16th of November 2011 Comments Off

Day one at SIME, a mobile perspective

Panel at SIME Stockholm 2011

© Image by Petter Karlsson

This week, MobileApps and me, Christoffer, have been selected to watch the mobile space at SIME Stockholm, the largest conference in IT and media in Scandinavia. We are very excited about it, and since we’re watching the mobile space closely anyway, we thought it would be a really good opportunity to share our thoughts here on our blog.

The first day at SIME Stockholm has delivered some great shows and presentations, and a lot of it touching on, or being directly about the mobile field. We thought we’d summarize it all with the one all-encompassing key take-away:

We’re going mobile, and there is no turning back

First of all, it’s evident already today, that if you’re mindset isn’t in mobile, you’re doing it wrong. How do we know this? Just look at the two biggest actors in the digital field today: Google and Facebook. Google, shifted their main focus on to mobile last year. Now everything they do is mobile first. Facebook, they have already today just under 50% of their 800 million users accessing Facebook on their mobile phones. The shift to mobile has already started to happen in a huge way.

We also heard a lot of other interesting stats, spottings, and predictions from the speakers, supporting the mobile trend:

  • Mobile searches have increased 4-5 time under the last year alone
  • 30% of all restaurant searches are done on mobile phones (a big stat considering how many non-mobile optimized, or even Flash(!) restaurant sites that are out there. Here’s a great exception by the way)
  • 79% of Smartphone users use a smartphone to help with shopping and 70 percent use phone in store.
  • Youtube has 200 million playbacks from phones per day (up from 100M a year ago)
  • 550.000 new Android Smartphones are activated per day (and Apple is adding another 200.000 iPhones to that)
  • Two of this years biggest conference stars iZettle and Wrapp, are businesses completely focused around mobile
  • All TV discussions are surrounding the interaction between TV and the mobile devices taking up more and more of the watchers attention
  • The biggest websites in Sweden are all seeing exponential growth in mobile visitors, with Aftonbladet, Sweden’s most visited website, predicting mobile surpassing desktop in 1-2 years

The big disparity here is that with all this mobile web usage, very few websites are actually optimized for mobile use. Of advertisers, less than 25% have a mobile optimized site, even sometimes linking to it through campaigns geared towards mobile users. This is why Google has launched a mobile initiative, GO MO, helping businesses go mobile. The initiative is great and we of course love the push from Google telling people to go mobile. When you’ve visited the site and seen what you should do, contact an experienced developer like us to help you get sorted out.

MobisleApps view, that’s supported by what we heard at SIME today, is that mobile is indeed where all digital communication is headed, and we think it’s quite evident. The era where we had to sit down in front of a desk, screen and a keyboard to do everyday interactions was just a phase, forced by the limitations of technology. While we might want to do certain high concentration tasks in a controlled desktop environment, we think the barrier for what these are is being erased, and everything else is just very unnatural to do on a PC on a desktop. Period.

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12th of January 2010 Comments Off

Why the Nexus One is a Big Game Changer for Android

As we’ve said in an earlier post, we think Google’s Nexus One is a great device. We tried it out, we loved it, and we begged our oversees friends to get a couple of them shipped to Sweden. While we’re waiting for them to arrive we though we would give our thoughts as to why we think the Nexus One is such a big deal.

Every time a new premium phone is launched with the latest and greatest tech specs, of course people are going to want it. It was the case with the first Android phone, the HTC Hero, the Droid, and now the Nexus One. But it’s different this time. Some might argue that it’s because an Android phone is finally catching up with the iPhone (for real this time), but we think it’s different this time because of Google finally showing it’s true commitment to the platform they launched over 2 years ago.

The Nexus One shows that Google got tired of all the inferior phones created on a whim by hardware pushing companies using their platform and decided they needed to show them how it’s done. To show how good an Android phone can actually be. Having done this, we think this is just the beginning of an era of Google trying to take control of the mobile market and pushing it’s Android platform. We think they’ve already succeeded in making a groundbreaking device, now they need to work on the other parts of the platform where they still lag behind Apple, which is mainly the Android Market, but also content distribution (ie. music, audiobooks, magazines) where we think interesting things will happen. We (wishingly) think that this is what’s next for Google. Just as Apple released the iPhone a year and a half before the AppStore, we think Google needed an Android phone they were really proud of before they could focus on the Android Market and the developer community. I mean, what better way to persuade developers and content producers than to create a really cool device for their stuff? And add to that the increasing Android market share that the Nexus One hopefully will spur. More Android devices, bigger market, more money.

Another point of interest is the potentially big advantage that Google now has over Apple and other competitors, being in control of so many of the web services that mobile users already are dependent on, and ending 2009 with a slew of groundbreaking new services that will take competitors a long time to catch up on. Google are offering these as open source with their Android releases but as we saw with the Nexus One, we suspect they will keep releasing these ahead of the competition coincident with new Google phone releases.

To sum up, we think Google are on right on the track with their mobile strategy. Now they just have to keep pushing and working hard to create great products and services and perfecting the complete Android experience, and we’re confident that Google has the right people to get the job done. The biggest strategic question they have to handle right now is how they are going to tip-toe around the fact that they now are competitors to other Android handset makers. But the move has been made, and we think it’s the right one.