Last week nearly 100,000 people attended Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. Some of the major product launches at the event, such as Samsung´s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones, reflect the continual importance of MWC as a key industry event. Even more impressive was the array of other products on view, from wearables to virtual reality.
Similar to how the prominent companies at the Consumer Electronics Show have changed over recent years, so the same has occurred at MWC. Keynotes from automotive, financial services, to retail companies demonstrate the importance of mobile to the future of these businesses.
What became clear from the event was that mobile, combined with social, cloud, and analytics is dramatically changing the game. While much has been spoken and written in the last few years about how these dynamic trends will change businesses, it does appear now to have hit a point where the pace of innovation is simply so much faster than before. And this is not just the speed of technology change, but rather how entirely new business models are being developed and upending businesses and industries as we know it.
Some of the statistics at MWC include: Forbes experienced a 100% increase in its mobile revenue from 2013 to 2014. Meanwhile, consumers unlock their phones at least 100 times a day, while 40% are tired of pulling their device from their pocket or purse.
This dual impact of massively increasing mobile revenues for some companies, while consumers slowly tiring of constantly using their smartphones will lead to a couple of interesting developments. The wearables market is ripe for growth and we can expect significant developments over the course of the next 12-18 months. The launch of the Apple Watch will only further boost this category.
However it is important to note that ultimately the differentiation will come from the connected experiences which entice consumers. The smartphone will continue to play a central role here at least in the next 2-3 years, as devices as diverse as smoke detectors and heating systems within the connected home, utilize the smartphone as the point of interaction with the consumer. The word “mobile” however doesn’t really do justice to the power of connected experiences which, driven by the emerging internet of things, will come to define our lives quicker than we imagine.