The 2014 year witnessed a fierce shakeup in the mobile ecosystem. Chinese companies Lenovo, Huawei, and Xiaomi became three of the Top 5 global smartphone makers, while incumbent leaders Samsung and Apple continued to lose share and get pressured in emerging economies.
The trend towards mobile “gadget accessorization” continues to accelerate and proliferate as wearables, pervasive computing, and Internet of Things continue to dominate the Hype Cycle - driven by the release of the Apple Watch, Moto 360, Pebble Steel, and Gear S. Newer connected device categories like virtual reality headsets (Galaxy Gear VR, Google Glass, etc.) further extend and compliment the smartphones. User experience advancements in the IoT space are being driven by sensor-enabled context-awareness, health & fitness tracking, and increasingly precise indoor location capabilities. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) with supporting BYOD for personal devices running Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile is now a fundamental must-have capability for successful employers, while support for the once-ubiquitous Blackberry has dwindled. Mobile payment is quickly becoming the primary e-commerce platform in global markets with Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and Alipay. App Performance Monitoring (APM) and mobile cloud data analytics are becoming key capabilities needed as the number of apps soars beyond the 1.3 million mark, and combined downloads from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store exceed 130 billion.
At the WCA’s 15th Annual What’s Hot (and What’s Not) in Mobility VC Panel, our investor panelists will discuss these trends and share insights into which mobile/IoT growth areas their investments are going to, which innovative start-ups aim to address both horizontal and vertical market opportunities, and which overhyped markets are not worthy of investment. You will also get a glimpse of the paradigm-shifting trends and business opportunities they are expecting for 2015 and beyond.