We at mobileStorm are a pretty forward-thinking bunch. Hafta be, since our livelihoods depend on it! Luckily, two news reports this week prove that our enthusiasm for upcoming mobile-based technologies – and their resultant mobile marketing applications – are more than unbridled optimism. They’re inevitable realities, as confirmed by high-profile experts.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Google CEO Eric Schmidt furthered his company’s not-so-secret cell phone agenda by proclaiming the advent of a true mobile Web. I say ”not-so-secret” sardonically, since (a) last fall Google took a major step in the space with its Android phone platform and the start of an industry alliance around it; and (b) the search company is bidding on airwaves being freed up after TV broadcasts go digital, in order to create an open U.S. wireless network.
”It’s the recreation of the Internet, it’s the recreation of the PC (personal computer) story and it is before us – and it is very likely it will happen in the next year,” Reuters quotes Mr. Schmidt telling a panel at Davos. The Google exec also proclaimed research firm Forrester’s projection of mobile web ad sales, at less than $1 billion by 2012, as ”too low,” while saying that location-based marketing will become ”a very, very good business.”
As you can tell by the links I’ve made here to our prior posts, Mr. Schmidt’s comments are simpatico with mobileStorm’s own line!
Google’s focus may be on enabling cell phone hardware to go on the real Web, but there’s another quotient in the equation: Hooking mobile devices into the Internet via Wi-Fi. One reason this is so important is that voice calls are somewhat pricey – so much so in the rest of the world that SMS became an economical alternative in those regions; meanwhile unlike much of the globe, U.S. providers charge for incoming as well as outgoing calls. Wi-Fi offers the possibility of voice-over-IP – that is, phone calls made for free or cheap over the Internet.
In fact, the promise of cheap/free calls is why many folks would want Wi-Fi on their mobiles in the first place. And the desire for such calls will in turn drive other usages of Wi-Fi on cell phones. Skype, well-known for letting computer-users make free local, national, and international calls via their PCs, is working on making its applications workable on mobile devices.
”Skype is building out a worldwide real-time communications infrastructure that is largely agnostic to carriers and simply dependent on having broadband Internet access,” Skype Journal associate editor Jim Courtney said in a guest column on GigaOm. ”Skype is also bringing real-time conversations to new types of mobile platforms beyond the traditional mobile phone handset, enabling voice in totally new social scenarios.”
We’ve long thought such technology would be inevitable, not least because of the iPhone and the iTouch (a device that offers everything the iPhone does sans voice calling). Of course, we tempered our excitement a bit, knowing that Wi-Fi networks are still in their infancy. But Skype’s dedication to the space makes us a lot more optimistic.
When consumers are finally able to access both Internet and cellular networks on their cell phones, that will make mobile devices so much more important – to both consumers and marketers. Consumers will rely on their mobiles more than ever, and marketers need to be able to contact them via all the handset’s abilities – SMS, email, mobile Web ads. Get ready to combine mobile and Have To Take OUR Word For Itonline marketing strategies, folks – or get left behind by your competitors who do.
Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
”I’d rather you text me”