Region’s mobility growth has dark sides too, including its diversity
IDC makes its top 5 predictions for APAC mobility market for 2015
INTERNATIONAL Data Corporation (IDC) expects the Asia Pacific mobility market to continue experiencing strong growth in 2015 as mobile takes centrestage for business growth in both consumer and enterprise markets.
“The conditions couldn’t be better for strong mobility growth in the Asia Pacific region in the coming year,” said Ian Song, research manager for Enterprise Mobility at IDC Asia/Pacific.
“What we’re seeing now is the perfect storm of strong consumer transition to mobility for every facet of their lives, as well enterprises treating mobility as a strategic initiative – the result of which will be an increased rate of growth for mobile proliferation for the region in 2015.
“We’ve witnessed the consumer segment's wholesale transition to mobility. China’s 2014 singles day saw over 40% of all transactions completed on the mobile platform, and we predicate that over 50% of consumer transactions will be conducted on mobile in 2015,” he added.
The enterprise front would be just as exciting as more organisations approach mobility strategically, according to IDC.
“This means moving away from pure-play mobile device management (MDM) solutions and focusing on app and content management,” said Song.
“Additionally, more companies will look at mobility as a growth driver in 2015,” he added.
However, Song (pic) cautioned that the optimism for Asia Pacific mobility growth is not without its dark sides.
“The sheer diversity nature of this region will offer some unique challenges for vendors and organisations selling and adopting mobility. These challenges might be device, application or solution centric.
“Success in mobility in the region requires a very Asia Pacific mindset,” he said.
Drawing from the latest IDC research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst its regional and country analysts, the following are some trends IDC believes will have the biggest impact on the Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) mobility market:
Prediction 1: M-commerce will thrive
Mobile commerce (m-commerce) will thrive in APeJ, accounting for more than 50% of traffic across several markets, IDC said.
With smartphone adoption exploding across the region and strong signs of tablet growth, the addressable market has grown tremendously, leading to the emerging era of m-commerce.
Asia's diversity means individual, emerging markets like India and Indonesia are already experiencing higher proportions of Internet traffic over mobile devices than traditional PC browsers.
The convergence of these trends is manifesting in rapid growth of Internet traffic from mobile devices to e-commerce sites, IDC said.
In fact, what is striking is that in emerging markets like India and Indonesia, mobile Internet traffic will soon exceed 50% for several companies.
IDC's New Media Market model projects m-commerce to grow in the APeJ region from US$16.6 billion in 2013 to nearly US$67 billion in 2018.
Prediction 2: Numerous mobile wallet formats
Asia will also see the rise of numerous mobile wallet formats, all enabled by the humble QR code, said IDC.
Much of the excitement around mobile payments has to do with ApplePay, which centres on the contactless solution and involvement of major industry stakeholders (major retailers notwithstanding), the research and analyst firm said.
Contactless payment solutions are easier to use but face several challenges in Asia's fragmented mobile environment, the biggest of which relates to the low penetration of Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled smartphones and POS (point-of-sales) terminals.
IDC believes using the humble QR code is the simplest solution to closing the loop and driving fulfillment at the point of sale.
The QR code will help enable the numerous mobile wallet categories that are emerging. The biggest of these are wallets offered by the likes of WeChat and Alipay in China, and paytm and Freecharge in India.
Markets like India with EMV (Europay/ MasterCard/ Visa) chip and PIN (personal identity number) based systems are also seeing the rising development of in-app wallet options.
Prediction 3: Containers are the new MDM
As Asia Pacific companies begin to shift their mobility focuses from device management to application and content management, the trend in 2015 in the enterprise mobility space will be the rise of containers and app wrapping for isolating enterprise data on personally-owned devices.
According to a recent IDC Enterprise mobility survey, about 28% of the survey respondents are already utilising Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions, whereas only 18% are still on Mobile Device Management (MDM).
IDC believes that EMM solutions with container capabilities will exceed 50% attach rate in 2015, essentially becoming table stakes for any EMM vendor.
However, the challenge here is that containerisation technology is fragmented with device and EMM vendors offering their own proprietary containers and app wrapping.
IDC believes that containerised solutions, especially workspace-based container solutions, will see high attach rate in 2015 as Asia Pacific-based organisations continue to mature in terms of enterprise mobility adoption.
One thing is clear, containers are the new MDM in 2015, IDC said.
Prediction 4: Platforms struggle vs ready-made apps
Mobile Enterprise Applications Platform (MEAP) solutions will struggle for growth, with customers buying ready-made apps from large vendors and ISVs (independent software vendors), IDC said.
MEAP solutions, the darling of mobile applications development in the past few years, have struggled to find traction in Asia Pacific. In 2015, MEAP will continue to struggle in the region, as customers increase purchase of off- the-shelf mobile business apps from existing vendors.
The reason of MEAP's struggle in the region is due to a multitude of factors: Buying vs building apps; and developer and platform preference.
Prediction 5: Wearables enter the enterprise
Basic wearables, which include devices fitness bands and clips that cannot load third-party software, will find a lucrative new market in enterprise customers.
Employee tracking, integration into corporate wellness programmes, and the creation of new business models that leverage basic wearables, especially fitness bands, to enhance the customer experience will see significant adoption in 2015.
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