Predictions for the mobile industry in 2008
As the year comes to a close, I thought I would offer my predictons for the mobile industry in 2008.
• Two words – Mobile Internet – by the end of 2008, operators will be offering flat rate mobile internet. The “trials” of £10/month for 3GB data etc will have proved extremely successful and everyone will be offering all you can eat data
• Mobile payments solutions (micropayments) are becoming more mature especially in developed markets – expect to see some new announcements here
• RFID enabled phones will start to become mainstream on the back of trials in the UK with O2 and Transport for London – expect more RFID contactless payment phones released
• Music phones – we should see the big players unveil their latest a large number of mobile music handsets in 2008 as well as music platforms. Expect iTunes to have real competition from OVI and Vodafone Music station. Mobile music platforms and deals with the large record labels will surface in 2008. Only the operators can offer the data tariffs that will support unlimited music downloads.
• The 3G iPhone will be talked about and the EU operators will all want to see it by mid-2008 – this device may be the mobile internet turbocharger they are looking for. O2 will find that they have to offer real unlimited mobile data plans to drive iPhone usage and other O2 customers will force them to offer unlimited plans (not 200MB) to all customers.
• Android platform phones and applications will also make an early appearance at Mobile World Congress (old 3GSM) in Barcelona – early days but those keen to capitalise on the announcement will want to show off the platform
• More and WiFi enabled phones will hit the market – and these will go head to head with the Femtocell hype
• Convergence will be a hot topic – but it will still be centred around the long off IMS and UMA handsets (which have not been the success that was predicted)
• Now that the EU have endorsed the DVB-H we should expect to see more DVB-H platforms and phones in mid 2008.
• HSDPA data cards and dongles will feature prominently as operators are getting the data plans right and encouraging mass market take-up – which competes directly with WiFi hotspots
• More GPS phones to be launched – no real surprises here but WiFi will be the preferred add-on for new 3G handsets and not GPS.
• Mobile search will be big – expect announcements from Jumptap, Admobee and Admob about partnering with major operators – and presenting more of a threat to Google and Yahoo!
• Location enabled content will start to appear on the horizon now that organisations like Google are putting a toe in the water with their My Location service, proving you don’t need a GPS handset to offer location services around mobile advertising and local search
• Femtocells will get lots and lots of hype but the issues identified during 2007 will not go away – the hand-in issue will still prevail
• Zone detection solutions will start to appear and their uses for mobile advertising will start to become clear
• Mobile advertising and discovery services will become mainstream towards the end of 2008 as consumers use mobile data in larger volumes and find these services are actually useful
We’ll see in December 2008 how close I was (or not) on these.
Happy New Year!