Mobile Business Predictions
The mobile business sector is notoriously difficult to predict, but Nick Huber analyses market trends and tips the ones to watch.
Keys: Ones to watch in 2013; Key player; Hot start-up; Industry partnership.
- By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common way to access the internet, according to research company Gartner. By 2015, more than 80 per cent of handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones - meaning
mobile phones with computing power similar to desktop computers will be in the hands of millions, Gartner says.Looking ahead, screens are unlikely to get much bigger, but powerful dual-core and quad-core processors will make it
easier for employees to use their phones to access and share data ranging from corporate email, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations or chunky PDF reports."For most businesses, smartphones and tablets will not entirely replace
PCs, but the ubiquity of smartphones and the increasing popularity of tablets are changing the way businesses look at their device strategies, and the way consumers embrace devices," says Carolina Milanese Gartner's research vice
president.Smartphones can make life easier for workers on the move, but so-called bring your own device (BYOD) accessing of secure company systems can increase data security risks. IT departments will need to educate workers
and protect company information when smartphones are lost, says Paul Lee, a technology expert at professional services firm Deloitte. He explains that some IT departments are already able to wipe the content of employees' mobile
phones remotely, sending a text message to destroy key data. In terms of popularity, Google's mobile operating system Android is powering nearly 60 per cent of smartphones sold in the UK, followed by Apple's IOs and then RIM's
BlackBerry models. A new BlackBerry phone is expected to be released in early - 2013 which may turn round the fortunes of the troubled company.
Where do people in the UK use their smartphones?
- Home - 97%.
- On the go - 85%.
- Work - 72%.
- Shop - 64%.
- Cafe - 61%.
- Public transport - 61%.
- Restaurant - 59%
- Social gathering - 52%.
- Airport - 44%.
- GP surgery - 28%.
- School - 16%.
Source: Our Mobile Planet: United States, Google/Ipsos OTX MediaCT.
- 2 hours are added to the working day from work-related messages.
- Ones to watch: 1) Samsung; 2) Apple; 3) RIM (BB10 launch); 4) HTC; 5) Motorola; 6) Nokia.
- Nearly 15 trillion messages will be sent from mobile phones this year soaring to 28.2 trillion by 2017, Juniper Research predicts. Most growth will come from free instant messaging services, although SMS text messages will still
account for most of the traffic. In Europe, mobile operators are developing software that will allow customers to use instant messaging, share live videos, and transfer files on any device and mobile network. Businesses can use
messaging services and location-based technology to communicate with customers and their workers, for example updating them about IT system problems.Retailers will soon be able to send video messages to customers, meaning
potential shoppers heading out for a bout of shoe shopping may receive rival offers, cut-price deals and information about the latest stock - provided, of course, they've agreed to receive such messages. Some analysts fear this means
mobile messaging will alienate up-market shoppers.
- Total SMS messages and instant messages sent in 2011 and forecast for 2016: 1) 5.9 tr. SMS messages sent worldwide in 2011; 2) 9.4 tr. SMS messages forecast globally by 2016; 3) 1.6 tr. mobile instant messages sent worldwide
in 2011; 4) 7.7 tr. mobile instant messages forecast globally by 2016.
- Ones to watch; 1) GSMA - Rich Communication Suite; 2) Wireless Industry Partnership; 3) Groupe Speciale Mobile Association; 4) eBuddy; 5) WhatsApp.
- Sales of tablets - portable and lightweight computers with touch screens - have rocketed since the device was popularised by Apple's iPad in 2010. Most tablets, which are lighter than ordinary computers and laptops though lacking
proper keyboards, are used by consumers.However, tablets are spreading into the business world, especially for mobile workers who spend a lot of time out of the office and need to access to corporate data Gartner's most recent tablet
device report, in November 2012, estimates that businesses will buy 13 million tablets in 2012, rising to 53 million in 2016. The launch of Apple's iPad mini offers a rival slighter, smaller option to the Kindle; Apple claims three million
minis and iPad 4s were sold within three days of launch.Deloitte's Paul Lee predicts that next year tablet screens will get slightly bigger - an inch or so - by reducing the size of the table's frame, in an effort to make web browsing
easier. With the new Surface from Microsoft joining the Kindle Fire and Samsung's Galaxy in the battle to break Apple's dominance - 95 per cent market share in the UK, according to Ofcom - tablet computers and the personal cloud
could threaten the PC market, and companies with no mobile presence could suffer. Laptops and PCs will not disappear, however, says Mr Lee. It's much easier to write long documents on them, But as tablets get more powerful, it
will be easier to do more complex tasks such as spreadsheets.
- What is a tablet used for?: 1) Work/business: Web browsing - 73%; Email - 69%; Remote working - 67%; 2) Home/personal use: Web browsing - 78%; Email - 74%; Gaming - 74%.
- Ones to watch: 1) Apple (iPad Mini); 2) Samsung (Galaxy); 3) Amazon (Kindle Fire); 4) Microsoft (Surface); 5) Asus; 6) Windows 8 tablets.
- Britons will spend about £900 million on goods and services using their mobile phones this Christmas, Interactive Media In Retail Group and Capgemini predict. By 2020, 50 per cent of all Visa transactions will be made through a
mobile device. "Mobile presents an opportunity to be the centre of consumers’ financial lives", says Mary Carol Harris, Visa vice president, mobile strategic alliances. Technology, including near field communication or wave and pay is
being built into new smartphones. Personal payment services (money transfer services via mobile phones) will become more common. Also watch out for plug-in terminals, which allow smartphones and tablets to accept credit and
debit card payments, meaning businesses don't have to buy till systems. Mobile applications or apps (mini computer programs downloaded onto mobile phones) will turn phones into wallets. Mobile Money Network’s app lets users pay
for products from retailers, including HMV and Thomas Pink, by entering a code or image when they see a product online in a poster or in a newspaper.
