Fuelled by the new smartphones and new tablets features, there has been sweeping changes in the last 12-months to the mobile web and mobile application market. Mobile browsers are becoming more capable, devices easier to use, and all of the changes have captured the attention of new players that are sure to bring new excitement to the market as well. Like Windows mobile 8.1, Google has invested heavily into the mobile space. So much so that, in order to bring more openness to the market with Google Play app store and the Android features; that alone is a huge indicator of Google’s confidence in the potential of the Mobile App marketplace.
When considering device sales and growth, it is also important to consider the mobile electronic device convergence that is going on as well. While all of these growth and sales numbers look positive, they do not include any sales or growth numbers from other market segments that are joining the mobile wireless arena.
The navigation market is adding wireless connectivity to its devices, from portable personal navigation, to in car units, and car manufacturers themselves are beginning to offer wireless data capabilities built into the car along with AR application dedicated for safety and other features. There are also new markets emerging such as the Mobile Internet Device, wearable augmented reality devices and Internet Table markets, small handheld wireless internet browsers are a growing market and mobile location commerce as well. All of these are likely targets for possible innovation in Mobile App development. There are a wide variety of factors that define the success of a mobile technology; instant connectivity (LTE and 4G connections), convenience, and personalisation are among the most important.
Successful mobile applications are typically perceived by their users as being accessible anytime and anywhere, highly adaptable to the user’s needs, and not revealing any private information about the user. However, many potential consumers of mobile technology are not convinced that all m-commerce applications would provide them with such an experience. Consumers are often wary about engaging in m-commerce transactions because many m-commerce features and services are not identical to those of e- commerce. Presently, m-commerce is not positioned to replace e-commerce; instead it is best suited to supplement it. A number of socio-technological factors have a significant effect on the customer perception and the rate of adoption of mobile technology and m-commerce. These factors form tightly integrated socio-psychological barriers that include user unawareness, inefficiency of devices, security and privacy concerns, and others.
Consumers are not always aware of the capabilities of their mobile devices to conduct m-commerce transactions, availability of m-commerce services, and/or the pricing scheme of their wireless carrier. With a wide range of third-party e-commerce vendors, it is frequently left to the initiative of the users to discover the possibilities for m-commerce transactions. In many scenarios of using mobile devices for commercial transactions, self-efficacy of the consumer plays a very important role in exploring new functionalities. Limited functionality of mobile devices may further hinder the willingness of the users to actively use them as m-commerce medium. Research indicates that every additional navigational input reduces the chances of completing a transaction by half.
Limited screen size, battery power, and processor speed require device manufacturers to be acutely aware of the multitasking behavioural patterns of the device users. Personalisation and adaptability of applications can typically compensate for the ergonomic drawbacks and limitations of the user interface, but it may adversely impact other aspects of the users’ experience, such as privacy and security. There is a clear need for mobile applications to be able to accommodate the limited attention span of mobile users and the patterns of their multitasking behaviour.
Personalised features of context-aware applications are typically more user-friendly in that they can adapt themselves to the needs of each individual user. However, most context-aware and customisable systems require that the users provide some personally-identifiable information and/or allow the system to track their behaviour and actions. This inevitably leads to the issues of privacy and security, which is a major concern for mobile users. Obviously, concerns for individual privacy have a negative impact to the adoption of m-commerce services.
The exponential growth of this industry has turned it into a breeding ground of innovation, with new ideas being released to consumers almost daily. The marketplace and its leaders changes year-by-year. Over ten years ago Palm and Research in Motion were the dominant forces in the market, now they are out of the game or fighting to regain market control.
Now a new report from MindCommerce, ‘Mobile Application Marketplace 2015: Market Analysis and Assessment of Future Evolution and Opportunities’, provides a foundation for understanding the state of the market for mobile applications, leading players and strategies, ecosystem dynamics, and the future direction and opportunities for development on mobile platforms.
For further details of ‘Mobile Application Marketplace 2015: Market Analysis and Assessment of Future Evolution and Opportunities’, click here.