Although the recession has caused mobile advertising to plateau in recent months, advertising is expected to pick up soon, coinciding with the upcoming release of new Google cell phones built with the company’s Android software, Forbes reports. A new study by Brian Wieser, global director of forecasting for Magna, shows that U.S. advertisers could spend as much as $229 million on mobile ads this year, up 26% from the $169 million allocated to mobile advertisements last year (though up less than was originally anticipated). And Wieser estimates that once the economy accelerates, mobile ad spending could even reach $409 million by 2011. “Every player is investing against the long-term promise of the platform, so I don’t think anyone is slowing down,” he told Forbes.
Wieser added that mobile advertising growth, despite the economic slowdown, has remained promising due to the market’s diverse advertising models for mobile. He said that the high incidence of cellular subscriptions, increased mobile web access, and new mobile applications have also helped drive the popularity of mobile. Meanwhile, Google’s new cell phones are part of its “strategy to accelerate mobile Internet access and generate more revenue by selling mobile ads,” according to Forbes. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said that he anticipates Android performing very well this year.
In related news, Hitwise has named March 2009’s top 10 mobile websites—which could be significant for mobile advertisers. They are, respectively, MocoSpace, Myxer Tones, MySpace Mobile, Cricket, WeeWorld, PhoneZoo, Sprint – Pictures, goComics, Fun For Mobile, and Yahoo! Mobile.
Making online purchases using mobile and other wireless devices is not uncommon these days. Computerworld reports that the news from the recent Go Mobile 2009 conference is that mobile payment and mobile applications are here to stay. However, widespread adoption of Near Fields Communications (NFC) technology is still years away. At the conference, more than a dozen companies showcased technologies that allow users to pay bills or make purchases using mobile and wireless devices, but no vendors displayed NFC technology that would allow users to use their devices similarly to pay for a subway ride or a grocery store purchase. Computerworld added that only three mobile phones sold around the world have NFC chips, and NFC technology seems to have caught on mostly in Japan, where millions of commuters use their NFC-enabled devices to board subway trains.
At the conference, a panel of industry experts said that other countries will require more time to convert to NFC, though countries that centrally operate their mass transit systems are likely to be first. With the recession still in full swing, they expect subway administrators to maintain payment terminals for as long as possible. Retailers will also require additional time before they can adopt NFC technology.
How exactly does NFC work? According to the NFC Forum, “Operating at 13.56 MHz and transferring data at up to 424 Kbits/second, NFC provides intuitive, simple, and safe communication between electronic devices. NFC is both a ‘read’ and ‘write’ technology. Communication between two NFC-compatible devices occurs when they are brought within four centimeters of one another: a simple wave or touch can establish an NFC connection, which is then compatible with other known wireless technologies such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi…Because the transmission range is so short, NFC-enabled transactions are inherently secure. Also, physical proximity of the device to the reader gives users the reassurance of being in control of the process.” To learn more about NFC, visit the NFC Forum at http://www.nfc-forum.org/home.