On 29 November, the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press finally issued its report. Its verdicts on the conduct of the press, politicians and police were less severe than expected.

The three main political parties have accepted most of the report’s recommendations, but have disagreed over the use of statute. As expected, the Conservatives are against, while Labour and the Lib Dems are in favour.

Subsequent cross-party talks and negotiations between editors have so far failed to produce agreement, with the process only becoming more opaque as time goes on. The shape of the future regulatory system remains uncertain.

Smartphones and tablets running iOS and Android will outsell PCs by more than 2:1 in 2012. There will be 1bn of these devices in use by the end of the year, compared to around 1.5-1.6bn

PCs The hardware business continues to polarise, with Samsung and Apple dominating revenue and revenue growth and most other branded manufactures looking distinctly sub-scale. Samsung and Apple are using their scale to cement their position

Though Apple and Android now dominate the smart devices market, it remains subject to massive uncertainty at every level, with almost all sectors and companies facing major, often existential challenges in the next year

UK mobile service revenue growth nudged down in Q3 2012 by 2.0ppts to -3.8%, with 0.5ppts driven by an increase in the effect of regulated MTR cuts and 1.5ppts caused by underlying factors, largely driven by a weakening UK economy

In October EE launched its new brand and 4G service to great fanfare. The response of the other operators has been very mixed; Vodafone has indicated that it will launch a better 4G network next year, H3G has emphasised the merits of its 3G network, and O2 has not focused on networks at all. We continue to believe that EE’s 4G products will be good for its ARPU but not necessarily raw subscriber numbers, with the rebrand exercise bringing additional synergy benefits to its bottom line

The overall outlook is looking tough for the next six months, with consumer confidence still low and unlimited tariffs hitting pricing, but more promising thereafter, as the 4G premium becomes more material, and the regulated MTR cuts finally start to moderate in Q2 2013

European mobile market service revenue growth dropped again in Q3, by 1.9ppts to -6.2%. This was not helped by a substantial increase in the MTR impact, driven by a big cut in Italy, but underlying revenue growth still fell by 1.3ppts In stark contrast to Europe, the US mobile market continues to grow apace, with there being over 10ppts between the growth rates of the two regions. The most obvious difference between the markets is the very much higher levels of capex spent by the US incumbents, which drives their superior network quality and coverage, and hence price premia, and hence superior growth The European incumbents have not (yet) used their greater ability to spend on capex to increase the spending gap with smaller operators, with 4G launches (mostly) being low profile with low initial coverage (the UK being a notable exception to this). While this is an understandable approach given the prevailing macroeconomic conditions, it does mean that closing the growth gap with the US remains a distant prospect

This report explores and quantifies expenditure in the local media landscape. Flat disposable income and the rise in e-commerce continue to force many retailers from the high street, though we argue first-rate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have the opportunity to grow share of the local market, despite these pressures

Technology has radically disrupted the way local businesses reach out to consumers. Not only has advertising expenditure moved online, but SME spend is dissipating into other activities, including distribution and platform developments, PR, social and sponsorship activities and live events

The rise of smartphones has created the tantalising prospect of a perfect local media solution. We assess the level of opportunity for Google, Facebook, Hibu, local newspapers, local radio, local TV and hyperlocal organisations

After a host of TV-related announcements/launches last quarter, the main feature of the last three months has been price increase announcements, with all four of the large operators announcing a significant price increase(s) to take effect between December 2012 and February 2013

High speed net adds remained strong at BT, and grew dramatically at the other DSL operators, although the latter figure remained very low in absolute terms. In time we expect strong adoption by Sky and TTG subscribers, but it may take years rather than months for consumer expectations of what is a ‘standard’ broadband speed to change

TTG reported some encouraging but not market-changing early figures for its new TV product, and BT is expected to launch a product with extra linear channels within the next few months. We continue to believe that both companies’ products will struggle to win subscribers off Sky and Virgin Media, but that they may have appeal to a modestly sized group of consumers that are not currently pay TV customers

2012 has been a year of two halves, with TV NAR up by 2-3% in H1, plus the feel good factor of the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics, but down by 1-1.5% across the full year as economic conditions have worsened in H2 2013 and 2014 promise to be especially taxing times with significant downside risks due to weakness in the economy, the squeeze on consumer disposable income and beginnings of real fiscal austerity On the upside, we expect negative structural pressures, caused by increases in CI delivery and online growth, to subside and conditions to improve from 2015

Vodafone’s European revenue growth dipped again in the September quarter from -2% to -4%, with regulation and poor macroeconomics playing a part, but the company also lost ground to the competition

This poor competitive performance was likely due in part to the operating companies being distracted in anticipation of the new Vodafone Red tariffs launched in September and October

While the strategic logic of launching unlimited voice and text tariffs is sound, early evidence is that they are not revenue-enhancing in the short term, so further pressure on revenue growth is possible

In Q3 the ‘big four’ US mobile operators sold 22.6m phones to retail contract customers (90% of the market): 80% were smartphones and 41% were iPhones The iPhone has had close to 50% of US smartphone sales every quarter since December 2011, when Sprint began selling the iPhone, and shows no sign of weakness US iPhone sales are supported by a market pricing structure that masks the iPhone’s price premium

Q1 2013 was a solid quarter, notable for low seasonal churn, uplift in television gross additions and good growth in home communications, although the rate is slowing The low quarterly ARPU increase of £2 was the weak point in light of the September price increases in television, testifying to the toughness of the economic headwinds rather than to competition from OTT services like Netflix and Lovefilm With NOW TV in its teething stages, the main impact of connected TV on Sky will only start to emerge in the second half of next year; while the most immediate issue is the entry of BT into the sports content market and the concomitant risk of sports rights inflation