What to Expect in 2013: Emerging Trends in the Mobile Industry

As we look back at 2012 and reflect on the latest innovations in mobile technology, we can’t help but look forward to what the New Year will bring. Some major developments that have enhanced the mobile experience in 2012 include mobile commerce, location-based services, cloud computing and, of course, the dozens of apps that make our lives a little easier.

So what’s in store for 2013?

Here are some emerging trends to look out for in the mobile industry:

Death of Voicemail

When was the last time you checked a voicemail message on your smartphone? If it hasn’t been for quite some time, you’re not alone. Vonage customers saw 8% fewer voicemails left in July 2012 than in previous months. In addition to the decrease in the number of messages left, voicemails retrieved were down by 14%. The reason for this decline in the use of voicemail is twofold. One, sitting through those annoying introduction prompts when checking your messages can feel like a chore. And two, our culture is too busy and finds it easier to simply return the call or send a text. Which brings us to our next trend…

Rise of Texting (Sort of)

Not much of a surprise here, but texting has grown exponentially over the past few years with young cell phone owners leading the way. A study by the Pew Research Center found that texting has spiked – from 58% to 80% – since 2007. OMG! While there is a rise in texting in the literal sense, there is a shift in the method with which we text. Traditional texting, the kind where you use your mobile carrier’s network, has, according to one report, actually seen a small dip in the third quarter of this past year. This may be because smartphone owners are using social networks and switching to Internet-based messaging apps, like Vonage Mobile, to avoid their carrier’s charges for texts sent or received.

Wi-Fi is the Way to Go

Mobile devices that offer Wi-Fi capabilities are all the rage now, and reports have shown that 61% of American homes now have a Wi-Fi network. It is predicted that 800 million households worldwide will have Wi-Fi access by 2016. Tablet and smartphone users are consuming more data on-the-go than ever before, and Wi-Fi appears to be a viable opponent to carrier networks. With the increase of Wi-Fi enabled-devices and access points, mobile users will now have more chances to choose Wi-Fi over 3G, 4G, and LTE connections. This is also good news for consumers who use VoiP services that may require a Wi-Fi connection. In addition to its ubiquity, Wi-Fi offers speed and reliability at a lower cost. Go with Wi-Fi for the win.

2013 promises to be an exciting and competitive year for mobile industry leaders. As mobile technologies become more advanced and as the smartphone and tablet adoption rate continues to grow, 2013 may be the most innovative year yet.