Locative Lab

researching locative media

My Ten Mobile Messaging Predictions for 2008


Now that I’ve finally gotten used to writing “2008″ on my checks (I still pay a few bills offline), I guess it is time to act like some of my co-inhabitants on these screens and post my own Mobile Messaging Predictions for 2008.

Ready? (o’course you are or you wouldn’t be here.

In no particular order of probability, they are:

The trend toward “free” texting will continue. Carriers, at least in North America, will bundle texting into overall pricing plans. Not that they wouldn’t raise the price of the overall plan to incorporate texting fees that used to be billed separately.

Twitter will be sold. Question is, to who? Google bought a competing app. Facebook might be a natural fit. I am thinking maybe AOL?

With 3G networks closer to reality MMS will really be multimedia-enabled. You can count on that.

iPhone will lose its AT&T Mobility exclusivity in the U.S. Not due so much to the hackers unlocking the iPhone to be used by other carriers, but Apple will realize the five-year exclusivity window is too long to forego potential revenue from non-AT&T customers stuck in the middle of their service contracts. A substantial payment from Apple to AT&T and things will loosen up.

Cricket Wireless will ally with another type of service provider to produce a triple-play. On my VoIP blog I’ve long been suggesting an alliance between energetic upstart Cricket and VoIP stand-alone Vonage to battle the triple-play offerings of the big service providers. K then, how’s a Cricket-Vonage-Boingo alliance sound?

Five more to go. (Blogger scratches head, a bit of ew-w-w- gross dandruff flakes descend to keyboard).

We’ll see the growth of dedicated Spanish-language dedicated mobile services. I envision an existing cell carrier teaming up with a Univision for a branded MVNO service. That’s service, not just a “press two” Spanish language channel.

More rich media adverts on mobiles. Not on record at especially wanting to see this, but faster mobile speeds, manic advertisers wanting to reach you everywhere- flippin’ inevitable.

Mobile payments will grow. There’s a bit of creative tension here between the mobile Web security experts at banks and merchants that want to “SSL” everything, and the mobile operators who need to facilitate their Web browsers to accept SSL seamlessly. There’s a movement toward reconciling those two imperatives.

More touch screen on mobiles. Apple, of course, is doing it with iPhone, and users tend to think it is cool. So why not in newer models of competiting handsets?

And finally:

Mobile search will still suck. Even Google hasn’t gotten it right. When I perform searches for these sites on my BlackBerry, too many non-optimized-for-mobile sites still seem to come up. That’s not even to mention some search results where you can just sniff the stink of jive mobile SEO jiggering that got some listed search results sites up there.


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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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