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Mobility as a Behavioral Object of Conditio Humana

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Mobile Life, hypothesis of a phenomenon

We are wanderers, commuters, tourists, refuge seekers, travellers, nomads or whatever modus or role we are into. We are always on the move. Human active life – Conditio Humana or Vita Activa – is based on mobility. Mobility is the ability to move from one place to another. We move not only in actual, say physical space but also in virtuality. We take the train to move from one place to another, walk around or drive to some place. And when we make a ‘move’ on a social hierarchal ladder, we call it mobility as well. Henri Bergson, the last characteristic of temporal progress is mobility. In Bergson’s view, freedom is mobility. Can we then argue that being mobile is being free? And to add a layer of complexity, has the up rise of mobile phones in our daily activity helped us free ourselves? I argue that mobility is a behavioral object of Conditio Humana; mobility is indissolubly interconnected with our lives.


Mobile and Mobility, a definition

What is the meaning of the word – the conception – of mobile? What do we want to express when we use the word? The phenomenon of mobility requires clarification as it employs many connotations. Mobile is generally considered to be an adjective of the noun mobility but in the case of a Mobile, there are at least two commonly used connotations, the one being a movable as in a carefully equilibrated composition of sticks and ropes that hangs e.g. over a cradle, the other being a portable and wireless telephone, a mobile phone. Those are obviously quite controversial conceptions.

Given the significant controversies in the conception of what Mobile and Mobility actually express, let us determine what the can be and in what manner it affects human life.


According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, ‘Mobile’ as an adjective of mobility has several connotations e.g. being capable of moving or being moved (movable a mobile missile launcher). It can also mean changeable in appearance, mood, or purpose: mobile face or adaptable, versatile or migratory which may also refer to a certain ‘movability’ conception.  And then, mobility may also refer to being characterized by the mixing of social groups, or having the opportunity for or undergoing a shift in status within the levels of a society: socially mobile workers. And marked by the use of vehicles for transportation: mobile warfare and relating to a mobile phone[1].


Mobile also refers to being capable of moving or of being moved readily from place to place: a mobile organism; a mobile missile system, capable of moving or changing, fluid; unstable: a mobile situation following the coup quickly from one state or condition to another: a mobile, expressive face, marked by the easy intermixing of different social groups: a mobile community, moving relatively easily from one social class or level to another: an upwardly mobile generation, tending to travel and relocate frequently: a restless, mobile society, flowing freely; fluid: a mobile liquid[2].


In On the Mobile, Sadie Plant has also delivered us an interesting list about Mobile. She treats us to different foreign language words for the mobile phone:

  • French: le portable, or le G which stand for GSM.
  • Finnish: kanny.
  • German use the word handy.
  • In Spanish the word is el movil.
  • Americans say Cell Phone.
  • The Arabs call it a telephonesayaar or makhmul or gowal, which stands for air phone.
  • The Thai name the mobile moto.
  • Japanese say is keitai denwa.
  • The Chinese use their sho ji

If we translate these names, all deal with either portable, ‘air’ or to be carried in the hand (handy, kanny) (Plant, 2002).


Traditional sociology categorizes mobility in the realms of economic and social mobility. Economic mobility in sociological terms is when a person ‘moves’ from one economic status to another. This status is usually measured in demographics, specifically income but also the appreciation of certain city areas and, disputably, ethnic roots are or can be indicators of economical mobility. Economic mobility researches two main movements intergenerational, the status movement from two exceeding generations (“today’s generation performs better than its parent’s”) and intragenerational mobility (status movement in one person’s lifetime). As you may notice, the word “status” is mentioned here. Status in the context of mobility is also referred to as “milieu” in a sense in the connotation of sociocultural environment (class). ‘The structure of classes – milieus – reproduces itself constantly due to indissoluble differences in lifestyle, social participation and political ideology’ (Bordieu, 1984). This particular phenomenon is also referred to as Social (im-) mobility; a node in a specific sociocultural milieu may experience difficulty in trying “to move on”, being sociologically mobile.


As we see, there are different connotations for different domains of mobility. Henri Bergson added the element of time – duration – to the contemplative conception of mobility. By doing so, he conditioned the concept of qualitative multiplicity i.e. a singularized, continuous, dualistic and temporal and not representable in a symbol. “Here “multiplicity” is employed as a barely nominalized adjective. And it’s true that Bergson often expressed himself thus. But at other times, the word ‘multiplicity” is employed in the strong sense, as a true substantive, thus, from the second chapter of Time and Free Will onward, the number is a multiplicity, which does not mean the same thing at all as a multiplicity of numbers’ (Deleuze, 2007[3]).


‘Bergson calls the last characteristic of temporal progress mobility. For Bergson — and perhaps this is his greatest insight — freedom is mobility. (Deleuze 1986) [4]. For him, there is always a priority of movement over the things that move; the thing that moves is an abstraction from the movement. The elastic band being stretched is a more exact image of duration. But the image of the elastic is still, according to Bergson, incomplete because no image can represent duration. An image is immobile, while duration is “pure mobility” (Deleuze 1986). Later in the second half of last century, philosophers like Deleuze and Foucault in particular dissociated qualitative multiplicity from time and associated with space


Can we then draw the conclusion that mobility, as an abstraction of movement and Bergsonian freedom are laid in the realm of space? Truly, mobility is real, at least, movement can be observed and its effects can be described and interpreted. In the attempt to fathom the enigma of Mobility, to this stage three elements are conceptions of relevance: movement, duration and space.


To replenish our list of connotations and interpretations, there are even dwellings and towns that are called Mobile. There is one in Alabama at the firth of the river Mobile that flows into Mobile Bay. The town is renowned for the US Civil War ‘Battle of Mobile’ in 1781. Then there are Mobile Cities in Arizona, California and Newfoundland & Labrador in Canada.

To end this retrospective intermezzo of what the conception of Mobile may refer to, there is one Mobile with an apropos; it was the Mabila, a now extinguished Indian tribe that gave its name to the city of Mobile in Alabama. Apparently, movability as the primary meaning of the conception has nothing to do with that glorious town in the Deep South of the US of A.


Mobility as a behavioral object of Conditio Humana

The conception of Mobile bears a near inexhaustible list of connotations that may be tabulated in four main conceptions:

  1. Mobility as a conception of physical movement; moving from one place to another.
  2. Mobility as a conception of space and time; duration.
  3. Mobility as a conception of sphere; spaciousness in a figurative manner.
  4. Mobility as a conception of freedom.


Now the question rises whether Mobility is a natural behavior of man; are we mobile? Is mobility a behavioral object of being, our “dasein; human existence” the Conditio Humana or is Mobility a contraption of a human desire to be movable, flexible perhaps? If that is the case then Mobility may well be a human imaginary, a dream of freedom perhaps more than rather a scanty hope of being free? In this respect, Daniel Dennett refers to freedom like the air we breathe, freedom like democracy, freedom as an illusion or even more poetical, freedom of the birds (Dennett 2003); not captivated within either moral, social or political boundaries; freedom is having no borders. In Freedom Evolves (2003), Dennett quotes Nicholas Maxwell as he defines freedom to be ‘the capacity to achieve what is of value in a range of circumstances’ (Dennett 2003). Of course this confronts us with the open question of what value actually is. For Dennett all in life is “up for grabs” as there is no constraint on what we, within our unique (human) ability to (re-) consider is worth living for, say, what we believe to be of value. In this sense Mobility, as we believe it to help (assist) us at least to consider “movement” in either place, space or perhaps sphere is freedom, freedom not necessarily to choose values to life by but a freedom of (re-) consideration thus relaying one’s life in order to make it worthwhile to live that life.


Perhaps Mobility is a behavioral object of what Hannah Arendt calls Conditio Humana that can be contemplated in the tradition of Vita Activa, her interpretation of the problem of reasserting the politics as an important broadening of praxis, human action, and the world of appearances. This requires some deepening.


In The human condition, Hannah Arendt argues that the Western philosophical tradition has devalued the world of human action that attends to appearances (the vita activa), subordinating it to the life of contemplation that concerns itself with essences and the eternal (the vita contemplativa). She continues: ‘argues for a tripartite division between the human activities of labor, work, and action’ (Arendt 1958). Moreover, she arranges these activities in a hierarchy of importance. For Arendt, the hierarchy of importance as a central driver in political freedom characterizes our modern times.


The basal principle of action (vita activa) lies in its ever-present freedom and its role; to Arendt it is an end in itself with no subordination. Arendt argues that it is a mistake to take freedom to be primarily an inner, contemplative or private phenomenon, for it is in fact active, worldly and public. We sense of (inner) freedom comes from having had experiences of ‘a condition of being free as a tangible worldly reality. We first become aware of freedom or its opposite in our intercourse with others, not in the intercourse with ourselves’ (Arendt, 1958).

Furthermore, in defining action as freedom, and freedom as action, we can see the decisive influence of Augustine upon Arendt’s thought. From Augustine’s political philosophy she takes the theme of human action as beginning: To act, in its most general sense, means to take initiative, to begin (as the Greek word archein, ‘to begin,’ ‘to lead,’ and eventually ‘to rule’ indicates), to set something in motion. Because they are initium, newcomers and beginners by virtue of birth, men take initiative, are prompted into action.

‘And further, that freedom is to be seen as a character of human existence in the world. Man does not so much possess freedom as he, or better his coming into the world, is equated with the appearance of freedom in the universe; man is free because he is a beginning…’ (Arendt, 1958).


