As PCs go, it doesn’t do too badly when measured up against other popular brands but will it’s retro design prove a hit with an audience obsessed with the next cool thing and a market whose direction seems to lie in making devices ever smaller and compact. With the original Commodore only 20 years behind us, are we really ready for nostalgia and is this the right industry to be making a point of looking backwards.

Editor: WHY! WHY! WHY! Should have been a Vic 20

Epsilon experience serious security breach

With the recent controversy over the upcoming EU privacy laws, it was the worst time for a major company to experience a serious breach of its email system. Epsilon who collects data for companies within the hotel, leisure and retail industries and whose clients include the Hilton and Capital One found it’s email system had been hacked and tens of millions of personal email records had been compromised.

The company has taken great strides to reassure its customers of measures they can take to ensure they aren’t left open to fraud. Epsilons clients have jumped straight in with advising customers as to the risks they may face and have been commended publicly for doing so, however it must raise questions in some people’s minds as to whether they want their details being stored by online companies when breaches like this can happen and put them at risk.

Editor: Marks and Spencer are amongst those that use Epsilon – screenshot below. Here comes the spam…….Screenshot of Marks and Spencer email regarding email security breach

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