Mobile Breakfast Series – Mobile 2012: Trends and Opportunities December 15, 2011Posted by chetan in : 3G, 4G, AORTA, ARPU, Connected Devices, Enterprise Mobility, European Wireless Market, Patent Strategies, Patent Strategy, Privacy, US Wireless Market, Wi-Fi, WiMax, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far
We held our 8th Mobile Breakfast Series event earlier today. As is the tradition, we delved into discussing the trends and opportunities for the coming year. As usual it was a sold out crowd with terrific panelists representing different parts of the value chain.
2011 has been a fascinating year – with all the mergers, sky rocketing data growth especially in the US market. 2011 will also be remembered for the passing away of Steve Jobs, the man who helped change the global mobile industry over the course of the last four years. Locally, lots happening – Microsoft/Nokia alliance is launching new devices, Amazon has entered the mobile space with both feet, mobile gaming remains hot, and on a broader scale, we are going through the process of mobilification of everything.
Mark Anderson, CEO of Strategic News Service. I have known Mark for over 15 years now as one of the early subscribers to his wonderful newsletter. My good friend and coauthor Joe Herzog introduce me to Mark and since then I have been influenced by his writing. If you follow my blog, the name AORTA or Always On Real Time Access was coined by Mark in the late nineties and he generously allowed me to use it. Mark has also been writing about the carry-along-PC aka tablets for sometime and won the bet with bet with Michael Dell on the growth of this sector. He just finished off his annual predictions for 2012, so we had a lot to talk about.
Laura Marriott is CEO of Neomedia which is doing some pioneering work in the mobile barcode/mobile marketing space. But she is more famous for her work at the Mobile Marketing Association where she helped grow the industry and the association to make it a thriving enterprise.
Satya Mallya is Director at Orange. For those of you don’t know Orange is one of the top European Operators but he is based in the silicon valley working on some cool projects. He has been in the telecom space for almost 20 years working at Bell Labs, Octel and two startups
Brian Fling is CEO of pinchZoom a mobile agency that helps big brands like BBC, Paypal, Delta and others understand mobile design and development. He is passionate about mobile user experience, has spoken and written extensively about the subject.
Jay Emmet is GM OpenMarket, SVP, Amdocs and knows the messaging, commerce space on the back of his hand. Very successful stints at mblox, ATG and others. Knows the operator world really well and has been straddling both the on-deck/off-deck world for a long time.
We touched on a range of subjects from IP to platforms, from privacy/security to mobile commerce and payments, from Microsoft to Amazon .. and so on and so forth. Below is the summary of the discussion:
- While the economy in various regions has been shambles, the tech industry has been largely protected, especially, the mobile industry. We are lucky to be working in space. Amen!
- As far as the mobile platforms are concerned, there are only two that matter – iOS and Android with iOS still having a strong upper hand. Android is plagued with IP issues and OEMs are starting to have second thoughts about the cost and risks of supporting Android in the long-term. All this is of course very fluid and will depend on the outcome of a number of IP cases in courts.
- Microsoft has made some progress with Nokia but as recent shuffling indicates, all is not good and there is going to be considerable work needed in the coming days to get alliance working in sync and work a thriving ecosystem long-term.
- Siri has just changed the game at some many levels. Consumers now expect more from their devices and players are scrambling to deliver.
- This year began with the debate of apps vs. mobile web. Mobile Apps have fundamentally changed the mobile UI and design paradigm. Consumers don’t want to just browse a page on their devices, they want great user experiences all of which can’t be delivered on mobile web. Apps stay quite a bit ahead of the game.
- There is systematic IP theft and cyberattacks going on and western nations and companies are finally waking up to do something substantial. However, it is going to be a long journey to get it right.
- Many small companies have built good, attractive IP portfolios in mobile and given the investment and invention, they should be allowed to maximize the value of their IP.
- Amazon’s entry has changed the game. It has already become the number two in tablets and more to come. It will impact retail, advertising, and many other segments of the consumer economy.
- Over the last 20 years, capacity has been an issue every year but this time around, the capacity constraints are significant. While the services and consumption have gotten much better in orders of magnitude, the prices have largely stayed the same. To build capital-intensive networks, operators will have to find ways to increase data revenues.
- Operator channel is still a viable channel for the developers especially the ones who are looking for broader international reach.
- Mobile Security on smartphones remains a worrying concern and is an opportunity area for entrepreneurs.