Hannah Arendt argues that today’s ideas about freedom, specifically political ideas, really deal with freedom as action. If, as she has taken from classical philosophy, politikos is about being acting – acting – then freedom is in fact action. ‘The raison d’etre is freedom and its field of experience is action’ (Arendt, 1958). This then means that our actions are in fact exposures of our freedom. Mobility is action. We can now argue that Mobility is freedom is politics: politics in a connotation of Homo Poltikos; the operating or accomplishing man. Ergo, the man of action.


But then, according to Vilém Flusser the [new] human being is not a man of action anymore but a player: Homo Ludens as opposed to homo Faber, the producing (working) man. Life is no longer a drama for him, but a performance. It is no longer a question of action but of sensation” (Flusser, 1999, p. 89).

For Flusser the new human beings seek experience rather then perform or produce. In Flusser’s discourse, experience may well be synonymized with enjoyment and as a concretizing of this believe, Flusser speaks of man having programs instead of problems. To modern man, problems, if any, are failures in programs. Might it just be that modern man – man as in human beings therefore including women – experiences software as program failures, software that is embedded in devices that enrich life. Flusser, in this context refers to apparatus rather than what popular discourse may refer to as machines. A machine is often seen as a mechanical device whilst an apparatus is either a set of materials or devices designed for a particular use


In Flusser’s day and age, the shift from machine to apparatus must have been a shift in paradigms; now apparatus as complexities of supportive contraptions to mankind were the enablers of freedom; apparatus as supportive objects of Conditio Humana?

Another transition has since been observed. It is the transition from a, as Rik Maes writes, ‘things-oriented’ culture to the information culture that ligatures with the up rise of apparatus[5]. That up rise happens currently.


What do human beings who are no longer interested in things but in information, symbols, codes and models look like? According to Maes, we can compare our era with the days of the industrial revolution; “we resemble the citizens of the French Revolution rather than we resemble our children” (Maes, 2011): we experience a intergenerational socio-economical mobility in which the baby-booming generation has lost track of its offspring as if we experience paradise lost; a new generation, as always, commissions new social playing rules, a new order.


This new generation refuses to in a world of collective, steerable achievements from the decades of the reign of machines. The new generation desires the unsteerability, undoablity of “bottom-up” society. This new generation (and those who attract to the new fashion) life is increasingly becoming a combination of man and apparatus. Maes speaks of “society as cyborg” [6].


Mobile Milieus

On a very general level – and following the seminal work of Marx and Weber – one can say that classes are positions in the order of production into which individuals are placed. This means that a class structure is a form of economic structure embedded in social relations and culture (Crompton and Scott, 2005: 186[7]). This particular connotation refers to a definable group of people with the same qualifications; a groups sharing the same economic and or social status. For Marx, a class is the outcome of the capitalist fashion of organizing society. It has to do with property, physical property such as real estate and money in the bank. But just those characteristics as there must also be a certain “way of life”, a resemblance in the way exponents of that class think about issues on possession, politics and power. Marx’s labor theory has long been an, at least, influential hypothesis for generations, far into the midst of the twentieth century.

For Weber (1978; 2004[8]), a person’s “class situation”, or her membership in a particular [socio-] economic class, is determined by the life chances, which inhere from her position within a capitalist market.

But then, in today’s world we also see the rise of a different class, not necessarily based on economical principles and with a different perspective towards “life chances”. These groups of people – communalities – can be referred to as “milieus” and in the context of this paper “mobile milieus”. A milieu is rather an ambience, a sphere in which the group acts; a what Peter Sloterdijk refers to as a bubble, an immune system in which people may have different economical status but still all (or most) in the bubble “belong” together. Thus, a milieu is not based on economical principles per se but on cultural and or motivational such as peer-acceptance seekers. And in a


Stereotyped Observations

Let us consider some of the effects of the use of the mobile phone on our society. Just walk in a street of a town, wait at a bus stop, sit in a train or wait for a plain to board: big chance what you will see (and hear) is people staring at handheld mobile phones, not necessarily talking in the phone, as many of those devices also function as very small communication computing devices. According to Benson, ‘this major change in human behaviour has come about within a remarkably short time, but its implications need to be considered. Many people have willingly taken this option of continuous communication; and many more have been forced to accept it as a condition of their employment’ (Benson 2011). And, to be constantly available, for instance in work-related issues, make the employee find himself in a changed role since the days before the breakthrough of the mobile phone; there is no excuse anymore not to be addressable at any given moment during the twenty four hours of a day. ‘Even while making a meal at home, or travelling on the bus, one might be interrupted by a business call’ (Benson, 2011).


It is a common sight in Dutch cities to see young girls, in the age scope of, say, 15 to 25, walking in a more or less hastened tempo, fiercely avoiding eye contact with their surroundings. In their hands they all carry a Blackberry and while on their path, they very regularly watch their Blackberry with a facial expression that suggests the expectation of a very, very important telephone call. Observing this particular group of female adolescents one may very well distinguish more communality in the group’s nones. If not inspecting their communication artifact, he girls all carry their Blackberry well in range of the observers’ scope. Skeptics may add extra artifacts to visualize the group. Our girls mainly have long blond and slick hair. Their feet are covered in elephant-shaped booties with a brand name that stands for ugly. When less than, give or take 18˚C, they may wear one specific brand of coat of the type that has a fur brim at the hood. When moving from one place to another, the girls drive a certain brand of, preferably, custom made motor scooter of Italian make. Commonly, the girls are observed to be of ethnic Dutch origins and in many cases, they belong to milieus of middle to higher social status.

In recent years, we have observed a rather interesting movement, a true example of what we may call an attempt of social mobility; an interesting case as it deals also with the mobile device; Blackberry and other peer group-connoted artifacts (such as specific brands of bags and baseball caps, apparels and garments, perfumes and accessories).

The movement is observed in groups of ethnic minorities, mainly of Moroccan and Turkish descent. Adolescents in these groups are of third and fourth generation and socio-political discourse claims a concern regarding the perception of identity of these people; it is currently a popular believe in The Netherlands that these people perceive themselves as neither true Moroccan (or Turkish) in a cultural sense of the word, nor do they feel truly Dutch. In this context it is relevant to mention that vast majorities in these ethnical minorities are of lower social status milieus.

One observation in this context is that groups of Moroccan adolescent girls ‘dress up’ not only as their all-Dutch peers but also even exaggerate the outfitting and the associated behavior.

Obviously some of the behavior may be explained in the context of general adolescent behavior, regardless of culture. Otherwise one may argue that certain behavior is due to the desire to move from a certain sphere an ethnical adolescent find herself in (or himself for that matter) to a socially higher appreciated sphere.


In the context of (social) mobility, Blackberry appears to be an important artifact for adolescent groups in terms of ‘growing up’ and intergenerational social mobility, at least in The Netherlands although one may question the true relevance when observing the mobile OS (Mobile Operating System) statistics in the region; it is clear that Blackberry has only limited market share with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android as supreme market owners currently.

An interesting question rises: what makes Blackberry specifically so interesting for these groups of users? An article in Het Parool[9] dating 10 April 2010 may bear some answers.

Amongst adolescents in Amsterdam, Blackberry, especially business-type devices of the brand were most popular, even exceeding iPhone. According to a spokeswoman of KPN’s youth brand Hi, Ping with which one can send and receive free of charge messages unlimitedly, was the magic application that did it all. Back in 2010, Ping was a Blackberry-specific application; if one would want to ping, one needed a Blackberry. According to the spokeswoman, this fact explained the business success.

However, since 2010, Blackberry has met some troublesome market challenges. Strangely enough, expected sales of Blackberry amongst adolescents in The Netherlands apparently still seem significant[10].


Ethnicity might thus be understood as a status marker that differentiates between groups and individuals. As we have mentioned above, immigrants and ethnic minorities often belong to the most deprivileged socioeconomic categories in the societies where they live. It might though be hard to tell how much of an immigrant’s disadvantage that springs from him or her being labeled as different in terms of ethnicity, and how much is related to his or her class position, a class position that often changes through migration as such: downward mobility from the position in the country of origin to the country of settlement is common (Portes and Zhou, 1993). When disadvantage in terms of lacking opportunities to upward mobility is reproduced in the second and even third generation, it is even more likely that discrimination is involved. In this way, “symbolic” distinctions between ethnicities come to have concrete socioeconomic consequences for those who are shut out from good job opportunities because of factors such as their names or looks. Once again, the categories of class and ethnicity are often entwined[11].


The exceptional popularity of the cell phone among youth can be linked back to their need for an individual identity, maintenance of friendship networks, and emancipation from family ties. Moreover, as Geser (2004) points out, without possessing fixed addresses and stationary resources, cell phone connection is the only thing that anchors them to the society. Ling (2002) states that the use of the cell phone helps define adolescents vis-à-vis older generations. Its real impact is in terms of its ability to define adolescents’ identity. The “emancipation” of adolescents from their parents is a contributing factor to the formation of their identity. Höflich & Rössler (2002) state that adolescents in order to challenge the social world of adults and to show resistance to it, thereby strengthening a subculture as well as constructing an identity, sometimes use the obtrusiveness of cell phones in a provocative manner. Besides the emancipation from adults and maintenance of friendship networks, cell phones contribute to identity assertion by being highly personal devices, with a vast scope for further personalization. Pertierra (2005) reports the sentiment that the cell phone as a personal device is a style statement[12].


