Hope you and yours have managed to stay safe and healthy during another trying year for the world.
The ongoing pandemic continues to test the limits of our endurance and adaptability. The ferocity of the virus continues to shake the pillars of the global economy, social norms, alliances, and our understanding of cultural and professional norms. While the world saw another year of tumult and devastation, like in the crises of the past, we have seen significant leaps of change and acceleration. The unfathomable pace of vaccine development and breakthrough in mRNA technique bodes well for treating future ailments and viruses is a massive step forward for biological sciences.
As many readers know, we do our annual survey (now in its 15th year) to engage our knowledgeable community on trends and events to keep us informed. The composite view gives a glimpse into the future scenarios. Executives, developers, and insiders from leading mobile companies and startups from across the value chain and from around the globe participated to educate us on what to expect of 2022. The survey draws upon the unique collective wisdom of the folks who are making it happen. Thanks for being part of our annual ritual.
On the tech front, we saw significant acceleration in a number of domains, something we have talked about in our research “New Future: Acceleration of Connected Intelligence in the Post-Pandemic World” as well as at our summits.
As we have mentioned before, we have entered the Connected Intelligence Era and the mobile industry is growing beyond its traditional borders to transform every vertical industry and by extension – the global GDP. Proof is in the numbers.
2021 was the year when 5G kicked off in high gear. More than half a billion 5G devices in the market. Growing at 3x the rate of LTE, US, China, and Korea continue to set the pace of global rollouts. The opportunities at the intersection of Connected Intelligence, Vertical Industries, and emerging technologies like 5G, AI, and Robotics are likely to unleash a decade long innovation cycle. However, there are dark clouds on the horizon – pandemic’s impact on world economies, trade wars, and regional conflicts can adversely impact the trajectory. There are a number of unanswered questions about the multi-dimensional tech industry. We will perhaps start to understand the complexity and the potential in 2022.
The biggest stories of 2021 were the supply chain disruptions, 5G launches, disruptions due to covid, cybersecurity episodes, the introduction of the metaverse, US-China tech tussles and more. New growth areas that were previously on the fringes were brought to the forefront out of necessity like Telemedicine, Video conferencing, online commerce, etc.
For 2022, it seems like the 5G launches will continue to be the story along with US-China tech wars regulatory push to reign in the big-tech players, cybersecurity skirmishes. Covid will continue to define what we can or can’t do even though its intensity might wane.
The survey delved deeper this year to understand the impact of Covid and the progression of 5G and automation.
As we go into 2022, there are new questions to ponder over – Is Metaverse just a fancy rebranding of VR? What are the limits of decentralized networks? Will regulatory frameworks get a reboot? Will Web3 take hold? As you know, we have been exploring all these concepts under the umbrella of “Connected Intelligence” which IMHO provides a broader framework than Metaverse or Web3 which are limiting in their applicability. Regardless of which moniker sticks, 2022 is going to be another pivotal year for our industry.
Mobile Company of the Year: Apple returned as company of the year for a remarkable run and ending the year close to $3 Trillion in market cap. Rakuten, T-Mobile, Startups, and Qualcomm rounded out the top 5. Amazon was voted as the company to watch for 2022.
Mobile Person of the Year: For the first time in our 15 years of doing the survey, there was a tie for both 2021 and 2022. Tim Cook and Mukesh Ambani tied for the honors for 2021 while Cristiano Amon and Andy Jassy were voted as the executives who will shake their respective industries the most. Other honorable mentions were: Elon Musk, Tareq Amin, Satya Nadella, and Pat Gelsinger.
Full results are available to our customers and to our community members who participated in the survey.
The questions for the survey were:
- What were the biggest mobile stories in 2021?
- What will be the biggest mobile stories of 2022?
- Who are the top 4 important players in the mobile ecosystem?
- What will be the breakthrough categories in mobile in 2022?
- Which industries got shaped/disrupted the most due to Covid?
- What surprised you the most about how nations responded to the pandemic?
- Most successful company out of the pandemic that will shape the next 2-3 years?
- What trends are permanent or temporary?
- Which technology made the biggest leap during the pandemic?
- Biggest challenge for tech companies in 2022?
- Who will make the biggest mobile acquisition in 2022?
- Regulators are likely to pursue Breakup for which of these companies?
- Which category will generate the most mobile data revenue in 2022?
- The company bringing the most successful mobile gadget of the year – 2021 and 2022?
- Mobile company of the year – 2021 and 2022?
- What’s the most convincing use case for 5G?
- Who is doing the most interesting work in the 5G space?
- Which region will end up leading the world in 5G by 2025?
- What aspects of 5G are going to generate the most revenue?
- What 5G applications and services will get the most traction?
- Who will be the winners of the 5G technology transition?
- Automation and Digitization of industries will lead to?
- Which of the following are likely to happen in 2022?
- What category will be impacted the most by mobile in the next 5 years?
- Which segments are likely to get disintermediated the most by algorithms in the next 5 years?
- Who was and will be the mobile person of the year?
We wish you the very best of health and success in 2022.