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Focusing on high-end devices with an average selling price of more than $300, Gartner Inc. analysts have identified the top 10 cutting-edge technologies and trends for 2012.
Winning mobile apps will have unique features that cater to the mobile environment rather than act as a mobile extension of their online peers.
These mobile apps will also drive hardware sales, advertising spending, and technology innovation. Gartner expects brand companies to increasingly shift their marketing budget to the mobile channel, and experiment with cutting-edge apps to capture marketing and sales opportunities.
Companies that stay abreast of the latest developments could make their products stand out from the pack, enhance brand image, and retain user loyalty.
Following are Gartner’s top 10 consumer applications to watch in 2012.
1. Location-based services
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Location is one of the main enablers that deliver services to users based on their context, and Gartner expects the total consumer user base of location-based services to reach 1.4 billion by 2014.
These services strive to deliver features and functionalities in tune with the user's context, taking into account the user's location, personal preference, gender, age, profession, intention and so on, thus offering a more-intelligent user experience than basic location services can.
Gartner analysts believe context-aware services are a key trend for mobile apps, and location is a key enabler of that.
2. Social networking
Mobile social networking is the fastest-growing consumer mobile app category of the 19 tracked by Gartner.
Social network platforms are sucking in increasing amounts of network traffic. They’re becoming portals, transit hubs, and cloud storage for increasing amounts of messaging and e-mail traffic, videos, photos, games, and commerce.
As mainstream adoption progresses, global social sites will be driven toward providing services in partnership with third parties using open application program interfaces. They’re likely to evolve to a role as infrastructure providers acting as data warehouses and providing user data and access to the more-consumer-facing brands.
Next: Mobile search