1. What’s a feature phone?
The Bill of Materials for smartphones will drop dramatically in 2011 and place smartphone functionality within the traditional price-bracket of the featurephone. They will become the de facto device-type and the moniker ‘smartphone’ will start to sound altogether outdated in a world where ‘smartphone functionality’ is the norm.
2. Google Chromes its Android:
Google will face an interesting dilemma in 2011 as more and more manufacturers launch Android tablets. Android was never intended for the tablet and current Android apps are far from optimized for the form factor. Will Google bow to manufacturer pressure to revise Android and jeopardize the potential for a Google Chrome-based tablet?
3. Back to basics:
Mobile operators’ desire to add value outside of their core service runs deep, but a subtle refocus on core expertise will see them looking to improve the efficiency and profitability of carrying traffic.
4. M2M standards fuel the ‘Internet of Things’:
To reach the industry’s stated ambitions for M2M, standards are needed. The first industry-wide M2M standards are expected in 2011, driving much needed industry-confidence.
5. Motorola, the comeback kid:
Many had written them off, but smartphones are helping Motorola make something of a comeback. Motorola is today one of the few OEMs that has managed to increase the Average Selling Price of its device portfolio and will continue to do so in 2011.
6. Mobile operators lose retail strength:
The growth of embedded, connected devices will add strength and market share to electrical retailers. Such products will be sold unbundled from a mobile subscription and in the short to medium term it is the electrical retailers that will benefit the most.
7. A watershed year for Microsoft:
To call 2011 a make-or-break year for Microsoft is an understatement. It’s not just about re-building a mobile strategy; it’s about protecting its core business; Windows and the Office suite.
8. 3D on mobile devices:
If 2010 was the year of cinematic 3D, 2011 will be the year of the mobile 3D experience. Parallax overlays add $10-15 to the Bill of Materials and almost all tier one manufacturers are experimenting with the technology. Expect an entire ecosystem of 3D hardware and content in 2011.
9. The ecosystem mobile experience:
2011 is the year of the OS and the ecosystem experience. The mobile experience is being shaped by applications and services - from games and entertainment to email and social networking - that are being driven by the OS vendors.
10. QoS in the spotlight:
Tiered data pricing will be the catalyst for wider pricing models based on Quality of Service (QoS). With growing reliance on mobile broadband services, consumer expectations for speed and reliability are increasing and QoS will become a key differentiator.
WDS’ Mobile Industry Trends 2011 can be downloaded and read in full at: http://www.wds.co/enlighten/mobile_trends_2011/wds_trends_2011.pdf