Having reviewed the 2009 trends, it’s now time to make some predictions for 2010!

I’m not going to say that 2010 will be “the year of mobile” or “the year of mobile marketing”. I think 2010 is more likley to be the "year that every firms needs a mobile strategy". Mobile is simply too disruptive to merely have a year. After all, who remembers the year of the TV or the year of the Internet? Instead, I think 2010 will be a key year in mobile's transition to center stage in the digital marketplace.

A new mobile decade is opening up, and now is the time to start your journey. In the past 10 years, mobile phones have changed the way we communicate and live. In the next 10 years, they will change the way we do business.

Rudy De Waelem a famous mobile blogger and event organizer, decided this year to ask many contributors to publish their thoughts for the coming mobile decade. I didn't contribute to it and it would be a bit late to join the bandwagon now that this slideshare presentation is the most read one, but I invite you to have a look at the below. Very inspiring! and congrats Rudy for your idea.

Anyway, here are a few key trends from my report that's just been published: 2010 Mobile Trends

  • More brands will start taking the mobile Web into account in their strategies. Buzz around applications will continue. However, many organizations will realize that they can't simply have mobile initiatives here and there; they need a cohesive vision. Promoting, upgrading, or porting an app to a different environment requires budget and a clear road map. Many firms will also realize that they can reach larger audiences at lower costs with the mobile Internet, which Forrester expects to reach 22% of European mobile consumers by the end of 2010.
  • Innovation in mobile payments will accelerate. Now that brands have started rolling out a mobile presence, they will want to move from a service model to a transaction model. Most of the innovation won’t come from the NFC ecosystem but from application billing, microtransactions — look in particular at the monetization of virtual goods — and remote payments (ticketing, parking). There are many players to watch, from innovative startups such as Square and Zong to blue-chip companies like Apple; with more than 100 million iTunes accounts, Apple could offer a disruptive solution.
  • Google will shake up the mobile navigation business. It will bypass its existing digital map provider in Europe (as it has done in the US) and launch a free navigation service on Android-based devices. It will be increasingly difficult to monetize paid, off-board navigation services, particularly in Europe.
  • Location will start enabling richer mobile experiences. The mobile phone will know where you are and will provide personalized services based on that location as part of your context. From social location and location-based coupons to mobile augmented reality, many innovative services will flourish. However, they won't generate meaningful revenues.
  • Social Computing and mobile phones will expand their love affair.
  • Live mobile TV will be hyped again. This time, it’s the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa that will be the catalyst.
  • The OS arms race will heat up. Adding Samsung's BADA and Nokia's Maemo into a complex game will lead to further fragmentation. Google's Android will get significant traction but will also be a fragmented platform; handset brands will want to differentiate their Android products, adding a layer of fragmentation to the OS.
  • Application stores will continue to flourish, but none will replicate Apple's success in 2010.
  • Some operators will want to reduce their increasing dependency on Apple. Around 60% of Orange France’s new contract connections were sold with an iPhone in December! With very high subsidies, the ROI of the iPhone is less and less obvious for operators. They are thus promoting alternative devices and platforms (in particular Android) and will be helped by regulation. After the controversy around the exclusivity of the Apple deals, expect legal action from competitors and careful analysis by regulators of Apple's distribution deals.




Note: this blog initially published on Jan 15th has been updated on Jan 16th to add a reference to Rudy De Waele's initiative.