Posts tagged ‘mobile’
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple and RIM (i.e., the Blackberry guys) “accounted for only 3% of all cellphones sold in the world last year but 35% of operating profits, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff. The disparity will become even starker this year when, he estimates, the two will take 5% of the market in unit terms but 58% of total operating profits.” Obviously, this is jolly good news for Apple and RIM, but is it good news for marketers?
iPhones are undoubtedly one of the coolest technology products ever, and they sold 5.2 million units in the last quarter (up a staggering 626% from the same period last year), yet they still hold a very small percentage of the mobile phone market. How many brands are rushing headlong into the development of an iPhone app even when the market share numbers may not justify it? Of course, there’s something to be said for the caché of having a brand presence on the latest gadget, but I suspect the allure of that approach is fleeting in this challenging economy (at least for the clients who are paying the bills).
Vic Gundotra, VP of Engineering for Google’s mobile and developer products, makes a simple but compelling case for the direction that mobile phones and data plans pretty much have to go in the immediate future. And if anything, the current economic climate will accelerate the stampede towards mobile devices. In Gundotra’s own words: “Worldwide phone penetration continues to climb at a break-neck pace, with over 4 billion mobile subscribers at last count. (In comparison, the PC industry is forecasted to see its sharpest unit decline in history.”
As data plans get simpler, web browsers get better and devices get smarter, mobile data use will continue to skyrocket. This is great news, especially here in the United States, the carrier networks have a history of pursuing breathtakingly stupid policies that seem to be designed to thwart the use of their own products (e.g. pay-as-you-go data plans). Finally, they’re wising up. How long will it be before we see a phone serving as the main computing device of the employees of a major company? I put it at 2 and a half years.