News: July 2013
THE MOBILE MARKET
According to recent figures from Ofcom, smartphone market penetration in the UK now sits at c. 58%. With widespread 3G coverage, Wi-Fi hotspots and now 4G rolling out across the UK, mobile phone users are consuming more media and content than ever before.
Devices such as the Apple iPhone, Blackberry, Android smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy, etc. have driven the market in a new direction. A phone is no longer just for making calls – it is an email device, media viewing, news gathering, social media interface.
The latest TV adverts from Apple boldly claim that “every day, more photos are taken on iPhone than any other camera”. Smartphones are becoming an ever more convenient way of accessing the internet – so much so that many firms offer “mobile optimised” versions of their websites.
Further innovations which are gathering traction include m-commerce; essentially using one’s mobile phone and a PayPal account to make purchases. In economies such as India and China an estimated 40% + of consumers make purchases using m-commerce platforms on smartphones (according to Worldpay’s global online shopper report). In the UK innovations include airlines which offer online check-in services where a barcode displayed on a smartphone screen can be used as a boarding card.
So what are we dealing with here? Essentially, a market shift. Smartphones have changed the way we consume media, the way we stay in contact and the level to which we are connected to our businesses, our contacts and our lives. Businesses must now adapt their I.T. strategies to this new market shift. Many firms already employ Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies for things like tablets and smartphones. Smart companies will view this change in the market as an opportunity to bring new products and services to new audiences.