Mobile Predictions 2014 January 2, 2014Posted by chetan in : 4G, 4th Wave, ARPU, Bhutan, Chetan Sharma Consulting, Fourth Wave, Indian Wireless Market, Mobile 2014, Mobile Predictions, US Wireless Market, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far
Mobile Predictions 2014
First things first. From all of us at Chetan Sharma Consulting, we wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014. My thanks to all who participated in our 2014 Mobile Predictions Annual Survey. It gives our community an insider’s view of the trends and predictions for the New Year.
2013 was a terrific year for the mobile industry. Mobile data continued to drive most of the mobile growth around the world. Whether it was LTE-minted markets like the US or the emerging economies like Indonesia, whether it was giants like China or the upcomers like Vietnam, mobile data growth was central to the economic activity in the ecosystem. Mobile is also transforming every major vertical industry around the globe. 2013 proved that connectivity has become the core of our fabric and we are entering the “connected intelligence era” that will enable the Golden Age of Mobile.
The competitive dynamics stayed quite vibrant in 2013. We saw epic battles in the field as well as in the courts. Many players struggled for relevance while some fresh blood was infused with startups around the world.
As we peer into 2014, we will see the total number of cellular subscriptions eclipsing humans on the planet for the first time. As the number of connected devices continue their march towards a multi-billion unit market, expectations of what’s possible are changing. Without a doubt, 2014 will be better than 2013 as new technologies, players, and business models shape the ever changing mobile landscape.
Our annual survey is a way for us to engage our community on the trends for the next year. We put some of the pressing questions to our colleagues and industry leaders. We are able to glean some valuable insights from their choices and comments, some tangible shifts, and get a sense of what’s to come. Executives, developers, and insiders (n=150) from leading mobile companies and startups from across the value chain and from around the world participated to help see what 2014 might bring to keep us on our toes. What makes this survey unique is that it draws upon the collective wisdom of folks who are at the center of the mobile evolution around the world. The survey provides a view of how they collectively see the upcoming year for mobile.
1. What was most newsworthy in Mobile 2013?
Smartphones and tablets established themselves as the most dominating computing platforms. If there was any doubts that the post-PC world is here, they were over as smartphones in most western countries are now over 90% of the devices sold every quarter. Once Nokia announced its shift to Windows, Microsoft’s acquisition was only a matter of time and with the acquisition (and a new CEO), Microsoft looks to a new beginning in 2014. Apple and Samsung continued to duel it out in the courts and the markets. The security breaches and the privacy revelations were a big deal in 2014. Facebook got its mobile mojo and many other consumer brands start to perform well on the mobile 4th wave.
2. What will be the biggest mobile stories of 2014?
Mobile continues to transform industries and nations. The continued growth of mobile data around the globe was voted the top story third year in a row closely followed by the expectations of new experiences that go beyond the smartphones. The connected devices segment will keep wanting for more and the big M&As are not going anywhere. Given that cross-domain acquisitions have become the norm, expect some blockbuster deals in 2014. Privacy has also surged in priority for folks in the industry.
3. Who are the top 4 important players in the mobile ecosystem?
In mobile, Google, Apple, Samsung and the mobile Operators continued to be the most influential players in the ecosystem. Amazon, Qualcomm, Facebook, Microsoft, and Ericsson also hold significant sway as to which direction we will go in the New Year. The top 10 operators play a major role in terms of technology and business models evolution in the marketplace.
4. What will be the breakthrough categories in mobile in 2014?
It was no surprise that connected devices and wearable computing was voted as the breakthrough categories for 2014. We are in the early stages of understanding what’s possible and the entrepreneurs buoyed by the new business models are pushing the boundaries. Some of the early models lack the smarts but we will learn a lot this year about the new business models and technology boundaries to push with sensor-enabled societies.
5. What will be the most popular consumer mobile applications in 2014?
There is still quite a bit of disparity as to which apps dominate in the developed world vs. the emerging countries. The differences are due to the varying smartphone penetration, cost of data, regional requirements and interests. However, the gaps are closing every year.
6. Which will be the most dominant tablet platform in 2 years?
The industry expects iOS to continue to dominate the revenue pie and Android the unit share. While Windows made a bold entry with Surface, the lack of coherent strategy and execution has left the platform way behind in numbers and while we might see some incremental performance, iOS and Android will continue to dominate the tablet landscape for the next couple of years.
