Dec 23, 2006

The seven top mobile and wireless trends for '07 | InfoWorld | News | 2006-12-21 | By David Haskin, Computerworld

It's all good, and I expect the consumer market to go wild.  

Cheaper devices and more mobile access options will mean that more people will use more mobile applications. The most popular of these applications is likely to be mobile e-mail.

Enterprise adoption will depend on understanding the Byzantine maze of services, devices, and providers.  I expect security and system management to be corporate IT roadblocks. 

Source: The seven top mobile and wireless trends for '07 | InfoWorld | News | 2006-12-21 | By David Haskin, Computerworld


Bob said...

I'm curious about how you would compare the future popularity of mobile email with other forms of handheld comm, such as SMS and IM.

My one data point (my daughter), as evidenced by her phone bill, shows email to be a distant third in usage. Of course, she's not a corporate user.

Karen Hobert said...

SMS is pretty mature as far as a mobile real-time communication technology. As you've pointed out, teenagers (or digital natives as my colleague Guy Creese calls them) use it a lot more than e-mail. I believe it will contiute to mature as an application messaging mechanism. Think about it, SMS is a great way to send a live message from a mobile device to any end-point, be it another person or an application. SMS is currently used to provision software updates to some mobile devices. Customer service and transaction-based mobile utilities also use SMS to notify back end systems to perform some action. Verizon sends me SMS messages whenever it's time for me to pay my bill!

The e-mail part of the mobile equation is not as mature, especially on the enterprise side. But looking at it from both commercial and enterprise perspective, e-mail still needs some working on. Remember that e-mail is asynchronous communication which means it's not real-time like SMS or IM, so it fills a different need, especially in the enterprise market (less so with teens). It is often richer content often encapsulating file attachments and most e-mail systems also support calendars, contacts, and tasks. As the article points out, a greater democratization of e-mail on mobile devices is predicted for 2007. I agree, as more messaging services both hosted (e.g., Zimbra) and corporate (e.g., Exchange 2007) are providing push mail synchronization (a la BlackBerry) to a multitude of devices and mobile operating systems, the days of hooking up to the desktop device for manual syncing or using the mobile browser for reading your e-mail are dwindling.

Andrew said...

Predicting an increase in email usage on mobile devices is fairly safe as these things go. The problem that needs to be tackled is not so much checking your mail and responding in a meaningful way.

Multitap isn't going to make it happen for most users. Crackberry and other mini keyboards make short messages possible but not really effective communication.

Bluetooth offers promise, but either roll out keyboards or better yet headsets with built in voice/text interpretation will be needed to make these devices more than reminders and nagging tools.

The limiting factors have changed, as output screens are now very small, very high resolution, and miniaturized to the point where we can't see them -- now the problem is input. Even a regular sized keyboard is too small for many of us. I used a split keyboard to avoid RSI. Nothing small enough to put in my pocket will work to make a phone into a good email client.