Year 2012 is going to be a watershed year for mobile
technology. There will be more mobile phones on earth by the end of 2012 than
people. Is anyone surprised? In 2011 more and more consumers and businesses
have adapted themselves to the use of mobiles. One of the most widespread
changes in business is the growth of the mobile worker population. The global
mobile worker population is set to increase from 919.4 million in 2008, to 1.19
billion in 2013, according to IDC Market Analysis Report, Worldwide Mobile
Worker Population 2009-2013 Forecast. Industries that have been built around
the ideas of consolidation around fixed facilities and which have slowly moved
to the co-located model are today re-architecting themselves to a more
dispersed, dynamic and flexible mobile model, bringing in efficiencies that
were not possible until less than half a decade ago. Today, mobile devices are
becoming the first choice to access networked resources. The impact of this is
staggering. Underlying this adoption is the fact that it is driving innovation
and development in new technologies that will further cement the use of mobile
The year 2011 has been an exciting year for Research In
Motion (RIM) both in India and globally. In India, the brand BlackBerry got
bigger and better garnering huge preference amongst consumers and enterprise
customers. According to a recent survey by Brand Wagon-Synovate best
brands survey 2011, BlackBerry has been voted as the second most aspirational
brand in India. This success in India is a result of our enhanced focus on the
consumer and enterprise segment to launch next generation products and
solutions for each of these segments.
Through the year, RIM celebrated its largest global
launch ever with the launch of BlackBerry 7.0 smartphones, the launch of the
BlackBerry PlayBook and made great progress in the development of BlackBerry
PlayBook 2.0, and announced the exciting next generation mobile platform,
BlackBerry 10. Through all of this time, the number of BlackBerry
smartphones users has continued to grow. At last count, we had nearly 75
million people around the world who wake up every day and reach for their
BlackBerry devices. There are also a growing number of BBM users who are
benefiting from it as well as loving the socially connected apps.
In addition to the varied product portfolio RIM has made
great progress in the development of application ecosystem. From a modest 5000
registered developers 2 years back, RIM today has over 26000 registered
developers working on creative and innovative applications for the Global and
Indian market needs. With over 50,000 apps and about 5 million downloads a day,
BlackBerry App world generates more paid downloads and is the world’s second
most profitable app store according to research firm, Yankee Group.
Trends for 2012
Tablets and smartphones will change the IT
environment: Tablet and smartphone sales are going to
out run PC and laptop sales. That itself tells a story. Yes, there will be
security and integration challenges. But it’s time for IT to roll up its
sleeves and say hello” to the mobile revolution. More employees are going to
come to the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) party in the workplace especially as
smartphone prices tumble, the device itself bristles with 3D, HD, GPS, QR
codes, gyros, accelerometers, gesture recognition, object recognition,
augmented reality, visual search, four-core processors and what-have-you.
Besides, designers are getting their heads around uber cool form factors that
are bound to wow consumers. Expect eBook sales to go through the roof, new
entertainment and gaming models to emerge, education applications to
proliferate and a flurry of innovations that redefine user experience.
The app store era comes of age: A
Gartner forecast suggests that end users will splurge $15.9 billion on the
goodies in app stores in 2012. More importantly, the apps will drive secondary
business in hardware sales and advertising spends. Which means app developers
will sharpen their tools, and produce cutting edge stuff for us to consume. That’s
great news for consumers. But what about the enterprise? Will it go the way
business has always gone — gravitating towards what consumers have already
demonstrated as their preference? Even if the seeds of an enterprise app store
are planted, what will it mean for the CIO? How will it transform the role of
the CIO? That could be an interesting question to explore in 2012.
E-commerce is overshadowed by the specter of
m-commerce: Who wants a wallet the size of a PC or a laptop?
Shouldn’t the wallet fit into your pocket? That’s exactly what a mobile phone
will do. Transaction platforms are emerging and could begin to supplement — if
not replace — credit cards and online payments. In fact, in emerging economies
where credit card usage is low and online payment is limited because of poor IT
infrastructure, m-commerce could leapfrog entire societies into the future.
It’s a question worth pondering in 2012. The signs are already around: Research
firm Arthur D Little says that in BRIC nations 1 million users sign up on
mobile payment platforms every week. Will other trends in mobile commerce
follow? For example, items may be bought simply by shooting pictures of the
products on the phone and adding them to a mobile” cart”¦it’s a Pandora’s box
out there in 2012.
Near Field Communication is about to hit us
between the eyes: With m-commerce comes Near Field
Communication (NFC). We may not see a wild proliferation of NFC, but 2012 will
be the year when consumers will taste the first fruits of NFC as mobile devices
being to adopt the technology. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the BlackBerry
Curve (9350/ 9360/ 9370) already come armed to the teeth with NFC. Just bump
two Curves and exchange photos, knock it against another and your bank account
can be debited for a purchase. The short range connectivity provided by NFC
also creates entirely new ways in which machine-to-machine (M2M) technology
will begin to reshape the world and create new business partnerships to deliver
services that were previously unthinkable.
Augmented reality is
Augmented Reality is a virtual platform that adds a new dimension to location
based search, making the function a lot more relevant. Some of the next
generation BlackBerry smartphones powered by BlackBerry 7 OS are loaded with AR
applications like Wikitude to help users find location based information
instantly. In this way technology gives users a perfect combination of the real
and virtual world and simplifies the way they do things.
2012 will be the Year of the Mobile. As the world becomes
more connected, begins truly global conversations, collaborates and develops
colossal collective bargaining power, there will be pressure on businesses to
deliver faster, cheaper and better.
By RIM Team