7. Who will make the biggest mobile acquisition in 2014?
Softbank made the biggest blockbuster deal in mobile last year with a $22B acquisition of Sprint/Clearwire. It is likely that Softbank will make a bid for T-Mobile in a deal of similar size in early 2014 and again lead the industry in M&As. A number of operators are also eyeing operators in Europe and so we might be in for a surprise. In a non-operator merger, our panel correctly predicted Microsoft to make the biggest acquisition (Nokia). This year, they pick Google ahead of Microsoft.
8. Who will dominate the mobile payment/commerce space?
Due to fragmentation, no challenger has emerged who can put up a fight against the might of the financial companies like Visa and Mastercard. As such, the industry expects them to stay in the driver’s seat for some time.
9. Which solutions will gain the most traction for managing mobile data broadband consumption?
LTE has been the fastest cellular technology being deployed in the history of the industry. 4G continues to be the focus for the operators with other solutions chipping in to help manage the insatiable appetite of consumers for more data. There are hopes that some alternate business models to fund mobile data broadband will emerge in 2014.
10. Which category will generate the most mobile data revenue in 2014?
Access has become the most dominant category for generating mobile data revenues worldwide. There are some regional differences for e.g. in North America, messaging’s contribution is tiny while in Asia and Africa, it is a dominant category. OTT services are also starting to make a dent in the overall revenue mix.
11. Which European operator is likely to emerge stronger from the weak economic climate?
Vodafone sold of its previous Verizon possession. Will it help in making the company stronger? Our panel thinks so. Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica make up the top three.
12. When will mobile commerce be greater than ecommerce?
As the holiday commerce data showed, mobile was already 50% of the digital traffic in 2013. The panel expects that within 2-3 years, each region is likely to see the tipping point.
13. The company bringing the most successful mobile gadget of the year - 2013 and 2014?
Apple continues to set the pace of the industry, however, Samsung has gone toe-to-toe with its rival and won many battles. Samsung understood the potential of bigger screens better than most and capitalized on it with blockbuster sales around the globe. If you go to Asia, you will see ease with which consumers interact with larger screen devices. Now, this phenomenon is taking over the western markets as well. As is always the case, folks expect Apple to surprise us with iPhone 6. There are expectations that Google (Motorola) and Amazon might spring in a surprise or two.
14. Which platform has a credible shot at becoming a viable and durable 3rd ecosystem in mobile?
In 2013, Windows established itself as the only viable third mobile ecosystem. The gap is likely to increase in 2014 though HTML5 and forked Android based OS might pose a challenge.
15. Mobile company of the year - 2013 and 2014?
Samsung’s performance in 2013 was outstanding. With a massive global footprint, its ambition knew no bounds. It performed exceptionally well generating multi-billion quarters and just dominating the Android landscape. In 2012, Samsung displaced the 14 year reigning champion Nokia from the top spot. In 2013, the company solidified its position and was voted the Mobile Company of the year. However, in 2014, the panel expects Apple and Google to duke it out for the top spot.
16. Which of the following are likely to happen in 2014?
Amazon smartphone is like water on Mars. It is much talked about but hasn’t been spotted yet. Will 2014 be any different? For the first time, expectations improved to 50%+. Microsoft might launch Surface smartphone instead of pushing Windows smartphones. 40% of the panel thought that Softbank will acquire T-Mobile and it will go through. Will Samsung fork Android? The question has been of much speculation in 2013 and will continue to see interest in the New Year as well.
17. Which operator is best positioned for the digital world?
As we outlined in our 4th wave series of papers, mobile operators are at a critical juncture of their evolution. The ones that embrace the digital world will live to see another decade of growth and prosperity while others will perish or be relegated to lesser roles. As we have worked with leading operators around the globe on this transition, I have become more convinced that the digital transformation will redefine the segment. AT&T, Verizon, Softbank, DoCoMo, Telefonica continue to lead. There are many sceptics as well. 2014 will be a year of change and progress.
18. What category will be impacted the most by mobile in the next 5 years?
As I have said before, we are entering the golden age of mobile and every vertical, every industry is going to be transformed by mobile. Which categories are ripe for disruption? Our panel voted for health and monitoring, home automation, wellness/fitness, entertainment, and auto as the top categories. We already saw great progress in 2013 and will see many more companies enter these spaces in 2014. Exciting times ahead.
