Juniper: Recession will impact mobile video fortunes

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 13-12-2011

Threat of a double-dip recession continues to make its presence known across Western markets, Juniper Research says in a cutting new report.
Even though the analyst says that the mobile space in particular will not be immune to the effects of the crisis, Juniper believes that the industry in general is "relatively robust and will be far less susceptible to those effects than most other verticals."
The firm points out that there is a strong possibility that recessionary conditions will have an adverse impact on smartphone and tablet sales, particularly for the latter. While smartphones have already become a near “must-have” device in the consumer space, tablets are still relatively nascent as a market overall. A recession would reduce the extent to which these devices penetrate the wider market, notably across Western Europe.
That's not good news for mobile video and TV Everywhere strategies for operators, who have been banking on penetration of the "second screen" to supercharge new home television consumer engagement, advertising and revenue-share opportunities. Worse, the effect will be most acutely felt in the premium tablet sector, where net device sales could plateau or even decline, Juniper predicts.
Conversely, the reduction in average purchasing power could conceivably benefit players such as Amazon, inasmuch as cash-strapped consumers may opt for the lower-priced Kindle Fire (built to be friendly to Amazon's video on demand streaming service) rather than the iPad.
While 2011 was the year of the dual-core device, in 2012, the top-end devices will come with quad-core processors. Asus were the first off the blocks, having releasing their Eee Pad Transformer Prime with the newly launched NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip in November 2011. Qualcomm have also added a quad-core chip to their Snapdragon line.
Speaking of premium devices, Juniper also says that quad-core processors, which offer an improvement in performance, speed and battery life thanks to more efficient multitasking, will become the processor of choice for upper-end mobile hardware. The processor can handle multiple threads at once, and there are a number of services that will benefit. On the video front, Javascript and Flash will run faster, allowing Web developers to create more graphics- and script-heavy apps and pages, speading the pervasiveness of video throughout the mobile Web.
Another tred hat Juniper points out is the fact that Microsoft’s next OS will be compatible with both Intel and ARM architechtures, meaning it will run on both PC and mobile devices.
"This will create a huge ecosystem of devices – from smartphones, to tablets, notebooks and desktops – for app developers to target," wrote researchers. "So expect Microsoft to gain market share in the tablet space, as it replaces the non-tablet-optimised Windows 7. And, with Nokia transitioning its existing (smartphone) and new products (likely to include a tablet) to Microsoft’s platform, the Finnish giant will be fighting back after spending several years losing market share to Android and iOS devices."
Meanwhile, there is a significant bright spot ahead for broadcasters in the United States and Europe: the London 2012 Olympics will provide a substantial boost to advertising across various mobile delivery channels, Juniper predicts.
"With brands keen to employ location-based advertising and marketing to drive sales," researchers noted. "We are also likely to see far more widespread usage of augmented reality within mobile marketing, using both image recognition and markerless tracking techniques."
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will implement the federal Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act is yet to be seen, but it's unlikely the commission will say the act is impossible to implement. In these days of partisan rancor, blaring advertisements are hated by almost everyone; therefore, the CALM Act has strong support.