The days of the 3.5-inch or 4.0-inch phone screen are gone. The entire smartphone market has been moving towards phablets over the past few quarters, and that trend is set to continue, as phablets become the go-to smartphone form factor.
We at BI Intelligence define the phablet as a smartphone with a screen between 5-inches and 7-inches.
While this is a broad definition, the advantage is that it captures one of the most important trends in the smartphone market in the last couple of years — the phenomenal popularity of phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 released in 2013 (5 inches) and S5 launched in 2014 (5.1 inches).
In part, the massive success generated by the Galaxy line is responsible for nudging all phone manufacturers toward the the phablet — in particular, Apple.
The iPhone line has kept to smaller screen sizes so far, but the expectation is that later this year Apple will be launching two large-screened phones. One of these, with a 5.5-inch screen, would fall under our definition of a phablet.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we survey these trends toward larger screens and build out our own exclusive forecast for the phablet market. We also look at how phablets have altered the smartphone market and cannibalized demand for tablets.
Here are some of the key points from the report:
In full, the report:
Google’s Chromecast streaming dongle is celebrating its first year on the market. It’s a crowded space: Besides Chromecast, there are a bunch of other streaming devices, like Amazon’s Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku. They’re all vying for your attention, so which should you choose?
We’ve put together a handy-chart so you can see which device might be the best for you (the apps we selected in each category are the most popular ones, but not the only ones):
ESPN.com has obtained a copy of the Los Angeles Clippers sale bid book that was submitted as evidence during Donald Sterling’s probate trial to determine if Shelly Sterling has the right to sell the team. The book was given to prospective bidders during the sales process and reveals just how much Steve Ballmer is willing to overpay for the team.
The book reveals the Clippers’ financial information and shows that Ballmer’s bid of $2 billion is 12.1 times higher than the team’s expected revenues for the 2013-14 season ($164.9 million). Of the last 25 sales of NBA franchises with data available, only five were sold for more than 4.0 times revenues and none were sold for more than 5.0 times.
More telling is that Ballmer’s bid is 20.0 times greater than expected EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] for 2013-14 ($100 million). Since 1998, NBA franchise sales have averaged 6.0 times EBITDA and 6.4 times EBITDA in more recent years. If the true value of the Clippers was more in line with those EBITDA multiples, the Clippers would be worth $600-640 million.
Things look a little better for Ballmer if we project forward with the expected increase in television revenue.
The document estimates that the Clippers EBITDA will jump from $100 million to $178.5 million. This number assumes that the Clippers will sign a new local television deal worth $125 million annually and will also receive an extra $60 million in their split of the national television revenue for the NBA.
If the Clippers’ expected EBITDA does reach $178.5 million, the value of the franchise based on recent sales is in the neighborhood of $1.07-1.14 billion.
That is still significantly less than what Ballmer is willing to pay and still represents an EBITDA multiple of 11.2. Only the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 were sold since 1998 for a larger multiple of EBITDA (12.2).
In the end, Ballmer may have just wanted to own an NBA franchise so desperately that none of this mattered to him. But it does show just how far he was willing to go.
Whether you want to print your boarding pass, photographs, or important documents, having a functional at-home printer is a convenient time saver.
The experts over at FindTheBest compiled a list of the best home printers. To rank this list, they looked at expert reviews from various electronics websites.
If you’re looking for a basic, black and white laserjet printer to print out a lot of pages quickly, the Brother HL-2240 is a great (and cheap) option. Its abilities don’t extend far beyond basic printing, but it’ll print 24 pages per minute to get the job done.
The HP LaserJet P3015dn is best for a home that needs very large amounts of printing done — think home office amounts. The speed of printing almost doubles that of the Brother HL-2240 at 42 pages per minute, and its trays can hold a total of 600 pages for maximum printing without having to refill often.
The HP Photosmart 7510 is a laserjet with fast color printing abilities. It accomplishes all of the basics with its scanning, copying, and printing of high quality photos.
For a reliable and lasting printer that will likely more than fulfill any household’s needs, the LEXMARK E452DTN is a pricey yet competent device. The model has a maximum monthly duty of 80,000 pages, and accepts all kinds of media types and sizes like envelopes, transparencies, folios, and more.
The Ricoh Aficio SP C240SF is an all-in-one printer with scanning, copying, faxing, and photo printing capabilities. Its print speed for color and black and white pages is slower than average, at roughly 16 pages per minute, but its large tray can hold 751 pages.
