Smartphones Reaching Tipping Point

The smartphone revolution marches on! Data from Nielsen (via CNET) shows that more than half of those aged 18 – 24 carry a smartphone today. And numbers for those over 44 are continuing to trend upward. Given these phones’ almost limitless functional capability (via the apps that run on them), we should expect the use of smartphones for more and more of the transactions that people make while on the go. And, since Moore’s Law continues to hold, and users love those little apps that “just work,” the proliferation of powerful, pocket-sized computers, aka smartphones, will only increase.

A lot of technology makes perfect sense on smartphones — technologies that aren’t necessarily as useful on desktops or laptops. These include bar code scanning, NFC (Near Field Communication) for speedy transactions, and photography and video recording. Combine these, and right in your hand, you have a wide range of capabilities in a single device.

Today, people buy smartphones for convenience in connecting and communicating with others, accessing information, carrying media and entertainment, and playing games. But soon, smartphones will be essential for transacting business and making purchases. Once we reach a tipping point, changes, especially around commerce, will snowball.

All of us in business need to consider smartphones. If you want to know where markets are going, look at the devices people use and how they get information. And then start planning for the changes that follow.

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