On Friday I went to Deloitte’s Telco, Media and Technology 2014 Predictions Event at the Google campus in Shoreditch. It was only an hour and a half, but well-presented (only if you were sitting at the front, but the microphones were so bad I felt sorry for people at the back) and very well attended.
There were three speakers – Deloitte, Techstars and CSR, a Bluetooth/ home automation system.
Paul Lee from Deloitte
Paul is a good speaker, and really knows his stuff. His key points were:
- The average rate of users updating their handsets will slow down. People change their devices for two reasons – 1. New ‘must have’ features – which has slowed down significantly in recent launches; 2. Broken screens, which is being addressed with new, tougher platinum coated screens.
- There was one trillion dollars of revenue spent in the living room last year: 75 per cent were devices and 25% services. This includes smartphones, consoles, tablets and TVs. Deloitte believe this has revenue has now hit a plateau (with devices becoming cheaper and fewer people upgrading).
- Mozilla will soon release a $25 smartphone, although smartphone penetration among 18 to 34 year olds is now reaching saturation point (over 80 per cent across Europe)
- They will never be a perfect device size. See “Why the single mobile device isn’t possible.”
- There is a trend for smaller cheaper and light or compact tablets. The top 10 selling devices on Amazon last Christmas were tablets under half the price of Apple iPads.
- Future devices: In 2014 Deloitte predict new device sales split as follows:
- $4bn spent on glasses
- $4bn spent on fitness bands
- $2bn spent on digital watches
- In April 2013 WhatsApp messages overtook SMS messages, although SMS still has $100 billion of revenue. The key advantage of SMS is that the MIM (Mobile Instant Messaging) services don’t talk to each other, which is a serious limitation especially on a local country by country basis, for instance Spain which doesn’t use WhatsApp so widely.
Greg Rogers, Techstars, Barclays
(It’s worth watching the video on the TechStars website if you don’t know who TechStars are).
- Greg predicts that Facebook will move from an advertising company to a Financial Services company, specialising in moving money around. (I completely agree – see my post “Five Key Internet Megatrends: 2. Real money”)
- Greg described how we shouldn’t be surprised if a bank CEO buys a social app such as [the next] WhatsApp.
- Later on, during the Q&A session, I asked Greg whether a bank could buy an application such as WhatsApp, and keep it successful. For example NewCorp bought MySpace and were unable to capitalise their investment. (Personally I don’t think the cultural makeup of a bank’s IT department and business politics are able to make this jump in the foreseeable future).
- After the main presentation he talked about advertising technology (ad tech), and how he believes Apple will lead the next generation of advertising systems, because of its ownership of an entire ecosystem. Apple is quietly building out it’s ad teams, and will make a big play on this very soon.
Will Gardiner, CFO CSR
Despite Will being a CFO, his presentation was the most salesey, although his key points were:
- We’re just starting to see Bluetooth healthcare devices monitor users through smartphones
- Will’s company, CSR has an automation platform, Mesh, in place
- Will predicts that the smartphone boom will move from simple smartphone apps towards a control hub for physical devices, such as home automation (but he would say that!)
And finally, during the question & answer session, someone asked Paul about mobile spectrum availability (well, scarcity). His answer was that regulators have a lot of impact on mobile operators’ revenues, and cited an example that since the EU banned roaming charges, operators’ revenues across EU have fallen 6%. In the US, where the roaming still [bizarrely] exists, operators’ revenues have increased 9%.
You can download the full predictions report here, where you can also see a video with Paul Lee.