For families who like to fill the photo albums, the Epson Stylis NX515 offers impressive image quality. The printer has WiFi, ethernet, card, and USB slots so that you can upload photos with ease. It also comes with built-in editing tools, like red eye correction.
Print vibrant, borderless color photos and posters with standout text with the HP Officejet 6500A. Its features include smart phone photo printing, color faxing, and above average speed printing for both black and white and color.
The HP Officejet Pro 276dw Multi Function Printer is ideal if you’re looking for an all-in-one, high quality device that can copy, fax, scan, and print. Its sheet capacity and speed are both lower than average, but it offers very low cost per page printing.
This wireless color photo printer scored the highest on FindTheBest. The HP Officejet Pro X551dw is energy and cost efficient; speedy, with a rate of 42 pages per minute; and compatible with various types of paper and envelopes.
SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Blenders You Can Buy
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Apple is reportedly going to release a 5.5-inch iPhone this fall.
When it does that, it will probably cause even more pain for the iPad business, which is in a surprising decline right now. After all, why do you need a big iPhone and an iPad, which is basically just a bigger iPhone?
So, this is bad news for Apple, right? Its iPad business will tank and it will be hosed, right?
Um, no. This tweet explains why not:
A 5.5-inch iOS device: $750. A 7.9-inch iOS device: $399. Which would you want to sell?— Sammy the Walrus IV (@SammyWalrusIV) July 24, 2014
Some explanation: The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is expected to go for $750 unsubsidized. The iPad Mini goes for $399. Selling the more expensive iPhone is better for Apple.
Behind every great tech company is a person (or team of people) who makes sure that company puts its best foot forward: its public relations professionals.
Although the relationship between PR people and reporters can be rocky, some PR folks really make our jobs easier. It’s time for our annual shout-out to them: Our PR 50 list of the best communications pros in the tech industry.
We’re fairly sure we already know who most of them are. But we also wanted to give you a chance to tell us about the fabulous PR person at your company and what they’ve done for your company in the last year.
Deadline for nominations is August 1.
We’re looking for people who are …
(Special note: Please don’t email the nominations. They are likely to get lost that way. We promise we will look at all nominations submitted via the form below, so no need to email us asking us if we got the nominations.)
Feel free to share this story with your favorite PR social network, too.
Real estate site Zillow is looking into acquiring rival Trulia, reports Bloomberg’s Alex Sherman and Jeffrey McCracken.
"Zillow could value Trulia at as much as $2 billion in a purchase, and an agreement may be announced as soon as next week," they reported citing anonymous sources.
Trulia, which had a market cap of roughly $1.5 billion before Bloomberg’s report crossed, surged 30%.
Zillow, which has a market cap of just over $ 5 billion, is up
We doubt this is Mark Zuckerberg’s goal in life, but if he wanted to be the richest man in the world Facebook’s stock has to go to $200.
We got that number from Bloomberg wealth reporter David de Jong on Twitter. He says at $200 Zuckerberg would overtake Bill Gates as the world’s richest person — assuming all things stay the same as they are now. (De Jong was responding to a tweet from NYT columnist Farhad Manjoo.)
Facebook’s stock is trading at $76.20 this morning, so it needs to almost triple. Facebook’s current market cap is $195.4 billion. If the stock went to $200, Facebook would be worth over $500 billion. For some comparison, Apple is currently valued at $580 billion.
Could Facebook do it? Can it reach $500+ billion?
When Apple broke through the $500 billion barrier, it was doing ~$33 billion in annual profit which was a 15X price to earnings ratio. That’s roughly in line with market as a whole over time. Price to earnings (P/E) is approximately how much an investor has to pay for $1 of earnings. It’s a way to compare the value of stocks to each other.
However, the better comparison for Facebook might be Google, which is a software/internet company. Apple is viewed as a hardware company, so it has a tougher P/E ratio. With a $401 billion market cap, Google has a P/E of 31, and earnings of ~$13 billion.
Facebook currently has a P/E of 98, and its trailing 12-month profits are $1.91 billion.
If we use Google as a comparison, and Facebook’s P/E eventually contracts to 31, then net income has to reach ~$16.1 billion, an ~8X increase from where it’s at today. If we use Apple/the market then Facebook has to get its net income to $33 billion, which is 16X where it’s at today.
Could Facebook get there? Certainly!
