Mobile market predictions for 2013
For sure, 2012 has shown that the mobile industry is a pretty tough business to be in. One thing's for sure, the industry should keep us all on our toes in 2013.
Next year sees a vicious battle for the so-called coveted No. 3 spot for mobile operating systems behind Google's Android and Apple's iOS. The contenders are Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 and Research in Motion's BlackBerry 10. Both have expressed confidence that they have what it takes to be the third player in this increasingly crowded business.
Windows Phone 8 benefits from an earlier launch. Research In Motion, meanwhile, already boasts a large base of customers and will get a launch window all its own early next year.
What we think is that nobody will win. Both will scrape by with just enough sales to warrant continuing, but neither will see spectacular performance.
Media consumption devices, led by the iPad mini, will continue to thrive.
We all know that the original iPad created a whole new category of user-friendly tablets that were primarily designed to be media consumption devices. This year, Apple refined that device by introducing the iPad mini – which, very clearly, is meant for reading books, surfing the web, and watching videos.
The iPad mini may be the best device currently on the market for things like video chat and social media. It’s portable size, combined with Apple’s vast App Store, makes it perfect for those types of activities.
Facebook will make big strides into mobile.
Facebook will begin to aggressively make moves into the mobile space. We already know that mobile is one of the most profitable areas for Facebook; in 2013, we’ll begin to see the company look for new ways to increase that profitability.
Don’t be surprised to see Facebook make some really bold moves in the mobile and TV space. For example, the company could launch a Skype-like video chat service, which would be the next logical step beyond its current IM feature. We also have a sense that you’ll begin to see more Facebook apps on television, including connected TVs, DVD players, game consoles, and more. TV is the perfect venue for a social media outlet like Facebook, because it allows consumers to share and interact with friends who may be interested in the same type of programming as them. There’s just too much opportunity there for Facebook to let that one lie.
Another point of view of 2013 is Mobile payment possibility.
Next year is the year for mobile payments! Yes, that line has only been uttered a few times over the past several years, and so far, we've got a few limited launches. Google continues to have the most visible initiative in this area, and it hasn't really taken too many people by storm, despite seeding the capability and Google Wallet out to its Nexus smartphones.
Apple, meanwhile, hasn't committed to the Near-Field Communication technology used by many of the mobile payment parties, and offers its PassBook as its take on a mobile wallet. Even then, the implementation has been limited and disappointing.
Something else we can expect is that Apple, Samsung will dominate. But, new entrants could mix things up a little. With the iPhone and, increasingly, the Galaxy S, brands coming with their own built-in hype machines, expect the two companies continue reaping in a majority of the profits.
Companies such as HTC, LG, and Sony have struggled this year, and those struggles are expected to continue with few of them bringing out a product that really changes their circumstance.
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