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chetansharma-mobile-breakthroughs-2012.jpgMobile payments and mobile commerce have been voted the top 2 breakthrough categories in mobile this year for the second year running, according to a Chetan Sharma survey released in January 2011. Respondents believe that financial institutions such as Visa will drive the payments and commerce space, with operators, startups, and Google also influential.

Rounding out the top 5 projected breakthrough categories are mobile health, mobile enterprise, and near field communication (NFC), each of which were cited by roughly one-quarter of respondents. Location-based services (LBS) and mobile advertising were the least-cited categories, the latter’s decline from last year’s third place attributed to its increasingly mainstream nature.

Data Growth to be Biggest Story

Almost 2 in 5 respondents said that the continued growth of mobile data around the world will be the biggest mobile story of the year, ahead of Amazon’s entry into the mobile arena, cited by roughly one-third. Other top stories envisioned for this year include Microsoft/Nokia’s resurgence and 4G deployment and marketing battles.

In terms of 4G, respondents believe that video, cloud computing, and access will continue to drive its demand and growth.

Mobile Web to Gain Relevance

chetansharma-apps-v-web.jpgData from the “2012 Mobile Industry Predictions Survey” indicates that more than 2 in 5 respondents believe that the mobile web will start to become more relevant when compared to mobile applications, while only about one-quarter believe that apps will continue to dominate. Last year, a slightly larger proportion favored apps over the mobile web. According to January figures from comScore, during the three-month average ending November 2011, 44.9% of US mobile subscribers used downloaded applications on their mobile device, up about 8% from 41.6% during the three-month average ending August 2011, and overtaking browsers, which were used by 44.4% of subscribers (up 5% from 42.1%).

Enterprise Atop Mobile Cloud Computing

According to the Chetan Sharma survey respondents, mobile cloud computing will continue to be defined by enterprise (27%), storage (20%), media needs (20%), and apps (19%) this year. Processing (9%) and games (5%) are projected to be less influential in helping mobile cloud computing gain traction.

Other Findings:

  • A plurality of respondents believe that apps will generate the most mobile data revenue in 2012, ahead of access, advertising, and messaging.
  • The enterprise segments that mobile are envisioned to impact the most are retail, health, and field force.
  • A combination of the various available revenue models will be the norm for most application developers.
  • Proximity-based mobile payments will get the most traction in North America and Western Europe this year, ahead of selling of physical and non-digital goods on mobile.
  • Almost two-thirds of respondents believe that tablets will be the most successful non-mobile category, far ahead of the next-most popular category, e-readers, cited by less than 1 in 5. About 7 in 10 respondents also believe that tablets will become the leading enterprise IT device in the near future.
  • Respondents are evenly split on the most dominant tablet platform by unit sales in 2 years, with 45% citing iOS and 44% voting for Android.

About the Data: Chetan Sharma’s results are based on a survey of 150 executives, developers, and insiders from leading mobile companies and startups from across the value chain and around the world.

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