Software now rules smartphone market
Mobile industry commentators are stuck in a pre-1981 world because they don’t realize that software, not hardware, will be key in 2013, M&A advisors Magister Advisors claims.
Victor Basta, managing director of the firm, says recent 4Q figures highlight several trends for 2013, including a lack of awareness among mobile commentators that the industry is no longer all about devices. He points to a fall in Apple’s share price as evidence smartphone innovation is a ship already sailed, and predicts the next big advance in 2013 will happen on the software side of the smartphone.
“The last few years have been about perfecting the mobile device. Smartphones are now derivative,” Basta states, adding that the real value in 2013 will be monetizing mobile users. “Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Samsung will flourish or wilt based on their ability to produce great software, not great devices.”
Basta says industry commentators’ hardware centric view of the mobile market has “shades of pre-August 1981, when IBM installed MS DOS 1.0.”
Magister’s MD also predicts more European tech companies will seek listings in the US, but for reasons beyond the obvious financial injection of such moves. “Most next-generation businesses are lean and have relatively little in the way of burdensome infrastructure or the relatively bloated headcounts that technology businesses had in the eighties and nineties. IPO intentions, in our view, will increasingly be a ruse to smoke out potential buyers.”
Basta also forecasts Facebook will begin to reap the benefits of its push into mobile; Amazon will grow thanks to an Apple-rivaling mobile ecosystem; and that BB10 will provide only short term relief for RIM.