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The Mobile Computing Trend – Minus the Hype

Mobile computing is moving like an elephant and mowing down whatever comes in its path

Yes, mobile computing is moving like an elephant and mowing down whatever comes in its path and there are many statistical indicators to support that hypothesis – as a result mobile channel is becoming must have rather than nice to have option. Hidden among this growth story is also a fundamental shift that is in progress which has gone under appreciated – the changed technology landscape has significantly simplified mobile application development and maintenance.

In Short – being present in mobile channel is becoming mandatory and affordable.

Now coming to question 3 & 4 – [You need to read this post in conjunction with my earlier post where I had raised 4 questions and answered 2 of them].

3. If the current trend continues then where will it be in one year time?

Android will continue to increase its market share.

 

 

Also: Read this very interesting post on Darwinism Triumphs Over Intelligent Design by Jason Perlow.

Mobile browsing to account for more than 5% of all browsing.

 

 

2011 will be the year of tablet.

The market right now is dominated by iPad but in the coming year will see many alternatives Android based, Windows based and even Chrome based. All the analysts agree that the sales will boom:

 

Also: See the graphical representation of the prediction

HTML5

 

  • Offline working
  • Local storage
  • Access to Geo Location
  • Canvas & Video
There will be no opposition to HTML5 – most Smartphone will support it.

There are not many things where Apple, Google & Microsoft agree on. HTML5 is one of them!

 

However: Here is a different view point from Forrester (paid report).

4. What happens if you take no action on the specific technology for next one year?

You can ignore the mobile platform if you …

…are not into B2C business

…do not see and significant growth in your web site access from mobile browser

…do not have any field staff that comes into regular contact with customer

Otherwise, you better start preparing plan for your mobile web site – it can be an extension to your existing web site.

How mobile development is becoming affordable

Traditionally, mobile platform fragmentation was considered the biggest challenge for enterprise to invest in building a mobile channel for customers. Not only where the OS and the programming platform different, even the support for HTML was not uniform. Some handsets did not support HTML and you needed to create the pages in other markup languages like XML. So, it was necessary to use some sort of a translator which where you would create the page definition using a special markup language and the tool will translate it to handset specific markup.

Off course, if you application needed to access some of the features of the phone you had no choice but to write a native installable application. To get reasonable market coverage you needed to write the application in almost half-a-dozen platform. J2ME was an option but it could not utilize full features of the phone.

Year 2010- all that has changed. Three things have happened.

  1. Not only are smart phones are slowly becoming ubiquitous – statistics prove that access to web sites from smart phone is much more frequent compared to its actual market share
  2. Majority of the Smartphone browsers now have their core engine as Webkit – not only iPhone, Android but also Blackberry (OS 6) & Symbian (S60 onwards)
  3. Adoption of HTML5 by Apple, Google and even Microsoft paving the way for mobile web application which will be able to use handset features (like GPS location), use local storage, work offline etc.

Therefore, for most applications, it is sufficient to create a mobile web site using a tool like GWT and cover majority of the users. For an enterprise, this means creating a mobile channel is becoming both imperative and cost effective.


More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
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