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Viva La Blog

A rant about the mobile content industry, from those who have been in the trenches

What will happen in mobile in 2011? Here’s our predictions

We’ve pulled out the crystal ball for 2011 and gone out on a limb. Here’s what our team thinks will happen in mobile in the next 12 months or so, in no particular order. Agree? Disagree? Comment and let us know!

  1. Windows Phone 7 will become a growing force in mobile games

    yes, we’re going out on a limb here and backing Microsoft to succeed in mobile…finally. We’ve had a good play with Windows Phone 7 and it’s pretty impressive. To be honest, it makes the Android on my Samsung Galaxy S feel a little clunky, while iOS 4 feels like last year’s pair of jeans – if you have it you probably love it, but it just isn’t that new and cool anymore. The overall penetration of Windows Phone 7 might remain low, but it will probably usher in a new level of portable games experience.

  2. Nokia will claw back some market share with Meego and Qt

    Nokia will be quick to tell you that they are still the marketshare leader in smartphones. I guess it all depends on your definition of a “smartphone”. My opinion is that just because it has Symbian in it does not mean it is a smartphone by 2010 standards. Indeed Nokia have been taking a pasting from all sides and have lost great chunks of market share in advanced countries. But we reckon they are about to arrest the slide in 2011. Just like Motorola turned around their dismal handset division in the USA through the launch of Android devices, so too Nokia will turn things around (predominantly in Europe) with new Meego / Qt devices. Qt looks like a a well planned development platform and Ovi is turning out to be a very powerful app store that has defied the early criticisms. With the introduction of Meego and Qt Nokia will start looking like a handset company with a vision, rather than looking like a washed out prize-fighter clinging to the memory of victories long past.

  3. RIM and Samsung’s Bada platforms will fail badly

    While Windows Phone 7 and Nokia Qt will pull in developers eager to crack new markets, Samsung’s Bada and RIM’s Blackberry 6 will fall by the wayside. Neither are bad, they just don’t have the cut through in both devices and developer interest compared to iOS, Android and Windows Phone

  4. Android will introduce their own in-app billing system

    The lack of a killer billing system (both for downlaods, and in-app payments) has really held back Android revenues when compared to iPhone. Companies such as Zong and Boku launched their own in-app payment libraries for Android in June this year, but these still rely on much of the time on Premium SMS, a system that sees the carriers hoover enormous chunks of your revenue. Recently, however, Google purchased Social Gold, a well established billing and virtual currency platform. Expect an announcement in 2011 regarding an Android virtual currency and billing system that will hopefully revolutionise the way developers make revenue from the Android market.

  5. Nokia’s Ovi Store will have the best payments system of any platform and show major revenue growth

    Nokia has been dealing with carriers for years. Their history in this area makes Apple and Google look like infants. In 2011 we expect Nokia to break out their in-app payments for Ovi with direct carrier billing across much of the globe.

  6. It will be harder to get high quality apps for free. Revenue focus is back

    There has been an enormous explosion in the world of ‘free’ in the past few years. So much so that consumers have come to expect that they can get almost any digital product without having to pay for it. For a while it was okay for a startup to just focus on pulling in subsciber numbers: “We’ll worry about revenue later!” But times are a-changing and investment is harder to come by based solely on user numbers. We predict a return to providing high quality mobile products and services for a fee. The old saying “you get what you pay for” seems oh so true in the world of mobile so in 2011 we should start to see a weeding out of the crud.

  7. App production budgets to skyrocket due to advanced platforms, fragmentation and higher consumer expectations

    Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Blackberry, Meego, HTML5. Tabets, Hi res, Low res, touchscreen, keypad…these are a few of our favourite things. They are also the things that can give you nightmares when taking a foray into the world of mobile. Rather than consolidating in 2010, the mobile world became ever more fragmented and competitive. The costs to hit 100% of your market are considerable, but in many cases it pays to target more than iPhone! Can you ignore the fact that Google Android ships on more devices per day than Apple’s iOS? Or that Android is now 21% of the Australian Smartphone market (courtesy IDC Q3 Mobile Device Tracker)!

    2010 was also a year of increasing app functionality – from GPS to Augmented Reality, Social Network integration to micro-payments, analytics to push notifications. Great apps often implement some or all of these things so development budgets go up accordingly.

  8. Near Field Communications (NFC) to be the next big thing

    Not sure what NFC is? Read up on it. You’ll be hearing all about it in 2011.

Posted by David Kainer on December 6th, 2010 :: Filed under vision and trends
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2 Responses to “What will happen in mobile in 2011? Here’s our predictions”

  1. JT
    December 15th, 2010

    Aaah, predictions. Can never be done better than Clubber Lang in Rocky III, but here goes:

    1. Agree. I am one of the few that loved (and still loves WM6.5). They will be back

    2. Jury will be out. Yes, the platforms are good, but the problems are with the company. The new CEO may be able to turn it around, but it will be a tall task.

    3. Totally agree. In fact, RIM’s share at Verizon dropped from 90% to 20% in 12 months. They’ve done well until know, but will hit a ceiling.

    4. Does not matter much. The platform is open, and there are a slew of companies having already launched it, and big guns in the payment industry like PlayPa, PlaySpan and others are fully focused on it.

    5. I don’t buy that. There will be other players who can do this, as carriers are finally realizing that direct to bill instead of PSMS is better, and rates are coming down in the teens. Vodafone is about to launch a major global initiative here, and the rest will follow – meaning anyone can get this right eventually, not just Nokia.

    6. Kind of sort of. I buy your arguments, but the problem of too many apps being offered has really necessitated publishers to offer their apps for a period for free to jack up the numbers, and then start charging. So there will be a mix.

    7. Yep. Totally agree!!! Dev shops need to look to tools and solutions that allow them to efficiently port!

    8. Yep, but I wonder if it will take as long as LBS to actually become useful. There are too many diverging standards here. But the money is behind it for payment purposes (no pun intended) so no doubt industry people will hear of it. Consumers – not sure.


  2. admin
    January 6th, 2011

    Thanks for the feedback JT.

    With regards to NFC (point 8), I think it will take off faster than LBS did. LBS arrived in a time when most consumers were not yet savvy with regards to mobile internet, GPS and applications. Hence the slow growth curve. These days, however, the core users are educated in smartphone usage and far more capable than ever of jumping on a new feature and running with it.

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