What is the real meaning of competing in the mobile market today?
Well, today it is not about competing for the mobile market… Instead, because the space is still so immature, it’s about competing for its early adopters.
In response to the above question, Tomi Ahonen wrote at ForumOxford:
Good question. My quick take on it…
First, there is the contest on the handsets, rather straight-forward, Nokia vs Samsung vs Moto vs SE vs LG vs the others RIM, Apple etc. This is quite a well-defined market, still growing.
Then there is the contest for the subscriber, network operators and in many markets already also MVNOs, trying to get our connection by contract or pre-paid account. This is an expanding market, where in almost all markets there is a growth in providers (either more license operators or MVNOs or both) but some most advanced markets have gone past the MVNO cycle – Denmark, Hong Kong, Finland – and have now shrinking pool of operators.
Then is the contest in communication traffic, voice and person-to-person SMS mostly, some mobile email (blackberry etc) and a bit of mobile IM Instant Messaging as well. This is quite mature, nearly 100% of subscribers use voice and 74% use SMS.
Then is the value-add services market. This is young. It has some mass market services, voting-for-TV (American Idol style) and ringing tones are pretty well established; but most other parts – videogaming, web surfing, mobile-TV, mobile advertising, mobile banking, m-commerce etc – are in the early stages.
Then finally, there are regional variances. South Korea mobile TV is mainstream already (over a fifth are subscribers). In Japan mobile advertising is mainstream (half of subscribers receive ads). In the Philippines mobile banking is prevalent. In Austria mobile payments are common. Etc.
But these all create conflicting and overlapping concepts of loyalty and churn. Multiple subscriptions for example.
Isn’t Tomi great? Great, accurate description…