The global mobile industry is the most vibrant and the fastest growing industry. Just look at the 2011 numbers – $1.3 Trillion in industry revenue, more than $300 Billion in data revenues, more than 6 Billion subscriptions, more than 1.6 Billion devices sold, almost 500 Million smartphones sold. The mobile ecosystem has become much more dynamic, lightning fast paced, and breathtakingly unpredictable.
As I wrote last year, we are likely to see more change in the next 10 years compared to the last 100 years. The evolution of mobile services is being impacted by several key forces of change. These include technology innovation and diffusion, consumer behavior, globalization, and easing of the regulations to promote trade and commerce. This is leading to the emergence of new players and new ecosystem dynamics as well as disappearance of the laggards.
The theme of Mobile Future Forward this year is Connected Universe. Unlimited Opportunities. For those of us who have been the students of the industry for a long time, the Always On, Always Connected mobile world has been the most basic tenant of the mobile economy. It is very evident that the era of the connected universe has finally arrived. Sometimes it just takes a while. The trifecta of opportunities – the network, the devices, and the applications are changing the very definition of what’s possible and creating unlimited opportunities for all in the value chain.
Mobile is also fundamentally reshaping how we as consumers spend on housing, healthcare, entertainment, travel, food and drinks, communication, and transportation. Mobile not only influences purchase behavior but also post purchase opinions. When the share button is literally a second away, consumers are willingly sharing more information than ever before. Mobile is thus helping close the nirvana gap for brands and advertisers who seek to connect advertising to actual transactions. The long-term battle is however for owning the context of the users. Having the best knowledge about the user to help drive the transaction is simply the most valuable currency of commerce.