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February 11, 2008 / davebirss

The latest happenings in Mobile-land

Today sees the start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. At the moment it doesn’t generate many column inches or airtime – certainly not anywhere near the Consumer Electronics Show – but the stuff at this event may well shape our future lives more than we realise.

WAP technology was always an over-hyped disappointment. People were so used to the easy-to-use interfaces of their computer and fast connection speeds that WAP was just too frustrating to use. And even now mobile internet leaves a lot to be desired. But that’s all set to change in the not-too-distant future as the Symbian operating system loses it’s stranglehold on the market. Being open-source, Google’s Android operating system will be nimble and user-focused, forcing the competition to try harder. And it will be service and application based, opening up amazing opportunities to connect with customers in a more timely way. He’s what Google’s Rich Miner has to say to the BBC about it:

However, the one company that is changing user expectations of mobile more than any other probably won’t be there. Apple’s iPhone has shown people that their user experience can be slick and intuitive. And that’s bound to rub off on the rest of the handset manufacturers. A few of them have so far missed the point and tried to copy the look of the iPhone – but the ones who copy Apple’s attitude to user experience are the ones who will do well. I fear, however, that they’ll simply do bad clones of the interface in the same way as a load of MP3 players tried to copy the iPod.

These are exciting times for mobile. I for one think that it’s a huge opportunity for businesses. But to succeed in this market, companies need to focus on usefulness rather than gimmicks. My girlfriend’s Unchained business is going to be mobile enabled in the next few days. We see it as the best way to get the information we offer into the customers’ hands exactly when they need it. We’re so sure that it’s the right way to go that we made sure it was included in the first version of the site.

We’re not the only ones. There is going to be an explosion of mobile applications and services over the next year or so. And I’m glad to be a part of it. I’ll be keeping my eye on the show as the week goes on.

One Comment

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  1. rubbishcorp® / Feb 11 2008 6:03 pm

    Cock it. I couldn’t get a pesky hotel. Enjoy it fella, wish i was there.

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