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Mobile commerce sales reached $24 billion over the holidays

A new Adobe Digital Insights report showed that smartphones played a considerable role in online shopping.

Mobile commerce sales came to just over $24 billion throughout the holiday shopping season this year. In fact, Adobe Digital Insights data showed that smartphones and tablets brought in that amount from November 1 through December 24.

That doesn’t include online purchases made over mobile devices at the last moment before Christmas.

Among all the mobile commerce sales this holiday season, smartphones were behind the vast majority. In fact, 68 percent of m-commerce purchases came from smartphones. Tablets were responsible for the remaining 32 percent. This represents a shift in usage as it looks as though people are now leaning toward their phones when they previously preferred the larger screened mobile devices.

Retail mobile commerce sales from smartphones brought in $16.63 billion, with $7.92 billion from tablets.

Mobile Commerce SalesDuring the holiday shopping period, mobile devices were used for 31 percent of online retail sales, said the Adobe Digital Insights data. The remaining 69 percent of online purchases from retailers was through laptops and desktops. Last year, mobile shoppers represented 28 percent of purchases and in 2014, they made 19 percent of the purchases.

Adobe Digital Insights analysts predict that m-commerce will continue to take on a rising share of online sales. In fact, they stated that it is likely that this trend would have kicked in as early as the winding down of the holiday season. The reason is that from December 21 onward, many people were attending holiday functions and were more likely to have a smartphone in hand than to be seated at a work computer.

The report pointed out that the current mobile shopping experience still involves a certain degree of friction. This is primarily the result of the increased challenges involved in filling in purchase forms online. That said, it also underscored the fact that a growing number of retailers are working on improving that experience.

Retail mobile commerce sales could greatly benefit from the reduction of that friction. Some retailers are looking into options such as payment card information capture through the device camera, for example.

BlackBerry licensing agreement formed with TCL Communications

The company no longer manufactures its own smartphones but it is selling its name for branded devices.

TCL Communications entered into a BlackBerry licensing agreement to create and manufacture branded mobile devices. BlackBerry CEO John Chen recently said “BlackBerry is no longer just about the smartphone, but the smart in the phone.”

The goal is to continue the production of branded devices in the market without making them, themselves.

Chen assured customers that “when you see our logo it means security, from our class-leading enterprise software to devices secured by BlackBerry software.”

BlackBerry Licensing Agreement - Business PartnershipThis is not the first time BlackBerry has worked with TCL Communications. In fact, it released two different Android-based smartphones in a partnership with that company. The DTEK 50 and DTEK 60 are both devices resulting from collaborations between the two firms. TCL Communications also manufactures Alcatel-branded smartphones.

The long-term BlackBerry licensing agreement is only the latest in that company’s turnaround strategy.

The partnership is a way for BlackBerry to place some distance between itself and handset manufacturing. The company can turn its focus toward growth as a security software and services company. As a part of this agreement TCL Communications will not only design, manufacture and sell BlackBerry-branded devices. It will also provide customer support for the products they sell.

BlackBerry COO and general manager of mobility solutions, Ralph Pini, said this partnership with TCL Communication is a core move in their strategy. It lets the company put “the ‘smart in the phone’ by providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform that mobile users prefer and are comfortable with.”

According to recent media reports, the DTEK 70 will be the next smartphone launched with the BlackBerry licensing brand agreement. This mobile device will be based on Android – as have been the last few models – and will have a fingerprint sensor. That feature will be uniquely positioned in the spacebar of the distinctive physical keyboard. It will have a 2.0 GHz Qualcomm processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 4.5 inch display. The rear-facing camera will be 18 megapixels and the front-facing camera will be 8 megapixels.