The main winners in the mobile world this year will be independent iPhone developers, and handset manufacturers and developers for the Android platform, according to digital innovations consultancy Fjord.
Christian Lindholm, former vice president of global mobile products at Yahoo, and now director of Fjord, told vnunet.com that 2009 will see a raft of innovative applications and services driven by the low cost and superior user experience of Apple's App Store.
"What we now see is a functional business ecosystem on the iPhone where developers can really turn their passion as a hobby into a useful business," he said. "And the [low] cost of buying an application creates mass purchasing behaviour on an impulse level."
Lindholm highlighted a new trend of mobile viral advertising via free downloadable apps, such as the Carling iPint, a virtual pint of beer which he said makes advertising a physical and social act.
He also predicted big advances in the Android ecosystem in terms of handset design and applications.
"We will see some really fantastic Android devices in 2009 coming from HTC and Huawei. The Chinese are perfectly placed to take advantage of this new and open platform," he said.
"We will also see more innovation in the user interfaces on top of Android. I was not very impressed by what Google did. It looked like a rush job."
However, Lindholm predicted that Android phones will still make up only a tiny fraction of the total mobile marketplace this year, partly because many key players will have to scale back on advertising budgets.
iPhone and Android developers to score in 2009
By Phil Muncaster on Jan 28, 2009 7:46AM