While attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, I had the opportunity to talk with customers, prospects and partners about mobility. I also had an opportunity to spend several hours with a strategist from a major handset manufacturer. As I spoke with each group, two things struck me:
1) There was clearly a burgeoning awareness of mobility’s growing importance.
2) There was no common opinion as to why this was occurring.
It was apparent however that the buzz surrounding Google’s Android platform and Apple’s iPhone was a catalyst fueling this growing awareness.
As we discussed the reasons for mobility’s increasing relevance, I made the following point: We have entered a new era of mobile communications – an era in which people are now using mobile technologies as a tool to enhance their lifestyle. This era was spawned by and depends upon a new ecosystem — an ecosystem in which a new breed of sophisticated smartphones is seamlessly integrated with the following:
1) A copious source of content (e.g. music, videos, educational material, info, etc)
2) An electronic commerce engine (e.g. an easy/safe way to buy things while mobile)
3) A repository of innovative solutions (e.g. a rich/open pool of smartphone app’s)
4) Access to one’s own information (e.g. at a desktop and/or an online repository)
5) Access to fast, broadband data networks (e.g. 3G, 4G and Wifi)
I also made the point that smartphones without the ecosystem are nothing more than dumb devices and a throw-back to a prior era of mobility. So… no matter how sophisticated the phone, no matter how many apps it has, regardless of whether the phone’s interface is a full screen with touch capabilities, if the phone is not accompanied by a viable ecosystem, then it will be useless as a lifestyle enhancer.