2012 has been a phenomenal year for mobile. With smartphone penetration hitting over 60% (1) in the UK and nearly a fifth of the population (19%) owning tablets, it’s safe to say we are fully embracing mobile technology. Christmas 2012 saw the highest ever amount of mobile activations (over 50m iOS & Android devices) and according to app analytics platform Flurry (2), mobile app downloads reached their highest ever totals too.

Android is still the leader in terms of smartphone market share, accounting for 72.4% of global smartphone sales (3) in the third quarter of 2012. But Apple still leads in the battle of the tablets owning 50.4% of global market share (4). It will be interesting to see how mobile device market share alters over the coming months as these devices continue to increase in popularity and open up to a broader audience. The introduction of new devices including the iPhone 5, iPad mini, Android’s elusive Nexus 4 and the low cost Nexus 7 tablet, as well as the Windows 8 Phone and Surface tablet, should transform the mobile device market share even further in 2013. Bearing all of this in mind, we’ve come up with a few mobile predictions for 2013:

Tablet adoption will reach new heights (including BYOD)

The introduction of low cost tablets, including the Nexus and Amazon Kindle Fire, and also Windows tablets, has led to heightened competition. The variety of tablets is also broadening the market, a whole new range of people are now able to buy these devices, making them much more accessible.
Over the last year, we have seen Apple’s worldwide tablet market share decrease from 60% to 50.4% (5) whilst Samsung’s has increased from 6.5% to 18.4%. At the moment, Apple has apps on its side with 250,000 apps designed specifically for iPad. We predict Android will produce more tablet-specific apps as the demand increases to coincide with Android tablet sales.
Businesses are also adopting tablets at a rapid rate, with 94% of Fortune 500 companies (6) either testing or deploying iPads for enterprise use. Gartner also predicts 35% of worldwide tablet sales will be for enterprise use by 2015, this figure includes BYOD.

Mobile integration

One trend that is coming up frequently in conversations is how businesses can integrate their bespoke back-end systems with mobile. Organisations may have already modernised their back-end systems with a website or portal and the next step is to do the same with mobile. Businesses often know they need to use mobile but they don’t know how. We predict there will be more organisations asking for help with all aspects of their mobile roadmap, this includes integration with back-end systems, enterprise apps and consultancy about their entire mobile strategy

Growth in businesses wanting suites of apps

As businesses begin to realise the potential ROI of enterprise apps, we predict that there will be a rise in demand for entire suites of apps. This is happening for a number of reasons. Firstly, apps that have been developed by one department are being held up as best in class for delivering real business value, and therefore other departments are taking note and considering what mobile could do for them. Secondly, because of the increase in mass mobile device deployments across organisations, businesses at the start of this process are considering their entire mobility roadmap and ecosystem from the outset to gain the maximum return from these deployments. This involves considering the entire mobile strategy of an organisation and prioritising the development of various apps across the business. Thirdly, businesses who had initially tried to develop one app to perform many tasks are realising that apps that try to do too much, end up doing no one thing well. We are therefore seeing businesses look at creating a number of simple apps that perform individual tasks really well.

Mobile changing consumer behaviour

Mobile has changed the way we shop, search, work, bank, play and read news. We’ve noticed how mobile is changing consumer behaviours in a number of different sectors and we predict there will be even more change in 2013. If you look at mobile banking for example, although still in its early stages, there has been an enormous change in the way people bank. Instead of checking balances at an ATM or transferring money at the counter or on desktop devices, people are now using apps on the move. These changes in behaviour are also happening across the retail sector. Users are often purchasing on their mobile device rather than in-store and even checking reviews of products in-store using mobile devices before making a decision to buy something.

Dramatic growth in hybrid solutions

Earlier this year, Facebook dropped its hybrid iOS app for a native one, giving hybrid apps some bad PR. To counter this, a well respected development company known as Sencha developed a redesigned web version that matched the performance of Facebook’s native offering (8) in almost every way, proving that well-architected web apps can offer the same performance as their native counterparts.
We believe there will be an increase in businesses opting for hybrid apps. The cost effectiveness and flexibility of HTML5 running across different platforms, along with the performance and easy distribution of native apps, makes the hybrid app a good solution in many cases.

Growth in second-screening habits

This year we’ve seen a huge shift in the way people are consuming media. A recent 2012 study by Nielsen on multi-screening habits found that 40% of UK smartphone owners and 41% of tablet owners use their device at least once a day while watching television. We predict these figures will increase as smartphone and tablet adoption continues to grow and mobile devices form an ever increasing part of our lives. A few brands in the UK have already started to embrace the marketing opportunity that second screening brings.
2. Flurry
8. Sencha

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