Understanding Today's Mobile Users' Expectations of Tomorrow's Mobile Services
The 10-Year Killer App Cycle
- Ten years ago, the killer application, or app, that drove the development of what we now call smart phones was wireless access to the Internet. Cellular-service providers had watched as upstart RIM and its wireless Blackberry device cornered a high-margin business market for an earlier killer app -- email. Twenty years before that, email was the killer app that mainstreamed the Internet. And 10 years before that, word processing was the killer app that created the home-computer market.
The Last Killer App
- As wireless access to the Internet became commonplace, new synergies emerged. On the Internet, the popularity of social networking apps like MySpace and Facebook achieved killer-app status. Mobile-service providers, seeing the importance people were placing on socializing as opposed to merely communicating, turned their old networks for pagers into short-message-service (SMS), or text-messaging, networks.
Fringe Apps Going Mainstream
- There are application trends in devices for mobile users that are the present for early adopters but still the future for the mainstream. These include integrated MP3 players with significant on-board memory capacity, GPS functionality and multiplayer online gaming.
The Mobile App Future
- The use of cell phones to make purchases will become common. PDA's will continue their march toward oblivion as smart phones duplicate their functionality. Battery life will improve, as they must handle 4G video. The smart-phone wars will continue to streamline application management at the fingertip level, with touch screens replacing keyboards.
The miniaturization of mobile devices has hit the wall of visibility. With so much content delivered in visual forms, mobile devices are limited in how compact they can be by the necessity for screens. The only solution for this is placing screens directly in front of the user's eyes, which means eyeglass-like video display devices will likely become the ear buds of the near future.