Highlights from the Mobile Megatrends 2014 report

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MegatrendsMobile Megatrends is an annual report generated by VisionMobile that identifies and explains the latest trends in the mobile industry and their future impact. The Megatrends reports draw on the knowledge base from tens of graphs, data points and insights based on VisionMobile research.

The 5th edition of this report focuses on how the mobile industry keeps reinventing itself and presents the fundamental business model changes behind the apps phenomenon, the evolution of mobile ecosystems and the future of HTML5 vs. native.

In this post I’ll give you the highlights of this report that are the most interesting or startling to me.

The Mobile Megatrends 2014 report examines five major trends that VisionMobile expects to shape the future of mobile in the coming years. I’ll show the highlights per trend

1. Apps: The Tip of the Iceberg

  • Mobile made a large shift from the 2000’s, being a communication platform to today, a multidiverse computing platform.
  • Competition is shifting from products competing with eachother to industries battling each other to gain a place on the mobile device. Product benefits are key; what is the user trying to get done (ie: killing 10 minutes of time, keeping in touch with friends) and how can we [developers] comply to that?

2. Mobile Ecosystems: Don’t Come Late to the Game

  • Android has the biggest market share in Asia (46%) and Africa(47%) followed by Oceania (37%) and Europe (34%)
  • iOS has the biggest piece of the pie in North America and Oceania (37%) followed by Europe(35%)
  • The most revenue for developers still lies in iOS (between $500-%1000) followed by HTML5 mobile solutions ($201-$350) and Android ($101-$200)
  • The iOS ecosystem has an estimated $163 billion value, the Android ecosystem has been estimated to be around $149 billionMobile Ecosystem
  • The model of gaining more developers, which leads to more apps and to more endusers has surpassed the traditional sales model by superior growth. This leads to the fact that App ecosystems are the best growing mobile market
  • Developers are most focused on building for Android(71%) and iOS(57%) and are leaving Windows Phone(21%) and BlackBerry(15%) far behind
  • The mobile device markets are very competitive and have fierce competition whereas uncontested markets (like home applicances, IOT, ..) are gaining in popularity and still leave oppertunities. The app markets are experiencing heavy almost impossible competition because of the amount of products
  • Newcomers are almost not able to compete with the existing App ecostructures and are left behind. The only way to gain foot in the market is following the top-down approach that Facebook – and recently, Amazon – are executing: other means of monitisation (like Facebook’s advertising) that make use of the available operating systems instead of trying to compete with them
  • This one is interesting: According to VisonMobile’s Open Governance Index, Android is the most closed open-source project (scoring only 23%)!
  • Because handset makers try to avoid OEM licenses needed to wear the Android label (with custom billing services, device branding instead of android branding and implementing custom software and services instead of Google products)  Google has reacted with API’s which only OEM licensees can use

3. OTT Squared: Messaging Apps are the new Platforms

  • Messaging services provide a new ecosystem that collects a lot of users on which they profit using e-commerce (selling extra services, things like stickers, etc)
  • Connecting other businesses (like cab services, cinema ticket sales, etc) into the communication apps leads to added value for the enduser and extra sales profit for the messaging platform (provision on the sale)

4. Handset Business Reboot: Hardware is the new Distribution

  • In 2008 iPhone created the “mobile computing” market disruption; powerful hardware formed a new distribution channel for products (apps)Smartphone
  • Android commoditized mobile computing for the masses (low priced, high feature devices for everyone) which caused another low-end disruption of the market
  • Handsets are no longer profit centers for newcomers (like Amazon) but the distribution medium for their own services and products

5. The Future of HTML5: Beyond the Browser

  • The cross-platform possibilities of HTML5 make its future look bright (52% mindshare from the developer community isn’t a fact for no reason)
  • Although the software foundations are looking promising, there are no real leading monetization, distribution and retailing initiatives. As long as there is no leading force in this, the profit from services created fully using these techniques (we’re obviously not talking Phonegap solutions, which still use the native application’s AppStore marketing- and sales key factors) will keep it weaker than current leading mobile platforms
  • The users don’t need/want openness; HTML5 is “under the hood” and won’t help any enduser do their jobs betterHTML5
  • Walled gardens are arising on top of HTML5 enabling technology. When the biggest parties start fencing their services build on top of HTML5 the open aspect will close its gates rather fast
  • 37% of the Android apps can be developed for a mobile browser; this leaves almost 2/3 of the apps unfit for the browser as a client!
  • The browser fragmentation within and across platforms don’t help either; the fragmentation will only become bigger with gameconsoles and smart TV’s still operating with their own versions and software. Adding to that, HTML5 API support is too scattered still
  • HTML 5 for now are offering a trade-off versus native apps with their primair advantages being the cross device operability and the complete ownership of the solutions and services built with it
  • 27% of the developers working on mobile HTML5 solutions choose for hybrid implementations, 5% for HTML5-to-native convertion solutions (like Titanium) and 7% works with platform provided frameworks (like Firefox OS, Blackberry, etc)

There you have it. A summation of what i found the most interesting facts that can be found in VisonMobile’s Mobile Megatrends 2014 report. Be sure to check out the full report if you want to read up with the entire view. VisionMobile has quite some good reports on the mobile universe socheck out their site.