- Mobile Privacy is a complicated issue. Many businesses are actually based on exploiting the privacy not protecting it so the business models are at odds with the privacy mantra and regulations. Something has to give. More regulations to come.
- QR codes and NFC will live in harmony for sometime.
- There are currently no clear winners in the mobile payments space. It is likely to stay very fragmented and is likely to become even more so over the coming days before any leaders emerge. Payments remains the most complicated ecosystem with many players involved and success stories will depend on the use-case scenarios.
- Cloud offers a differentiating opportunity for the operators and compete effectively with some of the OTT players.
- Many industry verticals are getting transformed by mobile. Big brands are aggressively pursuing mobile as a key strategic project. Health, Retail – opportunities abound.
- While traditional messaging is getting impacted by IP messaging, the decline is not universal and operators are reacting with new business models and technology initiatives.
- 2012 will be another great year for mobile. Fasten your seat belts.
It was a joy to moderate this terrific panel that kept audience glued to their seats till the very end. Thanks all for coming. We have some terrific events planned for 2012, Stay Tuned.
Until then, Wish you and yours a very happy and stress-free holiday season and enormously successful and prosperous 2012.
And don’t forget to fill out our Annual Mobile Predictions Survey for 2012. There are prizes for 10 lucky winners.
ps. As I mentioned in the opening, WA state dept has a wonderful program to help startup with their travel to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next year. Details here. Startups should check it out.
2012 Mobile Industry Predictions December 12, 2011Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 2 comments
It is that time of the year. Each year in Dec we ask our community to opine on the top trends of the following year and results are much better than one person looking through the crystal ball. Check out 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008 predictions.
Let us know what you think and enter to win the limited edition exclusive Mobile Future Forward Book for 2011.
We will be delighted to hear from you. Here is the link.
The questions are:
1. What was most newsworthy in Mobile 2011?
2. What will be the biggest mobile stories of 2012?
3. Who will be the most open player in the mobile ecosystem in 2012?
4. What applications will define 4G?
5. What will be the breakthrough category in mobile in 2012?
6. What will be the most popular consumer mobile applications in 2012?
7. Which will be the most dominant (unit sales) tablet platform in 2 years?
8. Who will make the biggest mobile acquisition in 2012?
9. How will the "Apps vs. Mobile Web" debate shape up in 2012?
10. Who will define the mobile payment/commerce space?
11. Which solutions will gain the most traction for managing mobile data broadband consumption?
12. Which category will generate the most mobile data revenue in 2012?
13. What will help mobile cloud computing gain traction in 2012?
14. Which enterprise segment will mobile impact the most?
15. What will be the dominant revenue model for apps in 2012?
16. What mode of mobile payments will get traction in North America and Western Europe in 2012?
17. What will be the most successful non-mobile-phone category in 2012?
18. Which of the following are likely to happen in the near future?
19. Which areas will feel the most impact from Regulators in 2012?
20. Who was the mobile person of the year?
Thanks. We will be back with results during the first week of Jan 2012. Until then, best wishes for a great holiday season and a terrific new year.3G, 4G, AORTA, Applications, CTIA, Carnival of Mobilists, Carriers, European Wireless Market, Indian Wireless Market, Japan Wireless Market, Location Based Services, Mobile Breakfast Series, Mobile Cloud Computing, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Content, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Event, Mobile Future, Mobile Future Forward, Mobile Payments, Mobile Search, Mobile Traffic, US Wireless Market, Unified Messaging, Wi-Fi, WiMax, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 5 comments
The US mobile market continued its blistering pace of growth and ecosystem restructuring. While China and India lay claim to the fastest growing markets on the planet, the many of the meaningful and impactful trends are originating out of the US market with software at the epicenter of creation, growth, change, evolution, and destruction.
The US wireless data market grew 5% Q/Q and 21% Y/Y to reach $17B in mobile data service revenues in Q3 2011 and is on course to increase Y/Y by 22% to $67B in 2011.
As predicted, Samsung overtook Apple as the leading smartphone OEM. However, Apple will continue to dominate profit share for the foreseeable future.
Smartphones continued to be sold at a brisk pace accounting for 57% of the devices sold in Q3 2011. Operators are averaging 70% of their postpaid sales as smartphones with Android dominating though iPhone leads in mindshare. The featurephone as a device species is on the verge of extinction.
