Apple, Google Rivalry Boosting Mobile Web 2.0 Growth: Report

The rivalry between Apple and Google is one factor adding to the swift growth of the mobile Web 2.0, says a new report from Juniper Research. Other factors include acquisitions, such as Google's purchase of AdMob; application "mashups"; and increasing smartphone adoption.

The mobile Web 2.0 landscape is one of great opportunity, Juniper Research concluded in a March report highlighting the trends and growth within the space.
The firm expects to see annual spending of $6 billion in mobile advertising by 2014, writing that "media owners are looking to deliver ads and content via new technology, across wider markets and within redefined commercial strategies, resulting in increasing levels of market activity."
While in 2009 the online media and technology sector saw a 21 percent decline in its numbers of mergers and acquisitions, versus 2008 figures, the number of transactions in the mobile media and technology space doubled during that time frame, Juniper reports, with the total transaction value rising by more than 400 percent.
There were 35 announced deals in the mobile space, valued at $1.4 billion and led by Google's $750 million acquisition of AdMob in November 2009.
Growing the space, along with acquisitions, are a number of rivalries, including the increasing bad blood-or newly overlapping interests-between Apple and Google, which was made entirely clear when Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple's board in August 2009.
"As Google enters more of Apple's core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric's effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a press statement at the time.
Juniper reports that Apple is thought to be developing a search engine of its own, and reportedly is also "discussing ways to replace Google with Microsoft's -Bing' as the default search engine on the iPhone."
The ultimate concern between these rivals, writes Juniper, citing data from AdMob, is said to be search advertising, as "the iPhone accounts for more than half of all ads on smartphones, and that many of those are currently served via Google's search engine."
Also contributing to this new phase of the mobile Web is a "mashing up" of application features, such as geo-tagging, social networking, instant messaging and VOIP (voice over IP). In addition to setting the mobile Web 2.0 apart, writes Juniper, the combining functionalities additionally offers a fresh take on services, such as presence, which were hyped but previously more service enablers than direct revenue streams.
Juniper estimates the current value of presence-based mobile Web 2.0 services-which are being driven by mobile IM, mobile VOIP and mobile presence-based ad spending-to be at $2.3 billion, while predicting a rise to $10.9 billion by 2014.
And still another contributor to the space's growth has been the worldwide increase in smartphone penetration and mobile broadband deployments.
"While VOIP traffic has been constrained by the need for 3G/HSPA to provide the necessary [quality of service] and many operators have historically sought to block VOIP services," writes Juniper, "the widespread deployment of mobile broadband services will facilitate the growth in mobile VOIP usage."
Highlighting the perseverance with which smartphone use is growing, a March 18 report from research firm iSuppli stated that while worldwide per capita income fell by 2 percent in 2009-for the first time in the post-World War II era-global smartphone shipments rose by 13.1 percent.
A partial version of the Juniper report is available at the firm's Website.