Mapping the mobile ecosystem: top-20 most connected companies

Back in March we released the 3rd edition of the Mobile Industry Atlas, the definitive who’s who of the mobile industry. Since its humble beginnings in 2008, the Atlas has grown to more than 1,100 companies across 69 industry sectors; including all key companies, from 20:20mobile to ZTE, and market sectors, from Active Idle Screen solutions to Service Delivery Platforms.

To distill market noise into market sense, we have broken down the entire mobile ecosystem into four main categories:the core value chain, the suppliers to network operators, the suppliers to handset manufacturers and finally the services that run on top.

Top-20 most connected companies in mobile
We run some stats on our Atlas database and came up with an interesting analysis on the most ‘connected’ companies in mobile, i.e. the companies who have fingers (products) in most pies (market sectors).

At the top of the list are Nokia, Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm, which represent heavyweights from manufacturing, services, software and IP backgrounds respectively. Nokia appears in 17 market sectors including, the OS and Browser sectors, Developer Tools, Mobile Search, Barcode Services and Connected Addressbook sectors, to name a few.

It’s also instructive to analyse which market sectors are most frequently encountered within these top-20 companies: it’s operating systems, browsers, application stores, as well as content management & delivery infrastructure. These sectors are either building blocks as part of a more integrated offering (as in the case of operating systems or browsers), or high growth opportunities (as in the case of app stores).

How does this help me?
The main function of the Atlas is to provide a clear view of the key players operating in each sector of the mobile ecosystem. For example, the Handset Manufacturer Supply Chain can give you an idea of the leading companies operating in this part of the ecosystem, from chipset manufacturers and RF component manufacturers all the way to operating systems and browsers. It’s all in there, from the much-hyped Android platform to the more obscure plastics manufacturers and vendors of input technologies. Most of the Atlas is being a paywall, but you can see a sample here.

Under-the-radar sectors
We ‘ve showcased several under-the-radar sectors into the Atlas, including Application Analytics, Campaign Analytics and Service Analytics. These three sectors comprise the leading providers of usage and marketing analytics tools to developers and mobile web (or WAP) sites, as well as platforms for mining network or service data to extract service intelligence. Naturally, you ‘ll also find your typical hyped sectors like Mobile Ad Networks & Mediation Engines, as well as Mobile Advertising Platforms and Agencies. The Connected Addressbook sector is yet another category that has attracted a lot of media attention and is part of our Atlas.

The complete list of market sectors in the Atlas is below, broken down into the four main categories:

Network operator supply chain Handset manufacturer supply chain
– Billing platforms
– Call completion, voice messaging & voicemail
– Content Management & Delivery
– Content retailing and billing mediation
– Core network and radio infrastructure
– Customer support services
– Deep Packet Inspection
– Mobile media publishing platforms
– MVNEs
– OSS / BSS
– Service Analytics
– Service delivery platforms & Network APIs
– SMS/MMS gateways & aggregators
– Traffic & content optimisation
– Application environments
– Audio middleware
– Baseband and application processors
– Browsers
– Camera technology and subsystems
– Imaging and video middleware
– Input technology
– Multimedia chipsets
– Non-cellular connectivity components
– Operating systems
– Plastics & mechanics
– RF components
– Silicon
– UI frameworks
Core value chain Content and services
– Industrial design
– User interface design
– Reference hardware designs
– System integrators
– ODMs and contract manufacturers
– Handset OEMs
– Luxury handset OEMs
– Mobile network operators
– MVNOs
– SIM card OEMs
– SIM application vendors & services
– Distributors
– Retailers
– Active Idle Screen solutions
– Application Analytics
– Barcode Services
– Campaign Analytics
– Connected Address book
– Content backup & synchronisation
– Developer tools
– Device capabilities databases
– E-mail synchronization
– Enterprise mobility
– Games publishers
– IVR Platforms
– Mobile Ad Networks & Mediation Engines
– Mobile Advertising Platforms & Agencies
– Mobile banking and payments
– Mobile content publishers
– Mobile Device Management
– Mobile instant messaging and chat
– Mobile search
– Mobile social networking
– Mobile VoIP
– Navigation, Mapping and Location platforms
– On-Device Portal solutions
– Recommendation services
– Security solutions
– Software integration services
– White-label Application Stores
– Widget Platforms

The Mobile Industry Atlas is available in A1+ wallchart format or PDF, for carrying around in your iPad or sharing with colleagues.
What do you think of the Atlas and what would you like to see next?

– Matos

Breaking the 500 million barrier of mobile software

[Which are the most ubiquitous mobile software products out there? Marketing Manager Matos Kapetanakis opens up our 5th edition of the 100 Million Club, the watchlist of embedded software products and talks about the really big numbers of mobile software.]

Welcome to the H2 2009 edition of the 100 Million Club, the semi-annual watchlist of mobile software products that have been embedded in more than 100 million mobile devices since their release. Despite the apparent opportunity in the one-billion-a-year handset market, very few software companies have managed to overcome the commercial and technical challenges inherent in the mobile industry.

