With every new year comes predictions for what will come with it. Some may predict global politics or trends, while the fine people at Chetan Sharma Consulting conducted a survey with the movers and shakers of the mobile industry to see what 2012 will bring to mobile.
Chetan Sharma estimates that over 60 percent of the devices sold in the US were smartphones and over 30 percent of global sales were for advanced featurephones.
The annual Mobile Industry Predictions Survey is a chance for executives, developers and insiders of the mobile industry from around the world to get together and decide the most important mobile events in 2011. They also take this chance to predict what will happen in mobile in 2012.
The most newsworthy event in the mobile industry last year was undoubtedly the rise of Android. The death of Steve Jobs was a close second as he was responsible for the transformation of the mobile industry.
The predicted biggest stories of 2012 are the continued growth of mobile data around the world as well as Amazon’s entry into the mobile space. Other potential big stories include Microsoft’s and Nokia’s resurgence as noteworthy mobile brands and the increased spread of 4G.
The most popular consumer applications for mobile devices in 2012 are predicted to be in messaging and commerce for the developing world while commerce and location based services drive demand in developed nations.
The survey puts Android and Apple tablets at an almost tie for the most dominant product for the next two years with Windows barely making a dent.
Microsoft and Google are set to make the biggest acquisitions in the mobile space in 2012.
Apps and access are expected to drive the most mobile data revenue in North America and Western Europe in 2012.
Mobile is expected to impact the retail model the most in the next year with Best Buy expected to share the same fate as Circuit City if they cannot reinvent themselves.
Tablets will continue to dominate the non-mobile-phone category in 2012.
On a humorous note, the panel expected humans to discover water on another planet in 2012 more than a new significant mobile OS launching.
Of course, the mobile person of the year was Steve Jobs with his many contributions to the mobile market through his years as CEO of Apple.
All predictions should be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of things can happen in a year with any number of events, such as the death of Steve Jobs, which can rock the entire industry. These predictions are, however, a good outline of what to look out for in the mobile market in the coming year.
[Graphs courtesy of Chetan Sharma Consulting]