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large_535514134You can sum up Forrester’s prognostications on 2013 mobile trends in three little words: This changes everything.

Well, duh.

Mobile phones are already well on their way to replacing cameras, cash, maps, remote controls, handheld gaming systems, boarding passes, tickets, cash registers, calculators, notepads, and much more. And they’re becoming globally ubiquitous: 1.6 billion phones were shipped last year; and by the end of this year, 1.4 billion smartphones will be in use.

So the question is not so much what smartphones can do, it’s what can’t they do. And the strategic imperative for organizations is to understand how they are going to meet the challenge of that change.


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A week after sharing its vision of the top 15 emerging technologies, Forrester shared its view of the near future of mobile in analyst Thomas Husson’s report, released today.

Here are the top 10 implications for mobile, according to Husson:

Mobile becomes a strategic priority

  1. Marketers will realize that mobile requires a total shift in marketing approach.
    This is one of the reasons Google baked mobile into AdWords by default, one of the biggest changes in AdWords in five years.
  2. Tablets will be the biggest short-term disruptors.
    Advertisers like marketing on iPhones and Android smartphones, but iPad ads command the biggest premium.
  3. Mobile platforms will catalyze next-generation connected experiences.
    We’ll see more technologies like fitness trackers that know what you’re doing without you having to tell them, or a smartphone app that lets you control your home from Tokyo.
  4. Smart apps powered by big data and sophisticated analytics will help us complete tasks.
    Think a Siri from Apple that is more than just a cute add-on and that actually becomes a valuable personal assistant.
  5. Mobile will play a leading role in engaging consumers in emerging markets.
    75 percent of all new phones are being sold in Asia and Africa. That might change something …

Mobile investments must rise

  1. Mobile will require more formal organization, processes, governance.
    BYOD rocks, but IT is getting fed up of supporting what it cannot manage.
  2. Leading marketers will take back ownership of mobile from agencies and vendors.
    You can’t outsource core, and mobile is becoming core. So you’ve got to learn from the best and bring at least some expertise in-house.
  3. The role of mobile marketing manager will emerge.
    If Google needs a mobile marketing manager, why don’t you?
  4. Finding the right strategic mix of staff will rise in importance.
    Even more than in other areas, you need the right blend of business, marketing, design, and technology expertise to succeed in mobile.
  5. Spending will increase to enable mobile services.
    Mobile marketing has been a bit of a bargain, but as it’s become core, that’s changing. Technology and staffing costs are going up.

Husson will be discussing these trends in a free webinar on February 18 at 2PM UK time, 9AM New York time, and 6AM (ugh) San Francisco time.

photo credit: Rev Dan Catt via photopin cc

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