The mobile market in 2015 continues to evolve. As predicted during last year’s WCA panel on the future of mobility, Chinese OEMs are now 7 of the top 10 global smartphone makers. Incumbent leaders Samsung and Apple are experiencing increased pressure, particularly in emerging economies. Nokia is reportedly gearing up to attempt a mobile comeback following the Microsoft debacle, and Motorola Mobility is surprising many of its critics with the release of the positively reviewed Moto X Pure. Meanwhile, Xiaomi and OnePlus are generating buzz in new markets, while start-up newcomers like Nextbit and Wileyfox are attracting attention by releasing affordable, competitively featured smartphones. As the commoditization of smartphone hardware accelerates, a load of new mobile-connected IoT devices/SaaS startups are hitting the market. Virtual Reality headsets (Oculus VR, Galaxy Gear VR, Google Cardboard, etc.), wearable devices (watches, rings, etc.), and various IoT/ home automation products are attempting to ride the next wave of mobility, but questions remain about if and when consumers and enterprise will adopt these new technologies. As the definition of “mobile” continues to expand beyond smartphones, the evolution of apps, smart content delivery, cloud services, App Performance Management (APM), monetization and user engagement services is becoming an increasingly important. Growth at both Facebook and Google is coming on the heels of a “Mobile First” services mantra. Smart, sensor-enabled, context-aware innovations continue to crank out more data sets, opening up the opportunity for companies to analyze and make use of that data to enrich our daily lives and even improve our health. Video consumption on mobile is expected to grow 20% in 2016, influencing content distribution and ad servicing. Mobile messaging and free-to-play gaming are still incredibly hot, but will it last? Which areas of mobile are ripe for disruption in 2016 and beyond? Join us at the WCA’s 16th Annual What’s Hot (and What’s Not) in Mobility VC panel for a discussion with some of Silicon Valley’s best mobile-savvy Venture Capitalists about the future of mobility. They will also share insights into which mobile growth areas capture their smart investments – and which do not.
— Lisa Oshima, Founder and Managing Consultant, Socialize Mobilize
— Steve Goldberg, Partner, Venrock — Eric Zimits, Managing Director, Granite Ventures — John Occhipinti, Partner, Relay Ventures — Jeff Tannenbaum, Principal, BlueRun Ventures — Tim Young, Founding General Partner, Eniac Ventures