A Gartner report on the global PDA market shows a reversal of previous predictions that suggested this sector was in decline and instead grows by 25% in the 1st quarter of 2005. According to Gartner, "This increase is primarily the result of the growing popularity of wireless e-mail, with users favoring larger displays and QWERTY keyboards that are operated with both hands."
Meanwhile over the weekend, Business Sunday (transcript available) on the Nine Network provided a report on the 3G evolution in mobile telecommunications that is finally gathering momentum here in Australia. Business Sunday pitched 3G as the mobile technology that no one asked for, but when you consider the growth in wireless PDAs above its not too far fetched to see that wireless PDA users are at some point going to start demanding access to rich content and information services that go beyond e-mail on the move.
Of course the big question is what will this content be? If we listen to MIS magazine, then the future of 3G content (for consumers at least) is adult content... which isn't much use to the business user, although ironically they will benefit from the investment in the infrastructure. So what might we expect in the business space from mobile content? Just a couple of ideas:
- Mobile digital dashboards (although this may need to be mirrored on the desktop); and
- Web-services that can bring existing internal business content to the small screen.