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App Development: Doubtful Return on Investment

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The App businesses is not making enough to survive, according to VisionMobile’s latest Developer Economics report.

The report says that half of iOS developers, and 64% of Android developers are operating below the app poverty line (identified as making $500 per app per month).

While it may seem like a reasonable profit for work that is already completed (once an app is released), one needs to see a return on their invested development time –but there is also a need to see revenue to compensate for Apple licensing, hardware, and ongoing support as required.

Some 24% of all app developers are making nothing at all (and 23% are bringing in under $100 per month).

Only 1.6% generate the most app store revenue (many making more than $500,000 for each app per month).

Other factoids from the VisionMobile report:

  • HTML5 is the most widely used at 42% of developers with Java, the native language on Android, the next most popular at 38%.
  • A surprisingly high 47% of iOS developers and 42% of Android developers are using something other than the native language on their platforms.
  • 67% of mobile app developers primarily target consumers and 11% target professionals directly. The 16% of developers who target enterprises are twice as likely to be earning over $5k per app per month and almost 3 times as likely to earn more than $25k per app per month.
  • Games dominate app store revenues, yet most games developers struggle. 33% of developers make games but 57% of those games make less than $500 per month.

Jared Sinclair reveals the hard facts about app development — it is very unlikely your hard work will be compensated, compared to a “real” job. He profiles the particulars around developing his RSS reader, the Unread app (iPhone and iPad).

Unread for iPhone has earned a total of $32K in App Store sales. Unread for iPad has earned $10K. After subtracting 40 percent in self-employment taxes and $350/month for health care premiums (times 12 months), the actual take-home pay from the combined sales of both apps is:

$21,000, or $1,750/month

Considering the enormous amount of effort I have put into these apps over the past year, that’s a depressing figure. I try not to think about the salary I could earn if I worked for another company, with my skills and qualifications. It’s also a solid piece of evidence that shows that paid-up-front app sales are not a sustainable way to make money on the App Store.

Oceanic Fiber: Threat and Promise

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Builtvisible has a detailed history of undersea cables along with their role in espionage, starting with Operation Ivy Bells through the USS Jimmy Carter and the latest threats from earthquakes and terrorists.

Some factoids from the story:

  • There are 277 undersea fibre optic cables in the world today.
  • These cables carry 99% of all international communications, including Internet and telecom traffic.
  • They span a total of 986,543 km, and each day route a quantity of data equivalent to several hundred US Libraries of Congress.
  • Global Internet traffic in 2013 was approximately 51 exabytes and will increase to 132 exabytes by 2018
  • National economies are at risk when cable systems are disrupted.
  • Over 80% of international fibre optic data from Latin America currently routes through the United States
  • Modern tapping can be accomplished in one of two ways: either by splicing the cable or by bending the cable to a point where it begins to leak data.
  • The Guardian revealed how British intelligence agency GCHQ was intercepting data
  • Reuters reports that the EU has threatened to suspend data transfer agreements with the US until Washington strengthens guarantees to protect the privacy of EU citizens.
  • In December 2006 communications were rocked across Asia when the Hengchun earthquake severed a whopping 80% of the cables connecting Taiwan with the rest of the world.
  • Concerns over data terrorism are aimed at the cable infrastructure
  • Three men were arrested off the coast of Alexandria for allegedly cutting the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable connecting much of East Africa, to the rest of world. Damage to the cable affected 614 networks connected to Telecom Egypt.
  • UAVs require 500Mbps of bandwidth each to function. Their missions depend massively on global network reliability
  • The objective of initiatives like Project Loon and Oluvus is ubiquitous and democratic access to the Internet.

The OptIPuter is a personal supercomputer that instantaneously connects to global databases as fast as local hard drives. The OptIPuter uses dedicated (not shared) 10-GigE optical strands that users can “dial up”.

The global dependency of oceanic fiber and the vastness of the ocean indicates there probably have been and will continue to be terrorists threats on fiber.

How far surveillance should go will be debated for the foreseeable future. The growth of cellular and the Internet of Things will soon expand fiber’s global impact.

Related Dailywireless articles include; NSA Spying Threatens Global Internet?, NSA’s Cable Tapping Explained, Ocean Observatory Network Lands in Oregon, Google’s Transpacific Fiber Ready, Google + SingTel = Unity Submarine Fiber, Google: Now it’s Transpacific Fiber, NSA’s Utah Data Center, NSA Revelations: “Tip of the Iceberg”, Snowden: Hero or Traitor?, Fiber Crosses the Pond, The Other Atlantis, Surveillance State, Top Secret America: The Book, The Telephone Game, How Your Location & Preferences are Recorded, Behavioral Targeting: Kill/Capture, Google Vs The Feds, US Government: More Surveillance Power, The Secret Patriot Act, Facebook Invests in Asian Oceanic Fiber , Transoceanic Fiber Upgraded, Underwater Streetview, NSA Stores Social MetaData on US Persons

More Broadband Subs Than Video Subs

Posted by Sam Churchill on

US MSOs will soon have more broadband subscribers than video subscribers for the first time in the industry’s 65-year history, reports Moody’s.

