Mobile: iPhone… for the time being
Mobile is coming… we’ve had commissions for mobile applications for the first time this year, partly because the iPhone has caught the imagination of clients in the same way that social media did a few years ago. And we’ve found that mobile applications and mobile-friendly sites been successful for clients across a range of sectors including not-for-profits and communicating to business professionals.
The ‘why now’ aspect of things is due to a confluence of different elements; with the launch of the iPhone you saw carriers publicising ‘all you can eat’ tariffs for data at a reasonable cost. Though this is changing as mobile providers try to reign in the cost of network improvements required. The second aspect was the international reach of the Apple application store. Although the store is a pain-in-the-ass because of promotional challenges and it having a poor search experience, it is also provides the consumer with a largely painless experience. In addition, there is no requirement to try and bargain with individual carriers to try and get into their application store.
The Apple iPhone is the top-dog for now for a couple of reasons:
- RIM’s developer strategy and platform seems to be in a state of transition as it changes to accommodate the PlayBook and the increased competition from the likes of Google and Apple
- Android is less attractive because of the amount of testing required due to different device configurations in terms of controllers, screen resolution, memory and computing power available. Secondly, application distribution is still very much under the control of the carriers in comparison to Apple. What is the client motivation to deal with all that hassle?
- Nokia is still a wildcard and may come back and surprise us all yet. However in order to do that it needs to articulate a clear road-map and get both its developer and market mojo back. Not impossible, but a real challenge
- Samsung’s Bada platform strategy is confusing as hell, but also a real dark horse, the company is winning in the marketplace and company has started to try and embrace developers
- The last big unknown is that everyone in the sector seems to be suing everyone else over intellectual property rights and this could take out one or more of the major players