Key highlights in this H2 2009 edition:

– “The cumulative number of shipments of all the 100 Million Club software products up to the end of 2009 is 24.6 billion – an 11% increase since the previous half”

– “The estimated 250 million cumulative shipments for Apple’s WebKit show that it is fast becoming a de facto browser platform.”

– “BlackBerry is the next smartphone platform, after Symbian, that will break through the 100 million shipments barrier.”

What’s new in H2 2009?
So, what major changes have we seen since our previous update?

First off we’re happy to welcome three new entrants to the Club: ARM, Mimer and Numonyx have joined, adding three new middleware products to our watchlist. Mimer has just broken the 100 million barrier with its SQL database engine, while ARM brings us Mali-JSR184, a 3D graphics engine for wireless devices. The Flash Data Integrator by Numonyx is already ahead of the game, having been shipped in more than 900 million devices.

We have also had to remove three software products that have long been part of the Club. For different reasons, Mobile BAE by Beatnik and Picsel’s File Viewer are no longer part of the 100 Million Club, while Nokia’s Series 60 OS has been incorporated in the Symbian OS.

(click to download)

Growth in the 100 Million Club
The H2 2009 edition of the 100 Million Club is comprised of 30 software products by 26 companies. The total number of shipments of all 30 products, up to the end of 2009, comes to 24.6 billion – an 11% increase since the previous half.

In the previous edition, the Club featured 15 software products that exceeded 500 million shipments, 6 of which had also broken through the 1 billion barrier. The H2 2009 edition features 17 products with more than 500 million sales, 7 of which have surpassed 1 billion shipments. In other words, for the first time the majority of the products featured in the 100 Million Club have over 500 million shipments.

In the second half of 2009, CAPS by Scalado and OKL4 by Open Kernel Labs managed to break through the 500 million barrier, while Myriad Group’s messaging client and Nokia’s Series 40 OS now have more than 1 billion shipments each.

Category leaders: apps, browsers, middleware and operating systems
Quickoffice wins by default in the embedded applications category, since it’s the only embedded application featured in the 100 Million Club.

Adobe is still number one in the application environments category, with Flash/Flash Lite having been embedded in more than 1.3 billion devices up to the end of 2009. The growth of Flash Lite has decelerated significantly from 43% (1H09) to 15% (2H09) as share of devices sold with the software embedded; however the pace should be picking up pace again with Flash shipments later in 2010.

Myriad Group, whose browser has almost twice as many shipments as the other category products combined, dominates the browser market.

In the middleware category things are not that clear, due to the diversity of products. In absolute numbers, the messaging client by Myriad Group has the most shipments (1.2B) and vRapid Mobile by Red Bend shows the highest of growth over the second half of 2009. UI software is also highly penetrated within mobile devices, led by graphics engines by Ikivo, Scalado and The Astonishing Tribe which are at or around the 500 million mark.

The operating system market features 6 products that have been embedded in more than 1 billion devices. It’s worth noting that mass-appeal operating systems like OSE, Nucleus and recently Series 40 have cumulative shipments numbering in the billions, while BREW has just broken past the 500 million mark. In contrast, most major smartphone platforms – Android, OSX, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry – apart from Symbian have yet to reach 100 million shipments.

Finally, the input engines category features two products, both by Nuance inherited from the past acquisitions of Tegic and Zi Corp. As is evident in the chart, T9/XT9 is by far the most prominent, having been embedded in a staggering 4.8 billion mobile devices up to the end of the second half of 2009.

100 Million Club facts and trends

Two companies account for 38% of shipments: Only two companies have multiple software products included in the 100 Million Club, each company featuring three products. The cumulative number of shipments of these two companies is 9.5 billion, representing 38% of all 100 Million Club products’ shipments up to the end of H2 2009. The software products are Myriad Group’s Browser, messaging client and Jbed and Nuance’s T9/XT9, eZiText and VSuite.

WebKit on the rise: We estimate that up to the end of 2009 WebKit, the open source browser engine, has been embedded in more than 250 million devices. WebKit owes most of its market penetration to Nokia (Symbian shipments with the Series 40 contribution picking up), while its recent adoption by RIM can only accelerate its market penetration.

Top revenue models: In this edition, we asked the 100 Million Club members to provide us with the top two revenue models for their products. The responses revealed that the most common revenue models for embedded software are per-unit royalties,followed by NRE (non-recurring engineering fees) for product integration or customisation. Despite the tight profit margins, handset OEMs and network operators are still paying for software on a per-unit basis, with the ‘paradigm shift’ to per-active user revenue models taking longer than most would have expected.

What’s in stock for the 100 Million Club
Our watchlist continues to grow, as more products make it past 100 million shipments. Blackberry should be entering the Club in the next edition (H1 2010), with OSX, Windows Mobile and the much younger Android lagging a further 6-18 months behind.

The bigger picture of mobile software is very different than the industry hype would have us think.

– Matos