19. Which segments are likely to get disintermediated the most by algorithms in the next 5 years?
The inefficiencies of a middlemen can be overcome by algorithms. The concept is not new but society expects more each year to narrow the gap between the thought and task execution. Advertising agencies, retail, real estate, transportation, and education seem to be on top of everyone’s mind as the areas that need some algorithmic infusion.
20. Who was and will be the mobile person of the year?
Samsung’s JK Shin was number two behind Tim Cook in last year’s vote. His ascendency to the number one spot for 2013 reflects the success Samsung has had this last year. He was closely followed by Masayoshi Son whose global ambitions put the mobile world on notice in 2013 and John Legere who brought back T-Mobile as a strong contender in the US market. Last year, the expectations were high for Jeff Bezos and they are high again for 2014. Will it be drones or space exploration or just a simple much awaited smartphone? There is a lot to look forward to in the New Year. There were several other leaders who are working on transforming the mobile industry like Sundar Pichai, Jack Dorsey, Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Mark Zuckerberg, Dick Costolo, Neelie Kroes, Lowell McAdam, Ralph de la Vega, Hans Vestberg, John Chambers, Dan Hesse, Tom Wheeler, Matthew Key, Glenn Lurie, Brian Krzanich, and many more.
Thanks again to everyone who contributed. Warm wishes for a terrific 2014.
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, articles, and our annual thought-leadership summit – Mobile Future Forward. The next US Wireless Data Market update will be released in March 2014. The next Global Wireless Data Market update will be issued in February 2014.
Disclaimer: Some of the companies mentioned in this paper are our clients.
2013 Mobile Industry Predictions Survey January 2, 2013Posted by chetan in : Chetan Sharma Consulting, Connected Devices, European Wireless Market, IP Strategy, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Predictions, US Wireless Market, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 2 comments
First things first. From all of us at Chetan Sharma Consulting, we wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013. My thanks to all who participated in our 2013 Mobile Predictions Annual Survey. It gives our community an insider’s view of the trends and predictions for the New Year.
2012 was a terrific year for the mobile industry. Mobile data continued to drive most of the mobile growth around the world. Mobile also started impacting every major vertical industry around the globe. In fact, mobile has become so ingrained in the fabric of business productivity and social interaction that it is not longer the new growth engine, it has become the engine.
The competitive dynamics stayed quite vibrant in 2012. We saw epic battles in the markets as well as in the courts. 2012 also saw the PC value chain struggling for relevance while the smartphones and tablets unit sales captured all the attention and headlines.
As we peer into 2013, we will see the total number of cellular subscriptions eclipsing humans on the planet. The connected device made steady progress. Anything that should be connected is being connected - creating a web of new opportunities and challenges.
LTE has become the fastest deployed cellular technology in the approximately 35 year history of the industry. Broadband combined with connected devices and applications are changing the way we live, we interact with others, do business, and consume information.
The European economic crisis impacted many players especially the large telcos, making the transition to digital ever more urgent. As voice and messaging revenue curves decline and access revenue approaches its high mark in the next few years, investment in the fourth curve becomes critical for all players.
Our annual survey is a way for us to engage our community on the trends for the next year. We put some of the pressing questions to our colleagues and industry leaders. We are able to glean some valuable insights from their choices and comments, some tangible shifts, and get a sense of what’s to come. Executives, developers, and insiders (n=200) from leading mobile companies and startups from across the value chain and from around the world participated to help see what 2013 might bring to keep us on our toes. What makes this survey unique is that it draws upon the collective wisdom of folks who are at the center of the mobile evolution. The survey provides a view of how they see the upcoming year for mobile.
