Home  › Media › Mobile
mobile-map-shutterstock-120085516

Mobile Industry Trends Revealed at GMIC 2014

  |  May 18, 2014   |  Comments   |  

The recent Global Mobile Internet Conference in China revealed several noteworthy trends in the mobile space for the year ahead.

It's no surprise that the fifth annual GMIC (Global Mobile Internet Conference) in Beijing was even bigger than ever, attracting more than 20,000 attendees. With more than 1.1 billion mobile phone subscribers in China and 5 billion worldwide, there is no other device that impacts our life more than our phones today.

More than 90 percent of all social interactions are now conducted via the mobile phone. What a change in just a few years! After spending two days at the conference listening to the sessions, walking the expo, and talking to industry luminaries, here are the six key insights and trends that seemed worth sharing.

global-mobile-internet-conference

Gadgets

Smart devices were much more prevalent this year. Last year Google Glass was the big draw, but this year, it's common place. One booth had 20 of them for attendees to try. This year we saw many local vendors coming out with Western device clones and original ideas for product ranging from virtual reality goggles to watches to smart scales and even one- and two-wheel self-balancing Segway clones.

An entire track of the conference was dedicated to smart devices. With the new AndroidWear smart watches/devices and the long-awaited iWatch releasing shortly, 2014 is going to really be the year of the wearables! Marketing in a very personal yet non-intrusive way via these devices will be a new frontier of creativity for brands and agencies alike in the coming years.

gmic-google-glass

antrvr-kit

Gas-Savers

Smart and electric cars and smart car accessories were making a big showing at the event. Several auto-focused vendors had large booths from both local and international vendors. The Tesla at the front entrance drew large crowds. Several local vendors also promised some impressive technology for turning normal cars into smart cars with a small plug-in device. The popularity of smart and connected vehicles will mean marketers now have yet another way to reach consumers in their cars using a medium other than radio.

smart-cars-gmic

Games/Girls

Mobile gaming firms were a large share of the exhibitors this year. The expo floor looked more like ChinaJoy than the GMICs of the past. Many show girls and cosplay characters walking around the event, making it feel more consumer-focused than the past, and giving a sense the space is getting quite crowded. Games and girls has always been a profitable formula for the Internet; things haven't changed in the mobile age, but it's unlikely all these vendors will be around for the next event.

cosplay-gmic

Globalization

Chinese firms have usually been focused on the Chinese market in the past, but there is a clear trend where Chinese mobile firms are starting to target international markets. From big players like Tencent and UC to device and toy makers and small app/game developers, they all were talking about going global. International ad networks and e-commerce suppliers are both getting significant traction from Chinese vendors trying to reach new markets.

globalization

Ghost Towns

Weibo and Windows Mobile were both big topics from a few years ago...that were conspicuously quiet this year. Even with the recent IPO, the Weibo booth was surprisingly vacant and Windows mobile phones were nowhere to be found. I heard reports Weibo's monthly active users (MAU) haven't really dropped, but no one I know still posts regularly on it anymore. Weibo is still the only mass-market direct distribution channel for brands, but it certainly isn't having as strong an impact as it did a few years ago.

ghost-towns-gmic

General Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, Big Data analytics, robots, natural language user intelligence, and gesture controls were all buzzwords being thrown around on and off stage that related to new products and services being shown at GMIC. Machines are certainly getting smarter and these futuristic terms are getting more real than ever. A live demo of a humanoid robot interacting with speakers and audiences showed how science fiction is starting to turn into science fact. In another session, a speaker pointed out that Google has acquired eight artificial intelligence-focused early-stage stealth start-ups for more than half a billion dollars in the last few months. This really makes me think the future is closer than we may think...

general-intelligence-gmic

Subscribe to ClickZ Asia to receive your weekly dose of the region's latest trends, tips, and insights straight to your inbox.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alvin Wang Graylin

Graylin has over 19 years of business management experience with 11 years operating in Greater China. He is CEO of Guanxi.me and co-founded mInfo in early 2005, leading it to its market leadership position in mobile search and mobile advertising in China. mInfo is a strategic partner to all three Chinese mobile carriers for search and advertising, and was the official mobile search provider for the 2008 Olympics. mInfo serves numerous leading brands and agencies on mobile marketing solutions/campaigns throughout China. Graylin speaks at numerous conferences around the world and is regularly asked to write for leading publications on mobile technology and advertising. Prior to mInfo, he was the CEO of two other venture-backed technology startups in the U.S., and held P&L roles at public companies such as Intel, Trend Micro, and WatchGuard technologies. Graylin earned an MS in Computer Science and an MBA from MIT, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington. He is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Jobs

    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...
    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...