Mobile technology continues to change and evolve; just look at how far mobile has come. Smartphone usage has changed from professionals exclusively using BlackBerry smartphones to a global smartphone audience that totals 1.75 billion in 2014. Consumers are texting, interacting with others on social media, paying for coffee, and even doing work on a mobile device. Even mobile devices have evolved to cover smartphones, tablets, and wearable technology. It’s hard to imagine life without a mobile device especially if you’ve grown to rely heavily on it. As you think about mobile, you’ll need to keep the following trends in mind because they will have an impact.
Currently, one of the biggest trends in mobile is context, which has many advantages including making operations easier. More companies are starting to focus on creating contextually aware applications which adds to the growing context aware computing market that is expected to grow to $119.90 billion by 2018. Companies like Qualcomm, Apple, and Google are fueling this trend by creating and implementing context aware technologies such as Gimbal, a context awareness platform, ContextHub, iBeacons, and Google Now.
According to Economist.com, “demand for pricey phones, mainly in developed economies, is slowing, but that for less expensive devices is booming.” The trend toward cheaper smartphones is due in part to the decreasing costs of making smartphones. Another factor in this trend is from increasing competition. After losing out in 2013, HTC is seeking to reverse its sales slump by selling mid-tier and affordable smartphones along with its high-end phones. Apple has even tweaked its entry-level iPad and iPhone lineup as rival offerings are gaining momentum among price-sensitive consumers.
Even though many people are still using mobile devices to have fun and connect with their friends via social networks, productivity apps are becoming more central. According to Business Insider, “the average U.S. consumer spent 5 ½ minutes per day using productivity apps in the first quarter of 2014, vs. 2 ½ minutes per day in 2013”. Apps like Google calendar, Dropbox, and Work+ are making it easier to work while you’re on the go or telecommuting. In addition, Microsoft’s release of Office for iPad has helped with the rise of productivity apps in tablets. Productivity applications also give way to an increasing number of enterprise business applications.
Internet of Things
With Google’s purchase of Nest, mobile is moving ever closer to homes. The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things has brought in mobile devices that are making dumb devices smarter. Devices like the Belkin WeMo are increasing in popularity with the ability to control things like a lamp or blender with your smartphone. As we learned at SXSW, the IoT ecosystem and the sensors around us are growing at an alarming rate with many developers trying to understand how to best use the data.
Security will continue to be a major topic. As more people use mobile devices to access email, pay for things, and even to manage a bank account, growing concern over security threats will be brought to the forefront. For individuals, mobile device companies like Apple are bringing in more security features such as Touch ID where you can unlock your iPhone with the touch of a finger. The technology takes a high-resolution image of your fingerprint and then analyzes it. You can use the Touch ID to make your purchases more secure. For Android users, Samsung is set to add two anti-theft features: “Find My Mobile” and “Reactivation Lock”. For enterprises, MDM and MAM systems can help with mobile device and application security. Gartner predicts that 65% of enterprises will adopt a mobile device management (MDM) solution for their corporate liable users through 2017.
All these trends will continue to shape the future of mobile. If you’re developing a mobile strategy, have you considered these trends? Do you have anything to add to this list? If you’d like to discuss mobile, let us know by sending us a tweet @chaione.