Never before have people had such a love affair with a communications medium as they have with their mobile phones. Now, marketers aren’t communicating with consumers via an impersonal one-way device; rather, they are communicating with them through a device people happily carry around 24/7. Here are my top 12 trends for the mobile world in 2012.
  1. The battle for customers goes mobile

    The battle for ultimate access to the end-user is going to be slugged out in the mobile space, and this year it looks like the top contenders are the mobile operators, the handset manufacturers and FNB. There’s no real sign of retailers or content producers entering the fray as yet.

    Late entrants will be caught short when they realise the role mobile phones will play in allowing people to pay for goods and services.

  2. Mobile fragmentation is here to stay

    Feature phones vs smartphones vs tablets; Apple vs Android vs BlackBerry; native applications vs HTML5 – if anything, mobile fragmentation is going to increase over the course of 2012.

    Companies will need to start looking past the hype, understand which devices their customers are using for which purpose, and then be incredibly savvy about how they roll out mobile services.

    A corollary of this is that customers are going to start choosing mobile devices based on what they want to do with them, rather than other imperatives.

  3. Location, location, location

    Location-based services are going to become far more mainstream in 2012, similar to how Twitter crossed over last year. This will be helped by forward-thinking brands realising the power of speaking to people according to where they are currently located.

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