2014 Preview - Fintan Lonergan "Our Mobile World"
It’s been a major year for innovation in the mobile world. Global mobile data traffic doubled, tweet became an official word in the dictionary and one in eight single men would choose a new iphone over a girlfriend!
Devices are evolving faster than ever and the majority of Irish consumers are now carrying a smartphone. Smartphones took a major leap forward in becoming the hub of our lives and businesses became smarter about how to leverage the power of mobile to make marketing and service more efficient and engaging. Tablet growth continues and half of all PC's shipped globally next year will be tablets and notably 65% of them will be Android. This year saw the emergence of new segments such as 'phablets'. Everyone laughed at Samsung’s Note 3 on launch but it broke 10 million sales in first two months.
Wearables finally became a high street reality with smartwatch launches from a variety of manufacturers. Watches are unlikely to replace phones in the near future but in 2014 it will interesting to see how apps are developed to suit these ‘quick glance’ small-form screens and surely we’ll see Apple and Google enter this market next year. In 2014 the average cost of smartphones will fall again.
All this increased connectivity creates an opportunity for businesses to connect more with consumers. In 2014 Bluetooth low energy (or BLE) will help make the smartphone even more useful as the hub of our lives. BLE has been installed on phones since 2011 (including the iPhone) so has the advantage over NFC in bringing the promise of m-payment and couponing innovation closer to reality.
Collaboration between the mobile, auto and ad tech sectors will see new forms of location targeting emerge.
Enterprises have been slower to mobilise processes than the rest of the consumer world but next year will see accounting, sales, employee management & wider IT functions adopt mobile as they upgrade their technology infrastructures to blend the power of cloud and mobile platforms. The bottom line prediction I’ll leave to Unilever CMO Keith Weed - "Mobile is going to have a bigger impact than the internet".
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