Andreas Constantinou, Managing Director, VisionMobile (an analyst firm based in the UK) highlighted yesterday two trends for the 2012 mobile market:
1. Handset DELL-ification
The mobile phone industry is complex, but mobile phone market share does not tell the full story. Android has become the dominant smartphone OS, and has split the market into beneficiaries and losers. Profits in the industry are primarily consumed by Apple and Samsung thus causing OEMs to suffer. Samsung and Apple have tailored integrated value chains that allow them to generate high profits and invest more in innovation, product development and marketing. The mobile handset market is approaching PC-like commoditization separating businesses into different levels of a pyramid (leaders, innovators, assemblers and mass producers) ultimately determining whether they will face price pressures or performance pressures.
2. Web as the new walled garden
HTML5 has been pitched as the future of mobile apps. However HTML5 is merely a set of standards that browsers are based on. Many market leading companies are pushing HTML5 but for different reasons. In reality HTML5 is fragmented across browsers and has passed peak expectation for developers. HTML5 is lacking key ingredients: monetization, distribution and retailing. On the other hand, Google and Facebook are seeking to add the aforementioned key elements into their products in a drive to have complete platforms that will result in a web within the web.
(Kevin is a MBA exchange student in Beijing and guest writer for mobisights.com)