Big Brother blues
Two of the most prominent commercial opportunities presented by the rise of the smartphone both have a common problem when it comes to mainstream adoption - trust.
We've heard a lot about the mobile wallet over the past few weeks, and the likes of Google, Mastercard and NXP are all striving to demonstrate how secure this technology is. But punters are still a long way from putting all their financial eggs in one mobile device basket.
A similar caution applies to location-based services (LBS), according to a new survey by Ovum. While we're quite happy to broadcast our locations on the Internet, we're not happy with the thought of companies being able to track our location in the name of ‘customer service' - i.e. trying to flog us stuff.
61 percent of the consumers Ovum surveyed said they had concerns about the use of LBS in customer service. Furthermore only 20 percent were willing to share their location with companies in the name of LBS, and even fewer saw social media as a viable channel for customer service.
"Although many UK consumers use location-based services such as Foursquare in their daily personal lives, when brands use LBS it is seen in a very different light by consumers," said Ovum analyst Ian Jacobs.
"Consumers to date have very little experience with LBS in the context of customer service. So, it is not bad experiences, but rather pervasive concerns about privacy driving the mindsets of UK consumers who feel their location data may be misused by businesses. To create a sense of trust, businesses must become much more transparent on how the data will be put to use, and show customers some demonstrable value when using LBS for customer care."
Meanwhile leading white-label LBS provider Telmap has released its latest metrics report. It revealed that the iPhone remains the biggest platform for Telmap services, but Android is expected to take that crown soon, with the Samsung Galaxy S the second most used device.
Point-of-interest searches look like the most rapidly growing category for Telmap, as people increasingly use LBS to augment their smartphone satnav experience.