Most Overhyped Mobile Tech

Strand Consulting is one of the analysts who really get mobile, so it was interesting to read over at 160 Characters their take on the current 7 most overhyped mobile technologies. It’s also nice to see that their views are pretty much aligned with MobHappy’s – or should that be the other way around?

Click on the link for the full list. But they’re very sceptical about Mobile TV (no one has the right business model yet), advertising’s contribution to operator ARPU, which I wrote about a few weeks back, anything but flat-rate priced mobile IM (some operators still think they can charge SMS prices per message) and legacy Internet plays thinking that the key to Underpants Gnome-like mobile wealth is deals with operators.

The big one they’ve missed in my view is dear old Location Based Services, which apart from nav systems and asset tracking (admittedly pretty big markets in their own right) has yet to hit its stride with either usable technology or compelling use cases.

Here’s an interesting quote I just dug up:

Location based services are certainly intriguing and it’s logical to assume that consumers will want to use their phone to find out more information about their area, if there’s no other obvious source.

However, we remain a little sceptical as to how many consumers will actually use these kinds of services in the next 5 years or so. For a start, consumers have to remember to use them in the first place, which means that the inertia effect is working against the promoter of the services – always a potentially fatal problem. This means, at the very least a considerable investment in marketing the services to ensure that consumers understand it, understand how to use it and remember how to access it. This is not an insignificant task.

A more interesting application of location is when a promoter can identify (via an operator) when a consumer is in the vicinity of something they may want to know about, thus allowing a push based message. However, this type of service is still some way away.

Our view is to ignore location for the time being. Mobile messaging offers such a rich seam to mine that location could just prove an un-necessary distraction for the time being.

It could have been written today given the state of LBS, but this is actually a quote from the book I wrote with Ajit Jaokar back in 2002. I’d pretty much stand by it for another 3 years at least (despite the hype), adding the mobile web to that rich seam ready to be exploited.

So, any other over-hyped mobile tech out there? Please leave a comment.

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