No other technology has placed the world in the palm of our hand quite like mobile. With each new advancement, from mobile payments to digital healthcare, mobile continues to transform our lives, ease our day-to-day activities, fill us with knowledge and transport us to new destinations with just one click.
As mobile travels this fast-track trajectory, some are already predicting that the mobile app market is nearing saturation while others feel it’s still in its infancy. Regardless, one thing is certain: mobile will continue to outshine all other forms of technology in the near future.
In August 2015, KPMG interviewed 111 tech executives from leading U.S. tech companies and found that mobile technology will be the biggest driver of their companies’ revenue growth over the next 24 months.
Mobile technology is a broad category, and growing more inclusive every day. Clarity around the particular areas within this sector that will drive growth is imperative. To shed light on the future state of mobile, we tapped some of the industry’s leading strategists to offer their predictions on upcoming tech trends.
8 Mobile Predictions
“We’ve seen the huge proliferation of smartphone users over the past five years or so, and I think over the next decade this trend will only continue, especially globally. We are seeing it already with the growing trend in vertical video publishers are making content specifically to be consumed on mobile because we know that’s where people are. There is great and currently somewhat untapped potential to reach audiences in new and different ways on emerging platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and others.
“Additionally, populations in emerging markets are skipping desktop all together and going straight to mobile, presenting a huge opportunity to reach a mass audience in countries like India, Brazil and the South East Asian region. That global audience cannot be understated as we think about the future of mobile marketing.”
—Hannah Meium, Director of Branded Content, Mashable
“Over the next five years, I see a continuing merger of the tablet and mobile device. Screen sizes will increase on mobile devices and tablets will slowly phase out as laptop systems begin to act more like tablets. Android’s influence on the tablet market will be felt in this space; there will be the ability, as we see already with some models, to snap off your display and head to a meeting with an easier to transport tablet, which will conserve battery life and add the functions of a mobile device.
“Responsive design will continue to drive the need for better and bigger mobile screens. Native app dependency will decrease as mobile web is able to deliver more exact location data. To compete in the native app space, personalization and dynamic design will be key factors.”
—Patrick Foster, General Manager, USA TODAY College & Digital Project Director
“Imagine if native apps were as accessible as web pages. If you could click a link and immediately be viewing a page in a native app, with all the high performance, great UI and personalization that native apps provide over websites—this is where mobile is heading.”
—Alex Austin, Co-founder and CEO, Branch Metrics
“Within the next few years, you won’t be required to download, install and update apps anymore. The current concept will dissipate and be replaced by apps hosted by the cloud. Users will be able to utilize any app that’s in the cloud, without being worried about storage limitations. Moreover, apps will be an essential part of our lives as part of the IOT trend. We will find them in our cars, watches, glasses, TVs and other everyday tools. Apps will also be much more personalized and tailored to the specific user’s behavior and preferences.”
—Omer Chehmer, Head of Mobile Communications, Last Minute Travel
“One of the biggest trends seems to be appless apps, or mobile-based products and services that reduce their interface to being very, very simple. There are ways to build on top of existing open platforms, such as email or SMS, and more and more entrepreneurs and companies are realizing that by reducing the initial setup friction (such as installing an app) they can increase conversions and activations.”
—John Turner, CEO/Founder, UsersThink
“While the app market is saturated, apps will not go away in the next 5-10 years. Instead, apps will have to get smarter to enable personalized interactions with consumers. Apps that make consumers work too hard to get relevant info and value will be quickly discarded. Companies that capitalize on the smarts of smartphones and other devices to better understand their customers’ preferences, behaviors and circumstances can build trusted relationships and mutually beneficial mobile interactions for many years to come.”
—Carla Fitzgerald, CMO, Smith Micro
“Web-based mobile apps have come an extremely long way, and it is only a matter of time before all of the mobile apps on the market are replaced by their mobile web counterparts, all of which run in a mobile browser. This doesn’t bode well for certain major app platforms, which take a cut of both download and in-app revenue and cannot be bypassed. This gatekeeping function doesn’t exist on the web, which means that we will soon start to see mobile web catch up to, and surpass, mobile app usage.”
—Andrew Boos, Founder and CEO, Appfuel (acquired by Tune, 2014)
“The smartphone form factor and feature set has plateaued. Innovation in the next few years will be in the constellation of devices that orbit around the smartphone everything from wireless charging pads to virtual reality visors.
“Expect to see more conversational computing interfaces (e.g., Siri, Google Now and Amazon Alexa) baked into Bluetooth devices that connect to the phone so people can take advantage of them on the go.”
—Jonathan Stark, mobile strategist and president, Jonathan Stark Consulting