Monday, March 28, 2011

Mobile Monday - the Future of Mobile

We have a coming divergence in Mobile. Not today. But in 3-5 years. We will all have two screens. And no the second screen will not be an IPad. It will be a Tablet. I see really dumb articles discussing if anyone can catch the IPad. If you have a college degree the answer is 100% yes. I don't view the IPad like the IPod because we won't need an ITunes for Tablets. They will be full web devices. So I look at the segment more like Laptops today. Many options with high to low end choices.

A year before the IPad was even whispered about I was discussing Tablets as the future. With screens about 6"-10". Cheap. $200 or under. Almost disposable. That we can throw in a backpack or our handbag. Rugged. Lots of memory. Connected to the Internets.

The difference will be the Tablet will be an extension of the web while your phone will not. The uses of the devices will split. You can't put a Tablet in your pocket. So think of the Phone being what you use when you can't have the tablet with you. 

Think of the Tablet being used for what you want a bigger screen for: 
Web surfing. Games. Video. Shopping. Possibly Work. 

The Phone for Talking, Texting and Twitter type communication, Payments, Navigation, Photos, Music, checking Movie listings, finding Restaurants etc. It will still have everything else but it will not be the default choice and only for when we don't have a Tablet with us.

Both devices will be capable of doing everything but look for the experience on each device to be different for each task. I feel both will have video calling.

The reason I thought of tablets was video. In 2009 the Trade Pubs were talking about mobile video and how much people were watching on their phones. What they failed to state was this was the only choice. If we were out and about and had 15 minutes to kill and wanted to watch the Daily Show we could. But is a 2.5" to 3.5" screen what we want or prefer? Alien's are logical. The answer is no. Because at home everyone has and prefers big screens.

The biggest obstacles are price and bandwidth. But those will be over come from various sources. 4G. Moore's Law etc. So we will have tablets thrown in our car glove box (does anyone really put gloves in this box anymore?). Or under our seat. In our beach bag etc.

What does this mean for developers? Does the IPad need Apps if it was a full computer? If that is the case why aren't we buying Apps for our Laptops? Or is the trend the reverse? Will all software for us become Apps? And we migrate to only Apps formatted to different screen sizes?

UPDATE>>>> Staples now has a Tablet Center: LINK

In a future post I will discuss the future death of MP3's due to Moore's Law. Yes it's coming and it is going to be the best thing that has happened to music.

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