The question of whether the cell phone is seen as a symbol of status within the adolescent subculture has been dealt with in a number of studies. The unexpected rate at which cell phone technology has been developed and adopted has made it a very popular phenomenon, and as such it is no longer associated with prestige, as was the case only a few years ago (Höflich & Rössler, 2002; Lorente, 2002). However, some studies indicate that the cell phone might in some ways still be a source of social prestige. For instance, the cell phone might act as the barometer of an adolescent’s social life in the amount of messages and calls he or she receives, thereby contributing to aspects of social prestige (Lobet- Maris & Henin, 2002, p. 110). Likewise, a significant percentage of adolescents in Finland who did not have a cell phone reported feeling left out of social interactions and sometimes felt pressured by friends to get a cell phone (Ling, 2004)[13].


‘Wireless communication is changing the way people work, live, love and relate to places—and each other’, says Andreas Kluth In The Economist;s Special Report on Mobility[14]. Urban nomads have started appearing only in the past few years. According to Kluth, modern nomads have a lot in common with their ancestors in the desert; nomads carry only what the need stricktly to survive during their travels. All the rest can be gathered at oases or other – temporary – dwellings. Modern nomads do not carry paper. They have all their documents in their laptop or, better, somewhere in the cloud. Kluth furthermore enlightens us on the fact that e.g. Google executives travel only with their iPhone and a Blackberry: ‘if ever the need arises for a large keyboard and some earnest typing, they sit down in front of the nearest available computer anywhere in the world, open its web browser and access all their documents online’ (Economist 2008).


Like their antecedents in the desert, they are defined not by what they carry but by what they leave behind, knowing that the environment will provide it. Thus, Bedouins do not carry their own water, because they know where the oases are. Modern nomads carry almost no paper because they access their documents on their laptop computers, mobile phones or online. Increasingly, they don’t even bring laptops. Many engineers at Google, the leading Internet company and a magnet for nomads, travel with only a BlackBerry, iPhone or other “smart phone

As a species, Ms. Turkle thinks, we run the risk of letting the permanent wireless social clouds that surround us steal part of our nature[15].


I am mobile therefore I am, a conclusion

Persuasive rhetorics of advertising cuddle us in techno-utopic imaginaries of virtual mobility, happiness and freedom; by the push of one button we control our social networks, digital profiles, bank account and we deliver status updates in less than 140 characters at any given time, place and circumstance. An entire global industry pounds us with handy to have and easy to use applications, regardless of operatings systems and current location. Whilst gaming singly or multi-player hypes like Wordfeud on mini screens is for killing time at non-places (in a pure Augé-fashion of the word), locative services guide us to our destinations all around the world. According to Business Insider[16], the best selling top three iOS apps ever are 1) Angry Birds, 2) Doodle Jump and 3) Bejeweled 2.

But then, we are merely talking about “killing time”. According to the same source, the top ten app “we” cannot live without (at least if you are in the US) are 1) Twitter, 2) Kindle for iPhone, 3) Instapaper, 4) Angry Birds (can’t live without?), 5) Touch Mouse, 6) Weather Channel, 7) ESPN ScoreCenter (US only sports statistics), 8) iFitness, 9) MLB (Major League Basketball), 10 Golfshot[17]. Obviously, this list is a US one; the assumption is that European lists are more or less similar in essence.


According to de Vries, “mobile communication devices are the self-evident technological expression of a presumed ‘natural’ progression in the quest for perfected communication” (de Vries, 2009). But it is not just perfected communication that is the quest. Today, in a country like The Netherlands, the assumption is that there are more mobile phones then there is capita, which is confirmed by TNO’s market report # 35593 of December 2011[18]; in Q2 of 2011, there were 19.376.000 mobile telephone connections. Do facts and figures like these presume that mobility, in this context mobile communication and Internet access, means freedom? Is the mobile phone the “Liberator” of mankind?


Mobility – being mobile, movable in place, space and sphere – can be seen as a behavioral object of our being human; Conditio Humana. It is not just a genuine believe that “man moves”, it is a fact. We move because we must, we have to go from one condition (position) to another. In this alliance, the up rise of the mobile phone came at a right time as a supportive tool for our “Dasein”, our existence, our being human, our Conditio Humana; I am mobile therefore I am.




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Bordieu, P. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Tran. R. Nice. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1984. Print.

Case, A. “The Cell Phone and its Technosocial Sites of Engagement.” Partial fulfillment of a Degree in Sociology/Anthropology Lewis & Clark College, 2007. Print.Portland, Oregon: .

De Vries, I. O. Tantalisingly Close. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012. Print. Media Matters .

Dennett, D. C. Freedom Evolves. Putnam: Penguin Books, 2033. Print.

Jans, E.,. “Peter Sloterdijk: Schuim.” http://www.vlabinvbc.be. 1 juni 2009 2009.Web. <http://www.vlabinvbc.be/?navigatieid=45&berichtid=990&maand=6&jaar=2009&gt;.

Lawlor, L. and M. “”Henri Bergson” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .” Spring 2012Web. <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2012/entries/bergson/&gt;.

Lister M., Dovey J., Giddings S., Grant I., Kelly K. New Media: A Critical Introduction Second Edition. second edition ed. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2009. Print.

Matthieu J., Guitton. “The Immersive Impact of Meta-Media in a Virtual World.” Computers in Human Behavior 28.2 (2012): 450-5. Print.

McKenzie, Hamish. ”
Web 2.0 Is Over, All Hail the Age of Mobile.” pandoDaily. April 28, 2012Web. <http://pandodaily.com/2012/04/27/web-2-0-is-over-all-hail-the-age-of-mobile/&gt;.

“McLuha”. “Marshall McLuhan on the Mobile Phone.” McLuhan Galaxy , http://mcluhangalaxy.wordpress.com/  (November 19, 2011) Blog.

Plant, S. On the Mobile Phone. the Effects of Mobile Telephones an Social and Individual Life. Unknown: Motorola, 2002 (?). Print.

Schäfer, M. T. Basterd Culture. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011. Print. Media Matters .

Sloterdijk, P. Sferen. Tran. H. Driessen. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Boom, 2007. Print.

Swiestra, Tsjalling et al. Leven Als bouwpakketEthisch Verkennen Van Een Nieuwe Technologische Golf. 1st ed. Den Haag: Rathenau Instituut, 2009. Print.

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why we Expect More from Technology and Less from each Other. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2011. Print.

Unknown. “Nomads at Last.” The Economist July 24, 2008 2008 Print.

van den Boomen, M. Digital Material. Tracing New Media in Everyday Life and Technology. Eds. M. van den Boomen, et al. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009. Print. Media Matters .

Venkatesh et al. “User Acceptance of Information Technology: Toward a Unified View.” MIS Quarterly 27.No. 3 (2033): 425. Print.

Weber, M. Economy and Society. Eds. G. Roth and C. Wittich. 1978th ed. Berkely and Los Angelos: University of California Press, 1968. Print.

Weltevrede, Esther. “On Spheres and Media Theory.” 06 April 2008.Web. <http://mastersofmedia.hum.uva.nl/2008/04/06/on-spheres-and-media-theory/comment-page-1/#comment-358485&gt;.


[2] Merriam webster

[5] De ondraaglijke lichtheid van het mobieltje. Rik Maes

[6] De ondraaglijke lichtheid van het mobieltje. Rik Maes

[7] Ethnicity and Social Divisions (PDF)

[8] id.

[10] This tekst appears somewhat speculative. The reason for it is the highly protective attitude of Dutch providers and devices makers; trustworthy figures are not made public.

[11] Ethnicity and Social Divisions: Contemporary Research in Sociology (PDF)

[12] The Cell Phone as an Agent of Social Change. PDF

[13] The Cell Phone as an Agent of Social Change. PDF

[18] Marktrapportage Elektronische Communicatie December 2011

Written by Kees Winkel

June 25, 2012 at 15:18

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Mobile banking adoption to reach 50pc by 2016: study – Research – Mobile Commerce Daily

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Mobile banking is gaining traction and is expected to reach 50 percent of consumers by 2016, according to a new study from global business advisory firm AlixPartners.

The “Mobile Financial Service Tracking Study” looked at mobile banking trends over the next five years and predicted areas of growth. The study also compared how certain banks are stacking up in their mobile efforts.

Mobile switch

According to the study, mobile bankers tend to be higher-income consumers and hold more products within their accounts.

Mobile banking also played a large role for consumers who were thinking about switching financial institutions. According to the study, 39 percent of consumers who switched banks in the past six months said that mobile was an important factor when choosing a bank.

via Mobile banking adoption to reach 50pc by 2016: study – Research – Mobile Commerce Daily.

Written by Kees Winkel

February 26, 2012 at 15:53

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What 2012 Holds for Social Media

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We’ve already taken a detailed look at how outsourcing of social media could increase in 2012, but how else is the industry set to change in the coming year? There’s a lot to be expected in 2012, from Facebook’s impending and much-anticipated IPO, to seeing how the Google+ and Facebook rivalry will finally play out.

