Morgan Stanley has projected that the number of mobile Internet users will exceed the number of desktop Internet users by 2014. At that point there will be more than 1.6B mobile Internet users! (There are already more than 1B mobile Internet users today.) What’s fueling this? Smartphones and tablets. They’re everywhere! Add 4G networks, which all the major carriers have announced, and we’ve got a mobile explosion.
The popularity of smartphones is staggering. Currently, about one in five Americans has a smartphone. Nielsen is forecasting that one in two Americans will have a smartphone by the end of 2011! Of all the smartphones out there in the US, operating system market share is pretty evenly split between the big 3 – Apple iOS, Google Android and RIM BlackBerry – at around 26-28% each. Android and iPhone are on the rise, though, while RIM has been losing ground. (See recent article with Nielsen data.) (Windows Mobile comes in 4th and HP Palm 5th, by the way.)
Although RIM’s market share has been steadily declining, let’s not forget about their presence in the enterprise; many IT departments have significant investments in the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) technology and won’t likely rip that out anytime soon. However, these same IT departments have to support other smartphones in the workplace as well. According to a Forrester Survey of enterprise IT decision-makers, approx. 50% of respondents are supporting two or more mobile operating systems, with 29% actually supporting three or more. And nearly 60% of companies surveyed support employee-owned devices at least to some degree. It’s simply not possible nor good business these days to place a lot of restrictions on employees when they’re trying to do their work on whatever device they have.
So not only are smartphones everywhere – including the workplace – so is the iPad tablet. Apple introduced the iPad in April 2010 and sold 15M of them in 2010! Many analysts expect they’ll double that in 2011. And it’s not just consumers buying them….businesses are buying them in large quantities for their employees, especially field sales and services professionals.
And going forward it won’t just be about the iPad. Analysts expect the iPad to dominate tablet computer sales in 2011 but competitors are in hot pursuit. No less than 80 (yes, 80!) manufacturers announced their tablet offerings at the annual CES show earlier this month. Most are Android-based tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Cisco Cius. But not to be left out, RIM plans to launch its PlayBook tablet by the middle of this year too. 50M tablet sales in 2011 is definitely not out of the question.
So what does all this mean to Brainshark and Brainshark customers? Well, rest assured, we’re following the trends closely and are embracing the mobile explosion. We recognize that our customers and their audiences have a need for content wherever they may be…and that’s not necessarily just when they’re in front of a desktop or laptop computer. Our approach, since we launched Brainshark Mobile in early 2010, is to have a single solution for our customers to create, share and track their content regardless of the device it is consumed on…whether that’s a PC, an Android-based phone or tablet, a BlackBerry, Palm Pre, or an iOS-based iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. And our newly announced iPad/iPhone App even provides an enhanced level of viewing for those users. So not only do we support a multi-device model today, but we’ll also continue to make significant investments to keep rolling out enhancements and stay out in front of the mobile explosion.
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