SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Archive for February 15th, 2009

Barcelona Bound

Posted by Admin on February 15, 2009

Like much of the mobile industry, I’m heading over to Barcelona today for the week long Mobile World Congress show. It’s the place where the great and good announce what they will be doing in mobile over the next few months and the industry discusses what will be hot or not.

For many years it was the place to go to to see what handsets and applications my friends would be using in six months time. I could check out what was cool and tell my friends what to expect. Obviously they didn’t believe me at the time, but the summer of that year 9 times out of 10 I was proved to be right.

Nowadays however, the show has become almost too big and the industry almost too mature for that to be the case. Like a lot of the mobile industry, Mobile World Congress seems to be a place for the mobile geeks to talk to other mobile geeks about products often designed only for mobile geeks.

I’m hoping that this year that might be a bit different. I’m hoping that I’ll see devices, applications and business models that genuinely appeal to normal users and that I can tell my mates down the pub (and of course you) what will be cool in mobile this summer.

I feel that if we don’t see a lot more of that – the industry actually considering the masses and not just the geeks – then the mobile sector might be one of the industries to suffer during the downturn. Especially in the mature markets. Of course people won’t give up their phones, but they might hold off from that handset upgrade, or think twice about buying a new app that has been badly marketed to them anyway, or hold off from browsing or downloading content because they are never sure of the charges.

It’ll be interesting to see whether the mobile world has decided to start talking to consumers again – or just to itself.


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