10 Reasons for 10 Billion Connected Mobile Devices by 2020

Guest post from Lisette Sens, part of The NextWomen Mobile Tech Theme.

Anything, anytime, anywhere; mobile empowering our life on the move 

In the late 90’s the internet changed our life; no longer were we dependent on postal service or fax machines but email allowed us instant communication with people and business around the world. 

Initially via portals, later companies started offering their services directly online. Mobile internet was available but the mobile phones at that time, though the good old Nokia’s and Motorola’s didn’t have a large enough screen and you practically needed a Science degree to install an app – much less find it again after it was downloaded. 

Data plans were expensive and few people actually used the WAP or APP services available. When iPhone was introduced the game changed… a larger screen, an Appstore to make it easy to install apps (and offer companies a business model to earn money out of it!), a decent browser to surf the internet and data plans making it affordable to use these services. And it became addictive! Who can live without their mobile, knowing all your friends, your favourite music, your bank information, the weather forecast, your email ….everything is there! 

Going mobile is a trend which cannot be reversed… its exponential growth will only increase – making the internet more pervasive than it has ever been. Not only phones, but also tablets, navigation and gaming devices, and even home appliances are all part of our mobile life! 

Below the top 10 mobile trends to watch… 

1. Mobile is hitting a critical mass!

The Web is converging rapidly to the mobile channel….with more people having access to smart phone and tablet devices. People now regularly use their “mobile devices” any time anywhere for accessing content or services.  With content consumption becoming largely mobile, it will be adapted to needs and interested of the mobile users.

2. It’s all about Usability!

When we use our mobiles or tablets for information, or services, we expect it to be presented to us in a user friendly, and easily accessible way (in a word – we expect it to ‘feel’ mobile).  Apple showed us how important usability really is – as iPhones and iPads have been quickly adopted by children and their luddite parents alike  - many of whom who before wouldn’t  have been able to even browse the internet on the computer!

So even though the mobile internet was actually around since the late nineties it was never really used by anyone. It took Apple to truly show us what we were looking for - easy and intuitive services right at our fingertips – proving it is not only about the technology but, crucially, how easy and pleasant it is to use. In order to deliver a successful mobile experience it is important we take these basic lessons into account.

3. Mobile is global

Mobile is unlocking new parts of the world and more ways than ever to participate in it! Africa and other emerging countries never had access to TV or internet on a large scale. With an increasing number of users in Africa having access to a mobile phone , many even hold their bank account on their handsets. Similarly mobiles provide people access to news and other information they never (or with great difficulty) had access to.

4. Social networking accelerating the further growth of mobile

Social experiences are also more compelling on the mobile. The mobile allows for adding real time social features such as location sharing, friending, and commenting in real time. We don’t have to tell our friends about our holidays anymore; they have been able to follow our journeys and are green with envy upon return from looking at our pictures of beautiful beaches and adventurous sites.

5. Changing shopping behavior; mCommerce is changing the way we shop.

Location based services allow for offers on the move, locate coffee shops or restaurants nearby…, Pricing becomes more transparent (instant local and online price comparison will disrupt the retailers), and mobile allows companies to pass on discounted offers and immediate gratification of the clients on the move. In addition a whole new way has opened for consumers to get instant digital product and content delivery like music, films, and even book on their iPad’s, and with the Kindle 3G we have the whole of Waterstones with us on the beach!)

6. The diverse ecosystem of mobile operating systems is here to stay

The technology battle between Apple, Google, Microsoft , Nokia , Samsung  and Blackberry is far from over. HTML5 is not yet robust enough  to deliver on its cross-platform promise or the standard user experience the native mobile app has achieved. With the next generation of digital natives literally growing up with apps, they are often too young to type, and yet can easily navigate an iPhone or iPad! In this world of device and mobile operating system fragmentation, platform technologies can help solve the headaches for enterprises around productivity and lifecycle management of mobile apps and provide alternatives to deliver the content ubiquitously to all their customers – regardless of device or OS.

7. Mobile in combination with cloud

Access anything anywhere….Dropbox, Box, Salesforce….We love it and are all using it. For back up reasons, having access to all your pictures, files, and anything important cloud technologies make it possible to access our files from our mobile devices.

8. Mobile and monetization

The web was largely free, most companies struggled to introduce compelling revenue models… The app stores have introduced new revenue models for mobile and tablets and subscription based models, in app payments or a one-off app download have all become acceptable for content which was largely offered free via the web.

9. Mobile in the enterprise

Many companies are introducing tablets for productivity. Apps allow their employees to easily connect back with company back end systems whilst they are on the move.

10. Mobile and gamification

With the introduction of Apps more than ever the fun factor has been introduced to make services more popular. Banks such as BBVA in Spain believe gamification of their services makes it attractive and will help them to gain new clients and retain their existing installed base. And we’re talking about a Bank here! 

It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners,

Television took 13 years to reach 50 million viewers, the Internet took 4 years to reach 50 million people, the iPad reached 50 million users in just 18 months! 

Mobile is bigger than anyone has ever seen, and we are not talking just phones… its tablets, e-readers, games, wireless home appliances, car electronics…… In todays world there are about 1 Billion connected computers… its expected that we have about 10 billion connected mobile devices in 2020… that is 10 times the size of the internet! 

Guest article by Lisette Sens, one of the co-owners of Service2Media, a leading mobile technology company where she is responsible for the global sales. Service2Media's technology makes it easier for companies to develop for the increasing diversity of the mobile phone and tablet marketplace – allowing them to tailor their brand and their experience to every user. Lisette has 20 years experience in the IT and Telecommunications industry. During her career Lisette has been involved and contributed to some major digital media initiatives. Lisette is originally from the Netherlands, living in the UK now for 12 years.

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