Last month was the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone. (Yes, really!)
Back in 2007, Steve Jobs first announced that Apple planned to launch a device that would ‘re-invent the phone’. As we look back now it’s funny to think that few really understood the profound and lasting impact the iPhone would have –on the mobile industry and on our everyday lives.
At the time, Yahoo! co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang, and Google CEOs Eric Schmidt were full of praise for the new device as representative of the new internet age. As we now know, the iPhone would provide a valuable mobile extension to the likes of Google, Skype, Amazon and Facebook that would allow them to infiltrate and disrupt the operator walled garden of mobile data features and services forever.
The arrival of the iPhone, and the subsequent popularity of ‘app culture’, brought about the demise of some core operator services and revenues, most notably messaging. As well as being the mobile platform for Apple to launch its own range of mobile services alongside iTunes, the iPhone was one of the first devices to extend Over-The-Top (OTT) services like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
Caught in this whirlwind of competitive pressures, many operators invested heavily in their networks to differentiate themselves. Large-scale migration to IP networks helped operators to enhance Quality of Service (QoS) with faster broadband and mobile network speeds. But this migration also improved the QoS offered by operators’ OTT rivals. And unlike operator services, the OTT services were free-(or nearly free) of-charge to use.
It’s the OTT way, or the highway
On the same day the iPhone reached its ten-year milestone, an industry study from Juniper Research suggested that consumer migration to OTT social media services will cost mobile operators more than $100 billion in lost revenue this year alone. Yet, this study ignores the significant opportunity that the ongoing transformation of the digital consumer experience presents to mobile operators – if they get it right!
Device capability, IP enabled rich communications and bandwidth availability has created a demand from consumers seeking more personalized and immersive communications experiences. Many social media applications became successful because they’re inclusive, free and create a wealth of lucrative user data that can be further monetized. This includes the capturing and sharing of user generated content.
And it’s here that operators can find the blueprint for their digital success: create a marketplace of products and services which draw on the core strengths of their network and other communications assets and investments.
Read the full article on VanillaPlus.