Mobile Ecosystem Complexity
As expected, Amazon entered the mobile tablet space with a killer value proposition - $200 for a tablet, something the market sorely needed. While other OEMs tried to compete with Apple on performance (and have been retreating from the market one by one), Amazon is entering the battle on its own turf – a hardware platform built on Android with a slew of services to underwrite the device discount. Incumbent OEMs just can’t compete with that strategy without a complete rethink of their product strategy. What happens when Amazon’s strategy migrates to handsets? While Kindle Fire is not a serious threat to Apple iPad, and the current version has a lot of deficiencies, Amazon has carved out a nice market for itself that will continue to grow in the coming days. In some sense, with its tight integration of commerce, cloud, and advertising, it has out-maneuvered even Google.
Amazon’s impact will be felt by many others in 2012 as its strategy becomes more apparent. Retailers will be facing the brunt of the wave that Amazon represents i.e. etailers supplanting physical retailers. Don’t be surprised if Amazon purses Apple like stores to showcase its merchandize and puts a dagger at the heart of retail.
Google has done a masterful job of shepherding Android through the turbulent platform waters and make it the dominant mobile platform in terms of shipments.
Microsoft and Nokia finally introduced the Windows devices and it has at least given them a fighting chance in 2012, though a far more competitive offering would be needed to make any significant market share or revenue share inroads. Microsoft’s Xbox/Kinect integration remains its best card for 2012.
In a severe case of corporate schizophrenia, HP first launched webOS devices, then backed away, then thought of re-launching only to give it away to open source. Similarly, RIM faces critical test in 2012 and all its hopes are pinned on the new OS that is expected to come to the market sometime next year.
Mobile is changing the way we spend
It is very clear that mobile will be at the center of the human evolution for years to come. Mobile collapses time and distance and as such impacts every facet of our lives. While we have come to know the mobile phone as a communications device, their role in our daily lives has been expanding. From checking emails, paying for tickets, sending money transfers, taking pictures of your kids, watching soccer World Cup live, checking commodity pricing, to emergency response to mHealth (mobile Health), mobile devices have become an essential tool to help us navigate our day.
Mobile also plays a key role in how we go about the most basic transaction in a given day that keeps the economy humming – spend. We discussed this and more in the paper “How Mobile Will Change The Way We Spend” that was released last quarter.
What to expect in the coming months?
All this has setup an absolutely fascinating 2012 in the communication/computing industry. Convergence is everywhere and is leading to a fundamental reset of the value chains and ecosystems.
As usual, we will be keeping a very close eye on the micro- and macro-trends and reporting on the market on a regular basis in various private and public settings.
Against this backdrop, the analysis of the Q3 2011 US wireless data market is:
- The US Wireless data service revenues grew 5% Q/Q and 21% Y/Y to $17B in Q3 2011. The mobile data services revenues for the US market are on track to reach $67B in 2011.
- Verizon and AT&T had a good mobile data quarter accounting for 62% of the increase in data revenues in Q3 2011.
- For the quarter, AT&T and Verizon accounted for 69% of the market data services revenues and 62% of the subscription base.
- Verizon maintained its #1 ranking again just edging past NTT DoCoMo who came in at number two with $5.95B in data revenues for the quarter. AT&T maintained its #3 position with $5.6B in data revenues. Sprint and T-Mobile maintained their #6 and #8 rank in the top 10 mobile data operators list for Q3 2011.
- The Overall ARPU increased by $0.31. Average voice ARPU declined by $0.49 while the average data ARPU grew by $0.80 or 4% Q/Q.
- The average industry percentage contribution of data to overall ARPU was 37.6% in Q3 2011 and is likely to exceed 40% by Q1 2012. As expected, Verizon became the first US operator to eclipse the 40% mark with AT&T and Sprint close behind. (for reference, all three major Japanese operators are now above the 50% mark).
- The top three operators were neck-and-neck in data ARPU each recording a 39%+ performance. T-Mobile ended the quarter exceeding the 30% mark for the first time.
- We expect data revenues to exceed voice revenues in the US market in early 2013.
- Helped by the growth in connected devices, the overall net-adds increased by 4.9M with Verizon accounting for almost 50% of the growth.
- For the eight straight quarter, AT&T reported more net-adds from connected devices than postpaid subs. AT&T now accounts for 43% of connected devices in the US (w/ cellular subscription of some sort).
