2012 was a pretty big year, in terms of mobile and enterprise mobility. Look at just a few of the milestones that spring to mind in a quick mental review of the year’s biggest mobile headlines:
- Microsoft introduced its Surface tablet, Windows Phone 8, and Windows 8 itself, a desktop OS that takes its tile-centric design cues from touchscreen-equipped handheld devices.
- Apple introduced its iPhone 5, an evolutionary successor to the popular handheld line, along with a mini-size version of the category-making iPad tablet.
- Research In Motion announced — but failed to ship before year’s end — its vaunted BlackBerry 10 OS and smartphone products.
- Softbank of Japan announced its intention to acquire an ownership stake in Sprint.
- Apple won a landmark $1 billion patent dispute against Samsung.
- Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 Billion
Those items alone made 2012 a fairly significant year for wireless and mobile, and they leave some pretty big shoes for 2013 to fill. However, industry analyst Mark Lowenstein predicts that the coming year is up to the challenge, and fully capable of providing some fireworks of its own.
Among the disruptive forces Lowenstein expects to see in 2013:
- A mobile device shakeout. “RIM, Microsoft and Nokia–and even LG and HTC–cannot afford to tread water for another year,” the pundit says. He expects major shakeout/merger/consolidation activity to occur among handset makers in 2013.
- Bursting of the app bubble. Lowensteain says we will see “a maturing of the app industry over the next couple of years…Some app providers will run out money and their apps will either disappear from stores or lie fallow. Some will successfully pivot to being a real business rather than an app.”
- Mobile commerce coming of age. “Every year has to be “the year of” something. Mobile payments could be it for 2013,” Lowenstein says.
As we look forward to 2013, at least one thing is assured: Change will not be in short supply. The speed of innovation and iteration in the mobile world makes “Internet time” seem like slow motion by comparison. So, like the weather in New England, if you don’t like the way things are looking at the moment, don’t worry — just wait a minute…