According to market tracking site Net Applications, Google Android handset users were doing a lot of browsing on the mobile Web. The Android OS saw an increase in mobile Web browsing with a market share gain that was higher than any other mobile OS this past November and December. Usage of the mobile Web by Android increased by 54.8 percent, likely in part from the push by Motorola, which had released the Motorola CLIQ for T-Mobile and the Motorola DROID for Verizon. The end of 2009 also saw new Android powered handsets released by HTC and Samsung.
But it wasn’t just Android users that were clicking away on the mobile Web either. While mobile browsing still only accounts for 1.35 percent of all surfing, it has seen gains in recent months. During the same final two months of 2009, RIM’s BlackBerry OS grew by 22.2 percent, while Apple’s iPhone OSX grew by 20.1 percent, with Symbian increasing by 19 percent and even Java ME seeing gains of 15.6 percent.
The number to watch, of course, is what percent of browsing mobile will be at the end of 2010. My prediction is that the number could be over 10 percent by this time next year.
Future of the Smartphone: From Time Keeper to Mobile Money
Eariler this week, The New York Times/Reuters Breakingviews ran an interesting piece on how smartphones had evolved and offered a similar recap of what I recently posted about how these handsets had combined the functionality of media players, PDAs, GPS devices, digital cameras and even mobile TVs!
But it is interesting to see another take on this story, and one item I didn’t consider was the one function I use my handset for more than anything else (including making calls), and that is to tell time. As one who seldom wears a watch, at least unless I’m exercising and even then I watch the time, which is different than merely knowing the time of the day. The rest of the time (no pun intended) I don’t wear a watch, and until the mobile phone entered my pocket in the mid 1990s I never knew what time it was if a clock wasn’t in sight. But consider now that a whole generation will always know the time and never wear watches, and it will be because of their phones!
What the Times/Reuters story adds to the mix of where smartphones will take us next is also interesting:
“Where the mobile herd will stampede next is hard to predict. But a rummage through pockets and handbags turns up credit cards, cash, keys, ID cards, books, newspapers and tickets – all potentially replaceable with something electronic. That will mean opportunity for some enterprising inventors and destruction for others.”
While I agree with some of this, others I question. I can see credit cards but not cash being easily replaced. Likewise I have a question whether IDs will ever be allowed on a device like this… what do you do when the battery runs low? More likely we’ll see plastic IDs with RF chips to track our every moves. But books and newspapers aren’t something that will go paperless for many users, because while it might be nice to have a paperless plane ticket, no one wants to hear that it is time to turn off their newspaper for landing.