Making Money in Mobile Remains Elusive: Ex-Apple CEO

Friday, 17 Aug 2012 | 11:05 AM ET

No one has figured out how to make money in mobile yet, former AppleCEO and chairman of 3Cinteractive John Sculley told CNBC’s“Squawk Box”on Friday.

Lane Oatey | Blue Jean Images | Getty Images

“The challenge for everybody in mobility who’s doing advertising is that people spend about ten percent of the time on the mobile devices, but it only represents about one percent of the advertising dollars,” Sculley said. “So no one's really figured out yet how to make a big monetized business out of advertising on mobile.”

Scully's remarks come as a number of businesses scramble to take advantage of new technology that makes it easier for consumers to use their smartphones to make purchases.

The former Apple chief suggested that the slowness of consumers will make it tough for companies to find the emerging sector profitable. He added that it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen, “it is just something that needs to be done.” (Read More: Zuckerberg & Team Stress Mobile).

Currently, Sculley serves as chairman of 3Cinteractive, a company that helps develop software so businesses can communicate better with customers via mobile. He said the complexity of carriers and certain devices can create additional headaches for companies trying to tap the mobile payment market.

Former Apple CEO: Making Money in Mobile
John Sculley, former Apple CEO, and John Duffy, eCinteractive CEO, discuss how to monetize the mobile space. "No one's really figured out yet how to make a big, monetized business out of mobile yet," says Sculley.

Yet John Duffy, 3Cinteractive CEO, said the sector still holds promise for many companies. He told CNBC that “Mobile is the biggest leap forward in communications ever.” (See: eBay CEO on Mobile Play).

“There are more of the devices,” he said. “They're very personal, they do more things. We're about building a cloud platform that takes that power and helps make our customers more successful.”

Success in mobile means knowing who that customer is and establishing the right relationship with that customer at the right time with the right message, Duffy said.

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