Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Small and Perfectly Formed

Smaller is the new bigger. Not only for banks, but also for computers. Two stats jumped out at me this week.

One from Net Applications. It shows that, in the last quarter, 68% of all mobile internet traffic was generated by one device. The iPhone. In second place was Windows Mobile. With 7%. Nokia and Blackberry even further behind.

This tells us a few things. First, the iPhone is very popular (which we sort of knew). Second, people are using it for mobile internet access. Thirdly, I believe all that has happened is that that device has opened the floodgates. There had been a huge pent up demand for mobile web use, but people just weren't surfing from their handhelds because the experience was so bad (hold your hand up Windows Mobile 5, and you 6...). Come up with a device that made it a pleasure....WHOOSH, the floodgates open. What that means is that when other device manufacturers catch up, they will exploit that demand.

Just to reinforce the fact that mobiles are the new computers, according to the same source, iPhones accounted for 0.48% of all internet traffic in the last quarter. Linux was only 0.86%.

Next stat. As we might expect, desktop, and even laptop sales are expected to tank this year. Gartner are predicting an 11.9% overall decline, with desktops plumetting by 31%. Yet the sales of those small form factor netbooks are on a crazy upwards curve. Acer sold 500,000 Aspire One netbooks in 2008. It's forecasting sales of 12,000,000 in 2009. For one model. Many of these devices are internet-connected with 3G cards, giving us the same scenario as with the iPhone - instant access anywhere.

One thing is clear - we will have to come up with offerings that pay attention to users location, allow for smaller screens and respond to very short usage sessions. We're cooking something up here at Armadillo Towers, so stay tuned.