Predicting where the mobile industry will be in the next few years can be challenging given the speed of growth and innovation which can render many analysis obsolete in a few months. In 2007 it was unexpected to some market analysts that Apple could produce a phone that could completely disrupt the industry. Critics were silenced when Apple’s iPhone gobbled market share and became the dominant force it is today.
More people worldwide are preferring mobile devices over personal computers. Research firm Gartner expects that by 2015 more than 80% of all mobile phones will be smart phones and 20% of them will be Windows phones. As a result mobile devices will surpass PC as the most common Internet access tools. According to StatCounter, mobile traffic accounts for 12% of the world’s Internet traffic as of September 2012.
In some countries, more people have already shifted to mobile. In Asia, 20% of traffic comes from mobile double from the September 2011 figure, while in India mobile has already surpassed desktop traffic where it now accounts for 53% of Internet traffic.
Consumers could increasingly rely on smart phones and tablets to watch videos. By 2015 video may account for 60% of data traffic and will eat up huge chunks of the bandwidth on the network. Mobile video could become an extension of television and greater integration will allow users to pick up watching from mobile and then switching to TV.
Frenzied Demand for Bandwidth
The increase in mobile usage can also increase demand for bandwidth and speed. Wireless carriers are increasingly looking to upgrade their networks to 4G/LTE to satisfy consumer demand. LTE is expected to rapidly grow in 2013.
Mobile social networking could grow to become a greater percentage of mobile network traffic. Social networking hubs can connect varied data points like messaging, e-mail, games, commerce and entertainment portals. Some believe that social media networks may gradually become infrastructure providers that offer consumer data to companies.
Mobile search could likely become more powerful as more capable phones equipped with object recognition become integrated in search. Visual search can allow users to compare prices. More sophisticated apps may let users take actions based on the result. Mobile search could allow an instantaneous series of actions from finding the object to taking action on it. Already Google Handwrite has the functionality to provide mobile users a ways to search more easily.
For businesses, the cloud may hold many benefits for organizations in terms of cost reductions, security and innovation.
Impact on Learning Environments
Mobile could be the next vehicle to spread education in places that lack teachers. The digital textbook, interactive charts and graphs, audio and visual media and live discussions through programs like Skype are among the ways that students may remotely learn. Mobile learning could open up the possibility of a classroom that is not bound in single room but one where students are free to explore the outside world.
Cloud computing has revolutionized data storage. Consumers may have been the early adopters for cloud computing but enterprises are increasingly looking to the cloud. More employees than every may access corporate resources or catch up on work through their mobile devices using the cloud. Mobile may drive employee productivity and businesses could use cloud computing to optimize their business process performance and provide new benefits in innovation and productivity.