With the three heavy hitters – Facebook, Twitter and Google+ – taking up most of the social media space, it’s hard to imagine a new company coming into the picture and taking people’s attention away from existing services. Instead, we’ll probably continue to see services that plug into the existing environment, like Flipboard and its many competitors, which have capitalized on how social media has become a tool for the curation of current events and news. While the news aggregator space is overcrowded as it is, other tools may come to the forefront in 2012, capitalizing on social media as a tool to be used in politics, particularly with the US presidential elections on their way, and in education.

At the same time, new networks, like Path, have seen impressive growth rates, and with its focus on the mobile experience, 2012 may have a lot of good things in store for the unexpected service, but will it last? We take a look at these questions and more in the following list of 5 predictions for what 2012 holds for social media.

Continue via What 2012 Holds for Social Media.

Written by Kees Winkel

January 8, 2012 at 10:57

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Normally, I’m not really that much into statistics but today, as I stumbled upon my old post of 2 January 2011 ‘More than 7 trillion SMS messages will be sent in 2011’, I decide to check if that is actually the case. So, trying to find any information on the issue, I ran into these stats that are pretty nice, at least for me. Please don’t bug me with any remarks on reliability in general and the stats in particular. They are just indicators, not religion.

Here we go (source: Mobithinking.com) .

Top regions for penetration of 3G handsets according to Ovum. Looks like we’re all be having a smartphone by 2014. Mind you, that’s in two years. We’ll see. According to Morgan Stanley, as quoted in The Washington Post: “[Morgan Stanley’s] Internet analyst said she expects smartphone sales will surpass PC and laptop sales in 2012, with more than 450 million units sold”. She said this about a year ago and up to date, I have not found any reliable stats. Let’s just say that there is probably some truth in those words.

In this little darling, KPI’s are, of course, Key Performance Indicators. Mobile Operators like to talk in terms of subscribers, total revenues, monthly ARPU (average return per user), and monthly churn (In a general context, churn is a synonym for agitation or turnover).
Now, let’s see what the market will look like. CAGR is the Compound General Growth Rate is a business and investing specific term for the smoothed annualized gain of an investment over a given time period. (Wikipedia)

Next one. Who is the global leader? (No data available for 2011 yet).

Who said Nokia is dead? (By the way, have you seen my Nokia Lumia 800 yet? It is highly recommended).

So there we have it. One detail for me to remember is that the global market does not reflect the Dutch market. If we want to talk mobile business, including that part of the Creative Industry that covers the domain, let us look at the world. There is a lot of great business out here.

Last detail: how many sms messages were sent in 2011? If you know the answer, please comment on this post.

Written by Kees Winkel

December 28, 2011 at 10:27

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Trends in Mobile according (self-proclaimed) experts

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Source: http://www.slideshare.net/rudydw/mobile-trends-2020

So, what are the trends in Mobile? here are an odd fifty experts expressing their wisdom. What do you think?

Douglas Rushkoff

Author of Life Inc.




  1. ESP sensors. Probably based on brainwave activity. Not so hard.
  2. Driving locks.
  3. Implanted bluetooth ear and microphone.
  4. Verizon abandons CDMA.
  5. Radiation and brain damage documented.


Katrin Verclas

Co-founder & editor of MobileActive.org




  1. Mobiles in social development will truly become an integral part of development projects and programmes with aid organizations understanding the potential of mobiles and smartly deploying mobile tech as part of their programmes. UNICEF and CONCERN will be at the vanguard.
  2. Africa will see the first truly mobile political campaign. It’ll be likely in Nigeria in 2010.
  3. Mobile payments will be widespread – for social benefit payments by governments, for remittances across borders, and for tax and other payments by citizens. This will make financial governance every so slightly more accountable in developing countries, and will begin to make a positive economic impact at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
  4. Health care delivery, especially in developing countries, will see some true breakthroughs withmore telemedicine projects like mobile ultrasound and other diagnostics. New business models involving medical expertise remotely will emerge so that the divide between healthcare between rich and poor areas will flatten.
  5. Elections and other forms of political expression by citizens, government oversight will be radically different than they are today by way of mobile voting, mobiles for reporting and government accountability.
  6. Environmental monitoring in the form of smart sensing devices will be part of everyday life with new forms of scientific environmental discovery and mitigation possible.


Willem Boijens

Marketing innovation & design

executive/ Principal manager at

Vodafone Group Marketing



  1. We’re all value creators: value creation & exchange, collaboration, cocreation in real-time, the next billion internet users
  2. LifeFlow: wellbeing, productivity, efficiency, sustainability
  3. Sense: natural interfaces, projection display, Large Quantity Information Display (LQID), ambient vs single task driven UIs
  4. Swarming: dynamic grids, ad-hoc & meshed networks, spatial data, adaptive architecture, smart mobility & energy services
  5. Morph: identities, shapes & materials, wearables, disposables, digestables


Timo Arnall

Design Researcher at Oslo School

of Architecture and Design




  1. Things and services: The increasing connection between physical devices and online services will drive new applications that take personal data and turn it into useful, personal, social, visual and manipulable representations. With all of these personal activities that can be measured or ‘counted’ (Nike+, Wattson and Foursquare are prototypical) there is potential for a broad range of personal and public services.
  2. Physical diversification: There will be an enormous physical diversification of connected devices. In many cases a connected object are no longer just ‘mobile’ but e-readers, cameras, music players, and household appliances all the way up to cars, public spaces and buildings (where there is a good reason to do so).
  3. Daily data: As we begin to learn how to create and manipulate our online ‘data shadows’ that are created out of this data (cf. Mike Kuniavsky), this will have significant effects on everyday life and on our sense of value in personal information. The impact of this will be felt through changes in daily life that try to influence the ‘things that can be counted’.
  4. Pervasive privacy: Because of the increased visibility of everyday activities, places, relationships, finances, health, etc. the issues around privacy will really come to a head. Not just the ‘big brother’ privacy issues that will be tested through the legal system, but really sticky, complex social and personal privacy issues that are difficult for technology alone to resolve (cf. Everyware).
  5. Always-on backlash: In reaction to increased, pervasive connectivity, there must be an ‘alwayson backlash’ en masse. There will not just be niche communities choosing to ‘opt-out’, but it will become culturally, socially necessary and desirable to be offline. The ability to gracefully disconnect and go ‘dark’ must become a USP for many products and services.


Gerd Leonhard

Author & Blogger, Keynote

Speaker & Strategist




  1. Mobile advertising will surpass the decidedly outmoded Web1.0 & computer-centric advertising – and ads will become content, almost entirely. Advertisers will, within 2-5 years, massively convert to mobile, location-aware, targeted, opt-ed-in, social and user-distributed ‘ads’; from 1% of their their budgets to at least 1/3 of their total advertising budget. Advertising becomes ‘ContVertising’ – and Google’s revenues will be 10x of what they are today, in 5 years, driven by mobile, and by video.
  2. Tablet devices will become the way many of us will ‘read’ magazines, books, newspapers and even ‘attend’ live concerts, conferences and events. The much-speculated Apple iPad will kick this off but every major device maker will copy their new tablet within 18 months. In addition, tablets will kick off the era of mobile augmented reality. This will be a huge boon to the content industries, worldwide – but only if they can drop their mad content protection schemes, and slash the prices in return for a much larger user base.
  3. Many makers of simple smart phones – probably starting with Nokia- will make their devices available for free – but will take a small cut (similar to the current credit-cards) from all transactions that are done through the devices, e.g. banking, small purchases, on-demand content etc. Mobile phones become wallets, banks and ATMs.
  4. Quite a few mobile phones will not run on any particular networks, i.e. without SIM cards. The likes of Google (Nexus), and maybe Skype, LG or Amazon will offer mobile phones that will work only on Wifi / WiMax, LTE or mashed-access networks, and will offer more or less free calls. This will finally wake up the mobile network operators, and force them to really move up the food-chain – into content and the provision of ‘experiences’
  5. Content will be bundled into mobile service contracts, starting with music, i.e. once your mobile phone / computer is online, much of the use of the content (downloaded or streamed) will be included. Bundles and flat-rates – many of them Advertising 2.0-supported – will become the primary way of consuming, and interacting with content. First music, then books, new and magazines, then film & TV.


