This year the mobile wallet was a bust here in the U.S., but a panel of 200 mobile industry execs, developers and insiders think mobile payments will be among the most compelling consumer applications in 2013, along with social networking and location apps.
According to the new survey conducted by Chetan Sharma Consulting, mobile payments and commerce will not only get big but they’ll be powered largely by the old-school financial companies. The survey’s participants appear to have arrived at the conclusion that the carriers, Google and even trendy new startups like Square had their chance to jumpstart mobile payments and largely blew it. Now Visa, the banks and more established online payment companies like PayPal will clean up their mess.
When polled, 50 percent of Sharma’s panel identified financial institutions and PayPal as the companies most likely to dominate the m-commerce/payments market. And they expected the overall mobile commerce and retail market to become huge. Almost 60 percent of those polled expect m-commerce to surpass e-commerce by 2016 in North America, with Asia and Europe shortly behind.
Sharma asked his panel a host of questions about all aspects of the mobile industry. Here are some of the most interesting tidbits:
The headline of 2012 was supposed to be the saga of Apple vs. Google fighting it over the smartphone OS, but the big battle turned out to be between Apple and Android proxy Samsung. The courtroom brawl between the two mobile titans was the biggest drama of last year, according to the survey, but respondents expect Google to enter the fray directly in 2013.
Google has for years been perceived as the most open player in mobility, and though that reputation has dipped slightly in the last three years, it’s still well ahead of any other wireless industry company or group in the eyes of Sharma’s survey participants. What’s particularly interesting is that Apple’s already poor reputation for openness fell to an all time low this year. Even the carriers — which traditionally are the most closed of any group — scored higher than the iPhone maker.
Apple may have donned the black hat when it comes perceptions of openness, but that has no impact on how its peers view its prospects for success. When asked who the four most important players in mobile are, nearly 100 percent of respondents both named Apple and Google in their picks. Samsung was named by about 75 percent of the survey, while just over 35 percent of the panel named a major global carrier.
The panel also expects Apple and Google’s respective strengths in smartphones to carry over to the tablet — a segment Apple currently dominates. Some 65 percent or respondents believe Android will dominate in tablet unit shipments, but an even greater number believe Apple will keep its lead in total tablet revenues due to its higher device prices.
In 2012, Apple’s new iPad and iPhone were the most compelling mobile gadgets of the year, but expectations are high that Samsung will best its long-time rival in terms of product innovation this year. After the success of the Nexus 7, a good portion of respondents expect Google to come up with another desirable gadget in 2013. There also appears to be some anticipation of an Amazon smartphone.