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Mobile Subscribers Yearwise comparision

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October 30, 2013
How will Apple's latest offerings fare?
Apple recently introduced its new flagship iPhone 5S and the less-expensive, plastic-shelled iPhone 5C and if history is an indicator – the iPhone 5 sold 74.6 million units in the second half of last year, up 38 per cent from the previous year – there will be a lot of consumers running out to buy the new devices.

Yes, the initial reaction to Apple’s news seems to be a bit more muted than previous announcements, but I think there will still be a rush of folks looking to refresh older phones (iPhone 4S and older) as well as new Apple customers drawn in by the lower cost iPhone 5C and its candy color options.

When the first iPhones went on sale back in 2007, there was only one carrier in the US that offered them. You wanted an iPhone, you had to go that carrier. While I am sure they cared about the customer experience and wanted to make getting the hot new iPhone as painless as possible, they didn’t have the pressure of anyone going to the competition over a bad experience. They didn’t even have to worry about flack on social media either back then. I even dropped the carrier I was on at the time – which has better reception in my neck of New Hampshire – to get the iPhone.

Today, though, multiple carriers offer the iPhone, so it’s even more important for them to offer a seamless experience to those rushing out to get the new device. They don’t want to alienate customers and suffer brand damage when disgruntled users take to Twitter, Facebook and other outlets to vent.  That’s where a robust application performance management system comes into play: to help mitigate performance problems and deliver a great end-user experience.

iPhone activations not only hits the carrier systems, there’s also integration to Apple’s network. System operators at the individual carriers need to have visibility into the entire transaction to be able to determine if a) a problem exists in their network and fix it quickly, and b) if the problem is somewhere in Apple’s network. They also have to ensure point of sale systems, both online and in-store, can handle the rush of people looking to be one of the first with the new devices. Hopefully problems don’t exist in any pieces of the puzzle, but it’s always good to have deep understanding of performance at all tiers.

When the iPhone 5 was released a year ago, one major carrier used CA Application Performance Management to ensure its systems were able to handle the surge in orders at its stores and online. CA APM’s ability to provide visibility into both the application and network layers allowed the operator to quickly pinpoint performance degradations in the order chain and get them fixed quickly. A view into the application stack alone would not have cut it, as a few of the performance issues that did arise were in the WAN.

This year, our wireless carrier customers using CA APM 9.5 with Application Behavior Analytics will have an extra set of eyes helping them look for possible problems and find root cause more quickly. Rather than just relying on exceeded thresholds, Application Behavior Analytics can look at the relationship between components to see if something is going awry and warn of the anomaly.

Of course, the advice to have a good APM solution in place applies to more than just telecoms. While many will see a big spike in a couple weeks with the new iPhones, financial institutions have their own busy periods at end of month or end of quarters and we all know what retailers will face in the coming months as we lead up to Christmas (only 105 days as of this writing!)

If you need deep visibility into critical applications that span from physical to virtual to cloud (and even mainframe), look no further than CA APM with Application Behavior Analytics.

 



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