Fabien Girardin

Researcher at Lift lab




  1. Web of things: an average networked pet will have a voice, generating more data traffic than the average human
  2. Digital syllogomania: digital garbage collection becomes a (very) lucrative business
  3. Networked urbanism: mobile data warping scandals will make us doubt on the ability to regulate urban dynamics with data and intelligent algorithms
  4. Seamful design: opt-out mechanisms with awareness before experiencing dense data clouds, their scattered intelligent services and their occasional hail of contextual information.
  5. The messiness and unpredictability of the world continue to seriously challenge any technophilic dreams and their strategies of bordering


Alan Moore

Author, blogger, entrepreneur




  1. Augmented reality becomes the new band wagon, with much misinformed digital ink spilt
  2. The penny starts to drop with companies that Social Marketing Intelligence is the black gold of the 21st Century
  3. Accessing multiple dynamic data bases that are constantly updated to deliver better enabling services begins to transform the media industry – for example creating highly accurate 3D location maps by accessing the Flickr database
  4. Convergence enables the blending of reality from online and off so there is no distinction
  5. The communications revolution accelerates destroying businesses that refuse to think the unthinkable


Martin Duval

CEO bluenove




  1. Still to come ‘Easy Back Up & Storage’ of Address Book, mobile content and now Apps in case phone is lost, stolen or changed
  2. Emotions and social network recommendation based mobile search
  3. Mobile payment and transfer (in Europe)
  4. SMS based Health & Wellness monitoring and coaching
  5. ‘Green Tech’ phones and in emerging countries, self-repairable ones
  6. Mobile battery performance and charging solutions


Tony Fish

Entrepreneur & strategic thinker AMF Ventures




  1. Connection managers. They will become critical for differentiation as devices will be able to handle massive data speeds for microseconds and limited data speeds for hours; from any available network.
  2. User Interface. Mashup interfaces across voice, touch and movement will create new experiences for getting data into and controlling mobile devices. Open (environments) will change the game.
  3. Sensors. Mobile devices will have sensors added which will enable the capture local data from temperature to noise and from location to who else is in the room.
  4. Business model. Based on game changes 2 and 3, brands realize that more value is created from the analysis of sensor data taken off the mobile devices than from user voice or data usage analysis. Combining the two, sensor and user data, it will be possible to generate new business models and shareholder value.
  5. Ownership of your data footprint. Every brand wants to own you and your data. Users will become discriminating about brands who deliver value to them and these will be different from those who are in the mobile retail value chain today. Trust and privacy will be at the forefront of the user decision. http://www.mydigitalfootprint.com


Ilja Laurs

Founder and CEO of GetJar




  1. It’s all about phones. 50% hardware, 50% software and services (UI, widgets, integrated services, etc.). Apps and app stores are important (just as platforms are), but the consumer will see a leapfrog in devices, equivalent to BW (representing today’s featurephones) to colour (representing todays’ smartphones) devices shift. 2011, with smartphone being the mainstream device, to the contrary, will be much less about devices and much more about apps and services, call the “second wave of apps”.
  2. iPhone is into linear growth, Android still very slow next year, generally status quo compared to 2009. 2011 iPhone stabilizing and very fragmented Android rapidly taking off.
  3. Strong movement, lead primarily by developers (not consumers), to openthe ecosystem.
  4. We will see several app successes ($10m/yr businesses built on apps) in 2010, but massive app successes will come in 2011/12, the industry will see $100m/yr businesses built on apps
  5. Certainly 2010 is the year of app stores “opening”. Unfortunately there’s no definition of what is “open” (every app store calls itself open, still some reject voice/navigation, etc. apps based on their competing business model and not on the user experience, quality or other objective measures. But even taking to quality and other objective measures, open for GJ means that it is the consumer decides what quality is acceptable). 2010 will certainly see all appstores being more open than in 2009, still in general there will still be a lot of questions.


Yuri van Geest

Co-Founder Mobile Monday Amsterdam,

Co-Organizer TEDx Amsterdam, Futurist




  1. Mobile DNA: anonymous DNA profiles for 10 euro on mobile devices will be used for hyper targeted DNA-based services (dating, finance, education, medicine, food, sports)
  2. Mobile Neurotech: using mobile devices to directly regulate and stimulate senses, thoughts, emotions and behavior as spinoff of cosmetic neurology
  3. mHealth: using mobile sensors, bodily sensors and fungible/internal sensors to boost mobile health lifelogging and disease prevention/correction and boost scientific health research
  4. Internet of Things: multimedia sensors in animals, objects, buildings and places that allow being present of everything if needed, filtering will be biggest theme in this respect
  5. Mobile Learning and Science: mobile devices will drive permanent and highly personalized learning (a.o. DNA based) and discovery of important changes in the environment


Nicolas Nova





  1. VoIP on cell-phones+less expensive data transfer
  2. The return of curious LBS+AR applications after few years in the “through of disillusionment”
  3. Some (rich) people will pay to be disconnected
  4. Non-humans (objects, animals, places) will generate more data than humans
  5. Data Structure Service: services that allow to maintain/sort/structure all these data will gain even more weight


Raimo van der Klein

CEO Layar




  1. Augmented Reality: placing digital content literally in physical context.
  2. Indoor Smartness: indoor positioning, smart environments.
  3. Vendor Relationship Management: customers in control, people send out RFQ’s, includes barcode scanning, couponing, etc.
  4. Contextual Information Provision: Provision of information based on LIVE information gathered through sensory input from all elements in your context.
  5. Personal Area Networks: many hardware mutants and spinoffs.


Russell Buckley

VP Global Alliances AdMob & Chairman

Emeritus Mobile Marketing Association




  1. All urban areas offer free (or funded by tax payer) Wimax connectivity, meaning that most people don’t bother with an operator relationship any more. Landlines are gone.
  2. Mobile overtakes the PC as the largest marketing channel, offering the best results and tracking in the history of marketing.
  3. Current handheld form factors disappear, with interfaces being via glasses or contact lenses, a microscopic ear piece and a device which we can envision as a ring for the finger. Three options of viewing will be available, Real World, Digital World and a combination of the two ie Augmented Reality. In this Post PC Era, laptops will be quaintly old-fashioned and unsupported commercially.
  4. Mobile product and service innovation will be greatly influenced in the next 10 years by emerging markets, who already live in the Post PC Era today. Education is the first vertical to be hugely impacted.
  5. People still won’t pay for Digital Content.


Tomi Ahonen





  1. Shrinking superphone reaches 10 dollar cost; better than iPhone of today. Moore’s Law brings us ever cheaper phones so cheap ‘Africa’ phones and kids’ phones in 2020 are better than modern top end phones of 2010, like Nokia N900, Google Nexus and Apple iPhone 3GS. Better phones will be used at work and play, top end ‘smartphones’ will be embedded within humans enhancing our vision, hearing, memory etc.
  2. Mobile advertising becomes biggest ad platform. Mobile advertising grows to become biggest ad platform exceeding TV and internet by reach and by ad revenues. Mobile ads mature beyond banner ads and SMS spam, become ever more compelling and ‘engaging’. Will not kill off other older media like TV, print and internet, as each will adjust to the newest medium.
  3. Half of total economy in many countries transits mobile phone payments. The rapid growth of mobile banking and credit will change the payments systems of all countries. Combined with interactive ads, mobile money will shift phone to mobile wallet with our keys and loyalty points and identity cards. In all countries normal to get paycheck paid to phone, in many leading m-banking countries, where traditional banking institutions are weak like in Africa, more than half of total economy will pass through mobile phones.
  4. “Star Trek Universal Translator’ is commonplace. The early translator utilities of today will evolve and by end of decade, all standard phone feature near-real time ‘accurate’ translators in voice-to-voice and text-to-text (and across voice/text/voice). You point the phone at speaker in foreign language, your earpiece hears the simultaneous translation as if UN professional translator stood next to you.
  5. Our phone becomes magical servant as concierge. The early mobile concierge services like from Japan today evolve. As our payments and media and calendar info is integrated, the concierge avatar on the phone adds ‘secretary’, ‘butler’, ‘accountant’ and ‘lawyer’ functions to assist us, like Amazon today anticipates and ‘reads our minds’ of what book to recommend, the phone servant avatar in 2020 will run our lives, answer our calls, send messages on behalf of us, order goods and services, and give us reminders.


Stefan Constantinescu

Editor, Intomobile




  1. A device as powerful as the iPhone 3GS is today will cost less than 100 EUR by 2016 thereby enabling a whole new economic strata rich mobile access to the internet.
  2. NFC will drastically take off and similar to how today it’s impossible to buy a mobile phone without a camera, that point will be reached with NFC by the tail end of the next decade.
  3. Rich nations will start seeing the number of hours people spend in front of screens decline for the first time and the masses will limit or stop use a certain technology or service to reconnect with the joys of overcoming an obstacle.
  4. People will pay for content again, especially mobile content since mobile advertising takes up valuable screen real estate, because operator billing will finally replace the piece of plastic in your wallet.
  5. Thanks to Bluetooth and wireless display technology the mobile phone will literally be the only computer people own.


Rich Wong

Partner at Accel Partners




  1. Over 50% of the world’s households carry a mobile device – 3B+ (think about that, how cool is that, what will it mean for societal integration)
  2. Mobile internet surpasses the wireline internet in global REACH (more people with IP connections in mobile than PCs)
  3. Mobile advertising becomes mainstream (imagine a Brand Manager without a URL today)
  4. Augmented reality and advanced LBS services become broadscale (finally)
  5. Smart Agents 2.0 (Thank you Patty Maes) become real; the ability to deduce/impute context from blend of usage and location data (privacy issues need to be handled of course)


Marshall Kirkpatrick

VP of Content Development & Lead Blogger





  1. Mobile content recommendation
  2. Lifestream integration with mobile contacts lists
  3. Mobile data portability and data portability via mobile
  4. Mobile commerce
  5. Location-based social networking


Andy Abramson

CEO, Comunicano, blog author of VoIPWatch & Working Anywhere




  1. Cheaper Data plans, more Pay As You Go Data with Global Roamingwith LTE and WiMax bundles and buckets become like minutes. Watch the rates start to fall as the operators need more customers to support new capex spending and as they begin to leverage already established networks.
  2. The Network Becomes Paramount as Devices all become Smarter – With WiMax, Mobile WiMax and WiFi-this means faster, better and cheaper data, video and voice. Newer smart devices both diverged and converged all proliferate, and will all compliment the 3G expansion plans and 4G (LTE) roll outs. Connectivity becomes ubiquitous and the idea of always on, becomes commonplace. Without a well run network, none of this grows.
  3. Mobile PBX/Nomadic Mobile Enterprise Offerings-the largest customer market is the enterprise for mobile, yet we can’t transfer a call after almost 30 years of calling. A mobile PBX will change all that
  4. The rise of new device brands-Nokia, Ericsson and others had a cozy ride for years with the mobile operators. Now the rising tigers from Asia (Asus, Garmin/Acer, Huawei, ZTE will start to encroach with better priced, more feature rich handsets, mostly built on Android and with data at the core. Motorola rises like a Phoenix, INQ becomes an emerging force and HTC becomes a bigger part of the game with more operators. Unlocked handsets become a bigger part of mix in countries where it never was a factor.
  5. Google will be a trend changer doing for mobile what Yahoo never could achieve.


