The Future of Mobile: It's all About Services – GigaOM Mobilize Review

When Apple first introduced iPhone back in 2007, late Steve jobs made the famous remarks as iPhone was five year ahead of competition. And now, five years later, Apple is battling it battling it out with progressively strong competition from others. The mobile battle is now shifted about services more than it is about hardware.

At the end of Gigaom’s Mobilize 2012 event in San Francisco, many of the speakers spoke about future of mobile and future is all about better software tools, smarter apps, more connected devices, intelligent mobile broadband networks, and hardware cycles. CloudTimes was proud sponsor of this impressive series of event around cloud computing, big data and mobile technologies. CloudTimes has been a sponsor since 2011 for events such as: Structure:Data in New York, Mobilize 2011, Structure 2011 and Structure 2012.

Innovative Apps

Many of the leading mobile developers noted on programs for creating cloud applications with security features, smart applications that help businesses to monitor user activity across all forms of social media – from Facebook, websites, and Twitter, connected devices and the future of point of sale payment methods.

Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow said HTML5 is here to stay as the mobile web technology is still improving.

“In my mind, we’re moving more towards a world where apps are basically bookmarks for mobile websites.”

He also said while companies are struggling in mobile monetization programs, Zillow is lucky to work with real estate sites.

“The companies that are really struggling are the ones for whom the mobile monetization is a nuisance for the user,” said Rascoff. “But with real estate, the mobile ad unit actually enhances the user experience.”

The business world is an open field for the development of mobility that Research in Motion (RIM) and Microsoft have not been able to capture, according to Rich Miner of Google Ventures, an executive who led the creation of Android.

He cited the example of an Android application that allows contractors to post their digital drawings projects that can then be shared in tablets in construction sites. The construction industry is a billion dollars business in the United States that spend too much on printing costs.

There’s even an application that monitors some of the potential health risks associated with the increased use of mobile devices. Tawkon is an application that monitors the time during which your device may be exposed to radiation, typically when consumers are in an elevator or in areas with poor coverage. If you speak silently it sends warning to move away from the phone body.

Like RIM and Microsoft, mobile operators are losing important opportunities to create pieces for the mobile ecosystem. Square COO, Keith Rabois sees an alternative mobile solutions (rather than near-field communications (NFC) payment) that can align more with traditional payments would become popular considering number of the total population that actually make payment on mobile phones. The company’s mobile payment application is currently being used by 35 million unique Americans or 11.1 percent of the 314 million US populations.

In-App Monetization

Apple’s iOS monetization is considered to be the five times better way to monetize apps. But as Android ecosystems are increasing, developers are now exploring different methods of making money from users and the gap between Apple and Google is shrinking.

“iOS actually monetizes only 40 to 50 percent better than Android, from the data we’ve seen. It’s actually pretty viable,” said Josh Williams, president and chief science officer at Kontagent. “While Android monetizes a little less well on a per user basis than iOS, the acquisition costs on Android today are much lower on a per user basis. So sometimes profitability on Android is higher. Smart businesses that are operating scientifically look at that and allocate their spend for development and marketing across platforms on a profit per user and profit per install basis.”

Mobile operators, on the other hand, are losing opportunities to use their billing systems to help developers monetize their applications, using Android or Apple to create a consistent user interface within their phone product lines and allow developers to use the network tools to improve application performance.

Appcelerator, the cloud development platform for mobile, is helping thousands of developers to create mobile apps and now the company has taken a new step to fund some mobile startups with a new Innovation Fund program.

The program will aid startups with capital, engineering expertise and free access to Appcelerator’s tools. The first startup that was backed by the program is a mobile gaming platform maker Lanica, founded by Carlos Icaza, which created the Corona cross-platform app development tool.

Video Streaming

When it comes to video delivery on mobile phones, YouTube is taking lion share close to 50 percent of all mobile traffic, according to Shiva Rajaraman, YouTube’s director of product management. YouTube is now delivering 25 percent of its video content to mobile devices and the percentage is likely to increase as there is need for faster mobile broadband, improved video compression technologies and offline playback support.

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