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Predictions

increasing role thanks to advancements in mobile technology and the growth of social sharing apps such as SnapChat. The popularity of live 360 content, enabled by platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, will boom, revolutionising the way in which we share these stories with others, as more of us seek to capture and share moments as they happen.’ Huawei also believes device cameras are to play an ever-more important role, aided by their position as the average consumer’s primary photography device. Huawei UK Consumer Business Group MD James Jie says: ‘We firmly believe people are becoming more demanding on camera quality; it’s the only camera people carry around now and this has an impact on people’s expectations on battery life.’

360 content will become the norm, he also believes there’s a crucial industry effort needed in order to get consumers creating 360 content. ‘Just as taking photos from your smartphone was introduced and usage eventually skyrocketed, we see the same trajectory happening for 360º. However, there will need to be significant consumer education around this new technology, and helping consumers understand this is the new video standard.’ Data Select CEO Fergal Donovan believes this growth will come partly from widening price points, telling Mobile: ‘In terms of technology, we expect to see the further growth of technologies such as VR, AR and 360-degree video. These technologies will start to appear further down the price segments, opening up the benefits to a wider audience.’

Manufacturer fighting talk

The role of VR and 360 360 content of course requires a 360 device as well, and this is also a key for Samsung, with Pierce outlining its projected VR growth: ‘In the past year, virtual reality has continued to go from strength to strength. and we anticipate that the trend of escaping reality to virtually experience new things and places is set to take VR into the mainstream in 2017 and beyond. New research by Samsung and analyst house CCS Insight predicts shipments of VR devices are set to soar 390% by 2020, and we expect that mixed reality experiences, combining virtual reality technology (eg. Samsung Gear VR headsets) and augmented reality (such as Pokémon GO), will take us to new levels of experiences in entertainment, travel and sport, which will also be driven by the growing availability of VR and 360-degree content. In particular, the UK market is set to grow rapidly, from 0.78 million shipments of virtual reality devices in 2016 to 3.84 million in four years, making the UK the fastest growth market in Europe.’ While 360 camera manufacturer Allie Camera’s president Dmitry Kozko predicts 18

December 2016

Samsung and Apple continued to hold the lion’s share of the UK market, despite some gains by Alcatel and Huawei. However, industry insiders are predicting a more competitive 2017. Data Select’s CEO Fergal Donovan told Mobile: ‘We look forward to a new year that will not only see the rebirth of household brands such as Nokia and Blackberry, but also the further introduction of devices from exciting vendors such as HTC, Bullitt, Alcatel, Motorola and Sony. A special mention also for Google which we expect to have a strong year with the Pixel and Home portfolios in 2017.’ Westcoast’s head of mobile Darren Seward also expects newer players to make gains, stating: ‘I expect challenger brands such as Huawei to be gaining more traction in the UK market. I also expect the growth of Google own-branded phones.’ The manufacturers also outlined their ambitions for the following year. Warren Saunders from Sony tells Mobile: ‘2017 is the year Sony reclaims its position as the technology pioneer to watch. It will be the year everything gets smarter – from mobiles to appliances to the way we communicate with consumers.’ Huawei’s VP of European media affairs, Adam Mynott, also told Mobile in November: ‘We’re a long way behind Samsung and Apple but we certainly have ambitions to compete these brands and to overtake them in the medium term.’ On the brand’s battle for consumer awareness he added: ‘We’ve had a very good performance thus far in the consumer division in the UK so we are confident we are heading in the right direction.’

Contributors • Aerial Communications • Allie Camera president – Dmitry Kozko • Carphone Warehouse online trading director – Laura Harricks • Daisy Distribution SMB services MD – Dave McGinn • Data Select CEO – Fergal Donovan • Doro UK MD – Chris Millington • EE channel and trading MD – Ettiene Brandt • Excalibur CEO – James Phipps • Fonehouse chairman – Clive Bailey • FreedomPop co-founder & CEO – Stephen Stokols • Huawei UK consumer business group MD – James Jie • Huawei VP of European media affairs – Adam Mynott • Incipio EMEA MD – Neil Edwards • Jabra • Ofcom CEO – Sharon White • Onecom CEO – Darren Ridge • Plan.com co-founder – Keith Curran • Rainbow Communications sales and marketing director – Stuart Carson • Samsung IT & mobile VP – Conor Pierce • Sony Mobile head – Warren Saunders • Telefonica UK CEO – Mark Evans • Telefonica UK digital director – David Plumb • Three director of customer strategy – Danny Dixon • TWL Voice and Data head of BD and marketing – Gemma Morris • Verastar CEO – Chris Earle • Vodafone UK CEO – Nick Jeffery • Vodafone UK CTO – Jorge Fernandes • Westcoast head of mobile – Darren Seward • x-Mobility co-founder & CMO – Shanks Kulam

www.mobiletoday.co.uk


Mobile December 2016