What’s in Store for Mobility in 2013?


Well, it looks like we lived through the 2012 doomsday prophecies   Much like Y2K, there was much fanfare but little in the way of activity.  But will this year bring with it the unluckiness of its number 13?  Who knows.  But you can be guaranteed some action in the mobile ecosystem.

Let’s brush the doom and gloom aside and see what wonders await us.


Consumerization of IT Continues to Continue

With consumerization of IT going strong, many companies are adapting and adopting.  BYOD is but one example of companies coping with this phenomenon.  Few trends have had such an influence on changing the way IT thinks about offering its products and services, with mobile leading the way.

The Tablet Wars Heat Up

The iPad has been dominant in the consumer and the enterprise space.  Android-based tablets have begun eating away at Apple’s market share.  Now Windows 8 RT and Pro are entering the market.  The attractiveness of backward compatibility with existing Microsoft infrastructure and applications (maybe not so much for RT) will be irresistible for enterprises to at least evaluate.  The question is not around Windows 8’s IT compatible, but will it offer the experience that users have come to expect (instant-on, battery life, touch-friendly, etc.)?

Mobile OS: Reincarnation of Incumbents, and the Rise of Open Source

The Microsoft story has been told.  Windows Phone launched over two years ago but still hasn’t grabbed much market share, although pundits have high hopes for its success in the coming few years.  The introduction of BB10 at the end of January makes this a pivotal period for RIM, and the next 24 months will write the next chapter on its success or failure.  With Android and iOS holding about 90% of the market, there is room for competition, but their powerful ecosystems will be difficult to challenge.

Just when we thought the mobile OS ecosystem has stabilized, we will begin to see a surge in open source options this year.  Look for names like Tizen, Firefox OS, Ubuntu, and Sailfish to make headlines in 2013.  Might we see another Android-like success story this year?

From MxM to Enterprise Mobility Management

It seems like every enterprise has an MDM, MAM, MCM, or some combination thereof.  Look for those terms to be moved aside in favor of enterprise mobility management, a more comprehensive suite of capabilities that incorporates the aforementioned plus services like messaging and TEM (telecom expense management) that handle the full spectrum of mobile lifecycle management.  It’s a natural progression for products like MDM which started out managing one aspect of mobility (the device) and evolving into a more comprehensive solution set.  I just think it’s a bit of marketing hyperbole.

Hybrid Apps Make More Mobility in the Enterprise

A blend between mobile web and native apps, hybrid apps leverage the broadly available developer skill sets of web technologies (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript) with many of the device-level capabilities of native applications.  It can be a lower barrier to entry for enterprises who have a stable of web developers that can leverage frameworks like Apache Cordova (PhoneGap) or Appcelerator Titanium.  It may not be the optimum approach for gaming or other intensive applications, but should be suitable for most B2E needs.  Just be careful that the framework selected matches to your use case.

Innovative Security Solutions for Mobile

As mobile becomes more pervasive in the enterprise, the security risks will naturally increase.  A 2012 survey of executives by Cloud Security Alliance Mobile Working Group lists the top mobile threats such as data loss from lost devices, malware, data leakage, and insecure networks.  The good news is that more security technologies are being developed to thwart these.  For some examples, see my blog entry Mobile Security Solutions: Evolutionary or Revolutionary?.

Mobile Payments Still Not Mainstream

We keep hearing about NFC and other mobile payment solutions, but I still don’t expect much in the way of that for brick-and-mortar shops.  My prediction: NFC will take off within 12 months of the iPhone getting NFC.  Call it the Apple effect or whatever you wish, but it appears to be one of the last remaining catalyst in this space.

Wearable Computing Makes More Headlines

Wearable computing has been around for a while.  However, in 2012 Google introduced Project Glass, which is a pair of glasses that provide smartphone features, mostly hands-free.  It was one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of the Year.  Limited to Google I/O attendees and at $1500 each (and sold out), it’s not exactly ready for prime time but is priming the market for wearable computing technology.  Plans for consumer availability are targeted for 2014.  I expect we’ll see similar products in 2013.  This will be another step towards the game-changing paradigm of context-aware computing.

So step on a few cracks while you walk under a ladder to look at yourself in your broken mirror as you curl up with your favorite black cat, and get ready for 2013!

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Explore posts in the same categories: Android, Apple, BYOD, Google, Hybrid Mobile Applications, iOS, iPad, Media Tablet, MIcrosoft, mobile application management, Mobile Device Management, Mobile Security, NFC, RIM, smartphone, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8

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One Comment on “What’s in Store for Mobility in 2013?”

  1. Kaito Says:

    Like you, I’m looking forward to the new developments that 2013 has in store for the mobile device market. The fact that so many different firms are getting involved should create a rich environment full of innovation. This is ideal for the consumer, as it increases the chance they’ll find the ideal app for the job.

    Here’s to 2013.


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