Vodafone loses brand value

Vodafone has lost 12% of its brand's value, which is now "only" worth some $21 bn, says brand experts MillwardBrown. It's brand value is dwarfed by China Mobile with a cool $41 bn, which makes it #1 amongst telecoms and #5 amongst all brands.

Who holds #1? Google (tempted to say "of course") - the brand is valued at $66 bn and it recorded the highest value rise over the last year with 77%.

In telecoms, a notable mention must be Cingular, a brand that is being eliminated, which added 39% (the third highest climb overall) in value in 2006 and slots in as the 6th most valuable telecoms brand with AT&T, the brand that will replace it, nowhere in sight...

It is NOT (only) the kids playing mobile games

Here's some always again interesting finds on mobile game demographics re-confirmed :

29% of all 25-34 year-old US-Americans downloaded mobile games in 2006, and 27% of the 18-24 year-olds but only 15% of 13-17 year-olds. The older folks also play more: 50% of the two older age groups vs 41% of the teens play mobile games on a daily basis.

The picture is naturally somewhat distorted as proportionately more adults own mobile phones than teens (although the latter catch up quickly).

However, considering that, in the UK, the average credit kids have on their pre-paid phones (which most of them have) is a meagre £5, which leaves little to no wiggling space when compared to game prices of £3-5 per pop: they simply don't have the dough to buy more.

Another re-confirmed suspicion highlights the distribution challenge: 29 million US-Americans play mobile games, only 7 million download them, and that means 22 million play whatever is on their handset - whether it is a good or a bad one. 22 million gamers that do not access all the great games that are out there show that there is a severe disconnect regarding a) discovery and b) marketing and distribution in general. Whilst these will not be the only factors, they are significant.

Apple's iPhone with 10-30% market share? I don't think so

Another survey with interesting numbers: according to this one, 9% of all US consumers are "very" or "somewhat" likely to buy Apple's iPhone. Funny that: The iPhone is initially only available on Cingular/AT+T (cf here), which has a market share of 28%, so just about 1/3 of all Cingular subscribers (or c. 19 million) would have to be interested in buying an iPhone.

Folks, buy Apple stock now. But then (screeech): Apple said they were only targeting 1% of the market, which makes it 1m devices, and AT+T's COO says they have already 1m inquiries ... this would lead 18 million willing Cingular subs + everyone outside the US without the sleek and coveted thing. Not so good...

Isn't all this somewhat weird? The phone costs $499 and $599 respectively (at least according to this), and 1/3 of a carrier's subscribers going for one of the top-priced options would be contrary to everything we've seen so far. Rather unlikely, I'd say. So: if the price was dropped to below $300, an additional 10% would buy the 4GB model and a staggering 20% the 8GB model. Make that 30% market share then - with one device. Woah.

The blurb concludes that Apple should exceed its sales goals for, wait a minute, 2008 (sic!) and then closes with the beautiful caveat "provided the device lives up to consumer expectations". Amen!

If Apple gets it right (which I hope as I like them), then 1m devices in 2007 would not be a bad start (considering it is one carrier and one country), in particular as high-priced as they are. Assuming that they could in fact open the pipeline for higher demand, we could well be seeing one of the top handsets in the market place (so-called blockbuster handsets regularly are between 2-3.5% share of all handsets on a carrier). That would be impressive enough.

Then they would only have to add 3G, I suppose...