Marek Pawlowski

Founder, MEX Mobile User

Experience Conference




  1. Keyboard dimensions and screen size cease to be the primary limiting factors in handset design as new input and display technologies free designers to radically change the form factor of personal communication devices.
  2. Services and content are purchased once and accessible across all devices (PC, mobile, TV etc…) as business models start to reflect the reality of consumer value perception.
  3. The mobile browser becomes the main applications platform.
  4. Smarter middleware becomes essential to mediate between rapid growth in cloudbased media storage, inherently unreliable wireless networks and a proliferation in access devices employed by the user.
  5. The most successful network operators will narrow their focus to the ‘3 Cs’: customer service, coverage and capacity, stepping away from large-scale portal, application and media development efforts.


Russ McGuire

VP, Strategy, Sprint Nextel




  1. Just as microprocessors have been built into virtually every product that has a power source, over the next ten years, it will become expected that wireless connectivity will be built into virtually every product that has a microprocessor.
  2. Businesses will redefine virtually every internal process and virtually every service they offer customers to leverage wireless access to information and contextual data to create new value for customers, to grow their addressable markets, and to reduce their operating costs.
  3. Fixed line broadband will overshoot the performance needs of the market, resulting in increasing data cord cutting as individuals, families, and businesses appreciate the value of mobility more than the value of excess bandwidth.
  4. By the end of the decade, mobile devices will be thought of first for the applications they run rather than for their ability to make voice calls.
  5. In the U.S., the Obama administration will stimulate significant expansion of the mobile market through regulatory policies (e.g. reduced backhaul costs) and direct and indirect stimulus investments (e.g. wireless broadband, smart grid).


Carlo Longino

Blogger at Mobhappy




  1. The #1 trend for me for the next decade will be ubiquity: everybody will have mobile data access. People in developing nations will get online on mobiles before they do on PCs; and in developed nations, mobile data use will become the norm for all users.
  2. Tools that help people manage their constant connectivity will be in great demand.
  3. The mobile phone will evolve into an enabler device, carrying users’ digital identities, preferences and possessions around with them.
  4. Advanced mobile phone technology will become a commodity, and form will take precedence over function.
  5. Privacy and protection of identity will create huge conflicts in many societies.


Howard Rheingold

Author of Smart Mobs




  1. Distribution of sms-equipped and then increasingly smart phones in the developing world.
  2. The use of environmental and biomedical sensors in conjunction with mobile communication media.
  3. Augmented reality.
  4. Mobile Social Software.


Steve O’Hear

Editor, last100

Contributing Editor, TechCrunch Europe




  1. As phones get smarter, pipes get dumber. In the era of app stores and handset makers launching their own Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, mobile carriers will continue to struggle with the issue of who ‘owns’ the customer. Terrified of becoming a dumb pipe reduced to selling commodity voice and data services, some will try to innovate with their own SaaS products, most of which will fail, while the smartest players will partner and invest in innovate startups. That said, as the pipes get increasingly clogged up carrying all of this data, and with the advent of 4G, networks will start to focus on and highlight their competitiveness based on infrastructure and capacity alone.
  2. Your phone will become your doctor. Mobile phones are already the ubiquitous mobile device and,
  3. increasingly, provide a ubiquitous Internet connection. Just like the best camera is the one that you have with you, more and more hardware functionality, such as innovative input devices and sensors, combined with software and a data connection will piggyback the mobile phone, rather than try to compete as a separate device. Health care will be a major benefactor.
  4. Money transfer beyond mobile banking. The mobile phone will replace your wallet. Not only will you be able to manage your money via your mobile phone and use it to pay for products in authorized retail outlets both online and offline, but mobile money transfer will extend to peer-to-peer. Everyone will become a walking ‘cash’ register.
  5. Battery technology will finally catch up. The combination of new types of battery technology and less power hungry chips will lead to mobile phones, even under the strain of all of this new hardware, software and data functionality, being able to stay powered up for more than a day. Perhaps days. Evidenced by the recent Netbook phenomenon, with 7+ hours becoming the norm for a low cost 10inch laptop.
  6. People will share more and more personal information. Both explicit e.g. photo and video uploads or status updates, and implicit data. Location sharing via GPS (in the background) is one current example of implicit information that can be shared, but others include various sensory data captured automatically via the mobile phone e.g. weather, traffic and air quality conditions, health and fitness-related data, spending habits etc. Some of this information will be shared privately and one-to-one, some anonymously and in aggregate, and some increasingly made public or shared with a user’s wider social graph. Companies will provide incentives, both at the service level or financially, in exchange for users sharing various personal data.


Ted Morgan

CEO Skyhook Wireless




  1. Device makers will continue to drive the mobile industry and operators will become more traditional service providers competing on cost and network quality.
  2. Brands will use apps to drive hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. Apps will become a core revenue generator for businesses.
  3. Location will become THE core technology to mobile devices. It will become more ubiquitous on the device than any other feature. nearly every user interaction with mobile devices will become location aware.
  4. Location based advertising will explode. The classic starbucks example will be forgotten. That starbucks example is driven by a mindset stuck in the web – pop-up ads, banner ads. Apps and the mobile web will be location aware, and most mobile advertising will be informed and targeted by location.
  5. Venture capitalists will begin to make major strategic investments in mobile app companies in 2010 (like the 2009 investments in Shazam, Smule, etc). Big brands will acquire small apps that enhance their product offering (eg Amazon & SnapTell)


Kevin C. Tofel

Managing Editor at jkOnTheRun, a GigaOM

network site covering mobile technology




  1. Cellular voice dies — it truly becomes another form of data on next generation data networks
  2. Location awareness — devices truly leverage location and tie together our tasks with our current location
  3. Voice recognition — moves from niche usage to a mainstream input option
  4. Connectivity lines blur — devices and apps will seamlessly function offline nearly as well as online
  5. Handhelds — fewer laptops will be carried as more capable handheld devices will mature


Jonathan MacDonald

Founder, JME




  1. Convergence of virtual and physical payments: mobile payments will significantly replace physical currency. Within this trend I predict the replication of financial services from the past, onto cloudbased systems that can be managed by mobile devices, be they loans, savings, payments and transfers.
  2. Convergence of mobile network and data services: IP technology will replace the need for cell towers. Within this trend I predict that ISP and web based services (including Google) will inherit the current subscribers of many mobile networks of today.
  3. Convergence of utility payment: our payment for services will move away from separate contracts from service providers, to combined solutions placing data alongside gas, electricity and water. I predict single subscriptions to data services from commodity suppliers, supplemented with personalization tools that suit our precise requirements at any given moment.
  4. Convergence of mobile and online platforms: the emergence of personal, unified cloudbased platforms that are accessible from any machine and screen.
  5. Convergence of physical, augmented and virtual reality: augmented and virtual reality will become an increasingly standard method for search, discovery, gaming, eyesight, healthcare, retail, entertainment and most other experiences in life. Location and other contextual functions will grow so our 2D mobile experiences become 3D and ‘real’. To such an extent that the prefixes ‘augmented’ and ‘virtual’ will eventually become redundant.


David Wood

Principal at Delta Wisdom




  1. Mobiles manifesting AI – fulfilling, at last, the vision of “personal digital assistants”
  2. Powerful, easily wearable head-mounted accessories: audio, visual, and more
  3. Mobiles as gateways into vivid virtual reality – present-day AR is just the beginning
  4. Mobiles monitoring personal health – the second brains of our personal networks
  5. Mobiles as universal remote controls for life – a conductor’s baton as much as a viewing portal


Michael Breidenbruecker

ceo RjDj




  1. Mobile Networks: Imagine mobile networks without voice services. The switch from 3g standards into all IP network infrastructure (4g) will turn mobile operators to broadband providers, decrease the revenues of cable companies, increase profits of voip services and spawn a new range of mobile services, mobile apps and even mobile devices.
  2. Mobile Internet: Internet usage through mobile devices will overtake desktop/pc usage based on massive adaptation of mobile internet in the developing world.
  3. Mobile Payment: the mobile is the credit card.
  4. Mobile Entertainment: Games, Music and Movies will find new formats on mobile devices especially through the rise of augmented reality technology. A handful of startups in this sector will manage to attract significant audiences.
  5. Mobile Hub: Laptop schlepping will be over cause your phone will fulfill your computing needs. Smartphones will become as powerful as laptops and take over the laptop and notebook market. With an increasing number of peripherals from keyboards to displays to 3d glasses the mobile will become the power processor of your life. Don’t loose it!


