What Smartphones can do for businesses

Mon 5 December 2011 21:21, Qin Hu

What Smartphones can do for businesses

No doubt, Smartphones are amongst the most popular topics in the world. The major players in mobile phone market have changed gradually since iPhone’s first launch in 2007. I remember when I first came to the Netherlands; I saw most people using Nokia. But now, iPhone, Blackberry, Samsung, HTC can be seen everywhere.

The former biggest mobile phone player (still the biggest right now), Nokia, saw its market share go down from 30.1% in Q2 2010 to 22.8% to in Q2 2011. At the same time, consumers’ brand preference has also been affected (see the 2 graphs below).


Apps also bring business opportunities. According to the study by Chetan Sharma Consulting, mobile app downloads should jump from 7 billion in 2009 to almost 50 billion in 2012. By this time, the market will be worth $17.5 billion. In order to catch up these opportunities, many SMEs have started to invest the mobile apps.

For example, Angry Birds, a simple application, brought the company ROVIO a lot of opportunities. The game itself has won different awards since 2010. It has been praised for its successful combination of addictive gameplay, comical style, and low price. Furthermore, because of its popularity, a version of Angry Birds is being created for personal computers and gaming consoles, a market to merchandise its characters and even long-term plans for a feature film or television series. 


However, besides opportunities, Smartphones also bring threats to SEO and SEA companies. Take the hottest Smartphone, iPhone 4S, as an example. One of the coolest features is Siri – the voice recognition app that allows iPhone4S users to control their cell phone verbally. The first time I heard of Siri, I felt it was very cool. By giving spoken instruction, I can check weather; send text messages, set up reminders etc. However, now I start to realize that Siri might be the killer of local SEO and SEA companies in some ways. Siri is not just a personal assistant, but it is also able to give some in-depth information to the users.

For instance, if you need a taxi, Siri can call one for you by automatically processing information about local taxi companies. It means you probably will never look up “taxi companies in your city” in the search engines, avoiding the traditional search engine results pages and pay-per-click advertisements entirely, therefore limiting their importance and influence. As a result, the investment of SEO&SEA probably will be less, which will directly affect those companies.


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