Despite Challenges, mCommerce Will Generate a Tidal Wave of Activity, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 31, 2000 – Once the ice is broken, the mobile commerce (mcommerce) market will be flooded with activity. According to IDC, what began in late 1999 with stock trades and book sales will metamorphose into a multi-billion-dollar opportunity by 2004.

"One of the most logical extensions of wireless Internet access is shopping," said Callie Nelsen, senior analyst with IDC's Wireless and Mobile Communications research. "Online shopping is gaining popularity on the wired Internet, and despite security issues and concerns from wireless end users, ecommerce over the wireless Internet will also explode."

Explode indeed. IDC estimates the number of mcommerce subscribers will skyrocket from fewer than a thousand in 1999 to more than 29 million in 2004. Meanwhile, the value of their transactions will go from being too small to count to close to $21 billion during the same time frame.

Before this explosion can occur, however, mcommerce will have to overcome some hurdles. IDC believes the biggest challenge the market faces is security.

"End users will have to gain more confidence in the network's security before mcommerce can really catch on," Nelsen said. "Security actually involves two main issues. The first is confidentiality. End users will need to know that only they and the company have access to the information being exchanged. The second issue is authentication; the ecommerce companies need to be sure the end users they are conducting business with are actually who they claim to be and vice versa."

Wireless vendors can help break some of the barriers to the market's growth by making the wireless buying experience fast and easy. They should also explore payment options that don't involve users sending their credit card numbers over a wireless device. eWallets are a good alternative.

Information like the above can be found in IDC's new report, Shopping on the Go: Wireless mCommerce Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004 (IDC #B22573). This report analyzes the opportunity for ecommerce conducted over wireless devices. Leading mcommerce players are profiled, and common mcommerce applications that are available today and those that will be available in the near future are discussed. The report forecasts mobile commerce subscribers by access type, average monthly value of mobile commerce transactions by subscriber, and mobile commerce transaction value through 2004 for the U.S. market. To purchase the report, contact Bruce Atlas at 1-800- 343-4952 extension 4053 or at batlas@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG , the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.