Mobile Market Opportunity $1 Trillion by 2014, GartnerBy Leah Gabriel Nurik | Print
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Gartner is forecasting the worldwide mobile voice and data market will see revenues of ore than $1 trillion by 2014, and the market is headed to a new era that will focus on services and social connections.
Good news for mobile market watchers that feel they’ve been waiting a decade for mobile and wireless to go mainstream in the enterprise and consumer markets, if Gartner is to be believed.
The analyst firm said the worldwide mobile voice and data revenue market will exceed $1 trillion by 2014. But, as mobile becomes the long-elusive checkbox and accepted enterprise communication channel, the $1 trillion will come from a huge range of sources that go beyond devices and data minutes to include context, advertising, application and service sales as well as a variety of other things not yet identified.
Gartner also unveiled a time line for what it believes is the evolution of the mobile market, breaking the maturation of the space into three major mobility eras: the "Device Era," the "Applications Era," and the forthcoming "Service and Social Era."
"We see three major eras of mobility," said Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The device era was characterized by iconic devices such as the Motorola RAZR and was dominated by device manufacturers. This was followed by the application era which arrived with the iPhone, popularizing application and media stores. Going forward, the service and social era will build on the application era, but it will be characterized by cloud services and streaming media. Applications will survive, but often as a component of a more complex end-to-end experience involving the cloud."
Jones advised enterprises to focus on developing a high-level strategy, and remain technology-independent rather than standardizing and drafting detailed device, platform and application policies. This notion is reaffirmed by Gartner’s belief that the consumerization of IT will bring about great change in how enterprises look to secure mobile computing and monetizing the channel. Also, as more devices emerge on the scene, the fragmentation of the OS market and the wars that will wage between Symbian, Apple and Android make it close to impossible to leave some devices and platforms out of an internal and external mobile strategy.
Gartner analysts also believe that context and context-based cloud services will drive parts of the mobile market like advertising and new monetization opportunities, pointing to the current use of location to guide searching and make suggestions.
"Context will also be a key criteria for the selection of partners. Many mobile business systems will exploit contextual cloud services hosted by others," said Jones. "Context will also be bound up with social relationships and social networks, illustrated today by services such as location-tagged posts to Facebook and Twitter."
The players to watch when it comes to contextual apps, according to the analyst firm, are Nokia, Google and Apple who will battle it out to own the consumer’s context. Surprisingly missing is SAP’s Sybase which offers a host of mobile banking and other cloud-based mobile services for adding value to mobile enterprise deployments.
So what’s to become of all those tablets ready to hit the market, some of which already have? The recent news of Apple’s iPad sales had some analysts disappointed, even with the unveiling of a slew of new retail and distribution partners that would be hocking the iPad everywhere and anywhere. Gartner tends to agree, and asserted that even though tablets and e-readers will continue to make an appearance on the scene through 2012, it’s not the game changer Apple was hoping.
Although tablets may see some penetration into the enterprise, the market share of these type of devices will not achieve any comparable level as smartphones and laptops, which will remain the dominant corporate go-to device, says the firm. And, bad news for corporations looking to cut hardware costs and purchasing with the advent of a new all-in-one device. Gartner also thinks that multiple devices by one user will remain the status quo, predicting that through 2014, each knowledge worker will require two: a laptop/PC and a smartphone.