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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Look to the future now: mobile industry predictions for 2012

Mark Bridge writes:

As 2011 draws to a close, many of us start looking towards 2012 and wondering what’ll be happening in the mobile phone industry. Here at The Fonecast we’ve invited a handful of industry experts and business leaders to offer us their thoughts about the coming year.

Today’s podcast contains analysis and insight from Hans Eriksson, Steve Litchfield, Dr Windsor Holden, Dr Mark Smith and Jack Wraith MBE. You can listen to the full programme on our website, via iTunes, on our Facebook page and on the Stitcher mobile app.

I started by talking to Hans Ericsson, Executive Chairman of Bambuser, who explained how the Bambuser video streaming service had been adopted this year by human rights activists. As well as predicting that 2012 would see a growth in the use of live-streaming mobile video services - thanks in part to infrastructure improvements - he also anticipated continuing growth in smartphone sales.

Next was technology journalist Steve Litchfield, who thought Android’s market share might drop next year (along with BlackBerry and Symbian figures). He also thinks the iPhone 5 could struggle slightly when it’s launched, although Apple’s overall market share is unlikely to fall.

Dr Windsor Holden, research director for Juniper Research, started by warning that the recession is likely to affect premium-priced tablet sales but could benefit lower-priced tablet devices. Mobile coupons could also be helped by the economic climate, with consumers using their phones to obtain discounts. In addition, he noted that the London 2012 Olympics were expected to boost mobile advertising, m-gambling and mobile NFC payments.

Dr Mark Smith, CEO and founder of ipadio, covered a wide range of topics from network infrastructure to podcasting. He forecasts more global innovation around 2G technology... and anticipates an increase in the popularity of podcasting within businesses. (Hooray!)

Jack Wraith MBE, chief executive of the Telecommunications UK Fraud Forum, said 2012 could well see more action against cross-border telecoms fraud; definitely good news for consumers. He predicted growth in NFC mobile payments (along with its associated security concerns) and an increase in the trend towards free WiFi, which could challenge mobile networks’ revenue.

Many thanks to all our guests for taking the time to talk to us; listen to the full podcast to hear their forecasts in their own words.

There’s no doubt that 2012 will be a challenging year for much of the mobile phone industry... but if there’s one uniting message from our five podcast guests, it’s that 2012 also promises to be an exciting year as well.

Next week Iain, James and I will be offering our own predictions for 2012 (and looking back at the predictions we made 12 months ago). Download the podcast - and all our programmes as soon as they’re broadcast - by subscribing to our RSS podcast feed or listening via iTunes.
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Author: The Fonecast
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