Billion Dollar Market for On-Device Portals

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The industry is witnessing the adoption of On-Device Portals (ODPs), a new generation of products which deliver content on the mobile phone through the use of a software client application. Orange Downloads, Vodafone Live Cast, DoCoMo i-Channel, Sprint Nextel On-Demand and O2's planned deployment of Qualcomm uiOne, are some notable cases of on-device portal deployments which have already taken place worldwide. According to a recently published report from wireless research and consulting firm, ARCchart, the ODP market is now poised for aggressive growth and is forecast to reach a value of $1.4 billion by 2009. Mobile operators will initially lead ODP deployments but eventually media companies will dominate.

The industry is witnessing the adoption of On-Device Portals (ODPs), a new generation of products which deliver content on the mobile phone through the use of a software client application. Orange Downloads, Vodafone Live Cast, DoCoMo i-Channel, Sprint Nextel On-Demand and O2's planned deployment of Qualcomm uiOne, are some notable cases of on-device portal deployments which have already taken place worldwide. According to a recently published report from wireless research and consulting firm, ARCchart, the ODP market is now poised for aggressive growth and is forecast to reach a value of $1.4 billion by 2009. Mobile operators will initially lead ODP deployments but eventually media companies will dominate.

On-device portals are an evolution of WAP, as they leverage the handset's capabilities to deliver a more compelling user experience, increase service awareness and streamline content purchasing. ARCchart classifies these products into three categories: offline portals, on-device store-fronts and home-screen replacement products.

ODPs have emerged to address the poor take-up of mobile data services. Operators have spent billions of dollars on next generation networks and on sourcing content from media brands. However, non-messaging data revenue is still low: for a successful operator like Vodafone UK, the increase in pure data revenue generated between 2004 and 2005 is estimated at just $88 million.

“Clearly, the answer is not in bigger pipes or more content - content may be King, but the user experience is Queen,” says Andreas Constantinou, the report’s lead analyst. While operators have made substantial investments in their content strategies, the user experience has been neglected, leading to the ‘abandoned shopping cart’ syndrome that was prevalent in the early days of the web.

On-device portals have the potential to drive data ARPU uplift and service usability by delivering content to the device in an easily discoverable, instantly accessible and personalised manner, and by providing the ‘wow’ factor through the use of rich graphics and smarter content. For content providers, ODPs are able to deliver an immersive user experience beyond the traditional off-portal channels.

This report analyses 14 vendors in the on-device portal space, namely Abaxia, Action Engine, Cibenix, Handmark (Pocket Express), Macromedia (FlashCast), MSX, Nellymoser, Onskreen, Openwave, Opera Platform, Qualcomm (uiOne), RefreshMobile, Silk and SurfKitchen. An in-depth review is provided for each vendor, followed by overviews and case studies on T-Mobile NewsExpress, Handango InHand, Access, Obigo, Macromedia Flash Lite, Ikivo, July Systems and Zi Qix. A case study for an unnamed emerging ODP player is also included. The report identifies 10 trends unfolding within the ODP market from 2006 onwards, from application environments as the route to market, to customised design manufacturers.

ARCchart estimates that the on-device portal market in 2005 stood at $30 million, but will grow aggressively over time to reach $1.4 billion by 2009, corresponding to 1.1 billion ODP licenses sold for that period. According to Matt Lewis, Research Director at ARCchart, “We see the tier-1 and tier-2 mobile operators initially leading the way in ODP client deployments but, by 2009, we forecast that media companies will be responsible for the lion’s share of client deployments.”

Following the technology trigger in 2001 and the first wave of ODP vendors arriving in 2002, on-device portals have gained traction in 2005. There are now more than one RFP for ODP products being announced each month globally, and the report profiles the movements of the major operators within the ODP space. Efforts by device manufacturers to incorporate ODP features into their handsets, such as Motorola’s Screen3 and Nokia’s Active Idle and Preminet client, are also examined. In 2006, a second wave of heavyweight vendors are expected to enter the market, while in 2007 ARCchart predicts the wide acceptance of on-device services by the key industry players. Ultimately, however, the core technology of current ODP solutions will commoditise and ODP producers will have to innovate their way into new technology areas in order to continue delivering value.

To purchase this report, or for more information, contact Selma Liemborg on +44 207 826 9004.

Report title:     On-Device Portals: Beyond WAP

Publication date:    January 2006

Number of pages:    145

Table of contents:     http://www.arcchart.com/reports/dl/odp_promo_ARCCHART.pdf
Cover artwork:    http://www.arcchart.com/reports/images/cover_odp.jpg

About ARCchart

ARCchart is an independent research and consulting firm focusing on all aspects of the wireless communications sector. Based in London, ARCchart’s depth and breadth of analysis provides a global perspective on wireless technology and industry developments. Combining original thinking with exceptional knowledge and experience, ARCchart assists clients in making sound commercial decisions about technologies, market strategies and competitive positions. ARCchart’s strategic advice covers all aspects of the wireless value chain - ranging from semiconductors and WLANs to network operators, handsets and mobile applications.

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Matt Lewis
ARCchart
+44 207 826 9002
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