6 min read
The avalanche in apps and app stores doesn't just mean more choice for consumers and more opportunity for developers. It also ushers in a new App Economy with new players and new rules. What is the impact of the Amazon app store? What is the role of the mobile operator? What revenue share operators realistically expect? And finally - with mobile commerce poised to be THE next big thing– are operators heading for a showdown with banks and credit card companies?
These are a few of the questions I explore in a podcast interview with Matt Anderson, an active blogger and outspoken commentator on the industry, who also heads up product marketing at Amdocs Interactive. Tomorrow (April 6, 5 pm CET/ 11 am EST ) Matt and Ajit Jaokar, author, speaker and mobile app authority, join me in a Tweetchat (#doxchat) to debate how the App Economy might play out and the impact on all the players.
4 min read
Apple, Google and Nokia and Blackberry are bent on embedding contactless payment technology (NFC) into their devices, thus making it possible for consumers to buy goods and services in physical shops and locations.
Each OEM is at a different stage on their experimentation with this technology. Nokia already offers several devices that support NFC; Apple is going ahead with its own NFC initiative; Google claims it will support mobile payments (via NFC) in the near future; and Blackberry has said it will support NFC in devices going forward.
6 min read
The mobile app economy is growing, mobile commerce is exploding and the value chain is crowding as mobile operators, credit card companies, financial institutions, and Web giants such as Google jockey for position.
If this week's hot news is any indication, then the industry is indeed in for a roller coaster ride as mobile payments (for everything, not just apps) becomes the next big battlefield.
Mobile Marketer tells us that American Express has taken the wraps off its Serve digital payment and commerce platform, offering person-to-person, online, mobile and traditional card capabilities in a single account. The Wall Street Journal (via MoCoNews) reports that Google is building out its plans to push contactless payments (using near-field communications or NFC technology). Google has been talking up NFC for several months now, but now it's also got MasterCard and Citigroup on board. And the list goes on.
4 min read
Editor's note: We continue today with part 2 of this series looking at the opportunities in mobile payments -- and where mobile operators need to focus their efforts if they want to stay in the game.
Where is the real opportunity in mobile payments?
Developed markets are tough ones to crack, since consumers already buy a significant amount of goods and services (real stuff in real stores and digital content in the iTunes store) with their credit cards.
11 min read
We are entering into a new and critical phase of development in the mobile marketing industry. The discussion no longer centers on whether mobile fits in then marketing mix. Today we are debating where mobile fits best in the customer journey and whether marketers should craft mobile campaigns that focus on customer acquisition or retention.
According to M&S (Marks & Spencer), a leading U.K. retailer, the answer is all of the above.
Specifically, mobile has earned a place in every part of the sales cycle. From text alerts to customers on products and offers they are likely to appreciate (delivered only after customers have opted-in to receive them) to website functionality that allows them to buy what they want where they want, M&S has put mobile at the center of all they do.
5 min read
In this first part of a two-part series I take a hard look at the hard reality of how mobile operators must do business in the AA era (After Apple).
Granted the App Store created an exciting (and single) marketplace for developers to create, test and sell apps to consumers. But the model also totally disintermediated operators from app revenues.
Since then mobile operators have sought to reassert themselves in the value chain by offering their own app stores, a me-too strategy borrowed from Apple that has so far failed to pay dividends for a variety of reasons.
5 min read
The central role of operators in the mobile content and services value chain has been a given since the start. Initially, their biggest asset was distribution. Their access to millions - even hundreds of millions of consumers -- allowed them to call the shots and dictate the terms to providers and companies lining up to offer their content via operator portals. However, the advance of smartphones changes all the rules.
Mobile operators are now struggling to find their place in a value chain that is stacked in favor of the handset makers and OEMs that run the app stores. Sure, mobile operators can launch a competing app store. But the chances of success are limited. (In fact, we have yet to see a carrier leave its mark on the app landscape.)
9 min read
From brands and agencies to Millennials and veteran observers, I encourage each to give their take on the issues and opportunities around mobile -- specifically permission-based mobile marketing. Today we take a step back and look at the Big Picture and examine the questions posed in an even bigger debate going on in the industry: what is the value chain? And, more importantly, what is the value of apps?
Who better to ask than Martin Wilson? Martin recently published a critical look at companies' obsession with delivering iPhone apps (a condition he terms iSyndrome). In it he also urges companies to think through their decision carefully because an iPhone app doesn't deliver the same value to every customer segment.
5 min read
Mobile commerce and shopping are fast becoming an integral part of our daily routine, a development that paves the way for online commerce giants and credit card companies to capture the lion's share of this exciting and lucrative market. Or so we think...
The explosion in mobile purchases also plays squarely in favor of mobile operator billing. In fact, operator billing may be the "missing link that allows a significant increase in commerce involving physical goods and services."
4 min read
Amazon may be a little late to the party, but it's decision to launch the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal -- a new self-service tool that allows mobile application developers to join the retailer's Appstore Developer Program and submit apps for the upcoming launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android -- shows a fast-follower approach may stir up the market more than Apple and Google combined.
Read between the lines and Amazon is out to take on Android Marketplace and cut out mobile operators (by copying Apple's payment approach that allows consumers to purchase apps using a credit card stored on file, and so removes mobile operators from the revenue split altogether).
3 min read
Google's decision to embrace AT&T's Direct Carrier Billing for Android users is a clear win for consumers because they can purchase apps and charge them to their mobile phone bill. But the real story is what this move means for mobile operators.
For large operators with established storefronts (like AT&T), the tie-up with Google means an increase in revenue because the carrier has effectively (and wisely) positioned itself to perform billing on behalf of a third-party storefront (this strategy is also known as BOBO). And this is in addition to the carrier's benefit from selling content on its own.
5 min read
Lester Madden is third in our series of five innovators in mobile Augmented Reality (AR) stepping up to offer 2011 predictions. Lester is a hands-on developer and executive whose work (at companies including Microsoft, Symbian and Nokia) has helped catapult AR to the top of the industry agenda. Lester is currently working at mobile operator Orange.
In addition to his role in the mobile industry, Lester also blogs about trends and developments impacting AR at Augmented Planet. Some good news for mobile developers eager to get involved in mobile AR. Lester is also working on a book on the subject, and we'll have more on that project when it's ready for prime time.
6 min read
Today the popular (and viral) Five From Five series continues with mobile Augmented Reality (AR) and asks five companies/influencers across the emerging business ecosystem for their pick of hot topic and trends.
Christine Perey is more than an independent analyst; she is a leading - and passionate -- evangelist working within the industry to increase deal flow, validate business models, and promote sanity (not hype) in the nascent mobile AR space. She made a huge impression on me when she stepped up to contribute a guest column (one of the most popular on MSearchGroove, I might add) examining mobile AR evolution, use cases and the revenue streams that will help advance the industry.