On January 4, 2005, I made a some predictions about mobile trends for 2005. With the year drawing to a close, let's see how I did.
My first prediction was that ringtones and Java games would lose ground to more serious business applications. While ringtones and games may be waning in terms of hype, they are still the bedrock of the mobile content market, and they are certainly not losing any ground to mobile business apps, which are still surprisingly immature. Mobile gaming is expected to generate $1 billion in 2006.
I also predicted that convergence would be huge in 2005, especially as 3G and WiFi data connections permit new streaming media applications, but that mobile video would not take off until 2006. I think I did pretty well here; 2005 saw the launch of Verizon V-Cast, Cingular Video, and MobiTV on Sprint; but despite huge marketing campaigns, customers still seem wary of mobile video. Likewise, mobile music has still not yet reached critical mass. Music-centric phones from Sony Ericsson and Nokia cannot compete with the ubiquitous iPod; and, of course, Motorola's so-called "iTunes phone" was a big disappointment despite colossal pre-release buzz and anticipation.
Finally, this is the last FierceDeveloper of 2005. We will resume publication on Tuesday, January 3, 2006, with a look at some of the top developer trends for 2006. I promise it will be bigger and bolder than last year's issue. Meanwhile, please accept our sincerest wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season from all of us here at FierceMarkets! - Eli
P.S. I'll be hosting a free Webinar with Adobe (formerly Macromedia) on January 10 at 12 noon ET. We'll be talking about mobile software and content development. Sign up for Mobile Software: 2005 and Beyond. Hope to see you there!