Facebook has only scratched the surface of its potential. The core business’ revenue is still growing at 61% on a year-over-year basis. It’s sitting on Instagram, which could be another advertising juggernaut, and it then there’s WhatsApp and Facebook messages. Plus there’s Oculus and who knows what else Facebook can think of.
So, while it may not be his goal in life, Mark Zuckerberg can very conceivably become the richest man in the world.
Some CEOs are proof that you can be both well-liked and successful.
We worked with Glassdoor to find the 15 highest-rated CEOs in tech, according to employees who anonymously rated them.
One tech CEO has a 100% approval rating.
Employees say: “All employees are treated as equals, despite how long you’ve worked there — and they’re also all expected to contribute equally. It is not uncommon for the CEO to face the whole company during the monthly staff meeting and for people to address her with in an open-mic setting.” – Epic Systems Corporation Software Developer Intern (Verona, WI)
Employees say: “Marissa is cool and taking bold steps to move the needle. Presently she has tail winds beneath her wings. Good for general morale.” – Yahoo Senior Developer (Champaign, IL)
Employees say: “The upper management at my site is great and really work to help you grow. There are many challenges and a ton of smart people to help you figure it out.” – Amazon Senior Produce Specialist (Tracy, CA)
Apple is reportedly working on a 4K “Ultra HD” desktop display to release later this year, but while it’s not clear if the display will belong to a new iMac or a new Thunderbolt Display, one new concept depicts what that gorgeous screen might look like.
These concepts, which were designed by Texas State University student Edgar Rios and discovered by 9to5Mac’s Ben Lovejoy, show a large display mounted onto an aluminum iMac stand. Besides a small border on the top and bottom of the screen, the bezels on the sides are slimmed down to the point of nonexistent.
The display also showcases some of the redesigned icons coming in OS X 10.10 Yosemite in a semi-translucent dock on the bottom.
The Mac Pro, which Apple released last December, can support up to three 4K displays at once, but Apple does not make any 4K displays currently.
We tend to talk about social networks in terms of size, because audience reach is one of social media’s biggest advantages. That’s why Facebook gets so much attention. With 1.2 billion monthly active users, it’s a beast.
But as audiences adopt newer social networks, and people’s social activity becomes increasingly fragmented, other measures of social network activity become more important, especially for businesses trying to determine where to best allocate time and resources. How much time users spend on each social network and how engaged and interactive they are with content there are increasingly important ways of evaluating the sites.
In a recent report, BI Intelligence calculates an Engagement Index for top major social networks and compares their performance in terms of time-spend terms per-user, on desktop and mobile. We also look at how the different top activities on social media — photo-sharing, status updates, etc. — are indexing in terms of activity, and which sites drive the highest volume in each category. This report complements our popular reports on social media demographics and global audience sizes.
Here are our findings:
In full, the report:
Sure, most hotels say they offer free WiFi. But we’ve all experienced the anguish of not being able to check our work emails (read: stream TV shows) because the connection is just too slow.
A new website called Hotel WiFi Test is now helping us avoid those painful situations.
The site is super simple. You just type in a location, and it will give you a list of hotels it has tested and show you the speed of the WiFi at those locations.
Let’s say you’re traveling to London. You can browse through the 21 hotels the company has already tested, which show a range of WiFi speeds from 84.2 Mbps all the way down to 0.42 Mbps. (Maybe don’t stay at the hotel with 0.42 Mbps.)
On top of the WiFi speed, the site also includes reviews and nightly rates and can direct you to hotels.com to actually book the hotel. This way you can make an informed decision, armed with the basics as well as connection speeds.
Since it’s still relatively new, Hotel WiFi Test hasn’t gotten to all hotels out there, so it’s also asking for your help.
When you’re at a hotel they haven’t yet tested, the site will ask to test the speed of the WiFi so it can add the data for future users. But until they’ve tested all the hotels out there, the site also provides an estimation for the not-yet-tested locations using a unique machine-learning prediction tool.
The hope is the site will call out the good guys and the bad guys, encouraging hotels to do better when it comes to WiFi.
Hotel WiFi Test even delivers a ranking of the major hotel chains based on their testing and data. The top 10 hotel chains, according to the site, are (in order): Andaz, Le Meridien, Radisson Blu, Four Points, Scandic, Sheraton, Crowne Plaza, Marriott, Hyatt, and Residence Inn.
