Late January hails the usual yearly flurry of Q1 financials. Sitting atop of the pile, grinning from ear to ear, is the jewel in the mobile industry’s crown: Apple. It has announced a staggering quarterly net profit of $13bn, which is its highest ever (and more than double that of the same quarter last year). It’s unheard of for anybody but the large multinational oil and gas corporations to make this kind of money, which can be seen in a recently published graphic. Couple this with the fact that Apple’s Q1 earnings were propelled by huge sales increases in its portable device sector, and the potential for a very successful 2012 in mobile-oriented affiliate marketing is clear.
Nokia's poor financials mask favourable device sales
Cupertino’s not the only company celebrating device-sale milestones, either. Nokia had a disappointing first quarter, but the 21% decline did have a silver lining: shipments of its Lumia handset totalled 1.3 million. That’s a figure not to be sniffed at given that it’s the Finnish company’s very first Windows Phone foray in a much-publicised partnership with Microsoft.
These figures suggest that the global public has developed a real thirst for advanced, feature-packed smartphones over the last couple of months. This idea is backed up by a recent Google study published by Ad Age, which reveals that consumers in the UK and other markets are more likely to own a smartphone than a desktop computer.
Advanced smartphone take-up set to rise
If you’re an affiliate looking to push products to the mobile market, then, these are exciting times. And the peak of the mobile wave could be yet to come! Recent figures from Affiliate Window show that in December 2010, a little over 2% of all network traffic stemmed from mobile devices. Fast-forward a year and it has increased to over 7% – and that percentage is widely expected by Affiliate Window to increase still further during 2012. Big product launches will play a part in this development: Apple’s largest competitor, Samsung, is expected to unleash its flagship Galaxy S III onto the world in late March, while the world will eagerly await the launch of a completely new iPhone later in the year.
Another bumper 12 months is expected, then, yet some of the retail industry’s big hitters have yet to implement dedicated mobile sites. Until this is done, affiliates will be unable to take full advantage of what will inevitably be a booming period for mobile ecommerce.