The Future of Mobile?

Thread Title:
The Future of Mobile?
Thread Description:

Russell over at the Mobile Weblog is trying to put together a set of predictions for Mobile in 2005.

Anyone want to help him out?


I'll start

  • Browser wars dejavu as competing networks, browser makers, platforms and standards all behave like children holding the progression of mobile back rather than forwarding it.
  • Mobile kills the iPod
  • Nokia stomp over everyone else with regard to hardware
  • Russell Beattie finds out that i registered his coined word "communicontent" and gets mad at me...

Anyone care to add to that?

Mobile video Marketing.

One of the biggest things to take off over the next year will viral java video marketing.

Disney this month have spent a fortune in the UK to promote the release of the incredibles.

All sorts of major household brands are now really pushing the online marketing side of things and intergrating it with their mobile campaigns.

I guess the best place to watch closely for what will be happening in the next year, would be Japan. (Clearly).

3G content isn't doing it

A research firm says manufacturers need to come up with another catalyst to spur handset replacements, since 3G content isn't doing it.

Analysts IDC say the handset market will grow more slowly in 2005 than in 2004, where sales are expected to finish up 20% to about 650 million units. The availability of handsets with color screens and integrated cameras has powered the current replacement cycle in developed markets as well as spurring many consumers to buy their first mobile phone. But the only new catalyst in the foreseeable future is getting users to upgrade to 3G handsets -- and the lack of interesting content and services isn't moving things along too quickly.
"Continued delays in the evolution of compelling 3G services and content, however, remain. Although 3G mobile phone volume will grow, a relatively prolonged transition period from 2.5G to 3G will leave the mobile phone market with a weaker set of demand catalysts in 2005," says IDC analyst Alex Sawsby. The company predicts that 3G phones will make up just 18% of the handset market in 2006, and a quarter of all shipments in 2007.
Figures from Japan seem to bear this out: handset shipments in October were 40% lower than a year ago, down for the 10th straight month, blamed in part on the saturation of the market with cameraphones. Japanese operators are having to pay higher retail commissions and subsidies to boost 3G handset sales, and it's hurting their results as well as putting the squeeze on Japanese handset vendors, whose average margin is 4%, compared to the 20% or more at Samsung and Nokia.
3G in and of itself doesn't appear to be compelling enough to get many users to switch. Video calling doesn't look to be catching on too quickly, and Hutchison 3G's subscriber figures didn't take off until it quit emphasizing video calls and made cheap voice and cut-rate handset prices its main attraction.
The transition from 2G to 2.5G was a slow one, too -- WAP didn't quite pan out the way operators hoped, and it's been cameras and color screens rather than MMS that's driven this handset sales cycle. But with no new handset feature gimmick on the horizon, the onus is now on handset vendors and operators to create an environment where developers can flourish and create successful, compelling applications -- applications that will make users want to upgrade.

Better Location Based Services

I agree with the findings from the 3g post and I also think that the lack of reliable handsets from the outset has prevented 3g from showing its potential early. I have had a 3 mobile for a while and Im not impressed with the services at all. That said, I think that one of the operators will be starting to get it right by about this time next year. I also hope to see some applications make use of the location functionality in 3g, this could turn a messenger based application into a killer app in my opinion.

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