30 names were randomly drawn for the limited edition of the Mobile Future Forward 2012 book. The winners are:
- Ryan Carney, UX, Gfk
- Wes Biggs, CTO, Adfonic
- Volker Hirsch, Head of BD, RIM
- Bobby Morrison, President, Verizon Wireless
- Chris Walls, Strategy, Huawei
- Von Cameron, EVP, Smith Micro
- Sami Makelainen, Manager, Telstra
- Martin Fichter, VP, HTC
- Jeff Hasen, CMO, Hipcricket
- Paul Brody, VP, IBM
- Michael Mullany, CEO, Sencha
- Mick Welch, Manager, Nokia
- Jana Messerschmidt, VP, Twitter
- Akio Orii, SVP, Toyota
- Gina Bovara, Software Services, Intel
- Mark Brill, Lead Partner, Brand Emotivity
- Stuart Saunders, CEO, Mobile Defense
- Tony Greco, Director, ZTE
- Venu Vasudevan, Sr. Director, Motorola
- Elliott Hamilton, Sr. Director, TeleCommunication Systems
- Biljana Jovicic, VAS, Digitel
- Robin Jewsbury, Cofounder, Promoht
- Julie Dey, VP, Rootmetrics
- Pat Nunally, VP, Upaid
- Paul Upham, Director, Welldoc
- Sagar Tamang, Director, Nielsen
- Andrew Meadors, Engineer, Cisco
- Nikao Yang, SVP, Adcolony
- Pelle Larsen, Director, SingTel
- Kelly Amsbry, Sr. Planner, Microsoft
- Elisabeth Rainge, Head – Strategy, NSN
Thanks again to everyone who contributed. We will be calling on you again next year.
Be well, do good work, stay in touch, and stay away from Triskaidekaphobiacs.
Thanks and with warm wishes,
What was most newsworthy in Mobile 2012?
2012 was a spectacular year for smartphones. Smartphones in most western nations are now over 80% of the devices sold every quarter. China will soon become the biggest market by unit volume and the rest of the world is catching up fast as we see sub-$50 Android devices flood the market. Apple vs. Samsung has become akin to Lakers vs. Celtics of the eighties or the India vs. Pakistan rivalry in cricket. The passion and intense competition between the two super powers was clearly the headline of the year. That pushed the Android vs. iOS tussles as the subheading for 2012. As we enter into 2013, the legacy computing aka PC players will need to reinvent themselves or expect substantial decline in their fortunes.
The role of mobile data in industry’s growth has been cemented by the insatiable appetite for higher speeds, more apps, and social interaction and is expected to continue at a feverish pace as LTE roles out around the world and the developing world catches up. We are likely to see the Apple and Google rivalry intensify. One is a master of hardware and the other of software. Both have their Achilles heel and much is at stake in the coming year. Many expect Microsoft’s Windows to make progress to lay claim to become a viable 3rd ecosystem. 2013 will try to answer that question.
Who will be the most open player in the mobile ecosystem in 2013?
Who are the top 4 important players in the mobile ecosystem?
Many in the industry talk about Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon as the most important platform players in the business today. However, when it comes to mobile, in addition to the defacto top-two, our survey picks Samsung as number three by a good margin. Samsung has become a strong player in the digital ecosystem that commands attention and respect. The top 10-15 global operators play a strong role in the mobile ecosystem and collectively edged out Amazon and others for the number four spot. Facebook and Microsoft while strong in the desktop world have a lot to prove to be considered a top tier player in mobile.
What will be the breakthrough categories in mobile in 2013?
Our industry seems fascinated with the potential of mobile payments and voted it to be the top mobile applications and services category for 2013. Given the importance of Cloud in all apps/services, it is no surprise that it is part of the top 2. Mobile Commerce, Big data, and connected devices rounded up the top 5.
What will be the most popular consumer mobile applications in 2013?
There are regional variations when it comes to the popularity and revenue potential of mobile applications. Messaging, mobile commerce, and social dominate the developing world while location based services replaces messaging in the developed world as the key mobile application. Mobile health and gaming made a strong show in both regions.
Which will be the most dominant tablet platform in 2 years?
So far, iOS has dominated the tablet landscape. With iPad, Apple has effectively carved out the mid-high tier of the tablet space. Android players are losing or barely making any revenue from this device category. Windows tablets are priced so high that it is trying to compete with laptops rather than the tablets. Our panel expects Android to catch-up in unit sales and iOS to dominate the revenues by good margins. Windows is likely to stay a marginal player.
Who will make the biggest mobile acquisition in 2013?
Microsoft and Google both have big cash balanced to make some sizable acquisitions in 2013. Microsoft lacks traction and attention and will try to make a move but which player can give them an edge? Apple also needs to beef up its software operations significantly but doesn’t have the history of big acquisitions. Operators are also looking to become OTT players themselves and might make moves to shore up their strategic interests. Many participants think that Nokia and RIM have seen their final year as an independent entity.
