Monday, February 21, 2011

Mobile World Congress news, views and expectations

I enjoyed the round-up from this year's Mobile World Congress produced by the BBC Click programme.

You might want to zoom in on the chart to see the detail, but the 'new news' was that Google's Android, on phones and tablets, has overtaken Nokia's Symbian as the most widely used mobile operating system, and both are about double the iPhone.

They also pointed out that:
  • There are now more than 5 billion mobile phone connections world wide, with mobiles outnumbering PCs by 3:1
  • The amount of data we consumed in 2010 (2.8 exabytes) essentially tripled from that of 2009 (1.1 exabytes).
With the addition of Near Field Communications to mobile devices (think London's Oyster card) expect to see electronic payments for small value purchases in Starbucks and similar to start appearing on mobile phone bills.

Expect to see the convergence of loyalty cards with the geo-location capabilities of phones to tempt us back in to stores as we pass by.

Expect to see further twists to the debates over privacy: our purchasing habits and physical locations will be increasingly closely monitored, but expect few people to care provided that they perceive an economic benefit through the convenience of quick payments and the loyalty 'points' and discounts that they might get as a result.