Here's a challenge for you .... leave your answer(s) as a comment.
Which of these so called “myths” do you believe is in fact true?
- Users want power and aesthetics. Features are everything.
- What we really need is a Swiss army knife.
- Focus groups and other traditional market analysis tools are the best way to determine user needs.
- If it works in Silicon Valley, it will work anywhere.
- Every application on the planet will be accessible via mobile devices.
- The industry is converging on a UI standard.
- Highly usable systems are just around the corner.
- One underlying operating system will dominate.
- Mobile devices will be free-or nearly free.
- Advanced data-oriented services are just around the corner.
- Shrink your fingers, big buttons and screens are going away
Here's my humble opinion ......
As coverage of 3G networks increases and people become more familiar with them, and location-based applications become easier to develop, and applications become easier to install (Apple Store and iPhone, Nokia Ovi etc.) their use will increase. Also, any company with a mobile workforce can start to use GPS location features that comes essentially for free with smartphones and data plans.
- Some user want aesthetics, some want power, some want features. One size will never fit all.
- Some users want a complicated do-it-all device. Some want simplicity. See 1).
- I think especially in such a new market you sometimes have to risk developing an application that nobody is asking for right now .... but you believe is going to be used as soon as the people understand how useful it is.
- Silicon Valley is not representative, but new technologies that take on there may be viable outside of Silicon Valley as well. Conversely, if it doesn't take off in Silicon Valley, chances are it won't take off elsewhere either.
- Many applications are too complex/secure/require larger screens that they will never be feasible on mobile devices.
- Android, iPhone, Symbian 60, Windows Mobile, Palm Pre... Not so much.
- Highly usable systems are here, see iPhone. Even the other smart phone OSs are leaps and bounds better than they were three years ago.
- See 6.
- If anything, there'll be more unbundling of service from hardware platform, with hardware and service costs more clearly shown. Devices become more expensive, or stay the same if subsidized contracts are used.
Device sizes are pretty stable. There were tiny phones like the T39, but there's a maximum people want to carry and a minimum screen size people want to read. I think the iPhone form factor is currently the winner; good use of a large, high resolutions screen with an intuitive interface that would work well for many business applications as well. The Palm Pre and G1 all indicate that maximizing screen real estate is a priority.
Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications... including Cell Phone Deals. Michael also authors Broadband Nation where you're always welcome to drop in and catch up on the latest BroadBand news, tips, insights, and ramblings for the masses.