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Google’s Android has already overtaken Apple’s iOS in terms of smartphone marketshare, and the onslaught shows no sign of stopping. The company launched Gingerbread, the latest version of its mobile operating system (OS) today, along with a new co-branded phone: the Nexus S.
The launch strategy behind Gingerbread and the Nexus S reveals how thinking about mobile devices (and how to sell them) is evolving at the Googleplex.
Launch an iPhone app and you can definitely reach the tastemakers. Launch an Android app, however, and you’ll ultimately be able to connect with the masses. At least, that’s what new smartphone marketshare data from technology research firm Canalys suggests.
While plenty of retailers have released mobile commerce apps, and some of them are excellent, I think the future lies with creating mobile websites, and this should be the first step into mobile commerce.
This doesn't mean that apps don't have their place, but retailers should look to mobile commerce sites before they create an app. This is the approach taken by both M&S and John Lewis, and it makes sense for other retailers.
Here are ten reasons to opt for the mobile web as a first step...
While there are some excellent mobile websites and apps, there are still plenty that fail to provide a good experience for mobile users, the Zara iPhone app being just one example of this.
I've gathered together seven excellent presentations from Slideshare on the subject of mobile usability...
If you work in technology or digital marketing, you probably take it for granted that mobile apps are a mainstream phenomenon. But is that really the case? Sort of, according to a new Pew Internet telephone survey.
According to the survey, 35% of adults in the United States have applications on their phone. That's a fairly big number.
Apple may appear to be on top of the mobile world thanks to the iPhone and iPad. But according to analysts at Gartner, Apple iOS market share will peak at 17.1% in 2011 and drop to 14.9% by 2014.
At the same time, Android, which had just under 4% of the mobile OS market in 2009, will rise significantly this year to become the leading mobile operating system in North America. By 2014, Gartner believes Android will be just about neck and neck globally with Nokia's Symbian OS. Combined, Android and Symbian will have control of approximately 60% of the mobile OS market in 2014, leaving Apple and iOS in the dust.
When Apple released the iPad earlier this year, there was a lot of discussion and debate about the fate of tablet devices. Was there a need for them? Did consumers really want them? Where in the computing food chain might they fit in?
Months later, Apple has sold millions iPads, confirming at a minimum that there is a market for tablet devices. But it's still not clear what impact they'll have on computing over the long-term.
Everyone's talking mobile apps. GE is solidly committed to creating them, both for their B2B and consumer businesses. We sat down recently with the the team responsible for creating them: Andy Markowitz, director of global digital strategy; Dayan Anandappa, director of digital media technologies, and James Blomberg, director of new media & emerging technologies to learn more about the company's approach to app development and deployment, and to see some of their work.
Sales are a criterion when new apps are considered for development at GE, but utility matters just as much, as does speed-to-market. As far as GE is concerned, the time to develop apps for customers is now, before the wow factor wears off and while the company can still impress customers with an app's added value. Ease-of-use is also key. One app, geared to engineers in the field, is avilable on the iPhone, but also on the iPad. Why? "Because engineers wear gloves."
When Apple made it clear that apps created with Adobe's Flash Packager
for iPhone would not be permitted in the App Store, Steve Jobs had an
explanation: "We know from painful experience that letting a third
party layer of software come between the platform and the developer
ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and
progress of the platform."
Many, myself included, found Jobs' explanation to be somewhat disingenuous. Tools that facilitate cross-platform development aren't necessarily responsible for bad code and poor software; bad development practices and poorly-skilled developers almost always are.
In April, Apple CEO Steve Jobs explained in detail why consumers aren't going to see Flash support on the iPhone and iPad. Long story short: Adobe Flash "is no longer necessary." Although Apple's lack of support for Flash is often cited as an iPhone/iPad drawback, Flash certainly isn't going to win a whole lot of popularity contests either. But the question remains: is there a place for Flash in the mobile market?
We may soon have an answer.
Can Microsoft still compete in the mobile arena? Windows Phone 7 might be the company's last chance, as it's unlikely that Microsoft will ever be able to catch up to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android if it doesn't make a big splash now.
But if one report is accurate, Microsoft thinks it has what it takes to compete: a really big bank account.
By almost every reasonable measurement, Google's Android OS is giving Apple a reason to check the rear-view mirror. But for many developers, developing for Android is still somewhat unattractive because the common wisdom is that successful Android apps are likely to generate far less revenue than successful iPhone/iPad apps.
One of the possible reasons: paid Android apps are sold through Google Checkout, which Android critics argue offers a far less pleasant experience than the App Store purchasing experience offers iPhone and iPad owners.