Ka-Ching! IPO Action Picks Up
Venture capital has been hard to come by in recent years but the industry managed to finance a few highprofile initial public offerings (IPO) this summer, including Motricity, Telenav and Vringo.
Motricity finally succeeded in going public after dropping its asking price to just $64 million, a fraction of the $250 million Motricity hoped to make off the public sale of its stock when it first made a bid to go public in January.
Telenav, an LBS services provider whose paid navigation services are offered through carriers including Sprint and AT&T, made less than it hoped with its IPO but still managed to get $56 million in financing.
Video ringtone company Vringo finally completed an $11 million public offering six months after filing IPO documents with the SEC.
Things could be looking up for startup companies. The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) says venture capitalists invested $4.7 billion in 681 deals in the first quarter of this year, according to a MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers based on data from Thomson Reuters.
While that number is a decrease from fourth-quarter investing, it marked a better start to the year than in 2009, when venture capitalists completed 635 deals for $3.4 billion. Clean technology, biotech and software dominated financing but telecommunications and semiconductor sectors saw investment rise in the first quarter.
Report: WiMAX Grows Amid TD-LTE Threat
Operators continue to move forward with WiMAX deployments but TD-LTE, which can be run on the unpaired spectrum typically used for WiMAX, could pose a threat to the underdog 4G technology.
Maravedis, a research firm focused exclusively on 4G and broadband wireless technologies, said Russian operator Yota’s decision to ditch WiMAX in favor of LTE is “negatively impacting the WiMAX ecosystem and deployment plans of other WiMAX players.”
However, the research firm warns that carriers with unpaired spectrum rushing to deploy 4G will not be able to wait for the TD-LTE ecosystem to develop and will likely stick with WiMAX. Maravedis estimates there are currently 7.2 million broadband wireless access (BWA)/WiMAX subscribers worldwide.
ABI Research believes that TD-LTE could prompt several WiMAX operators to migrate to the LTE standard if it proves successful. One of the first major TD-LTE deployments will be in India, where Qualcomm plans to deploy a 4G network with its recently purchased BWA spectrum there.
ABI warns the industry shouldn’t dismiss the momentum of WiMAX, which has 188 networks in trial or commercial operation worldwide. By comparison, 132 networks have reported trials or plans to launch LTE commercially.
Study: Tablets to Outpace Netbooks by 2015
Tablets like Apple’s iPad are going to eventually become more popular with consumers than netbooks, according to a report from Forrester Research based on the five-year outlook provided by the firm’s proprietary ForecastView research service. Forrester, which lumps desktops, notebooks and laptops, tablets and netbooks in its PC category, says nearly half a billion PCs will be sold to consumers in the United States between now and 2015 as tablet computers fuel consumer interest. According to the survey:
• Tablet sales in the United States will grow to 20.4 million units in 2015, up from just 3.5 million units this year. Most of the U.S. tablet sales this year can be attributed to the launch of the Apple iPad. U.S. tablet sales will grow from a modest 3.5 million units in 2010 to 20.4 million units in 2015, a 42 percent compound annual growth rate.
• The U.S. computer market will see tablets outpace netbooks by 2015. Tablets are forecast by Forrester to have 23 percent of the market within five years while netbooks will have just 17 percent of the market. Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps says netbooks will fall behind because they don’t synchronize data across services like the iPad does, although they have a similar grab-and-go media consumption and Web browsing use case.
• Though the features consumers say they want in a PC are a complete mismatch with the features of the iPad, Apple has successfully taught consumers to want the device, according to Epps. Apple sold 3 million iPads just 80 days after the tablet launched in the United States.
|AdMob Metrics: Global Operating System Market Share|
|AdMob serves ads for more than 23,000 mobile websites and apps around the world and uses metrics gleaned from its ad network to track shifts in the mobile ecosystem, including the market share of mobile operating systems. The trends reported by AdMob are in line with those reported by mobile ad network Millenial Media, which also has reported that competition from Android is cutting into Apple’s iOS market share. Millenial says its network reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. mobile Internet users.|