- 17 bn. mobile payment transactions will be made in 2013, up from 141m in 2011.
- Ones to watch; 1) Samsung (NFC enabled Galaxy S III); 2) Monitise and Cognizant; 3) Weve (EE, telefonica UK (02) and Vodafone UK); 4) MasterCard and EE; 5) iZettle; 6) Dwolla.
- remote mobile purchase digital and physical goods, 2012-2017: 1) Rest of world (2017 ~ $50.000m); 2) Asia (2017 ~ $120.000m); 3) Europe Asia (2017 ~ $130.000m); 4) North America (2017 ~ $170.000m).
Source: Juniper Research.
- UK businesses will be able to save time and cut travel expenses through video conferences and share corporate data quicker as mobile 4G services begin to hit the market. EE's 4G network, which will be available by the end of the
year, offers faster mobile internet access. It will be available on the Apple iPhone 5 as well as other devices. In countries that already have 4G, such as Japan, Germany and the United States, businesses say the technology has helped
them increase innovation, boost productivity and cut costs, according to research by EE and Arthur D. Little. However, UK business will probably have to wait a couple of years before 4G coverage is nationwide. Before then, they
should work out if the reliability and cost of 4G is sufficient to justify a move from fixed-line broadband.
- Ones to watch: 1) EE (4GEE); 2) O2; 3) Vodafone; 4) Telefonica UK (02) and VOdafone UK; 5) metamarkets; 6) Kontagent.
- Business benefits of 4G services: 1) 76% of US-based respondents agree 4G has helped their firms innovate and jump ahead of the competition; 2) 86% of US businesses surveyed get more work done on the move with 4G; 3) 47%
said 4G saved their company money.
Source: Arthur D. Little.
- Cloud technology - computing power stored on the internet rather kit stored on a company's premises - is one of the big trends in business IT, The cloud, which enables companies to have computer services on tap like gas or
electricity, is touted as a way for business to save money. Ben Dowd, business director at mobile operator 02, says UK customers in the public and private sectors have increased spending on technology that workers can access from
any location. "In 2013, we expect to see this trend continue to evolve, with growing adoption of bring your own device initiatives across organisations,” Mr Dowd says. "Cloud and mobile services will become more important than ever
in enabling the enterprise workforce". Building a corporate cloud can be tricky, though, which is why some companies are using cloud services brokerages. These consultancies help businesses pick the right cloud service from an ever-
growing list of suppliers, and also advise on data security and how to cut IT costs.
- Ones to watch: 1) Apple (iCloud); 2) Six degrees Group; 3) NetBiscuits; 4) Kaggle; 5) CloudSigma; 6) DropBox.
- Cloud services market: main services used by business, 2012: 1) $84.2 bn. - business process services; 2) $14.4 bn. - Software as a Service; 3) $6.2 bn. - Infrastructure as a Service; 4) $3.3 bn. - cloud management and security
services; 5) $1.2 bn. - application infrastructure services.
- Revenue from social media will be $16.9 billion (£10.6 billion) in 2012, up 4-3 per cent from 2011, Gartner predicts. Around one in two UK businesses have adapted their business strategies to use more social media to market their
brand and interact with customers, according to a survey commissioned by the Internet Advertising Bureau and LBi, a global marketing and technology agency. Its early days for social media in business. Retailers, however, could
encourage customers to use picture-sharing technology to advertise their brand and encourage customers to share retail pictures. Internal social networks are proving their worth to companies like Salesforce.com, which tallies
employees influence based on how useful their postings are to the rest of the staff. Top infuencers join the company's board at quarterly retreats to brief senior management These networks are used by the likes of IBM to encourage
staff to share information and ideas, helping mobile sales teams access key research before a meeting. This software is particularly appealing to staff in their 20s who don’t use email outside work, says Jass Sarai, a technology expert at
- $16.9 bn. estimated value of social media revenue by 2016.
- Ones to watch: 1) LinkedIn; 2) Twitter; 3) Facebook; 4) Qriously; 5) Pinterest; 6) Jive.
- There will be 310 billion downloads of mobile apps by 2016, generating sales of $74 billion (£47 billion), Gartner predicts, Mobile apps for consumers, such as the Angry Birds game and WhatsApp, a messaging system for
smartphones, are the bestsellers, but business apps are becoming more popular. They're also getting more sophisticated thanks to HTML5, the newest version of the mark-up language for presenting content on the web. Suppliers of
business intelligence - software which helps workers share data about customers, products or company finances have made app versions of products for smartphones and other mobile devices. MicroStrategy, a US software supplier
specialising in business intelligence which supplies Starbucks coffee company, has a product which lets mobile workers submit orders, approve or deny requests, and do other types of transactions that connect to back-office computer
systems. Mobile apps can be useful for market research. PwC's free app has been downloaded more than 25,000 times. The firm analyses the most read stories viewed by users on the app to help it understand customers' interests.
- 49% of mobile and tablet users conduct local business searches on apps.
- Ones to watch: 1) Flipboard; 2) Tapjoy; 3) Diligent Boardbooks; 4) Lovethat; 5) Nuance.
Mobile Business | Sources: raconteuronthetimes.co.uk; theraconteur.co.uk; twitter.com/raconteurmedia; raconteurthetimes.co.uk; theraconteur.co.uk.