- Overall, AT&T has 43% of the connected device share of the market. The connected device segment growth slowed down to 8% Q/Q and is still up 32% Y/Y.
- Sprint added more than a million subscriptions while T-Mobile added 126k.
Applications and Services
- After unseating Philippines as the king of TXT messaging last quarter, US TXT messaging continues to grow albeit at a slower pace. Philippines is seeing a sharp decline in per user messaging due to IP messaging. Some of the European operators are also experiencing the pain of declining SMS usage. As expected, this transition will continue around the world at different rates. In the US, while the change is underway, we don’t expect any dramatic declines like the Philippines market in the near-term.
- The market is finally starting to see activity in the mobile commerce and payment services as well as in various industry verticals like healthcare, retail, and education.
- Q3 2011 again saw tremendous activity in the mobile commerce and payments space with lot of announcements from the operators, Internet players, and startups as well as the retailers and the ecommerce players. All are vying for a piece of the mobile wallet. Much more to come in the next 12 months.
- Smartphones continued to be sold at a brisk pace accounting for 57% of the devices sold in Q3 2011. Operators are averaging 70% of their postpaid sales as smartphones with Android dominating though iPhone leads in revenue and mindshare.
- Nokia’s position in the market improved slightly with the launch of WP7 devices. While it is fairly clear that Windows will acquire the #3 spot behind iOS and Android, the journey to a substantial and competitive market share is still ways off.
- As predicted in the last update, Samsung overtook Apple in smartphone sales and is unlikely to relinquish the title despite a blockbuster iPhone 4S launch in Q4.
- 37% of all smartphones sold globally in Q3 were sold in the US making it the most attractive market for the OEMs.
- Smartphones now account for over 80% revenue of all phones sold in the US.
- In the vertical vs. horizontal platform battle, the ecosystem is shifting towards horizontal domination in the near-term (units sold) while a majority of the profits reside in the vertical column.
- 87% of the tablets use WiFi only (some have inactivated cellular chipset) meaning the operator channel is not a necessary distribution channel. Operators who start to bundle multiple devices by single data plans and data buckets are going to see a better yield in this category. As expected, Verizon announced family data plans for 2012. Other operators will quickly follow or may even preempt Verizon.
- Verizon added another 1.4M LTE subscribers making it the leading LTE operator in the world. AT&T’s LTE plans are gathering steam and Sprint plans to offer LTE in 2012.
- iPhone finally arrived at Sprint. Sales of iPhone 4S have been brisk which is likely to make it the top selling device for the most important quarter of the year.
Mobile Data Growth
- While the spectrum debate rages on, in addition to the network and backhaul upgrades, policy management and data offload have emerged as top two solutions that operators deploying around the world. Signaling management solutions like Diameter routing are also getting good traction. However, a long-term video solution is still elusive. As we have been saying in our Yottabyte series of research papers, a comprehensive solution strategy is needed to effectively manage margins/bit.
- We will have the 3rd edition of our “Managing Growth and Profits in the Yottabyte Era”research out early next year.
- Race to a billion – India’s net-addition rate declined significantly in Q3 2011 while China kept its current pace. We expect that China will be the first country to exceed 1 Billion subscriptions by mid-2012. For India, the event will now occur in 2013.
- For more details, please see our Global Mobile Wireless Market Update released in July 2011.
Mobile Future Forward
Our annual mobile thought-leadership summit - Mobile Future Forward was a grand success. Our thanks to all those who attended as well as to the speakers, sponsors, and well-wishers for making it happen. Planning for 2012 summit are underway and we will keep you posted as plans develop.
More information at http://www.mobilefutureforward.com
Mobile Predictions Survey 2012
As is the tradition, we are running our annual Mobile Predictions Survey for 2012. Will appreciate your input in understanding the trends and news stories that will make 2012 another big year in mobile. Winners of the survey get our fabulous limited edition Mobile Future Forward 2011 book that contains 19 essays from the global leaders in the mobile industry. (Mobile Predictions Survey Results for 2011 here)
Your feedback is always welcome.
We will be keeping a close eye on the trends in the wireless data sector in our blog, twitter feeds, future research reports, and articles. The next US Wireless Data Market update will be released in Feb 2012. The next Global Wireless Data Market update will be issued in Apr 2012.
Disclaimer: Some of the companies mentioned in this paper are our clients.