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2013 Mobile Predictions: Consumer Hardware Industry Faces Looming Threat from Tablets

In 2013, analysts are forecasting 1.2 billion smartphones and tablets will be sold worldwide, up from 821 million in 2012. The repercussions will have a widespread impact well beyond the mobile industry, changing everything from retail to medicine to manufacturing. Mutual Mobile today shared 10 predictions for how the mobile landscape will change in the coming year.

“Mobile has evolved from being a test project in the marketing department to become a driving force in a new system of engagement with customers, partners and employees,” said John Arrow, CEO of Mutual Mobile. “In 2013, mobile will continue its meteoric rise, moving beyond the confines of a handheld device to impact everything in its path.”

In 2013, the rise of mobile will mean:

  • Responsive Web will become the de-facto standard – Companies will acknowledge that the process of creating and maintaining separate mobile and Web experiences is costly and inconsistent. By the end of the year, 100 percent of the top 25 most visited websites will be fully responsive, offering a scalable approach that creates an optimal experience on every front.
  • Apple embraces a universal OS – Apple’s announcement that iOS and OS X will be unified under a single leader is yet another sign the company intends to create a single, universal operating system across all of its devices -- an important step towards ensuring a consistent user experience across platforms, while increasing revenue opportunities.
  • Consumer electronics industry will experience significant decline – As tablets continue to add functionality, they will render consumer electronics increasingly obsolete. Point and shoot cameras, GPS systems and video recorders are just the start. New battle lines have been drawn and hardware manufacturers will have to start thinking in terms of software, or become irrelevant. Escort is a leading innovator in this space.
  • IVR will fade into obscurity – Companies will completely rethink customer support, leading to the demise of Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Instead, consumers will turn to mobile apps to inquire about products and services, ultimately making call centers irrelevant. Insurance companies already allow you to submit claims directly from your smartphone. Others will quickly follow suit.
  • Windows 8 will take a 10 percent share of the tablet market – Companies that have been reluctant to invest in mobile will shift their thinking now that they can integrate Windows 8 tablets directly into their technology stack. While Microsoft may have its doubters, the company has always been able to catch up quickly.
  • Mobile will kill direct mail – The U.S. Postal Service is older than the United States, but by 2020 it is likely to be a thing of the past. Email is not only cheaper, but also more efficient, and now that it can be accessed from mobile devices – anywhere, anytime – the end is near for direct mail and the infrastructure that supports it.
  • Voice search will make its move – Apple will enter the search engine business, using Siri to provide a voice-centric, highly UI-based search experience. Companies will then leverage this functionality to extend powerful new features to their end-users.
  • Only the strong survive – Massive consolidation in the app development space will mean fewer, but more impactful players delivering strategic business solutions. Clients will transition from one-off transactional relationships to long-term partnerships focused on building the lifetime value of their business.
  • Android’s days as the lesser OS are over – Thanks to Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, Android is capturing users at a rate of 1.3 million activations every day with a newly improved UI that is more user-centric, tactile and cognitive, and tears down the walls between applications. Keep an eye on these adoption figures as Android sets its sights on iOS.
  • Chief Mobile Officer takes a seat at the table – As companies increasingly embrace mobile as a strategic initiative for the company, the role of Chief Mobile Officer (and new Center of Mobile Excellence) will become the key to organizational success, bridging the gap between sales, marketing, customer support and IT.

For years, mobile innovation has focused primarily on the consumer. However, moving into 2013 there are tremendous opportunities for companies to design an enterprise mobile strategy that aligns user needs, business goals and evolving technologies. Mutual Mobile’s deep industry expertise helps organizations increase adoption and engagement, and generate real ROI from mobile investments. For more information, visit the Mutual Mobile Strategy Hub.

About Mutual Mobile

Mutual Mobile creates rich user experiences that reinvent how businesses engage the world through mobile. Combining deep design, development and domain expertise, Mutual Mobile’s custom software solutions allow clients to connect people, processes and data, from the back office to the point of sale, and everywhere in between. Mutual Mobile works with the world’s leading brands – including Audi, Cisco, Google and Philips – to uncover new revenue opportunities and increase the lifetime value of mobile through continuous innovation and measurement. Named one of America’s Most Promising companies by Forbes, Mutual Mobile is based in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit: http://www.mutualmobile.com.

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