Henri Moissinac

head of mobile, Facebook




  1. Use cases: Phones are the primary computer and tool for connecting and sharing with friends (= more email or messages initiated from mobile phones to friends (not work) than from computer or netbooks)
  2. Network: Wifi deployed widely (everywhere: at home, in restaurants, in the street, etc.)
  3. Platforms: consolidation of platforms, may be only 2 or 3 gather 80% of units shipped
  4. Hardware: significant advance in batteries


Andreas Constantinou

Ph.D., Research Director, VisionMobile




  1. The Operator Dichotomy: Mobile operators will clearly separate into service companies (service pipes) and access companies (bit pipes). Very few multi-nationals will control assets to both services and access.
  2. OEMs as the service inventory brokers: Handset OEMs will move to exploit one of their few unique strengths; service distribution inventory on-device and therefore monetise from retailing and managing services at point-of-purchase and during in-life use.
  3. Application Mega-retailing: Retailing and merchandising of mobile apps will evolve in terms of segmentation, regionalisation and sophistication, and far more so than mobile phone retailing. A large chunk of the money in apps will go towards distribution and retailing, much like the book business is today.
  4. Service Analytics: The Most Underhyped opportunity. Comprehensive analytics on devices, services, networks and users will create major new revenue streams; from monetising competitive intelligence to spawning new revenue models such as OEMs being paid based on device performance.
  5. Open Source Economics Mastered: Multi-billion firms will realise that ‘influence is power’ in the world of open source and will either acquire the small 10-strong professional services firms or reorient their business culture towards upstream tribes, rather than downstream troops.


C. Enrique Ortiz

Mobile Technologist, blogger




  1. The mobile lifestyle truly goes beyond “carrying a mobile handset all the time”. The next decade will see the first true always-on/connected generation – “99% messaging, media and entertainment, 1% voice”-kind of mobile users. Mobile usage drivers are as follows: 1) (people-to-people) messaging, very media and social in nature including text, MMS, real-time web and social networks, 2) media – photos, video and music, gaming, 3) info/search or queries, 4) voice. Voice usage will be very minimal when compared to messaging, and messaging and media go hand-in-hand with media usage driven by personal messaging.
  2. Control totally shifts from the MNO and into the ecosystem. MNOs become a positive member of and contributor to the ecosystem and the developer community. The MNO extends and offers their mobile/wireless infrastructure as services on the Internet (Infrastructure as a Services).
  3. Wireless networks reaches sufficient speeds and efficiencies that minimizes and almost eliminate most of the connection latencies that currently degrades the mobile web usage experience, resulting in an increased positive perception of mobile web and allowing for mobile web applications that complement and/or rival local/native mobile apps. HSPA+ becomes the predominant type of wireless network during the first half of the decade with LTE on the later part. Data plans go from unlimited pricing, to handsetspecific (attempt to maximize revenue) pricing and tiered-pricing (to force users to use less data), back to unlimited (once networks become more efficient).
  4. Distribution is 80% Smart-phones and 20% Feature-phones, worldwide. Feature-phones have 80% ofSmart-phone characteristics. Even in emerging regions such as Africa the business models is figured out to allow for “data” to take off; but it will take to the end of the decade for this. Most device manufacturers trying to copy Apple introduce their own OSes only to fail and instead go with Android due to economics – by leveraging Google’s R&D and BOM, are able to deliver a complete platform from OS, developer and ecosystem support in the most cost-effective way. Fragmentation problem continues from apps to web but reduced to a small number of platforms. Java ME focuses on Feature-phones. HTML and scripting with the browser/web-runtimes and handset APIs evolve and get standardized allowing for web applications that when combined with fast networks truly rival and/or complement local/ native applications. App Stores offer both local/native and mobile web apps. There are many App Stores which are easily discovered and selected by users – which app store to use becomes a user-preference/choice.
  5. Messaging becomes the top application. Search/queries and apps in general benefit from the digital and physical worlds merging together, thanks to the mobile handset; awareness of our surroundings via proximity and other sensors such as geo-location allows for high-definition user-context. Super-imposition of information on top of real word imagery (Augmented Reality) and interactions with physical objects via the handset (to learn more about such objects) becomes a common tool and exercise. AR becomes standardized and absorbed into the web browser as a View, similar to today’s “street vs. map view”. We start to see the initial phase of the 5th screen, “visors” that work together with the mobile handset extending digital augmentation from the handset screen (the 4th screen) onto “eye-glasses” (the 5th screen). The handset is the personal gateway, between personal sensors and services and applications and to the Internet. The hybrid application (80% local driving richness and experience and 20% generic/related web-based information) becomes the standard mobile app design pattern.


Raj Singh

Mobile Enthusiast




  1. 5x more sensors in everyday life; combination of wearable sensors, remote sensors and sensors in your phone
  2. Operators build and market their own mobile devices competing with OEMs
  3. Wireless charging becomes the standard and is available everywhere
  4. Your super-modular mobile phone will be powered by a cloud based OS
  5. You will travel to go to a no-airwaves National Park; the first cellular reserve


Marc Davis

Chief Scientist and Co-Founder, Invention Arts




  1. Web4 Metadata for All Data: Mobile transforms the Web into Web4: billions of mobile devices as sensors in a sensor network connect the Web to real people (Who), places (Where), objects (What), and times (When), analyzable into vectors of attention, interests, activities, and events. The masses of global data are no longer abstract bits in databases, but are made intelligible with real world metadata about the contexts in which they are produced, shared, consumed, and transformed.
  2. MyWorld/OurWorld/TheirWorld: Web4 transforms our relationship to the world, each other, and ourselves. As every physical entity (person, place, object) becomes connected and programmable, and every digital entity is contextualized and can communicate with the real world, the now visible and permanent accretions of human attention and activity transform how we communicate with each other and understand the world around us. We see the datasphere mapped onto the world, and the world as it exists in the Web, from our own personalized point of view, from that of our friends and those we follow, and from the vantage point of others we do not know, and at scales from personal, to social, to global. The mobile phone is a prosthetic connecting us to our collective embodied intelligence in real time and across time and space: large scale information filtering, summarization, discovery, and recommendation become basic modes of engagement with ourselves, each other, and the world.
  3. Mobile Transforms Global Business: Commerce is transformed as every place, object, person, and process is embedded in Web4. Mobile commerce becomes long tail, real time, and real world on a global scale. Location-awareness, mobile social networks, mobile transactions, and the Internet of Things bring about a new industrial revolution. Business processes are reengineered as mobile sensing, communication, and processing make supply and the organization of labor and markets real time, contextual, and adaptive. Human, computational, and physical resources can be assembled and integrated in real time to solve problems and create value: context-aware mobile sensors/effectors, crowdsourcing, smart mobs, and chains social networks are seen as the new drivers of value production.
  4. The World Sees and Hears Itself: The Web and we get eyes and ears at global scale: billions of mobile phones with sensors and HD and 3D imaging, audio, and video combined with large scale real time filtering, communication, and recommendation technology transform news, entertainment, communication, education, work, and play. We create and use collective maps of human attention, interest, and activity in real time mapped to an ever-evolving 4 dimensional model of the world: “the Web of the World”. Billions of mobile media datastreams indexed and correlated with Web4 metadata show us and connect us to what is happening, has happened, and may happen all over the world.
  5. User Data Banking: If user data is the currency of the information economy, then where are the banks? By 2020, mobile data and transactions connected to Web4 metadata create massive new value by radically transforming our ability to understand where and when who is interested in what. Given regulatory and societal pressures, the ownership and control of user data is placed in our hands. We gain control of what we make and do online and in the world. New legal and technical structures change the terms of service for the mobile ecosystem bringing about a range of new value creation and services based on the ownership, control, aggregation, and exchange of personal data (e.g., searches, interests, location, communications, social media, transactions, health data, etc.) by users and trusted intermediaries.


David Harper

Co-founder & CEO, PercentMobile




  1. Unofficial currencies gain power.
  2. Login will replace SIM cards.
  3. Some nations will grant its people the right to a cellphone.
  4. Appearance of a massively destructive synchronized mobile virus.
  5. North Korea will join the Web.


Loic Le Meur

Founder & CEO of Seesmic / Founder of

LeWeb.net conference / blogger




  1. mobile web traffic surpasses desktop web traffic
  2. mobile apps revenue surpasses desktop apps revenue
  3. augmented reality becomes standard
  4. no more mobile screen it becomes contact lenses, embedded in reading/sunglasses or projected on walls and objects
  5. we finally solve the battery life issue and mobiles can stay up for a week of intense use


Ajit Jaokar

founder futuretext




  1. Smart grids
  2. Tradeoff of mobile information vs privacy vs services
  3. Innovation from emerging markets
  4. 3D content driven by movies like avatar
  5. ‘open’ including net neutrality


Inma Martinez

entrepreneur, investor, strategist




  1. Mobiles and Netbooks begin their world domination path as browserdriven apparatuses
  2. Home apps like tv programming and other wired appliances are operated from mobiles in big scale
  3. Android takes over iPhone as its cloud features embrace social web better than apple
  4. Mobile advertising revenues dent internet ad revenues by end of year. It is a business very much rolling out.
  5. U.S. mobile startups attempt conquering mother mobile homeland, europe.


