It´s a mobile world

One of the various subjects that are currently jostling for my attention is mobile. People (usually people with a vested interest in making it so) have been saying for years “this is the year of mobile“.

I recently heard someone from Google announce that he’s tired of saying it and it not quite happening, so he’s just declaring this the decade of mobile on the basis that it will happen some time soon.


‘It’ in this context is the point at which mobile’s growing ubiquity tips over into full scale indispensability. For some people it´s pretty clear that point has arrived, but it’s not universal yet, even among people who have smartphones.

New and ever-more impressive statistics land pretty much daily:

  • One billion smartphones in use around the world!
  • Ten billion Android apps downloaded (four billion in the second half of this year alone)!
  • Mobile sales on eBay alone hit $4billion in 2011!


Couple those with the visible increase in mobile websites, mobile-focused campaigns, and mobile utility that improves our everyday lives (I love the National Rail app for example – at least once a week it gets me somewhere faster than the actual rail network seems to want me to get there) and it does feel like we’re about to hit the tipping point.

But I’m a bit old and jaded when it comes to new technologies, and in ‘the mobile industry’ – by which I mean the people finding ways to use mobile, rather than the operators, the fracture lines are already evident. In the course of three hours at an event recently I saw the app development guy clashing with the mobile website advocate, then immediately after the bloke who was promoting QR codes did his spiel, on came the guy to talk about NFC saying “and of course you don’t have to go messing around with all this QR code nonsense“.

You could argue that that was just a really badly planned event, but if you’re cynical like I am you’ll think it was just indicative of the juggling act we’re all going to be facing as we try to find the right technology to achieve the results we need.

Good job I know how to juggle…