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Mobile Technology Landscape – How’s it going to shape up 2013 and beyond?

by (February 25, 2013)

Enhancement in technology is revolutionizing the way we use devices today. Especially, mobile technology and wireless innovation have taken the center spot. Increasingly, users are becoming more tech-savvy and are exploring & adopting the new high-tech devices entering the market.

Mobile Technology Statistics in 2012

Some interesting statistics published by Mobile Future:

  • More than 50% of consumers in U.S. own smart phones
  • Mobile data usage has doubled and over 50% of all mobile data is video
  • Apple sold more mobile devices in 2012 than they’ve sold computers ever
  • 4G LTE – the fourth generation of mobile communications standards is gaining traction. Some of the operators across the globe (U.S, South Korea, India, and Australia) have launched 4G network for 4G LTE enabled smartphone users

The Key Mobile Technology Trends in 2013 and Beyond

Some of the key trends in mobile technology in 2013 and few years ahead:

1. Enterprise mobility 

The last 5 years (since the launch of iPhone) has been the era of consumer mobility. Smart phone penetration has crossed 50% of total mobile users in most developed markets. The consumers who initially used these phones for personal purpose are now bringing their device to workplace and demanding access to enterprise systems and data in the same format. The consumer world and Enterprise world are converging due to usage of same systems and software. This convergence is also resulting in replacing previously established players like Blackberry and bringing newer players like Apple iOS and Google Android into the enterprise world.

We expect to see this convergence to continue and in the next few years, mobile device manufacturers will focus on implementing multi-use devices for consumers as well as enterprises. Enterprises will embrace Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in their work place and will need to set-up infrastructure and architecture to support this change. Enterprises will have to focus more on ways to improve productivity by providing employees with quick access to data and corporate systems.

2. Universal Applications

Universalisation of application architecture is the key for maintaining enterprise productivity and competitiveness. We, at RapidValue believe that the next generation of applications is Universal in nature. Earlier, applications were developed for desktops which were Operating System dependent and portability was limited. That trend has moved to a more client-server architecture with the client being a browser. We have seen the emergence of Web applications which work on all desktops and laptops irrespective of the nature of Operating System.

With evolution in mobile phones, application development is supported for multiple platforms – native application development which is mobile OS dependent and mobile web app development which is browser dependent. Developers are creating application which work in silo – either on mobile or on desktop or on browsers. This approach will cause operational nightmare in few years.

The concept of Universal applications addresses these challenges and ensures that your application will work on every device and every screen size i.e. Mobile, Tablet, Laptop or a TV. All new applications that will be developed should work across devices.

3. Mobile Wallets and Payments

There is still a debate on the right industry definition for a Mobile Wallet. Different players have their own version based on the service they are offering. For us, a mobile wallet is an application which allows users to make transactions, payments to retailers, store discount coupons, gift cards, loyalty cards etc.  Partially, it has become the new credit card.  There are various mobile wallet and payment application providers. However, the two most popular ones which are changing the way consumers pay for products and services are Google’s Wallet (based on NFC technology) and Apple’s Passbook (based on QR Code Scanning). Although Google Wallet is limited to a small set of devices, consumers are able to store their credit cards & loyalty cards and then tap-to-pay at the point-of–sale.  With increasing demand for mobile shopping, Google Wallet is also targeting to be a payment option in mobile commerce sites. Whereas, Apple Passbook is a virtual file folder for all the bits of paper people collect in their wallets – like movie tickets, boarding passes, gift coupons etc. This application is integrated with third-party apps such as Fandango and Starbucks and puts them in one convenient place. Based on user’s location a pop-up message about the offer is displayed on the mobile screen. Passbook, typically is meant to remind consumers of deals or gift cards they have at nearby retailers and consumers can make payments at some retailers. We expect more enhancements in this technology given that Google has already updated their mobile wallet with a new user interface and made improvements to battery usage and app stability.

We expect these top players  to certainly take Mobile wallet and payments to next level.

4. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality connects the physical world with computer generated information. Some companies such as Vuzix, Innovega, Oakley, Microsoft and more have made impressive technological developments in this technology last year. Smart phones are also being enabled with AR technology. Some of the device manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Nokia are investing time and money into this concept for next releases of handsets. Google has released an AR game for Android smartphone users last year. This is a great opportunity for AR technology developers and service providers.

We expect more mobile ecosystem players to expand and build applications using this technology. There will be partnerships between AR technology device manufacturers and mobile application developers.

5. Multi-Screen User Behavior

Usage of smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop have grown immensely. Most users own at least two devices or more device at home and office. Many times users start a task using one of their devices and complete the same task using another device. This trend is increasing with more users purchasing new gadgets available in the market.

Source: Google Research on multi-screen user behavior

As per the research – 9/10 people use multiple screens sequentially and that smartphones are by far the most common starting point for sequential activity. 98% of sequential screeners move between devices in the same day to complete a task.

These are some of our views on few technology trends in 2013 and beyond. There are many more technology innovations happening, which we plan to cover in our upcoming blogs.

What are your thoughts and which technology do you think will shape up the mobile landscape in near future?

Sirish Kosaraju,

Director, RapidValue Solutions

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