How will the "Apps vs. Mobile Web" debate shape up in 2013?
In 2012, many expected the resurgence of “mobile web” but it hasn’t panned out that way. Google has doubled up on apps, Facebook realized HTML5 isn’t going to cut it, and the expectations pendulum swung back to the apps and might stay there for 2013.
Who will dominate the mobile payment/commerce space?
Three years ago, mobile payments/commerce seemed to be the “blue ocean” opportunity but financial guys have firmly protected their turf, at least for now. Hopes were high for operator led initiatives but the enthusiasm has tapered off. Startups like Square are doing more to disrupt the payments space than some of the established players. The only exception is PayPal, which has so far been able to create good distance with the competitors. Microsoft has surprisingly been absent in a critical space.
Which solutions will gain the most traction for managing mobile data broadband consumption?
4G, mobile offload, and tiered pricing have been most effective in managing the costs of mobile data consumption though spectrum has garnered more of the noise share.
Which category will generate the most mobile data revenue in 2013?
Access dominates the developed world while messaging has the lion share in the developing world. We will see access becoming the dominant category in the emerging markets fairly soon.
Which European operator is likely to emerge stronger from the current economic climate?
European operators have been battered by struggling economy and regulatory changes. Many are rethinking their strategy, shedding off assets, and just trying to keep their head above water. The leaner operations and refocused strategic direction might help them recover better when the economy improves. While our global panel picked Vodafone to have the strongest recovery, our European panel picked Telefonica to emerge stronger.
When will mobile commerce be greater than ecommerce?
A majority of the panel thinks that mobile commerce will eclipse ecommerce in revenues generated by 2015 in North America and Asia and by 2020 for the rest of the world. There are already strong signs that commerce is shifting from online to mobile.
The company bringing the most successful mobile gadget of the year - 2012 and 2013?
Apple continues to produce the most desirable devices. iPhone and iPad dwarf everything else and easily was the company with the most successful gadget in 2012. However, the panel expects Samsung to best its rival in 2013. Google and Amazon might mount a credible challenge but their chances of producing something truly dominating remain low.
Which platform has a credible shot at becoming a viable and durable 3rd ecosystem in mobile?
Windows 8 phones finally launched in 2012. The design is solid, the OEM support is growing, the number of apps are rising and while it is still a long ways to becoming a credible 3rd ecosystem, it has the best shot at becoming one. The only rival seems the HTML5-based OS initiatives. The application developer community actually voted for HTML5 over Windows as the 3rd ecosystem that has some chance of competing with iOS and Android which completely dominate in revenues and unit sales respectively.
Mobile company of the year - 2012 and 2013?
Samsung eclipsed Nokia and Apple to become the most dominating device player in unit volume in almost all major markets. The speed with which it is churning out devices has pretty much crushed the rest of the Android ecosystem and is going head-to-head with Apple. For this performance, the panel voted Samsung to be the mobile company of the year for both 2012 and 2013 with Apple and Google close behind.
Which of the following are likely to happen in 2013?
The rumor chamber is ablaze with the possibilities of Apple TV, smartphones from Amazon and Microsoft, and data-only plans to make their appearance in 2013. Square and Twitter could be the hot acquisitions of the year though Twitter is likely to chose IPO glory. Will Samsung fork Android? Will Sprint and T-Mobile merge? Will European operators get acquired? These are some of the questions that are likely to keep the media on their toes this year.
Which operator is best positioned for the digital world?
As we outlined in our research paper “Operator’s Dilemma: The Fourth Wave,” the business of being a mobile operator is at a critical juncture and operators are investing heavily into creating the digital business. AT&T, Verizon, NTT DoCoMo, Softbank, and Telefonica are already generating billions of dollars from these initiatives and lead the operator contingent in the digital world.
Who was and will be the mobile person of the year?
In the past, Steve Jobs was consistently the person of the year in mobile. In 2012, Tim Cook effectively managed to produce record profits for the investors and navigated Apple to keep its “most valuable enterprise” title intact for the year. Apple is still the company on top of the hill. JK Shin of Samsung was voted number two for 2012. For 2013, the landscape changed. Our panel overwhelmingly voted Jeff Bezos to impress us the most in 2013. Amazon has done a good job disrupting the device model and with its strong commerce expertise, it is looking to take on both Google and Apple at the same time. Andy Rubin of Google with the 1 billion Android units milestone coming up this year will be a good contender for the title as well.
