News Scan: Mobility disrupts web conferencing; BYOD invades the factory floor; more

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>> Mobility is disrupting web conferencing market

Mobility is one of the forces disrupting the web conferencing market, judges research firm Frost & Sullivan. Other disruptive forces include new services and social collaboration. The research firm projects that the web conferencing market will increase at a 9.8 percent compound annual growth rate, reaching $2.9 billion in 2017. Web conferencing vendors are "increasingly focusing on mobile delivery to ensure a borderless work experience that accommodates shifting work styles," observes Roopam Jain, enterprise communications and collaboration industry director at Frost & Sullivan. Read more on the web conferencing market.

[More on web conferencing: Blue Jeans Network gets $50M funding boost | Brother to support iOS devices on cloud-based web conferencing service]

>> BYOD devices invade factory floor

BYOD mobile devices will play an increasingly important role in manufacturing, predicts IHS Technology. Manufacturing workers are using their personally-owned smartphones and tablets to monitor and control industrial equipment, either on the factory floor or remotely. To capitalize on this trend, industrial automation vendors are starting to offer apps that work on iOS and Android devices. For example, Opto 22's groov offers a system for building human-machine interfaces to monitor and control manufacturing automation systems using tablets and smartphones. Read more on IHS's predictions.

[More on industrial mobility: Mobility, big data will combine to transform enterprises, says Forrester | Mobile, fixed barcode scanners for industrial use to generate $775 million in revenues by 2018]

>> Close to 2 million LTE-capable antennas were shipped last year

Around 1.9 million LTE-capable antennas--totaling $1.4 billion--were shipped last year, according to ABI Research stats. That number is expected to increase to 3.14 million in 2018, with growth fueled by the need for multiple in, multiple out antennas in LTE and LTE-Advanced networks. In addition, the need for more LTE spectrum bans is pushing mobile operators to invest in multi-band and ultrawide-band antennas. The proportion of multi-band LTE antennas out of total LTE antennas shipped will increase from 30 percent in 2014 to 68 percent in 2018, according to ABI. Read more on ABI's stats.

[More on LTE: 4G LTE will account for 50% of US wireless connections by end of 2014 | VoLTE deployment to spur investments by firms, mobile operators]

>> Phablet shipments to reach 120 million by 2018

Worldwide shipments of phablets--smartphones with displays of 5.6 inches and larger--are forecast by Juniper Research to total more than 120 million by 2018, up from 20 million in 2013. The operating systems market for phablets will be dominated by Android and Windows. The Windows ecosystem will be driven by Nokia's Lumia smartphones, which are expected to be successful in the more affluent demographics of developing nations. The Android ecosystem will be driven by the latest in Samsung's Note series in developed markets and local vendors such as Intex, Juniper says. Read more on Juniper's phablet projections.

[More on phablets: Samsung upgrading Galaxy S4, S III, Note 2 to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean | Verizon delivers Android Jelly Bean to Samsung's Galaxy Note 2]

>> Apple's iOS beats Android in mobile ad revenue

Apple's iOS accounted for 56 percent of mobile ad revenue during the fourth quarter, while Google's Android trailed with 31.73 percent of mobile ad revenue, according to a study by Opera Mediaworks cited by AppleInsider. iOS also led in terms of mobile traffic, accounting for 43.4 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with Android's 37.7 percent. Overall, Opera found a 52 percent rise in mobile ad traffic worldwide, but the U.S. share dropped to 48.6 percent.  Read more on Opera's mobile ad stats.

[More on mobile advertising: Mobile ad spending to reach $13B | Mobile advertising hot bed of M&A, investment activity]