Mobile and Emerging Technologies

The Obligatory 2011 Top Ten Mobile Story List

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Gartner just published their top predictions for 2012 and beyond and the one that caught my eye was the mobile one:

  • By 2015, mobile application development (AD) projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4-to-1.

Now, obviously mobile has been one of the largest IT stories for 2011 and I starting looking around for a good “top 10” list that always pop up this time of year that would have a focus on mobile.  The best one I found was one put together for CNN.  Some of the more interesting bullet points that could have an impact on business include:

1. Goodbye (mostly) to unlimited data plans; hello throttling.
Quite a bit has been written about the impact of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) on the enterprise.  People don’t mind using their personal devices for work if they are more productive but what happens when you max out your data plan (that you are paying for) on work-related material?
3. 4G network rollouts.
As a mobile developer, you have to be cognizant of the amount of network data you bring across in order keep the mobile app from bogging down with time-consuming data requests across the standard 3G networks.  4G networks should open up a new level of mobile-based business app that maybe prohibitive now such as more in-depth business intelligence applications.
7. The debut of smaller, cheaper e-reader tablets.
Obviously, the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook have garnered most of the attention lately.  But, besides those two, there has been a deluge of 7” and 10”  Android-based tablets that list for less than $250.00.  While it is nice that these tablets are making the market more accessible to a wider group of consumers, almost all of them are using a modified version of the Android 2.x smartphone platform rather than the Android 3.x tablet platform.  It means that the consumer will most likely have less than positive experience and be turned off by the tablet’s usability and functionality.  This will cause them to either reject tablets entirely or force them to purchase iPads.  While the iPads have set the quality bar for tablets, it would be nice to see a robust Android tablet market in order to improve the level of technical competition.
It should be an interesting review of 2012 when this time rolls around next December and the impact mobile had on the enterprise.  Some of the bullet points in such an article could include:
1. iPad 3 and Google Nexus tablets debut
Both the iPad 3 and Google Nexus tablet may come out with a rumored screen that would include a retina display with a 326dpi (dots per inch) resolution.  Such a screen would open up tablets for use by such businesses currently sitting on the sidelines such as medical imaging and any others that are video or image-processing sensitive.
2. Business Wi-Fi overwhelmed
Most of the prognosticators look for Apple to sell 54 million iPads and other vendors to sell 20+ million Android tablets in 2012.  Granted that most will be sold to consumers but what will be the impact of BYOD on business Wi-Fi when all of employees who will buy these tablets (and smartphones) for personal use and bring it to the workplace?  Most businesses have sized their Wi-Fi needs to the given level of laptops and other sundry wireless devices such as corporate-issued smartphones. But have they examined their companies’ Wi-Fi bandwidth usage and is it sufficient to handle an increase in number of employees who will want to wirelessly access the network with their new tablets or smartphones?  Taking it a step further, what if the bandwidth is needed for image processing and video needs (see point #1).

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