5 Mobile Development Predictions for 2015

by Wesley Farnam - Jan 15, 2015

Mobile reached a tipping point in 2014, solidifying its position as one of the most disruptive technologies for businesses in decades. Not since the advent of the Internet has a technology forced businesses to completely rethink how they attract, serve and retain customers.

By the end of 2015, 42% of the total population globally will own a smartphone. Businesses that embrace mobile development will become industry leaders, transforming their brands' customer experiences and driving business outcomes by enriching user experiences on mobile devices. To prepare your growing business for the mobile shift taking place, here are five mobile development predictions for 2015:

1) Mobile Business Models Will Disrupt Entire Industries

Mobile technologies will decrease the need for local, physical infrastructures, devices and personnel. For example, The AliveCor Heart Monitor, when used with the AliveECG app, offers a $4.99 alternative to the $200 to $300 price tag of a traditional cardiogram, in addition to extending the service to those consumers without access to medical facilities.

2) Processes for Mobile Will Take Priority

In 2015, expect more multi-channel retailers and travel companies to move to a new organization model that will enable mobile technologies to transform their business. Airlines, for example, will reconfigure space in front of TSA security checkpoints to reduce check-in desks and kiosks because more than 20% of boarding passes will be mobile.

3) A Shift from Apps to "Experiences"

Consumers use an average of 24 apps per month, but spend more than 80% of their time on just five apps. Why? Consumers have mobile app fatigue. In 2015, marketing leaders will implement more-simplified, anticipatory experiences, like Google Now. With Google Now, your information is automatically organized into simple cards that appear only when needed. The info ready whenever you are so you can spend less time digging and more time living. Another example? Uber lets consumers book a ride not only in its own app but also directly within Google Maps or the United Airlines app.

4) Mobile Payment Explodes

With Apple Pay, Apple is changing how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into the devices you use every day. In 2015, contactless payment technology will hit its stride, and many other new, innovative offerings will gain momentum and accelerate the shift to mobile payments. By putting Passbook at the center of its Apple Pay ecosystem, Apple will be able to provide a secure and convenient one-touch checkout experience for consumers. Likewise, many retailers will launch their own integrated apps (à la Starbucks), merging payments with coupons, services, and loyalty plans to engage with their most loyal users.

5) Rise of the Phablets

A "phablet" is a class of mobile device designed to combine or straddle the form of a smartphone and tablet. Phablets typically have screens that measure between 5.3 to 6.9 inches, which complement screen-intensive activity such as mobile web browsing and multimedia viewing. Phablets may also include software optimized for an integral self-storing stylus to facilitate sketching, note-taking and annotation. Devices like the Galaxy Note, Lumia 1520, and iPhone 6 Plus are some of the most popular phablets, and we're quickly seeing a trend that suggests consumers want devices that are larger than most mobile phones yet smaller than an iPad or Microsoft Surface.

In 2014, Business Insider predicted phablets would outsell smartphones by 2017. They see the larger devices growing 27% annually for the next 5 years versus just 15% for smaller smartphones. Further, BI sees tablets growing much more slowly, from just under 300 million this year to about 400 million near the end of the decade. On a percentage basis, that might be solid, but in terms of units, it’s small against a forecast of 1.5 billlion phablets annually.

Mobile Development with The Idea People

In the changing landscape of digital marketing and web development, it’s adapt or die. To be successful in the digital marketplace, businesses need to think about how mobile development and mobile technologies can make their content adaptive and flexible for the web.

At The Idea People, we design for mobile first. Our first step in developing creative web design for a client is to look at the smallest screen adaptation. Once we have the creative strategy and user functionality goals set with mobile, we move outward to tablet and desktop. Industry talking heads concur that if you don’t need a function on the mobile web design, you probably don’t need it on the desktop design.

When it comes to creative strategy and user experience on smaller screens, we analyze the content and functionality goals to decide if the tablet and mobile designs should have a responsive web design, or automatically size to the screen, or device-specific, where we design specifically for an iOS or Android device. Again, industry leaders see the same trends for web design and creative strategy applied to the smaller screens first.

All of our company’s mobile web design and mobile marketing work is handled by our own employees located in our Charlotte office. To learn more about how mobile technology and mobile marketing can work for your business, contact Jay Joyce with The Idea People at jay@theideapeople.com or call 704-398-4437.

Source: Forrester Research
Wesley Farnam
The Idea PeopleThe Idea People