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The communications market is in the midst of an all-out war. The deluge of messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Viber, have over-run the segment traditionally owned by SMS and a massive revenue generator for wireless carriers.
And consumers are beginning to view these chat apps not as messaging platforms but as portals to the internet. This is threatening the control Google and Apple have over the mobile ecosystem via Android and iOS. And while Apple addressed this concern with the introduction of iMessage in 2011, Google has largely left Android’s messaging capabilities up to phone makers and carriers to deal with.
For their part, device manufacturers are looking for the newest technology to make their products more appealing than the next vendor’s, as the smartphone market becomes increasingly competitive. Their hunger for improved native messaging capabilities is one of the contributing forces driving the evolution of native messaging.
An emerging messaging standard called Rich Communications Services (RCS) is showing promise as a solution for these players. Google is wagering that RCS will make Android more competitive with iOS while improving the attractiveness of the OS's native messaging client compared with chat apps.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we explore how Google, carriers, and OEMs can take advantage of the new standard to drive revenue, increase user engagement, and improve the overall messaging experience. Finally, we look at the target markets for RCS, and the required steps to drive adoption.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- An emerging tech standard called Rich Communication Service (RCS) will power Android's next-generation native messaging app, giving Android smartphone users a more powerful alternative to SMS.
- RCS will enable Android Messaging users to send larger, higher-quality images, as well as share their location information and make video calls by default. Android users currently rely on over-the-top messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to access these features.
- The strategic implications of Google's embrace of RCS are profound, making Android “stickier” and giving it a competitive edge.
- Adopting RCS will have knock-on effects across the mobile ecosystem. Because Android's user base is so massive, these may be profound and vary from player to player.
In full, the report:
- Explains what RCS is and why it's important.
- Explores the different ways Google, carriers, developers, and phone makers can access, utilize, and distribute content via RCS.
- Outlines the steps needed for encourage RCS adoption by global carriers and phone makers.
- Looks at the potential barriers that could limit the growth, adoption, and use of RCS.
- And much more.
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