It’s probably a good time to analyze happened with mobile in 2012 and what’s going to happen in 2013. Colin Gibs from Giga Om shares some interesting perspective on the hardware and software side of mobile – devices, network operators, OS market shares et al.
A recap of 2012
- Carrier SMS revenues saw a down curve as third party messaging services such as what’s app grew in popularity.
- Traditional network operators saw competition from carriers such as France based Free Mobile
- Google Android grew stronger as the leading mobile OS
- Microsoft struggled to compete with iOS and Android
- 7-inch tablets grow in popularity leading to fall in Apple’s tablet market share. Apple tries to catch up with iPad Mini
- Rise of mobile virtual network operators as they differentiate their product based on price, demographic and ethnicity to offer voice and data cost effectively
- BYOD revolution leads to an influx of iOS and Android devices in the corporate world creating more headaches for IT department s
What to watch for in 2013:
- Oversized phones from Samsung to challenge Apple’s dominance in the smartphone space
- RIM ready to reclaim its lost position with BB10
- Microsoft desperately looking for a better showing from its new line of Windows phones
- RIM and Microsoft will go head on to establish a market share
- Apple will continue to build its presence in the mobile enterprise
Companies on the radar:
- What’s app — Apple’s iMessage, Facebook’s Messenger and Blackberry’s Messenger and standalone messaging apps such as WhatsApp are on the rise. Whatsapp provides group messaging and file transfer features as differentiators.
- T-Mobile USA — The fourth largest carrier bled lucrative postpaid subscribers in 2012 event as ti added prepaid users at an impressive clip. But it plans to offer the iPhone becoming the last-tier one operator to carry that gadget. T-Mobile might even move to drop the handset subsidies that have become an underpinning of the US mobile market.
- Amazon — The online retailer stepped up the pursuit of the tablet market in September with the release of its new line of tablets, but Amazon’s hope is to leverage its tablets to push digital content sales.
- Nokia — the handset maker seemed to hitch to Windows Phone, but with the not-so-successful state of Windows 7.5 and Nokia allowing AT T to be the exclusive US carrier for its Lumia 920, limited distribution in important markets.
About Colin Gibbs
Colin Gibbs cut his teeth in tech journalism during a five-year stint at the trade pub RCR Wireless News, where he covered mobile content, applications, marketing, and advertising. During that time, he co-founded the Denver chapter of Mobile Media Mondays, a networking group designed to connect members of the wireless community. His work has been cited by the New York Times, among other mainstream publications, and he has been quoted in outlets including the New York Daily News. Prior to the RCR gig he spent several years as a general assignment reporter with the Denver Daily News, an independent publication, and as a freelance sports reporter with the Denver Post.