Everything will become mobile – fact

Lots of people are still referring mobile like it’s a different channel these days – be it for computing, retail, consumption, gaming, distribution or anything.  A few years back maybe that was valid but since the birth of the iPhone back in 2007, things have changed and changed radically.  Mobile phones are now everywhere and yes pretty much ubiquitous.  Not just mobile phones but smartphones with technology and computing power in them that we couldn’t have dreamt of back when mobiles first came out.

The slide below says so much.  Think about it.  There’s more – and that’s a lot more – computing power in a mobile phone today (2011/2012) than was needed to send a man to the moon back in 1969.  That’s in my lifetime.  What about the next 40 years?  It’s the first time in a long time, that it’s virtually impossible to say where the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years or longer is going to take us.  Technology is changing so fast and is having a massive impact on our lives!

A nice video showing the evolution of mobile phones up to today…

So what do we do with all this computing power in our hands (quite literally) 24×7?  A lot yes, but no where near as much as we could do.  We listen to music, take photos and videos (and edit them and view and play and distribute them); play games, read books (and magazines and newspapers – if you’re so inclined yet – we’re well and truly getting there now; “It’s official the 6 year olds verdict is that digital magazines are better”), find out where you are and get directions to where you want to go (visual or verbal ones); track a run (or bike ride or swim or any physical activity for that matter) and improve your training times and distances; communicate with friends, family and pretty much anyone else (not just by calling them – yes you can do that as well on smartphones); buy and sell shares; take notes; give and write presentations; write (and publish and sell) a book; buy and sell just about anything to anyone anywhere; send cards (and postcards), control your TV; listen to the news of the hour in any country; make music (with drums, pianos and guitars and lots more); find your away around the tube; figure out which London 2012 Olympic events you want to go to and more!  The list is huge and it’s growing and it’s fast moving away from just consuming content.

Breakthroughs – and they are breakthroughs in how simple (that word again – “How simple should it be?  Insanely simple”) the technology works – like Siri are changing how we use them and what we use them for.  Equally impressive is Microsoft’s Kinect.  Voice control and gesture control are the future!

Apple’s strap line for Siri – above – says it all.  Imagine all technology with this level of intuitive control – it’s coming and soon.

I digress slightly – back to mobile…

Another slide (this one and the one above are from the McKinsey June 2012 web presentation on “Understanding consumer behaviour” – well worth a read) that illustrates the growth of traffic (lets call it data or usage) for mobile and desktop computing over the last 4 years.  So during the time since the iPhone’s been around – and look at the trend, mobile is growing…

Now this is my point – mobile is growing but it’s becoming the normal way we (as consumers and more and more as businesses) interact with content (that word again – and there is a risk that we could over consume it – “Content over consumption coming soon”).  It’s no longer another or a different channel.  More and more of our time with technology and content is spent on our smartphones and yes while mobile – and by that I mean when not at a desk.  We need to think differently about how we embrace a mobile world – both in the workplace and at home – and how we interact with it.

Business strategies need to change and make sure mobile it’s part of the core business – both for your teams and your customers.  Along with mobile comes digital – another word that means so many different things to different people.  But it’s the same – it’s another channel and distribution method that’s fast becoming the norm – and it’s not just marketing.  One for another blog post.

On a similar thread see this post from The Guardian this week…

It asks, why mobile for business and has some good points.  But I think it misses a critical point – mobile is not an option.  This is happening now.  It’s more what strategy should you take to get on-board with mobile and how to best make it an integral part of what you do.

And another post this week by Rene Ritchie…

This one I really like.  Apple brought the computer and the power that brings with it, to the phone.  They fundamentally changed what phones were and how people – consumers (pretty much everyone I know – any age) use their mobiles (and what they now expect from them).  Rene’s last line is poignant and carries a very simple message…

All back to Apple’s drive for simplicity.  Yes I am an Apple fan and love what they’ve done with technology generally, but for mobile they changed the way phones were perceived and used and now everything is becoming about mobile.

The Orange T-Mobile strap line from their merger last year fits very well and this is what mobile is now and the key is understanding consumer behaviour…

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