With announcements about iPhone 5, 4G and EE taking place in the last week it’s obviously been a fairly momentous seven days for the mobile industry.
Most of all, it poses marketers with the quandary of how they can all be incorporated into their digital strategies?
First of all, if we look at the long-delayed launch of 4G mobile networks in the UK market, we must prepare for the arrival of genuine high-speed mobile internet services.
The UK’s largest operator, under its new guise of EE, is poised to launch 4G across the UK by the close of the year with its new consumer-facing brand set to sit alongside its Orange and T-Mobile brands (nma.co.uk 12 Sep 2012).
The operator made the announcement to much fan-fare last week promising 4G services, which provide speeds up to five times faster than 3G, for consumers and businesses in the coming weeks (nma.co.uk 11 Sep 2012).
Olaf Swantee, EE CEO, said this transition would have the same effect on communications equivalent to the difference that the jet engine had over steam.
“4G will enable Britain to become a more modern and truly digital connected country,” he added.
My guess is that this will have the effect of mobile taking more prominence in digital specialists strategies.
In particular, I’d expect the mobile video sector to experience a particular boon from this development, as consumers won’t need to rely on public Wi-Fi networks to get a halfway decent streaming session on their mobile devices (nma.co.uk 6 Sep 2012).
I’d argue that O2 has distinguished itself as the foremost operator when it comes to offering digital marketing services to third parties in the UK. But you have to wonder with EE getting a year long start in offering 4G services just what plans will it have in this sector and whether or not it’ll be able to leapfrog O2 in this space?
This then takes us to the launch of the iPhone 5. Prior to its launch was much hype that it would launch with NFC technology which many had thought would make Apple’s Passbook a force to be reckoned with when it comes to marketers.
But alas, Apple’s eventual unveiling of the device lacked such a facility. A development that left Glue Isobar’s head of mobile strategy Tim Dunn underwhelmed (nma.co.uk 13 Sep 2012).
Penning a thought-piece for new media age, he opined: “The increasing layers of hype fail to cloud the fact that every release seems to be more mundane, more functional, ultimately more disappointing, and this was a case in point.”
In particular, Dunn was disappointed at the lack of NFC with the device and I agree. With the likes of Nokia and Samsung making the technology standard in their flagship devices we are on the cusp of something exciting in the sector (nma.co.uk 6 Sep 2012).
But Apple’s omission is holding back the use of this technology as a potential marketing tool.
“It’s as if they’ve taken the view that as they can’t own the entire payment arena, they’re taking their ball back and not letting their users play at all,” argued Dunn.
I can’t help but agree, with so many exciting things on the way it just takes one player to potentially ruin the party.