With the usual flood of Top 10 predictions and forecasts for 2010 hitting email inboxes this month, the mobile industry is fully getting caught up in the spirit of self-promotion. Looking for cold-eyed assessments of how mobile companies will climb out of the recession? Keep dreaming. Some of the mobile projections for next year read more like Santa's wish lists.
Millennial Media's predictions starts out with the surprisingly sober insight that 2010 won't be the long-awaited Year of Mobile. But we learn that's only because 2009 was! That presumably will make it the Year after the Year of Mobile.
Among its predictions are that the mobile Web will reach 100 million unique users per month by the end of the year, advertisers will invest significantly in mobile sites and applications, and the bold prognostication that "new entrants to the mobile market will emerge."
For its part, the CTIA limited itself to only a few predictions in its newsletter. But even then it couldn't help slipping in a none too subtle bit of lobbying. One of them states that, "In light of new partnerships and evolving relationships in the wireless industry, consumers enjoy more choices and have more service and product options than ever before, making them the best 'regulators' of the industry." Nearly 70% of those surveyed by the trade group agreed with that "prediction."
The Mobile Marketing Association takes a more light-hearted look ahead, wondering if 2010 will bring "smell recognition" to mobile phones, following "photographing, recording, touching, locating, shaking, accelerating and blowing." It also highlights a forecast projecting a 27% increase in mobile ad spending next year to $2.1 billion.
eMarketer offers something of a reality check to the heady round of great mobile expectations. In an article making seven predictions about digital advertising in 2010 by the research firm's CEO, Geoff Ramsey, mobile isn't even mentioned.