Through TomorrowToday, there are two presentations I do that speak to the future of Mobile Phones, Aftershock and Beyond the Hype. In both of them I’m fairly clear in my own mind on one trend around Mobile Phones – that the ‘next future’ is the Smart Phone.

For me it’s a simple process I use to get to that prediction…. when mobile phones began it was all about voice. We were all completely taken by the idea that we could talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. But things have changed. The change can be described as a move from ‘ears to eyes’. Increasingly, for those who’s phones enable them, are spending less time talking and more time looking. We doing less ‘ear work’ and more ‘eye work’.

Coupled with this, the mobile network operators are struggling to grow their voice business. In many countries, everyone who is going to talk on a phone has one. Short of encouraging us to talk more, there’s no real growth left in voice. Data has to be the next big opportunity for them for growth. And if you’re going to grow your data business, you’ve got to put a Smart Phone into the hands of all of your users.

As I see it, these two forces will converge on each other, driving the cost of Smart Phones down, and increasing the services offered by everyone that involve eyes and not ears.

I picked up a link on Twitter from zoopedup the other day to this article on TNW Mobile, ‘Android grabs 25.5% share of the global smartphone market‘. As you can see from the title it focusses on Android’s growth. But there were some other gems inside that grabbed my attention.

Like the growth of Smart Phone sales worldwide:

Worldwide mobile phone sales in the third quarter amounting to 417 million units, a rise of 35% from the third quarter in 2009, with smartphone sales experiencing growth of 96%, meaning that one in every five mobile phones sold during the three months was a smartphone.

And the reduction in price of Smart Phones, one of the reasons Android is doing so well:

Android has now become the second most popular mobile operating system worldwide, helped by mobile operators including Verizon where Android-powered smartphones were thought to have made up between 75% and 80% of its total smartphone sales in Q3. The availability of cur-price budget Android models has also helped introduce smartphones to new demographics and market segments has also helped drive demand.

Add ‘tablets’ to the mix, and Apple’s drive with the iPad and the ‘next-future’ is emerging right before our eyes…

With tablet devices coming to market, rivalling the iPad, as 2010 draws to a close, media tablets could reach up to 54.8 million units in 2011. Apple’s iOS operating system is heralded as one of the most important factors in the continued success of mobile devices as it presents a single platform for developers which spans across a number of different media devices.

TomorrowToday Global