There were several other leaders who impressed in 2012 e.g. Paul Jacobs (eclipsing Intel in market cap), Jack Dorsey (disrupting the mobile payments market with Square), Masayoshi Son (for Sprint acquisition and global ambitions), Dan Hesse (for navigating Sprint through rough waters), Glenn Lurie and Matthew Key (for leading the digital transformation of the two giants – AT&T and Telefonica respectively), Rhen Zhengfei (for making Huawei into a dominating infrastructure provider), Lowell McAdam (for making Verizon the number 1 mobile data operator in the world) and Ralph de la Vega (for making AT&T the number 2 ahead of NTT DoCoMo).
All in all, a great collection of thoughts and comments. Thanks again to everyone who participated. Have a great 2013.
Mobile Breakfast Series Recap – Mobile 2013 December 13, 2012Posted by chetan in : Chetan Sharma Consulting, Mobile 2013, Mobile Breakfast Series, Mobile Predictions , add a comment
The Mobile Breakfast Series Event returned back to its home ground in Seattle after a detour to Atlanta and London earlier this year. As is the tradition, we go into the pontification mode for the last event and assemble experts to help us gauge what’s going to be exciting in the coming year, the shakeups that are coming and what should we keep an eye on.
The panelists were:
Zaw Thet, Advisor, Signia Venture Partners
Zaw is a veteran entrepreneur who has been at the forefront of search, social networking, mobile, and adtech since the age of 19. Most recently Zaw was the founder and CEO of 4INFO, one of the largest mobile advertising platforms in the world. Business Week recognized him as one the “Mobile Barons” helping to shape the mobile ad industry since 2004.
Omar Javaid, Managing Director, BBO Global
Omar is the managing director of BBO Global, a boutique advisory and early stage venture firm in the wireless and media space. Prior to BBO, Omar Javaid is Vice President, Product Management of Emerging Technologies Group at Motorola Mobility, a Google company. He was part of the executive team that lead the successful turn-around of Motorola, culminating in the $12.5B acquisition by Google. In this role, he was responsible for next generation smart phone and convergence products Motorola Mobility.
Tracy Isacke, Director of Investments and Business Development, Telefonica Digital
Tracy started her career at Xerox, rising to be the first female member of the UK Board, leading a team of over 450 people. Tracy joined Telefónica in 2006 as the head of the Enterprise Sales Team for O2 UK, then she led on Telefónica’s $207m acquisition of Jajah, the Valley-based VOIP/IP Telephony company. Tracy is currently spearheading the growth of Telefónica Digital as Director of Investments and Business Development, focusing primarily on Silicon Valley, Israel and Europe, with a growing team of half a dozen employees, based in Mountain View, Madrid, London and Tel Aviv.
Todd Achilles, VP, Mobility, Hewlett-Packard Company
Todd Achilles is Vice President, Mobility for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems business unit, where he leads strategy and execution for delivering a connected experience to HP customers. Todd has spent his career in product, marketing, sales and engineering roles within telecommunications sector, including leadership positions with HTC and T-Mobile USA.
What is in store for Mobile 2013?
2012 has been an incredible year for mobile. We crossed several key industry milestones – 6.5B subscriptions, 1B subscriptions in China, 1B broadband subscriptions, 500M android activations, Apple’s monstrous march towards $1T market cap. We also saw Amazon’s aggressive moves in the mobile space, Facebook eclipsing 1B active users, and Nokia/Microsoft/RIM trying to stem the tide. Some big M&A maneuvers throughout the year. All this is setting up a very exciting Mobile 2013. There was a lot to discuss – from the tussles of Apple and Android to opportunities in commerce and big data, from Microsoft’s comeback to challenges in managing the network growth and consumer expectations. We assembled a stellar panel of mobile veterans to help us brainstorm what the big trends, big movers and shakers, and the big opportunities of 2013.
Below is the summary of the discussion:
- Events that captured our imagination in 2012:
- Omar – Google-Motorola, growth in smartphones around the globe
- Zaw – The rise of mobile gaming and the move towards mobile first
- Todd – FCC and the slew of actions they took to frame the wireless industry in the US market
- Tracy – London Olympics, which was truly a “mobile” event helping citizens of the world “connect”
- Depends on which business are you in – HP/Microsoft see it is a PC+ world with multiple screens interacting with the consumer, Apple sees it is a clear delineation.
