I’d like to start this post with two small confessions.
- Although as a rule I try to stay abreast of the latest and greatest in technology and gadget news, I’ve never really been that interested in the mobile sector.
- I never went gaga over the iPhone. I think this is mainly because I have an irrational bias against all things Apple dating back to the days they used to provide the Mac with only a single button mouse.
As much as I dislike Apple I give them full credit for changing the course of the mobile industry’s history. The launch of the iPhone in June 2007 created a paradigm shift that changed the way we all perceive mobile devices. In retrospect I think the iPhone fully deserves the title “Invention of the Year” bestowed upon it by Time magazine in 2007.
iPhone – Trailblazer turned monopoly
The problem is that for too long the iPhone was unique. It was the only device of its type out there. It did an excellent job as a trailblazing pioneer in terms of changing our habits and perceptions as consumers but at some point the growth potential was stunted because of the iPhone’s monopoly.
Take me as an example. Silly as this might sound, I’ve avoided the joys of the smartphone world for nearly two years simply because partaking in the festivities would require me to buy an iPhone and mount the Apple bandwagon – something I haven’t been prepared to do due to my pigheaded and irrational dislike of the brand.
Instead, for the past two years I’ve opted to wait for an alternative ticket into the smartphone world.
And so I’ve waited…and waited…and waited.
Google and Nokia end Apple’s hegemony
It seems though my wait is over. The recent launches of Google’s Android platform and Nexus One smartphone as well as Nokia’s launch of the Nokia 900 spell the long awaited end of the iPhone’s smartphone monopoly.
2010 – the Year of the Mobile?
I think this is big news. In fact I’m even willing to go so far as to predict 2010 may well be the long awaited “Year of the Mobile”.
I’m basing my prediction on the inevitable consequences of the availability of real competition to the iPhone:
- The competition between the companies must affect the pricing of smartphones making them more accessible to larger demographics.
- The increased supply will create an increase in demand.
How does this relate to video consumption?
According to Nielsen mobile video consumption is rising rapidly.
Whereas in the first quarter of 2008 the number of Americans watching video on their mobile phones was just under 9 million, by the first quarter of 2009 that number had risen to 13.4 million. That’s an increase of over 52% in just one year!
The tables clearly indicate that not only are more people watching more videos on their mobiles, but every one of them is spending more time doing it.
Nielsen ascribes much of the rise to:
“…increased mobile content and the rise of the mobile web as a viewing option”
I believe it’s safe to assume the increase in availability of smartphones due to the shattering of the iPhone’s monopoly will help accelerate mobile video viewing’s already rapid rate of adoption even further.
What are the implications for online vendors?
The implications for vendors are far reaching
With video fast becoming the medium of choice for the consumption of mobile web content, vendors need to consider whether they can afford to miss out on the opportunity this trend presents. This is doubly true for vendors targeting audiences in their 20’s, or tech savvy individuals, were the trend is significantly stronger.