Congratulations on surviving the holiday season!
We recently shared our reflections from 2012, and today we’re changing gears to look ahead at all the fun stuff awaiting us in 2013. Here are our predictions for what’s in store:
Revelations in Mobile Payments
2012 was big year for mobile payments, and the party is sure to continue in 2013. We’re expecting more big announcements from mobile POS companies such as Square, who gained significant traction through recent deals with Starbucks and NYC Taxis. Mobile Wallets will become increasingly prevalent, namely those with wide distribution such as Apple’s Passbook. Retail innovators such as Tesco and Coop will continue to build upon self-checkout systems, including smartposters and in-home procurement apps. With many different mobile payment systems to chose from for consumers, it’s still unclear who will be dominating this space in the future, but the war for mobile payments is on and 2013 is a prime year for battle. Break out the popcorn.
Consolidation in the mobile space
After several years of observing and being part of the mobile ecosystem, it becomes clear that not all mobile startups will last forever. Simply put, the world does not require 500 photo-sharing apps with almost identical feature sets. This attitude was reflected at a recent Business Insider conference by expert investor Alan Patricof, who humorously exclaimed that “there’s a lot of mimicry, a lot of duplication, (and) if I see another company that’s gonna deliver food to my house….” He’s right on target. Many of these young mobile companies will not be able to acquire follow-on funding and will be forced to pivot, go out of business or be the target of a talent acquisition. And don’t forget about the hungry giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, who all want to gobble up the best and the brightest in this space. 2013 will likely include several big buck acquisitions like the billion dollar Instagram deal. These are exciting times we live in.
Experimentation with new form factors
Quarterly reports from Appcelerator have suggested that developers predict that they will soon be working with a wide variety of form factors including TVs, glasses and foldable screens. With the first developer release of Google Glasses on the horizon, the opportunity to step into a new and exciting space has arrived. Think of how quickly user preference has moved from PCs to smartphones and tablets. Recent research by Cisco confirms that Gen Y has a love affair with mobile, and we’ve just begun to scratch the surface with smartphones and tablets. How about watches, clothing and glasses? You think socks with RFID chips are cool? Just wait.
A viable third mobile platform
2012 was a year of iOS and Android domination, naturally. This is affirmed across the board. But with RIM spattering its dying breath, Windows mobile on the rise, and players like Mozilla lurking in the shadows, 2013 will determine whether a viable third mobile platform can emerge. We’re optimistic about Windows phone, despite the slow start. With its desktop OS Microsoft has proven its ability to satisfy the business and educational markets, and holds a lot of clout through its partners and clients. In fact… look out for a Scandit SDK release for Windows Phone coming this year!
This just scratches the surface on what’s in store for 2013. Do you have an opinion on what 2013 will bring? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Share your comments in the space below.