Shape the Conversation. Shape the Future of Mobile.
At the VentureBeat Mobile Summit, top mobile executives, policy makers and investors will explore urgent questions around the industry’s five key business and policy challenges:
1. Social and identity standards: When interest and identity are linked to the phone, the ability for personalization reaches nirvana state — but what is the ideal mix of interests, profile and other identity information that users should relinquish to developers, and where does privacy from publishers and advertisers begin and end?
- The biggest challenge is how to access social identities (each publisher decides how much information they will compile about their users, and the extent to which they’ll target them; Groupon calls it “the wild west”)
- How do you find targeting solutions that benefit both the consumer and the merchant?
- No third-party organization can be trusted with deciding best practices
- Developing a single sign-on for the mobile world is very important (Verizon’s Humphrey Chen says this is a priority for the carrier, for example)
- Carriers are clashing with publishers, because user identity is no longer attached to SIM cards on carrier-controlled device
- How do you determine the identity of someone on his or her phone, and who will unify these mobile identities? Tension has grown among the leading players
- Facebook’s strong relationship with users makes it a natural owner of identity information
- Players like Amazon, meanwhile, represent a threat to carriers because of their extensive transaction information, while Apple is strong figure because of the popularity of iTunes
- Determining where a users offline/online identity begin and end is a major goal for Verizon
- Device makers, meanwhile, are seeking relationships with users to maintain their own relevancy — usually through UI innovation
2. Payments and commerce: What technology agreements and policies are needed to unleash the massive disruption by a new generation of mobile payment players in mobile commerce?
- NFC represents a hugely promising development for mobile commerce, however it requires millions of retailers to install appropriate payment terminals; and security concerns remain
- What security standards are needed in order to protect users?
- What payment platforms will users trust? Does Apple have a head start with the popularity of iTunes store?
- AT&T,T-Mobile,Verizon, Discovery and Barclays are working together on ISIS, a NFC mobile wallet system — will this consortium be enough to create an industry standard?
- An alternative to NFC is mobile billing — represented by players like BilltoMobile, Boku and Zong.Will users be able to purchase goods by charging their mobile accounts?
- What is necessary to enhance the usability of mobile billing and decrease security concerns in order to increase adoption?
- Disputes over “ownership” of the customers (via billing relationship) have created friction between carriers and publishers. Can this be resolved in a way to improve mobile commerce?
3. Mobile economy: What are the last puzzle pieces needed in order for advertising, combined with location, identity, web frameworks, analytics — and yes, even augmented reality — to create the next billion dollar opportunity in mobile?
- Virtual good currencies: what sort of federation policies will happen between major players (and how much is desired) to help push forward traction?
- Traditional mobile advertising: how can innovation here lead to more monetization? Are augmented reality technologies sufficiently developed to help make a difference within the next twelve months (Qualcomm believes augmented reality is here)?
- In-app marketing and purchasing: how much should platforms earn, and how much should developers earn?
- Large companies need to take mobile more seriously by creating more sophisticated landing pages, implementing state of the art analytics — led by Omniture and Google.What will make them move faster?
- There’s a growing clash between Apple and players such as Sony Ericsson surrounding Apple’s role as a major player in monetizing content due to its iTunes franchise
- What other initiatives or specific technologies from Google,Apple and other platform leaders can can help publishers make money from their mobile mobile apps over the next twelve months?
- When targeting users for advertising or other monetization techniques, will it be the “wild west” on what information we can collect, or will there emerge new methods that can create a win for both merchants and consumers?
- How will economics improve for “location”-based deals?
- Will advertisers be able to extend offers to phones through NFC chips?
4. Superphone platform: The emergence of HTML5 and modern web browsers promise a future beyond fragmented native app platforms. What developments over the next twelve months will make the mobile web more viable (and how is this affected by LTE, advances in chips, and OS’s like Android Honeycomb)?
- How robust is HTML5, and what can be done to improve it?
- How will new broadband capabilities such as LTE improve experience?
- How will new browser and OS updates (Chrome OS coming out of beta, Palm’s WebOS, etc.) improve the mobile experience?
- If publishers, corporations and developers want to embrace the mobile web, what should their native mobile app strategy be? How should they best build web apps amid all the fragmentation?
- Will new chips and OS developments actually improve the native experience, so that they’ll slow the move to web apps?
- Will Facebook’s evangelism of HTML5 add to the reasons developers move to the mobile web (in order to better leverage social marketing)?
5. Enterprise and mobility: Now that employees are demanding mobile phones, what security measures and other policies are needed in the enterprise to make things hum on the mobile IT network?
- How do corporations balance necessary controls over mobile phones in the enterprise with flexibility needed to maximize productivity?
- How do corporations transport their business apps onto the mobile platform (Salesforce notes that developing native apps for applications represents just as much a challenge for small businesses as it does for large corporations)?
- Who is responsible for mobile security, liability, etc? Should it be contained within software, or should network providers handle it?
- Will carrier-led solutions to host services of their own pave the way to more efficient, secure mobility in the enterprise?
The recommendations that result from these discussions will be published as a VentureBeat “Manifesto” and will be presented at the MobileBeat 2011 conference in July.