Analysis / Mobile Trends

Mobile’s Big Questions for 2015

What questions will be answered for us in 2015?  According to mobile analyst Benedict Evans, “Everything is wide open” and a change in any one of these areas could have dramatic flow on effects.

Evans is Partner in an SF based Venture Capital firm and a prolific and astute commentator on the global mobile industry.  A recent article from Evans asks the 20 questions he believes are outstanding for 2015.  Many of the questions for 2015 that he asks consider high level industry moves and handset vendor decisions which are not always relevant to us in media land, but whose impact could be far reaching.

Evans asks questions like “Will Facebook relaunch Messenger as a Wechat-style shring and discovery platform?” and “How well will the Apple Watch Sell?”.  He doesn’t directly answer his own questions, but he does share links to many blog posts from recent months that address the underlying issues.  In particular, this post at the end of December last year explores the platform wars in some detail, noting that both Apple and Google have won the first round and discussing Android’s next moves in some detail.  He also covers mobile interaction models, messaging, Facebook & Amazon, wearables, scale and aggregation in some detail.

Evans’ posts are well worth a read.  If you have an interest in understanding the global mobile ecosystem and where it’s headed, he is the most informed source I have come across.  His weekly newsletter is a wealth of knowledge.  It is brief, concise and covers everything of import that has happened in the last week.  Evans’ newsletter is in fact the only email subscription I now maintain.

Below are some of the questions I’d most like answered from Evans’ list of 20:

  1. Will Facebook relaunch Messenger as a Wechat-style sharing and discovery platform?
  2. Does Google double down on Glass or (officially) give up?
  3. How well will the Apple Watch sell?
  4. Where will Apple and Google take the interaction model and integration model?
  5. Will tablet sales continue to be flat?
  6. Is this the year that the Bitcoin blockchain starts producing real consumer products?
  7. Do concepts like the Samsung Gear VR take off?

Evans is wise enough to know that he can’t possibly have all the questions covered.  Item 20 on his list is the statement that “the most interesting thing to happen this year is almost certainly not on this list” and that “you only really start understanding things at the point they become irrelevant”.

To me, this is exactly why we should ponder these questions for 2015, even though we can’t answer them yet.



 <img credit: Simon Brown >
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