Mobile Trends 2008

Mobile 2.0 @ Plugg

Presentation "Mobile 2.0 - what is it and why should you care?" by Rudy De Waele at Plugg Conference in Brussels on March 19, 2008

A deep dive into the future of mobile with Rudy De Waele, one of the world's most renowned mobile strategists, featuring a look at historical and upcoming trends, insights on potential revenue models and the industry's leading protagonists.

Mobile and Wireless Trends for 2008

by Rudy De Waele:

1. Google’s Android and the Open Handset Alliance will definately take off in 2008. While the iPhone is doing probably the best job embracing mobile and web convergence, the Apple OS is still a closed system and used by a rather small market segment of users. Nokia’s Nseries - though all remarkeable devices - didn’t produce any breakthrough Symbian OS changes last year and is still too buggy to go mass-market - I don’t see my sister or father perform a device software update; which leaves the opportunity for Google and the Open Handset Alliance to get the new Linux-based operating system Android on several cutting-edge smartphones before year-end. Mobile OS, a truely competitive space in 2008!

2. The Rise of the Mobile Social Networks. M:Metrics released some promising data mid-2007 on the rise of the Mobile Social Networks. With the big social media networks all going mobile in 2007 (Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Bebo, …), this trend will continue to rise in 2008, sustained by more flat rate introductions on different markets.

3. Apple will be seriously attacked by the music industry on its own, once disruptive, iTunes business model. 2008 will be the year of further downfall of DRM and the raise of watermarked audio-files. With Sony BMG planning to drop DRM - the last of the Big Four record labels with Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and EMI Music, to throw in the towel on digital rights management. The end of DRM might embolden a host of new, online download venues initiated by the Big Four in its searches for a successful digital strategy. Note also the rise of new business models (!) giving away DRM-free, ad-supported music downloads, like the recently founded Rcrd Lbl by Peter Rojas. Read my DRM Free at Last! for a recent overview and links to previous posts on this topic.

4. Telefonica will introduce the 3G iPhone. To be announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February?

5. The return of the Location-Based Services. Since Nokia introduced the Nseries N95 with built in GPS, Location-Based Services are becoming exciting again. A new wave of mobile services and applications build on the location of the user (cell-ID and/or GPS) will see the light this year, driven by the open Google Maps API and flickr’s geotagged photo function. Read also my early 2005 coverage on the formerly known MoSoSos.

6. First iPhone competitors coming to market. Nokia will introduce a serious competitor for the iPhone. It has the hardware manufacturing intelligence and knowledge to come up with its own multi-touch screenLucidTouch-Profile Feb-08 interface. Biggest challenge for Nokia (and other manufacturers) will be to keep the OS user-experience as simple as the iPhone. Expect some great innovating devices from HTC too in 2008! (checkout the HTC Touch Dual).

7. Mobile Video Blogging starting to taking off. Though still to be used by early adopters, mobile video blogging tools such as mobile are already doing a great job with Floobs and KaZiVu also looking very promising (both still in beta), not to forget about YouTube Mobile. All eyes will be on Seesmic however that has the right start-up vibe - instigated daily by its impressive experienced shareholders (and web 2.0 icons) and its very active beta-testers community. Imagining Seesmic to be used on your mobile phone is an easy one, the challenges for Seesmic are to bypass the complex technical issues and delivery of its great idea.

8. Mobile search, as already predicted last year will continue to be one of the most important and most used mobile applications. I keep this one in my list adding that some new players might disrupt the big Search market players, not having figured out the real mobile search issues such as accuracy, context, relevance, latency and the correct display of local and niche results.

9. PRM (Personal Rights Management) and Privacy policies and procedures will be high on the agenda for every entreprise and conscious connected individuals. Already talk of the connected crowds at LeWeb3, opening the Social Graphs might appear cool in your social media community but has to be done right! As a starter, check out and watch Robert Scoble explaining his recent portability issues with Facebook.

10. Twitter and the breakthrough of the ultimate Mobile Presence Tool. Yes, Twitter is the utlimate mobile presence tool, since it’s the easiest to use (through SMS and mobile web access), and most accurate to stay connected at any time from anywhere… Jaiku has a definately a richer client but Twitter is the most easily integrated into most of your social networks, checkout MoodBlast that can simultaneously update multiple chat clients and web services presence tools. 2008 will also see the rise of lifestreaming apps like Tumblr, surprisingly simple on the web and looks great on your mobile phone.