What did 2008 bring for Mobile?

As the end of year period allows some catching up on reading industry news, I came across an interesting year overview by FierceMobile, which nicely sums up the importance of the past year for the mobile industry.

1/ The iPhone pushes the Mobile Internet to the next level
apple_iphone1The iPhone was first launched in 2007, but became a worldwide hype in 2008.  For the first time, consumers started thinking of their mobile device as more than something that allows voice calls and sms messages.  Mobile Internet finally came on the radar of a larger audience.  And other mobile manufacturers followed with the launch of new smartphones with lots of interesting new functionalities.

 

2/ The App Store redefines the mobile user experience
The App Storeallows consumers to download a large variety of applications onto their iPhone.  For developers it provides an interesting platform to sell their new applications. This completely changes the user experience: no longer must subscribers troll carrier decks and retailer web sites in search of applications optimized for their particular device or operating system, or suffer through absurdly complicated download protocols. Moreover, the sheer abundance of applications available from the App Store virtually guarantees there is an app tailored for every iPhone owner, regardless of their personal wants and needs.

 

3/ Google emerges as a mobile superpower
google1Having conquered the position as #1 web search tool, it was obvious that Google would become a leader in mobile search as well.  But they didn’t stop just there.  Their open software platform Android encourages innovation on the mobile and their partnership with T-Mobile results in the launch of the G1 smartphone, up for competition with the iPhone.

 

4/ Mobile reshapes social networking – and vice versa
facebook-social-networking2The mobile hype went parallel with the growing popularity of social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace. It’s only natural that both got intertwined. 46% of social network members have visited their favorite sites on their phones, with more than half of them checking for comments and messages from their friends. A 45% have also posted status updates. In November, Facebook announced its mobile userbase has expanded from 5 million to 15 million since the beginning of 2008.  MySpace announced that same month that its integrated mobile solution customized for device maker Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones generated more than 400,000 downloads in its first seven days of release. 

 

5/ Mobile messaging continues to surge
girl-sending-sms-11Economic crisis or not, people continue to send SMS text messages. In the 3rd quarter alone, the global volume for mobile messaging increased with 10%.  Several mobile trends emerged, among them messaging initiatives tied to social and political change and marketing, mobile messaging for charitable donations and a significant growth in mobile messaging by enterprises and financial institutions. Just think of the importance of the mobile in the presidential campaigns in the US.

 

6/ The mobile data pendulum swings to the US
While the US was lagging behind for years when it came to mobile data adoption and innovation, they have made up for that in 2008.  A new generation of more sophisticated and user-friendly smartphones as well as a mounting number of must-have applications have brought the US into one of the leading positions on the mobile market.

Given the many positive evolutions for the mobile industry in 2008, 2009 promises to be a very interesting year for mobile internet and mobile marketing!

Happy New Year!

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