Multimedia services will surpass text messaging this year as the main source of mobile operators' non-voice revenue in the Asia-Pacific region, industry analyst IDC said Monday.
Driven by the rise of more technologically advanced handsets, multimedia services should reach 16.34 billion dollars, or 11 percent of total mobile revenues in the region outside of Japan, by the end of this year, it said.
Text messaging, or Short Messaging System (SMS), which has been a major earner for years because of its simplicity, is likely to contribute around 10 percent, or 14.65 billion dollars, IDC said.
Ringtones and wallpaper downloads were the early drivers of multimedia mobile services, which now include games, videos, pictures, music clips and other applications.
IDC said text messaging last year accounted for 10.3 percent of total mobile services revenues, with multimedia services contributing 10.1 percent.
"IDC predicts that SMS contribution will plateau at 10 percent for the next few years, while mobile multimedia services will continue to ride on growth trajectory," the market researcher said.
IDC data showed that by 2013, multimedia services revenues in the region outside Japan will reach 45.25 billion dollars, more than double the 18.18 billion dollars in projected revenues from text messaging.
"Today, the emergence of handsets featuring larger screens and even touch-screen interfaces has pushed the uptake of mobile multimedia services to a new level," said IDC senior research manager Alex Chau.
"This has spurred content and application developers to develop tens of thousands of applications to satisfy this new demand amongst mobile users."
New mobile handsets now come with advanced operating systems and high-speed connectivity, allowing subscribers to purchase and share content with ease.
(c) 2009 AFP
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