Research says mobile phone saturation will be 100% in U.S. by 2013. There will be enough active lines to hand a phone to every single person in the U.S. – of course this does not mean everyone will have a phone, but the 100% number means most people will have a phone and some people will have 2 active lines, perhaps a corporate phone and a personal phone. However you look at the numbers, mobile devices are here to stay and web designers and businesses need to consider this market.
Smartphone market to jump to 55% in 2011.
When it comes to smartphones, many younger people immediately think iPhone or Android while many business people may think Blackberry, because of it’s widely used enterprise solution. Whichever your choice, there are many ways to view the web on a mobile device. Currently the Android platform has the largest market share of all operating systems and is projected to take more in the near future. That being said, if you want to create an application that approaches 100% saturation in the smartphone market, you need an Android app, an iPhone app, a Blackberry app, a Palm app, a Windows app, and a Symbian app. To just hit most of the market, you’ll need an Android, Blackberry and iOS (iPhone) application.
There are some people addressing this mess by taking the platform out of the equation. This solution goes a long way but is by no means perfect. Web enabled applications can perform much of the same tasks as OS dependent applications, but do not give you access to some of the devices features (such as alerts or the camera). Hopefully a standardized method to access common phone features will arise in the near future.
Your mobile web presence:
With the population trending to web enabled mobile devices it’s no longer only the tech savvy seeing your website on a mobile screen. Since mobile devices make it so easy to call or get directions by recognizing phone numbers and addresses on websites it is a no-brainer to make your site mobile friendly. The easier you make it for the consumer to contact you, the better off you are. This ease of use is urging consumers to utilize mobile devices more and more – many times a web page or mobile web page is the first impression a consumer has of your company. Sometimes you only have that one shot to win or lose a consumer’s business. Making useful information easy to access is key to giving your audience a meaningful interaction with your site.
Are you mobile ready?
Weather you need an application or a website, you need to consider the wide gamut of mobile devices. Until clear winners rise to the top, you need to consider several operating systems (OS) to achieve market saturation. You may decide to go with OS dependent applications to utilize more advanced features of a mobile device or OS independent to achieve a broader market share with a single app build. When it comes to your business on the web, you should already be there… When it comes to an entire separate mobile site, it all depends on how well your current site converts to the mobile environment. Some companies choose to provide limited top-level information to web users while others provide everything in a more friendly mobile format. Some companies, perhaps mistakenly, are ignoring this trend and leave their site to perform as-is on the ever-increasing mobile version of the web. The least you should do is view your site on a few devices. You can stop by most cell phone stores and use at least 2 of the big players in the mobile OS world – Verizon and AT&T offer the three largest device operating systems with one stop. Check out your site – are you mobile ready?
Mobile Crunch: http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2011/06/13/idc-windows-phone-7-will-surpass-ios-as-number-2-platform-by-2015/