5 Mobile Trends for 2009

Most predictions for 2008 talked about more entertainment devices, more on-line content and mobile 2.0.

I think most of it came true, but as we are getting closer to 2009, let's see what Critical Path has to say about the upcoming year:

Donald Dew, chief technology officer at Critical Path, sees five top trends already developing: the emergence of the 'real' smartphone; the development of vertical ecosystems such as Nokia's Ovi; the digital divide; the re-emergence of location-based services; and the economic outlook.

The emergence of the 'real' smartphone:

"Apple, in particular, has changed the expectation that a smartphone will be ugly but feature-rich, to it being attractive and with smoothly integrated useful functions," he said.

This trend will continue as phones gain larger screens, and the lines begin to blur between business and personal use.

Vertical Ecosystems:

Influenced by the success of the iPhone and its tight integration with Apple's App Store and iTunes services, Microsoft is expected to pursue this model, while Nokia will expand Ovi, and RIM will build out its own store.

The digital divide

According to the predictions, Smartphones will also represent a third of all handsets sold within three to five years.

But there will be a growing digital divide, with the majority of mobile internet users represented by the developed world, while the enormous growth in markets such as Asia will continue to be driven by basic text and voice handsets.

Location Based Services

Applications which combine features with location based services, location based advertisements, will be more and pore popular.

And what about the handset makers?

According to Dew, "Nokia is likely to take a hit, and there will be shake-out in the value chains, and possibly consolidation among the handset makers".

According to him, the 'big five' handset makers are likely to survive, but the market could see the emergence of a 'big eight' instead, as Apple, Google and RIM increase their share at the expense of the current dominant players.

And I'm wondering whether such prediction means I need to change my blog theme to Android? iPhone or BlackBerry?

Full article in here.

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