The top mobile and wireless trends that will emerge in 2007 wouldn't be possible without the two biggest stories of 2006:
the advent of the cheap smart phone, and Sprint Nextel's bodacious announcement that it is building a nationwide mobile WiMax network.
So before looking ahead, let's take a brief look behind.
Toward the end of 2006, a glut of competent smart phones costing $200 or less hit the market, which is two to three times less expensive than similar phones had been previously. These phones include the BlackBerry Pearl, Samsung's BlackJack, Nokia's E62 and the Treo 680. This trend will lead to far broader adoption not just of smart phones but also of many applications.The other top mobile and wireless story for 2006 was Sprint's announcement that it would build a $3 billion nationwide mobile WiMax network, which it expects to start rolling out by the end of 2007. Sprint will use an enormous chunk of wireless spectrum it inherited when it merged with Nextel in 2005. No other U.S. mobile operator comes close to having that amount of spectrum available, making it highly unlikely that any of Sprint's competitors could launch a competing network.
These two top stories of 2006 lead us to my predictions of the seven top mobile and wireless trends for 2007. Some of these trends will fully flower in 2007, while in other cases we'll just see the start of a big trend that will develop more fully in years to come.
1. More mobile access, more competition
2. The era of 'the big bundle'
3. The democratization of mobile e-mail
4. Search and discovery
5. Mobility gets social
6. Convergence: One phone, many places
7. Media, media, media
For the complete details of these top 7 mobile trends for 2007, check out this ComputerWorld article in its entirety, HERE.