- However, the data-centric devices like tablets are starting to challenge the notion of computing.
- Also, Smart TVs might start to make an entry that help with inter-device communication and expand developers view of the world
- Clearly an iOS and Andorid world. Microsoft will grind it out and become relevant but it is a tough slog ahead. No mention of RIM or any other platform player
- Panel cautioned developers to over-rely on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms as a foundation of their business. If they like the business, they will just build that into the platform as a feature. VCs are becoming wary of such startups.
- Siri and voice will be much tightly integrated into the OS in 2013. As speech recognition gets better, consumers get more comfortable, we are getting closer to the “star trek” world
- Augmented reality could have a big year as consumers become more familiar and comfortable with AR apps.
- Telefonica’s work with Mozilla on a web-based OS is going well and offers an alternative to the walled-garden approach of the appstores. It will first start in Latin America and might see deployment in the western markets later in the year.
- Telefonica is one of the most advanced operators when it comes to attacking the opportunities in digital. It is the most formal with the formation of Telefonica Digital. It has embraced the OTT world with a launch of new initiatives across various verticals – communication, advertising, health, retail, security, cloud, etc. Tracy operator based OTT services can become the core of enterprise and consumer services
- OTT players will continue to eat away at the operator voice and messaging revenues. Operators didn’t innovate on these services for over 20 years and we are seeing the impact of that.
- There are also significant opportunities in M2M
- Cross-operator services for further monetization
- The day of data only subscriptions is not far away
- More embedded data pricing w/ devices like notebooks
- Android is enabling new hardware segments
- Hardware is hard, supply-chain to build and deliver billions of device is harder and it is going to get tougher in 2013
- It will be hard for OEMs to be in the hardware game w/o any services with a possible exception of Samsung which is making its way into the services space
- Amazon will be the one to watch in 2013 as it works to introduce tablets and a possible Smartphone
- Google glasses is quite interesting and can open up new possibilities for developers and consumers
- Intel got surpassed by Qualcomm due to a number of missteps and the street is valuing the future growth of QCOM higher than INTC and it will be difficult for INTC to catch-up
- MediaTek is becoming a strong player
- Lytro like imaging innovation in smartphones
- Mobile commerce is growing by leaps and bounds as evident by thanksgiving numbers. Mobile and social commerce will continue to make waves in 2013
- Apps model has become an alternate to the web and while not efficient it does provide a distribution vehicle to the developers
- App interop will be a big thing in 2013
- Advertising works better on apps than mobile web
- Wallet wars to continue into 2013
- T-Mobile’s non-subsidy approach might not work out too well as other operators will pound on the opportunity to peel away more subs from TMO. Telefonica Spain tried it along with some other operators around the globe and the experiment didn’t go too well
- Big data and analytics will continue to drive all sorts of new services – health to gaming. Panel cautioned startups relying on Amazon for cloud services to have appropriate backups, some startups have lost all their data due to errors and have had no recourse
- Big opps in cloud and big data in the enterprise segment, these services will get bundled in with devices and data plans
- OTTs are unlikely to wade into the Telco space, too capital intensive and regulatory lens is a negative
- Interesting to see what Softbank does with Sprint. He changed the market in Japan and has the capacity to disrupt the US market
- Latin America is full of opportunities for 2013
- IP battles to continue but most will get settled
- 2013 will be another great year for mobile. Stay tuned and get ready for the ride
It was a lively discussion and I could have easily gone on for another 2-3 hours. Our audience is always top-notch and is highly educated about the nuances of the industry as was evident from the questions. 2012 was the year when Mobile Breakfast Series spread its wings and went to Atlanta and London. We had a great time putting together each of the events in 2012 and we have many more planned for 2013, so stay tuned.
Our annual thought-leadership summit – Mobile Future Forward returns in Sept 2013. More details to come.
From all of us at Chetan Sharma Consulting, we wish you and yours a great holiday season and a terrific 2013.
Finally, as we do it every year, we launched our Annual Mobile Predictions Survey for 2013. There will be prizes for the 25 lucky winners. Be sure to share your thoughts. The survey ends Dec 28th. We will release the results in January.
have a good time.