The wireless opportunity

I always enjoy getting the latest wireless reports from Dr. Mehmet Unsoy. This detailed analysis on Apple’s impact on the wireless world is very interesting for software developers.

Apple, iPhone and iTunes – Impacts on the Wireless World (pdf)

Here are some highlights …

You may recall that 3G iPhone was launched globally on July 11th, 2008. Within the first 6 months, around 12 million 3G iPhones have been sold, with significant majority in the U.S., to AT&T subscribers. However, as of now, iPhone is available in over 80 countries, through more than 100 mobile operators. So, it truly is a global product.

… about 50% of all mobile Internet access in the U.S. is through a 3G iPhone

Application developers generally wonder which platform to focus on for their development. Sometimes (not always) numbers speak for themselves! Apple has launched the App Store for iPhones in iTunes on July 11th 2008 with only 500 apps, (about 150 of them free); In December 2008, this number exceeded 10,000 apps (which is a remarkable and record?breaking number to achieve within 5 months). In addition, in the same period, 500 Million application downloads to iPhones have occurred. That is about 100 Million app downloads per month!

For the mobile industry, 2009 is expected to be the year of applications. It is the applications where the user excitements are at; it is the applications that will justify and drive the deployment of wireless broadband / 4G networks in the future; and it is the applications where ultimately the money is.

If I was a young fella doing it all again I’d be investing my time here. The mobile platforms provides an access to market reducing significantly the costs to entry. This is an area where you can play with minimal capital and there are endless possibilities for increasingly complex applications.

That access to market is driving enterprises like banks to release applications for brand perhaps rather than utility. See the Westpac icon below on my iTunes front page today.

Westpac in iTunes

This signals that enterprise customers will pay for bespoke development for an iPhone application. So developers wanting to break into iPhone development have fee paying opportunities to hone their skills before building their million dollar idea.

Maybe it’s time my near 5 year old got his own Mac and learned a bit of Cocoa programming.  I may be able to turn him cash-flow positive much earlier than I originally planned.

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