You may have other considerations when picking a hotel (you know, location and price, for example), but Hotel WiFi Test is here to make sure you’re making an educated decision in terms of internet connectivity.
Stephen Colbert riffed on venture capitalist Tim Draper and his plan to divide California into six states — a plan that would make Silicon Valley its own state — on his Comedy Central talk show.
"There’s a great new plan to make California whole again by breaking it apart," Colbert said on the show Wednesday night. "It’s an opportunity to reboot, but just like restarting Windows, it might take a few years."
Described by Colbert as “Silicon Valley billionaire and evil stepfather in a Lifetime movie,” investor Tim Draper has explained his plan to break up the state by citing that California’s population is six times an average state’s. This, he says, means his state is unfairly represented in Washington.
Colbert brought Draper onto his show to explain his proposed ballot measure.
"This is a big story for people in California because it’s going to be a proposition on the ballot in 2016," Colbert said. "Do you think that these eventual other states will keep California’s insane proposition system where anyone can get something on the ballot?"
Draper has been called into question by opponents of his ballot measure, who say Draper engaged in dishonest tactics to gather signatures for his ‘Six Californias’ petition.
Watch the two hilarious clips below:
Two analysts have agreed the growth of Twitter’s user base is slowing more than previously thought.
That puts huge pressure on CEO Dick Costolo, who has vowed to restart growth among new users of Twitter. He has ordered parts of the app be redesigned and shuffled product management to achieve that.
The problem is that for months, Wall Street has been focused on the number of Twitter’s monthly active users (MAUs). Analysts see that number — 255 million in Q1 — as a proxy for future growth.
Twitter’s stock has fluctuated wildly as a result. It’s holding up around $38 today but has been as low as $30 after Twitter first reported slowing MAUs.
Business Insider previously reported that samples of data taken from Twitter by developers showed growth in monthly active users (MAUs) slowing to just over 260 million in Q2, up only 5 million (or 2%) from Q1.
Sterne Agee analysts Arvind Bhatia and Brett Strauser said in a note today that while “third-party data” suggests MAUs will hit 260 million, its own estimate is for MAUs to come in at 266 million, up 4% from the prior quarter. That’s still a slowdown, because Q1 sequential growth was 6%:
Third-party data are suggesting sequential user growth of only around 5M Q/Q, which is much lower than expectations of 11M to 14M. We are looking for monthly active users (MAUs) to be 11M Q/Q. Specifically, we are looking for MAUs of 266M or up 4% sequentially from 255M at the end of 1Q and up 22% from 218M in the year-ago quarter. Our net user growth assumption of 11M sequentially is a slowdown compared to 14M net sequential user growth in 1Q. By geography, we expect U.S. MAUs of 60M (+5% sequentially, +22% y/y) and International MAUs of 206M (+4% sequentially, +22% y/y)
Separately, Wunderlich Securities analyst Blake Harper published a note saying he estimates MAUs will be 260-262 million:
We expect Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) to report monthly active users (MAUs) in a range of 260-262 million, which is below the consensus of 267 million. Product and marketing changes to capitalize on the World Cup provided a boost to monthly active tweeting users (MAtUs) in the month of June to 126.9 million, which implies 1.1 million MAtUs were added during the quarter. We expect engagement and monetization to continue to be improving, which should help the company post strong revenues. However, we expect buy side and sell side expectations are still too aggressive on MAU growth and the company has struggled to meaningfully grow its user base.
In response to the MAU situation, Twitter is reported to be preparing new metrics to demonstrate how people really engage with the app.
We’ve previously argued that Twitter is not, in fact, a mass medium for everyone and that the value of the users is more interesting than the total number of them. Twitter has told BI it will not comment on MAUs because it is in a pre-earnings quiet period.
Whatever happens, Twitter’s Q2 earnings call‚ scheduled for July 29, promises to be explosive. If Twitter’s MAUs beat expectations Costolo will be hailed as a genius. If MAUs come in weak, it will renew questions about the role Twitter is supposed to play in a universe where Facebook has one-third of the world’s population.
There’s one aspect to all of this that confuses the numbers, too. The World Cup was spread across both June and July, half in Q2 and half in Q3. It is likely that Twitter got a bump in users from the soccer tournament. So any temporary uptick in MAUs from the World Cup may disappear from Twitter’s quarterly numbers by the time Q4 rolls around.
Disclosure: The author owns Twitter stock.