In a new report issued last week, Moody’s Investors Service predicts that US cable operators will have more high-speed data customers than pay TV customers by next year. It calculates the crossover point is already occurring, with both services now boasting about 50 million subscribers.

A Pew Research Center study showed that 53% of adults said it would be “very hard or impossible” to give up their broadband service while just 35% said the same for TV.

Several major US MSOs already have more broadband customers than video customers.

Both Time Warner Cable and Charter — the second- and fourth-largest US MSOs — now have more broadband than video customers.

Cablevision Systems may well have reached the crossover point at the end of the second quarter.

But companies with significant overlap with Verizon’s FiOS and AT&T’s uVerse, such as Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, will especially need to invest in a competitive video product to survive, notes Moody’s.

Customers are displaying a slow but steady shift away from cable to satellite or IPTV (fiber, such as Verizon FiOS or AT&T uVerse) television programming.

Verizon sold its western holdings to Frontier Communications and is not laying new fiber. At the close of 2013, AT&T had 10 million uVerse high-speed Internet customers while Verizon had about 5.5 million FiOS customers.

Samsung Delays Tizen Smartphone

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Samsung is delaying the rollout of the Samsung Z, the first Tizen smartphone, presumably because there are not yet enough apps on the platform. Samsung said that it was postponing the launch of the phone, citing a need to “further enhance the Tizen ecosystem.”

The Samsung Z series will use Tizen rather than Android, and would be released first in Russia. Samsung did not give an updated launch date for the Z or give any more information on its future plans for Tizen.

Other Tizen supporters include Intel, Huawei, ZTE, Orange and Vodafone, as well as Sprint. Samsung has released smart watches and a camera running Tizen and has also said the software will be used in TVs and other home appliances.

MeeGo was a Linux kernel-based free mobile operating system project resulting from the fusion of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo operating systems. The Linux Foundation canceled MeeGo in September 2011 in favor of Tizen.

Samsung hoped Tizen would compete with Google’s Android platform, especially in lower-end phones. Samsung scrapped its homegrown Bada platform in 2013 and folded those development efforts into Tizen.

Samsung is the largest smartphone maker in the world largely thanks to Android, but Google controls much of the direction of Android, its look and feel, and makes money from its Google Play store, which sells apps, music, movies and ebooks.

T-Mobile: $100 Family Plan with 10GB

Posted by Sam Churchill on

T-Mobile US is launching a new $100 family plan that undercuts similar plans from other carriers by around $60 per month for a family of four, notes Fierce Wireless.

From July 30 through Sept. 30, customers who sign up for T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plan can get four smartphone lines with unlimited voice and texting and up to 10 GB of LTE data, or 2.5 GB each, for $100 per month.

But the offer will only last until Jan. 2, 2016. After that date, customers will be reduced to 1 GB of data per line.

AT&T’s $160 Mobile Share plan, like T-Mobile, offers unlimited voice and 10 MB data, and lets customers can pay for a device via a separate monthly installment plan or bring their own device. However, AT&T does levy international roaming fees and overage charges and T-Mobile does not.

Asus RT-AC87: First Mu-MIMO Router

Posted by Sam Churchill on

ASUS has officially announced its RT-AC87 Quantenna-based router. The AC2400 designation comes from the 1.73Gbps capacity on the 5GHz band in 802.11ac mode and up to 600Mbps via 802.11n.

Small Net Builder reports the RT-AC87 is the first of the “wave 2″ 802.11ac routers and supports Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) using the 4×4 (four receive / transmit chains) architecture of Quantenna’s QSR1000 chipset.

The router was announced at January’s CES as the RT-AC87U. It becomes the first router to support MU-MIMO, although there are no devices that support MU-MIMO at this time. MU-MIMO is expected to be particularly useful in high-density urban environments such as stadiums where hundreds of people may try to share a single access point.

The RT-AC87 introduces some new features including AiProtection parental controls and a new intelligent QoS feature that uses packet inspection to allocate bandwidth.

MU-MIMO improves wireless throughput by enabling simultaneous transmission to three or more clients. Single User MIMO had to serve devices, round-robin style, one at a time. Devise support for Mu-MIMO is expected shortly. Phones using Qualcomm’s 801 processor may support MU-MIMO (with a software upgrade).

The router is available now in North America with the estimated price of $270.

Small Net Builder also has a first look at the NETGEAR R8000 Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band WiFi Router based on Broadcom XStream technology with two 5 GHz radios and a 2.4 GHz radio.