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Opinion: Mobile 2009

January 8, 2009

Microsoft Mobile

Every now and then, an opinion will be published by the big industry decision makers. Most of the time, I have an opinion on that opinion. Sourced from the NMA site, Hugh Griffiths, Director of Mobile at Microsoft UK has given his opinion of what 2009 holds for mobile.

“The user interface is the next battleground for handset manufacturers. I expect the proportion of smart phones to increase dramatically to represent 18% of all devices sold in 2009. Symbian will continue to be the market leader despite losing share recently, with Apple, Windows Mobile and RIM battling to consolidate the second spot.

Messaging volumes have continued to rise in 2008 but recently all-you-can-eat text bundles (pioneered by Genie in 2000) have been introduced which will drive the volumes still higher, to close to 90bn, or almost 250m a day, in 2009.

With flat-rate tariffs now available on all networks, I expect the numbers of people using the mobile internet to reach 20m by this time next year — almost 50% of current mobile users in the UK. With this, other forms of browser-based messaging including IM and social networking will also see strong growth.

Finally, more usable mobile payment mechanisms will develop. With Amex and Visa investing significantly and near-field-communication chips (used within enterprises for staff security) starting to be trialled in devices, this promises a bright future for long-awaited mobile commerce, which in turn will give a huge boost to mobile advertising.”

After reading this, there is not a lot I disagree with, but I feel that the essence of all that is creative and dynamic about mobile has been missed! Tariffs, usability and payment mechanisms are all very important, but mobile marketing and mobile apps are still young!! The creative potential has not even been half fulfilled, and the experimentation and measurement of such avenues hasnt been completely defined as of yet.

So in terms of functionality, big Hugh isn’t far wrong! But surely he has completely missed the point of why mobile is going to be so great?! What are your thoughts?

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