2010 Predictions for Mobile Developers

This year you are in for a double dose of Predictions for Mobile Developers, as Thibaut and Caroline team up with their views.

Swami Thibaut Rouffinuea weighs in on 2010Thibaut Rouffineau, based in London,UK is up first:

Predictions tend to be of this Nostradamus type that are not measurable and quantifiable… So let’s try to give actual measures and verifiable facts. Even if it means that each of them can be influenced … but isn’t it the goal too :D
So here we go for our 2010 predictions:

  • Android saves Google in Europe in the face of increasing legal & regulatory pressures.

Google will start the year with even more trouble on their hands in Europe with an increasing number of issues raised by European governments and regulatory bodies. Android will be at the forefront of their defense, as a proof that they are encouraging competition rather than stifling it. This can only and should  be accompanied with a relaxed approach to the way Google and the OHA manage Android throughout 2010.

  • Android becomes the de facto standard for enterprise application and devices

Android is cheap to own, cheap to port, easy to develop for, available in all sorts of form factors, and has an increasingly large workforce available… For these reasons lagging enterprise mobile IT sees a revival through Android as it ticks for the consumer needs (Unlike Windows) and the enterprise needs (Unlike Apple).

  • The mobile developer / marketing scene reorganizes

With mobile marketing taking front stage in 2010 the whole developer / agency / operator ecosystem will feel the need to reorganise to provide more transparency and proof points concerning its efficiency, increase the visibility and management of  data driven activities, to address the shortage of developer skills. The reorganization is likely to see the growth of operator and OEM based mobile marketing agency services.

  • Increasing importance of security and identity providers

I was really impressed to hear a number of regulators at the latest ITU World Conference comment that cybersecurity was their number one concern at present. This concern is matched by an increasing need for cross platform identity requirements such as mobile banking, social media, enterprise and e/m-commerce. This somewhat “unsexy” field is therefore bound to grow in importance in 2010 with mobile operator, social network providers, e/m-commerce players, cloud computing providers all fighting head-on to offer the service.

  • The first mobile application developed on a mobile device or netbook is published

With the increasing computing power of palmable devices (handheld and MID), the universalisation of development tools, we’re bound to see our first mobile apps developed exclusively on these devices. The origin is more likely to be from Asia or Africa but no doubt others will jump to the challenge.

Sage Caroline channels mobile developer predictionsCaroline Lewko’s (Vancouver, Canada) turn on 2010 Predictions:

2009 was a tough and tumultuous year in mobile development.  The economic downturn saw lots of layoffs, a tough environment to raise funds, and lower turnout out at the big tradeshows.  But despite these negatives, the mobile industry continued to grow, we saw new devices like the Palm Pre and the Motorola Droid; new platforms like Samsung’s Bada; lots of new Appstores (see Thibaut’s blog  below); and a growing love of mobile by consumers and developers.

So what’s ahead for 2010????

1.  More Android - here an Android, there an Android, everywhere an Android….

Google has done such a cracker jack job of cozying up to all the major mobile operators around the world; and with most device OEMs signed up as well, expect to see more Android phones released.   Android is going to be everywhere.

2.  More BlackBerryleading the party

I don’t agree with Thibaut’s prediction on Android becoming the de facto enterprise development standard.  BlackBerry still has a strong foothold in the enterprise space and there are many of us still holding tightly onto our crackberries.  Watch BlackBerry this year – I think you’ll see them everywhere too.  RIM is stepping up to the plate and becoming less Canadian, spending lots of money on a full-on promotional campaigns and sponsorships to both developers and consumers.  Expect big showings at CES and MWC.

3.  Less iPhoneconsumers get ‘smarter’ about Kleenex

So, last November in San Francisco I grabbed a cab to take me to  the Marriott, here was our conversation:

CLL:  Please take me to the Marriott on Fourth Ave
Cabbie:  Oh, you must be going to the BlackBerry conference
CLL:  I am, you really know what’s going on!
Cabbie:  Of course – that’s where they are talking about making cool stuff for the iPhones.
CLL:  ah, no….. and then I went into an explanation on how the iPhone is just a brand name and doesn’t represent all smart phones and cool applications

iPhone has become a genericized trademark. Given the increase in marketing for Android, BlackBerry and other handsets; and the striated distribution of the iPhone away from exclusivity; I think consumers are going to gain better understanding of the variety of smart phones with ‘cool stuff’ that is available with other really great trademarks!

