1. Recession likely to hit smart device sales
There is a strong possibility that recessionary conditions will have an adverse impact on smartphone and tablet sales, particularly in the case of unsubsidized devices. Juniper’s view is that, given the extent to which smartphones have already become a near “must-have” device in the consumer space, then the impact here will be less significant than for tablets, where it may well reduce the extent to which these devices penetrate the wider market, notably across Western Europe. The effect will be most acutely felt in the premium tablet sector, where net device sales could plateau or even decline.
Conversely, the reduction in average purchasing power could conceivably benefit players such as Amazon and ARCHOS, inasmuch as cash-strapped consumers may opt for the lower-priced Kindle Fire or an ARNOVA-branded device rather than the iPad.
We also think it likely that a prolonged downturn could have a serious negative impact on sales of dedicated eReaders, essentially “nice-to-have” rather than “must-have” devices: as discretionary spend falls, then eReaders are most likely to be affected.
2. London 2012 to boost mobile advertising and m-gambling, kickstart NFC
Juniper Research believes that the London 2012 Olympics will provide a substantial boost to advertising across various mobile delivery channels, with brands keen to employ location-based advertising andmarketing to drive sales.
We are also likely to see far more widespread usage of augmented reality withinmobile marketing, using both image recognition and markerless tracking techniques.
It is also worth observing that the Games – and the Euro 2012 football tournament in Poland and Ukraine - should drive wider adoption within the mobile gambling space, particularly across continental Europe where markets are becoming increasingly liberalized.
While NFC (Near Field Communications) has as yet failed to gain significant traction beyond developed Asia, we believe that the Olympics offers service providers such as Lloyds TSB, Samsung and Visa with the opportunity to deploy NFC solutions to far greater effect. Hence we are likely to witness a surge of deployments and rapid uptick in adoption in the run-up to the games.