5 Mobile Trends To Watch

For years now, every year was supposed to be the year that mobile “exploded.” But mobile is a really broad term and, if you think about it, even the Internet grew in waves and never really exploded all at once — there was email then surfing then downloading then social media, etc. Maybe what we should be asking is what aspects of mobile are likely to hit critical mass next?

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I spent last week on the Nokia N97 mini tour speaking with folks from Nokia and interviewing mobile bloggers, and there seem to be 5 major mobile trends to watch in the near future. Here they are (in no particular order).

Mobile App Advertising

With Apple having launched iAds, the mobile industry is abuzz with app advertising speculation. Essentially, between iAds and Google’s recent acquisition of AdMob, the industry is beginning to see some serious investment into mobile advertising platforms.

Although it might be another few years before mobile advertising goes mainstream, this is most certainly a space to keep your eye on. We’ll likely see additional acquisitions and product launches in this vertical, as potential contenders vie for a piece of the yet unbaked pie. And between now and critical mass, we’ll also probably see some considerable changes to how those ads are delivered and the end-user’s overall ad experience.

Mobile Commerce

Ecommerce via the mobile is nothing new, but it’s growing at a considerable rate. Between app store downloads, mobile gaming, and the rise of mobile pay-passes in Asia, mobile commerce is rapidly approaching mainstream.

According to James Whatley, what’s most interesting about this area of mobile is the potential for mobile carriers to also merge with or evolve into financial institutions. Currently, it’s more commonplace for RFID equipped handsets to be linked to user credit cards. But as more and more transactions are pegged onto the end-user’s monthly phone bill, we’re likely to see the rise of telecom-financial hybrids with the potential to revolutionize world capital markets.

Opensource Mobile Operating Systems

Between Android, Meego, and now Symbian, it seems that the mobile operating system is rapidly following the path of web-based technologies. Opensource mobile operating systems give carriers more flexibility and offer developers more opportunities. And as more developers converge on any given operating system and develop apps, the demand for that OS will rise as well.

As with web-based technologies, however, the war between opensource operating systems is more about data than revenue. After all, there are no revenues in giving an operating system away for free. Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and privacy issues abound around mobile user data. So it’ll be interesting to see how legislators respond to the rise of opensource mobile operating systems, as well as how the technology itself adapts to legislation.

Handsets as Commodity Items

According to Andrew Currie of OpenAttitude.com opensource mobile operating systems become more commonplace, handsets themselves will become commoditized, allowing users to choose the OS of their choice. This will change the way that handsets are marketed because each device will be valued more on its hardware features and less on its functionality.

Of course, there will always be exceptions. For instance, Apple is unlikely to allow another operating system to be installed on its iPhone.

Augmented Reality

According to Simon Larose of KnowNokia.ca, as more and more of our lives are integrated into our mobile devices, these devices have considerable potential to automate the world around us. For instance, imagine your climate control system kicking in when you’re only a few minutes drive from home, or all your hardware going to sleep the moment you leave your apartment.

Indeed, this is another way in which mobile technology will influence the evolution and marketing strategy of so many non-mobile products.

Currently, many devices have the potential to execute such functions, but implementation rests on the individual users being very tech savvy and knowing how to hack their environment. It’ll be interesting to see how non-mobile companies begin to integrate mobile APIs into their more standard, everyday products (such as fridges, stoves, climate systems, garage doors, etc.) to offer users augmented reality.

Educated Guesses

All this being said, it’s important to remember that these are just the 5 mobile trends that currently seem to hold the most potential. The thing about any new space, especially a technological one where things evolve so fast, is that anything can happen. A sudden jump in technology can completely change market expectations, causing the whole industry to take a sudden turn in a completely unforeseen directions.

What is certain is that digital communication is now portable, and there’s no turning back. And the implications that this has for marketing, commerce, and finance will most certainly prove far reaching.

About CT Moore

A former Staff Editor here at Revenews.com, CT Moore is a recovering agency hack with over a decade experience leveraging search, social media, and content marketing to help brands meet their business goals online. He currently provides digital strategy consulting to start-ups, SMBs, enterprise level companies through his consultancy Socialed Inc.. CT is also an accomplished blogger and speaker who educates groups and companies on how they can better leverage different online channels.

One Response to 5 Mobile Trends To Watch

  1. Androiddose says:

    […] Revenews has an excellent writeup on 5 trends to keep an eye on in the mobile space. Mobile App Advertising over the last 2-3years has grown exponentially with major players like Apple and Google taking up stakes in the industry. Mobile Commerce, Purchases from cell phones and other mobile internet devices is on the rise as well, With Google changing its Android Market platform to open up carrier billing we may see more and more services cater towards mobile billing…Revenews is much more in-depth in what they have to say so stroll on over and check it out […]