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The Mobile Market is Wide Open

Don’t believe the hype.  The smartphone world of today will probably not look like the smartphone world of tomorrow.  As of November 29th

of 2011, only 27% of the worlds over 5 billion subscribers had a smartphone.  This presumably includes old, doddering Windows Mobile handsets and low-end Android devices that only manage to be called a smartphone because they have Android.  Also, Blackberry, but whatevs at them.

Now the mantra of “This is an iPhone and Android race!” doesn’t hold much water.  Just a few years ago, it was a Blackberry/Windows Mobile sp

rint to what was presumed a geek-and-business-only line of phones that would never penetrate the mainstreams desires.  We all know that, of course, the iPhone went and changed absolutely everything about smartphones and the desirability of such.  It also raised the metric by which smartphones were judged and simply running powerful programs and accessing e-mail was just not enough anymore.

What’s happening now is more than who has the best-looking phone with the most bells and whistles.  Most phones these days come with a laundry list of options than the lions share of users will never know they had, wouldn’t use if they did, and wouldn’t care if they didn’t existed.  What matters is the existing and potential growth of ecosystems and contiguous access to the social and entertainment options offered on the Web.  In short, people don’t want to have to have three or four different access points to information, each one with different bookmarks, access abilities, and rendering.  We want to see the same web from our phones, tablets, and home computers of choice.  Parity between mobile and non-mobile entities will be a deciding factor now.

Just recently, Vizio and Google joined forces to bring Google TV to Vizio’s value TV’s in an attempt to revive the flagging franchise in an attempt to shore up Androids ecosystem.  There are rumors of Kinect-enabled televisions and a possibility of the next iteration of the Xbox will come built-in to certain sets.Anecdotally, I heard a fellow worker tell me he wanted Apple TV because he could control it with his iPhone.

Considering how fast things are changing, how much our once serparate technologies are converging on each other, and how blurred the lines are becoming… don’t count anyone out just yet.  One unfortunately-timed flop can derail an entire digital economy, and one well-placed product can give birth to a legacy that you would have never expected.

Put away the crystal balls and enjoy the ride.