Carlos Domingo

Director of Internet and Multimedia & Director

of the Barcelona R&D center at Telefonica




  1. Ubiquity of mobile broadband will lead to an explosion of connected devices (à la Kindle, not just phones) and M2M services (machines to machine services, without a human behind the device). In 10 year, more devices/machines connected to the mobile network than humans
  2. Truly context aware mobile computing, where the context is far richer than just location and personalization and recommendations are ubiquitous
  3. Convergence of desktop and mobile web into one web, everything moving to the cloud and the end of native mobile applications and applications stores
  4. Explosion of mobile video applications including mobile video communications
  5. Augmented reality and mixed reality services/applications: pervasive services that seamlessly combine the physical and digital World


Kelly Goto

Principal Gotomedia




  1. Micro Manage. Micro-payments and proximity-based bartering replace traditional revenue streams.
  2. Beyond Barcoding. RFID and embedded personal tagging bring big brother home.
  3. Observe, Conserve. Devices track and manage energy and consumption using home automation and personal tracking.
  4. A Mass-ing Data: Personal devices sense and report real-time services from emotion to temperature, shoppingand more.
  5. i Synch, therefore I am: Human synching to self allows any device within proximity to automatically personalize.
  6. Objective: Object-oriented “personal packets” of data become the norm as identity and privacy are the #1 focus.


Felix Petersen

Head of Social Activities PM at Nokia / Founder at Plazes.com




  1. A Web OS based hackable phone will give you access to everything using Web Tech – The Palm Pre has been the Grandfather. Look for the release of the OVI Apps SDK to be released this year.
  2. 3D Displays – It´s SciFi, it´s happening and you won´t look like an idiot wearing your 3D glasses watching Avatar.
  3. The Cloud moves to the edge. Not every media item that is produced on the phone can and will be pushed back to the cloud but instead stays on your or somebody else’s phone´s Terabyte HDD.
  4. Mobile Payment. It´s coming and it´s coming hard. Think mobile2mobile payment. Paypal for your mobile phone.
  5. Connected phones packed with sensors and crunching power will disrupt all kinds of sensor-based business models – Think Weather Prediction, Traffic probing, Pollution sensing, etc. pp.


Matthaus Krzykowski

Editor, VentureBeat




  1. App Stores will start to support applications for Embedded Devices – In 2010 we will see the emergence of applications for set-top boxes, netbooks, refrigerators, car navigation systems etc. Selected app stores will support these applications.
  2. Decline of Native App Store Development – By 2011 native application development for app stores will start losing importance.
  3. Carriers & Data – By 2013 the market of consumers willing to pay “more” for mobile internet data plans will reach saturation.
  4. Mobile & Gaming – By 2014 browser-based gaming on embedded devices – including mobile – will have displaced much of the current console market in the Western World.
  5. Mobile & TV/Home Entertainment – By 2016 browser-based entertainment/TV devices – relying on search – will have displaced television as the focal living room device in most of the Western World.


Tom Hume

Managing Director of Future Platforms




  1. More fluid use of input mechanisms beyond the keyboard. We’re seeing this right now with Google Goggles, Voice Search, AR (which is about location+bearing+camera), but what about proximity, use of ambient sound, time-of-day, etc?
  2. Mobile as prime means of access online. Mind you I said this 10 years ago.
  3. Improved power distribution: boring but necessary, battery technology needs to get much better to support more capable devices, or we’ll start to see new ways to power handsets.
  4. Bandwidth gets higher; who knows what we’ll do with it, but it’ll happen.
  5. Lots of second-order effects of mobile on society. No-one predicted the loosening of time and space that Mimi Ito has noted. Similarly, what happens to our social arrangements when every photo can be face-recognised, geolocated and individuals tracked? What happens to shops when every price can be compared? What happens to conversation when it’s all recorded, or any fact is a 5-second voice-search away from being checked?


Atau Tanaka

Director of Culture Lab




  1. Visual search – point your mobile phone camera and retrieve contextual information anywhere of anything
  2. New sonic experiences – Augmented reality, 3D sound, will create new mobile audio formats and end user experiences
  3. Mobile social networks – social media designed specifically for mobile use
  4. Mobile reception in airplanes will allow not just voice but will be the in-flight Internet access solution
  5. Convergence and integration – ISP’s, fixed line providers, and mobile operators offering convergence packages, integrated pricing structures, and reformed roaming fee regimes


Robert Rice

CEO Neogence Enterprises




Mobile Augmented Reality (via wearable displays)

Ubiquitous Computing (everything wired)

Artificial Life + Intelligent Agents (holographic personalities)

Personal Biometric Sensors (cyborg 101)

Patent, Privacy, and Property Wars (system breakdown)


Written by Kees Winkel

November 29, 2011 at 12:36

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Google: 40% of Searches in India from Mobiles

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An astounding 40 percent of all Google searches in India are conducted using mobile phones, according to Google India managing director Rajan Anandan, and 67 percent of e-commerce happens on mobile devices, reports the Business Standard.These numbers were revealed by Anandan during Confluence 2011, a three-day business seminar organised by the prestigious Indian Institute of Management IIM in Ahmedabad. The 40 percent figure is especially striking, in light of the fact that only 14 percent of search queries in the USA, 11 percent in Russia and 6 percent in the UK are run from mobile phones.It does not come as a surprise that Google is buoyed by the growing spread of Internet connectivity in India, a cause that it has tried to contribute to through initiatives such as the Internet Bus, which has so far enabled 1.5 million Indians to use the Internet for the first time, and the offer of free Web hosting to small and medium business owners in India to set up their own websites.Anandan had earlier stated that India would have 300 million Internet users by 2014, a three-fold increase from its current online population of just over 100 million people, and that the biggest driver of growth would be the increasing adoption of mobile phones and the spread of 3G and 4G networks in the country.

via Google: 40% of Searches in India from Mobiles.

Written by Kees Winkel

November 29, 2011 at 08:29

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Have a look at MBD

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The MBD students are really making an effort to inform the world what they are working on. If you read Dutch, please check out MobileBuinessDesign right here. It’s really nice=)

Written by Kees Winkel

November 17, 2011 at 19:33

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Mobile Plays Pivotal Role in Coverage of Moammar Gadhafi’s Death | Mobile Marketing Watch

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On Thursday, international news organizations and media outlets were largely dependent on mobile phones and social networks to gain insight into what proved to be the final moments of former Libya strongman Moammar Gadhafi’s life.

From CNN to BBC, gruesome photos (taken via mobile phone) of an apparently lifeless Moammar Gadhafi were used to underpin reports that the former leader had, in fact, been killed in crossfire earlier that day.

According to CNN’s coverage, the mobile phone images were not only instrumental in proving Gadhafi’s death but also further weakening the late leader’s lingering supporters.

The images will be a big blow to the morale of his supporters, who have been clinging to the hope he would seize power again, during the weeks he has been on the run.

Five years ago, images also taken from a mobile device were released of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein at his execution. Unauthorized cell phone footage showed the world Hussein’s final moments on the gallows. This incident followed other images that surfaced three years earlier of Hussein’s two sons, Uday and Qusay, who were killed in a firefight.

Shortly after the images were released publicly, former CIA Director James Woolsey told CNN: “I think it’s necessary for the world to see and particularly for the Iraqis to see that these two are, in fact, dead, that this is not some ginned-up story from the United States.”

What was true at that time in Iraq is also true today in Libya. And those who are rejoicing in the death of Libya’s former tyrannical leader are especially thankful for the mobile devices that made proof of Gadhafi’s death possible in close to real-time.

via Mobile Plays Pivotal Role in Coverage of Moammar Gadhafi’s Death | Mobile Marketing Watch.

Written by Kees Winkel

October 21, 2011 at 15:22

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Washington Hospital Using Mobile Apps in Care of Critical Patients | Mobile Marketing Watch

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Mobile applications are playing an increasingly larger role in the way doctors and hospitals care for patients.

The hospital at the center of today’s mHealth buzz is Washington Hospital Center, the facility behind “CodeHeart,” the highly secure mobile application solution developed and customized in collaboration with AT&T that provides a real-time video and audio stream that can be used in critical care situations, such as ambulances in transit.

According to an example presented in a press release issued by the medical facility, the solution can be used by hospital cardiologists to view, in real-time, a patient’s condition while simultaneously speaking with the patient’s first responder or the attending Emergency Department (ED) physician. Importantly, the solution also provides physicians the ability to view vital signs and test results–like electrocardiograms (ECG)–captured through the real-time video feed.

Continue via Washington Hospital Using Mobile Apps in Care of Critical Patients | Mobile Marketing Watch.

Written by Kees Winkel

October 20, 2011 at 16:09

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What marketers can learn from Southeast Asian mobile commerce – Mobile Commerce Daily – Columns

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By David Eads

I just returned from two weeks discussing strategy with mobile commerce executives across Southeast Asia. Despite having spent considerable time in North America, Latin America and Europe, this was my first trip to the region. I found the similarities and differences intriguing.

In North America and Europe, executives I meet often mentally write-off Asia as so foreign and different that their experiences are not relevant. Perhaps this is true for South Korea and Japan, which have very specialized market.

However, in Southeast Asia, there continue to be far more similarities than differences.

Asian tappers

For example, everyone is struggling with mobile adoption growth.

Mobile is happening – and it is happening fast – but it is still around 2 percent to 4 percent of online.

Everyone wants it to grow faster, while struggling to support what they have. Many companies simply turn mobile on and customers show up with little or no promotion.

Similarly, travel and financial services lead the way.

via What marketers can learn from Southeast Asian mobile commerce – Mobile Commerce Daily – Columns.

Written by Kees Winkel

October 11, 2011 at 11:11

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