1. Big Data to become big business
While the scale of data generated by mobile sensors, services and applications presents challenges to network providers, that data can in turn provide insight into consumer behaviour and allow service providers to anticipate future behaviour patterns.
Hence, 2013 will see not only continuing, dramatic growth in consumer data usage, but a far greater demand for actionable/predictive analytics solutions from players across the mobile value chain. But in some countries, adoption may be tempered by concerns about consumer privacy and data protection.
2. Smart glasses and other wearables: 2013, the year of ‘announcements’
Classified as a 'future form factor' for computing devices, next generation wearables, including smart glasses and other head-mounted displays, will provide a multitude of functions either independently or in conjunction with a third party platform. Juniper Research expects 2013 to be the 'launch year' for wearable devices, with device announcements and launches expected from key influential players such as Apple and Microsoft, following in Google's footsteps.
As an adjunct to the smartphone revolution which has freed consumers from only being able to access information at home or work, sales of next-gen wearables, which allow the user to stay connected at all times, are likely to be fuelled by this trend as they allow consumers to access information, particularly social information, constantly and in an unobtrusive way.
3. BYOD trend on the rise, as security issues escalate
As enterprise increasingly base their strategies around the need for mobility, security applications have become a critical element within those strategies. However, with the increasing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend, organizations are having to re-assess their mobile device as well as security policies, most notably device and data ownership and employee privacy.
The transition to a BYOD-centric environment has implications for corporate strategy that need to be addressed. Remedial measures have to be implemented via new device management policies and the introduction of new security procedures. We expect mobile device management platform to be the umbrella under which important security and management functions will fall - including policy management, secure access based on strong authentication, data protection and device protection.
Likewise, the proliferation of downloadable free and paid apps that can be easily installed on mobile devices along with the adoption of mobile commerce and high volume of data usage opens up the device towards possible threats and risks. We should anticipated that 2013 will see the risk of crimes such as identity theft, apart from headline grabbing malwares, which will serve as a strong motivator for users to adopt mobile security software.
4. Retail to embrace the in-store mobile strategy
Increasingly, retailers are perceiving mobile not merely as a means of driving foot traffic to their physical outlets, but as a mechanism with which to marry (and maximize sales through) their digital and physical assets.
Expect to see far more deployments of Wi-Fi hotspots by leading retailers, not merely to enable general consumer browsing, but no enable both "push" and "pull" interaction with consumers - allowing the latter to search for additional information on products and to receive offers and discounts while in store, together with facilitating product demonstrations and catalogue checking by employees.
5. Operators to adopt seamless Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity
With operators around the world embracing Wi-Fi as a key technology to offload their data, the challenge for an operator is to get heavy data users onto the Wi-Fi network quickly, easily and seamlessly. Operators are increasingly expected to complement their next generation cellular network adoption with Wi-Fi hotspot rollouts in a bid both to assuage pressure on their 4G networks while simultaneously driving overall usage and user numbers.
New standards and initiatives will allow seamless Wi-Fi-LTE technology, assisting operators in improving user experience, applying policy control and enabling operator policy preferences along with secure access. 2013 will witness an added momentum to the scope for a consistent WiFi-LTE roaming experience from a technical and commercial perspective.
6. Mobile becomes the connectivity hub
The term ‘mobile’ no longer refers to a cell phone in isolation. Objects around houses, businesses and neighborhoods are being enabled with wireless connectivity, with the mobile device as the control hub.
These objects then communicate with each other through a digital connection.
One of the key areas expected to harness this technology in the forthcoming year is retail, as people can use their own smartphone or tablet in-store to overlay product information and make purchases (see 4, above). Likewise, in the healthcare field, body sensors can enable information about an elderly patient to
be displayed on a hospital or family member’s smartphone or tablet, detailing if they have had a fall.
Mobile phones and tablets will become increasingly important in their role as the hub. With the implementation of this technology, these devices could conceivably connect all someone’s objects – furniture, valuables and cars - transforming their day-to-day lives, but also raising privacy concerns.
As sensors become smaller and cheaper, people are able to set up their personal networks and it is expected that new companies and industries will develop as a result of the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things.
7. The year of Microsoft
Juniper Research believes that 2013 will be the year Microsoft exploits their full potential as traditional computing becomes increasingly mobile. The Surface Tablet and Windows 8 were released at the end of 2012 and Windows Phone sales were four times greater in November 2012 than in the same month the
previous year. This is also great news for Nokia and HTC, whose devices use the Windows Phone operating system.
Microsoft’s own ecosystem - encompassing devices such as the Surface Tablet and Xbox and services such as Windows, Office and Skype - is continuing to develop; development which Juniper Research believes will grow impressively during 2013. There are 1.3 billion people worldwide who use Windows and 8 million developers building apps for Microsoft’s devices, showing how huge the possibilities are for Microsoft in 2013.
The competition Microsoft will have to overcome is considerable, especially given both the strength of Apple and Google and its current lowly market share amongst mobile OS providers. In spite of this, users of Microsoft’s PC services are keen to adapt to the same technology on different devices, especially given how easily they can integrate and share files across Microsoft devices via SkyDrive.
8 The multi-screen, seamless user experience becomes a reality
The ‘seamless user experience’ has been talked about for many years, but during 2013 we will see this become a reality for many users. Content and applications will increasingly become common and synchronized across both fixed and mobile devices with personal data, preferences and behavioral data held in private and shared clouds. Retailers and advertisers are already hot on the heels of this trend and are utilizing ‘big data’ and analytics to provide a personal and tailored experience for shoppers across multiple devices. ‘Personal pricing’ is set to become a contentious issue in 2013.
9. New mobile and tablet form factors to emerge
In the crowded smartphone and tablet market, differentiation will become a key determining factor during 2013. While the smooth slab look of the iPhone, iPad and Samsung Galaxy will continue to be popular, variations on form factors - particularly in the tablet and ultrabook market - will continue apace. Convertible form factors such as the Lenovo Yoga will become increasingly popular, offering the benefit of both touch screen technology, a slim form factor and a traditional keyboard. Variations on this theme will be a key trend for the year ahead.
As well as a raft of 4G phone launches there will be more radical changes are afoot in the display area, with bendable, twistable, foldable and rollable form factors becoming available. A number of consumer electronics companies are currently working on the next phase of flexible phone displays that are almost indestructible. Samsung demonstrated such properties back in 2011, but Juniper expects this new plastic based flexible AMOLED technology not to be making its presence felt in the market until late 2013 or early 2014.
At the OS level vendors such as ZTE are planning enhancements and overlays of the Android OS, providing additional functionality and value in order to establish a unique brand presence.
10. Social gaming is on the rise
While the leading social network, Facebook, itself has publicly distanced itself from real money gambling, the sheer scale of activity on the play-for-fun sites suggests that there could well be a substantial market for such titles for an established social media brand that was willing to offer products. Zynga – which launched its own proprietary platform earlier this year – is poised to introduce real money social gaming in the UK in 2013 (through a partnership with bwin) and possibly in the US, where it has applied for a license in Nevada.
We expect to see a surge of activity within social gaming from competitors throughout 2013, both in terms of real money plays and greater gambling app integration with social network platforms.
For the full report of Juniper Research's “Top 10 Mobile Trends for 2013”, please click here to download the white paper in PDF format