As consumers divide their attention among multiple devices, media companies and other businesses will continue to play catch-up with offerings that seamlessly span the desktop, smartphones and other connected devices.
That’s one of the key predictions of comScore's 2013 Mobile Future inFocus report released Monday.
The report provides a look ahead at mobile consumer trends this year, as well as highlighting some of the main developments in 2012 related to smartphone adoption and mobile use more broadly. U.S. smartphone penetration last year, for instance, surpassed 50% -- and one in three minutes online is not spent beyond the desktop.
The mobile migration has already led companies such as Facebook and Pandora to prioritize mobile development and focus on advertising efforts on handheld devices. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Facebook's ad dollars in the fourth quarter came from mobile, compared to almost nothing at the start of 2012.
The comScore report argues that 2013 will be a critical year for the mobile ad industry as it seeks to gain a share of ad dollars more aligned with its share of media time.
When it comes to m-commerce, comScore projects that mobile will speed up its cannibalization of both e-commerce and traditional retail sales. Mobile currently accounts for only 1% of total retail spending and 10% of e-commerce dollars. But the firm notes even a modest acceleration in mobile buying could have a significant impact on a low margin-industry, such as retail.
A separate Forrester study last month predicts that m-commerce will increase from $12 billion in 2013 to $31 billion in 2017, but remain a small part of overall e-commerce dollars.
The expansion of 4G wireless services will help to bolster m-commerce and other types of mobile consumption. The number of 4G users in the last year has shot up 273% to 33 million. Verizon has almost a third (31%) of the market, followed by AT&T, at 27%. Growing adoption of 4G could help drive high-bandwidth services like video.