The Mobile Industry 2012-2015 – Overview, Trends and Predictions – Part 2
Last week we shared some thoughts and observations of various industry shaping events witnessed during the past year. We analyzed some figures and set the stage right for this second part of our overview, in order to present some opinions of how the mobile and telecom technology may unfold during 2013.
A virus called Android
We’ve been seeing a wave of Android OS flood everything from digital cameras, tablets, set-top-boxes, audio-visual and a host of other devices. The fragmentation in the smart TV space and the much less than elegant or intuitive interfaces come to show that there may come a time, perhaps this current year, when manufacturers abandon proprietary operating systems in favor of an established third party one. In a recent report WDS mention that we may also see Android invade the automotive industry, maps and navigation being first logical choices.
HTML5 web applications turn a new page
Until recently the infrastructure was not sufficient for HTML5 to properly spread its wings. With new open source operating systems planned for launch during 2013, some predictions see the road open for smartphones with much more accessible price tags. Users all over the globe will enjoy an unparalleled web experience, developers will strive to create solutions that span the walled gardens of the current mobile OS ecosystems, the need for app stores will become obsolete and may be replaced by the introduction of a unified HTML5 market . The growing tablet market will spark an even greater adoption of HTML5 web solutions. It may still be a while before this prognosis transpires since for a long time to come native apps will continue to perform better, smoother and faster.
Latecomers will launch own devices
Some big players are yet to enter mobile but this year may be when we see them make their move. The likes of Facebook and Amazon will most launch their own branded mobile phones. There are reports suggesting that the much criticized Facebook giant may team up with HTC and finally come out with a mobile device. The launch of a smartphone seems a natural progression for what Kindle has evolved to be as well. Price remains a factor for the possible adoption of such a device into a saturated market, but an acceptable price tag is something Amazon’s business model, based as it is not on device cost but usage, should be able to comply with.
BlackBerry and Microsoft – bouncing back or continuing to struggle?
Opinions are divided on this topic as Android and Apple stregthen their market positions and Microsoft and RIM seem to be forever playing catch-up. The much awaited BlackBerry 10 with its two touch screen options, a keyboard version; and massive existing global user base, eagerly awaiting a new generation device, has many hopeful eyes focused on it as the speedboat to carry RIM out of the blues. Microsoft’s collaboration with some big names such as HTC, Nokia and Samsung and their joint desire to oppose the dominating forces on the market, is the vehicle that may lend the giant the ability to maintain its current position.
Mobile shopping and location services will thrive
As smartphone and feature phone device users become more comfortable with online product browsing and comparison, and an increasing number of mobile sites is launched by retailers, we expect to see numbers of actual completed purchases go up as well, propelling m-commerce sales to new heights. eMarketer reports that retail categories such as tickets sales bring in an especially great share of mobile sales. Consumers are also loosening up their reservations about location-tagging online activities and presence in order to notify friends and family of their whereabouts, as well as to get information and access to location-related offers and merchandise, which will in turn further warm the climate in the mobile shopping landscape.
Wireless will resurrect victims of smartphones
An interesting observation of Forbes sees products, untill recently considered on their way to oblivion, possibly being breathed new life into thanks to wireless technology. Things ‘of the past’ such as watches, one-time digital cameras and paper day planners have been overpowered and out-placed by smartphones and completely forgotten. We may still however see the reinvention of some those products, provided they play it smart. The omnipotent wireless technology could be a savior once again, and, if incorporated into some of those obsolete devices, may just bring them back to life. From watches tracking your fitness levels, clothes that react to your emotional feelings, digital cameras connected to the Internet – the opportunities are endless, so watch this space. We will be.
NFC to address information sharing
Until recently NFC was all about mobile payments. An in-depth industry report states expectations that the technology will start to address the sharing of information. The convenience of NFC will impact the adoptability of this approach and work to widen its use. Network access via NFC can replace the need to join a location manually, and in so many cases of user device pairing having it happen with no manual intervention is a great plus for consumers. This route for the technology becoming mass market seems faster than the payment one, which continues to struggle with dependencies and barriers.
Software providers will take over carriers
For a while now we’ve been observing new services such as more cost effective WiFi access and new mobile messaging options eating into the comfortable revenue of network provider kings, used to holding the monopoly of mobile phone and broadband subscriptions. The new players on the scene however possess a much deeper and more extensive knowledge, as well as better understanding of their user base, and use that heavily to their advantage. Google’s wish to try their hand at network presence is no secret with the spectrum experiments being carried out in Kansas City. According to IBB, large carriers will most likely always remain on the scene but may lose the intimate connection with their customers, and consequently take a back seat.
What will “mobile” actually come to mean?
In a recent report Forbes entertains a view of the future, in which the smartphone and the home computer surrender their positions as the smartest devices in the home ecosystem. As wireless access becomes the norm for more and more consumer appliances we may just see an interactive environment in which each device plays its own smart role, with the smartphone as a crowned prince controlling, coordinating and ensuring the smooth functioning of the modern connected home experience.
So, is your company set to get a piece of that pie? Are you taking advantage of mobile technologies in order to increase revenue or serve your customers better? Get in touch with us today if your answers are not a definite ‘yes’!
[sources: WDS, Forbes, eMarketer ]