4.  More Application Innovation just say Aaaaa PIs

Applications sure proliferated last year, and certainly there were lots of creative and useful applications.  However, the only truly interesting innovation was in Augmented Reality. Expect to see more AR applications this year – see Lester Madden’s Augmented Planet for the best information on AR platforms and applications.

WOW - more innovative mobile apps are coming! I believe 2010 will be a year where we get back to innovation again, the stuff that makes us go WOW. Here’s why:  investment is starting to flow again; a lot of new developers have tested themselves on the iPhone and are ready for something more to test their skills; access to operator APIs are getting easier thanks to the work of companies like Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson; other platform APIs are going prime time; there are lots of great cross platform development resources out now; and other platforms like Java in the form of MIDP3 is gaining new capabilities.  It means lots of opportunities to be creative; and more resources to streamline development.  I can’t wait to see what developers come up with!

Thanks to Teresa Ostman our resident expert on events, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention 4G as another technology to watch in 2010.  She is seeing a steady increase in LTE and WiMAX event worldwide.  With implementation of LTE and WiMax on the rise,  these will likely lead to additional innovation in app development too.

New Year’s Resolutions for Mobile Developers:

As last year  - continue to follow the money.  All these great new opportunities also continue to add to fragmentation, so smart decisions still need to be made in order to find success.  Check out the WIP Wiki Resources for some companies and tools that may be able to speed up your development.

Interested to see how we did with our previous predictions (not to bad actually!), check these out:  2009 2008 and 2007.

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

7 Responses to “2010 Predictions for Mobile Developers”

  1. 1 Philippe

    Your predictions about the iPhone and Blackberry are wrong. You will see more iPhone and less Blackberry.
    Yes for more Android, but not enough to make it a profitable platform for developer (at least in 2010).
    Android is going to eat Backberry market share.
    More application innovation: only on Apple mobile platform because it is where the money is.

    Yes developing for the Android is cheap and iPhone development is more expensive. But the iPhone platform is a mobile platform where you can earn real revenue.

    There is 2 simple facts why iPhone was successful and is going to be a leader for at least the next 2 years: iTunes (App Store) and great-looking and professional UI (Google need to hire a real UI designer/architect).

    2010 is going to be the year of the eBook and eMagazine market … and Apple is going to be one of the leade/mover in this specific mobile market.

    The current product I am developing on the iTablet will blow your mind and will revolutionize the publishing industry. Hopefully it will be release this Spring.


  2. 2 Natasha

    I think Blackberry is loosing the market - Great handsets but,
    Blackberry makes it very difficult for developers to design and publish cool applications. I have a small start-up - its expensive to become a member for RIM and more then double the time to develop applications.

    Its easier to build for iPhone and Android - We have one app. on Android and I’m hoping to get more traffic soon as the popularity increases this year.

  3. 3 Oleg Kiorsak

    as far as Enterprise Mobility, here’s another set of “predictions”:



  4. 4 thibaut

    Hi Oleg,
    Thanks for the link.
    Fully agreed with mobility management taking a bigger importance this year.
    Windows 7 I see as a no go, unless Microsoft do something radically different and / or play very hard ball against open source / Android. I do not think changing user experience / sturdyness of Windows Mobile will be enough.
    Fully agreed with your MaaS prediction, once again the shape it will take is somewhat questionable, is it just an adaptation od SAAS to take care of mobile (proposing APIs and connectivity that better cater for mobility)or does it look radically different?
    Thoughts welcome…
    Any comments on Android in the enterprise?

  5. 5 Oleg Kiorsak

    Just to clarify - this is NOT MINE blog ;)

    but a really good one - worth following -
    it’s Philippe Winthrop’s



    PS: As for my 2c, I do agree that Android has a lot of potential in Enterprise, due to multitasking and approachable and familiar programming model (e.g. Java-based)

    and, just as you, I am skeptical about Microsoft WindowsMobile - they should of done “wake up and smell the coffee” exercise about 12 months ago… nowadays it might be way to late… definitely in consumer space (where btw I predict Apple will continue to dominate - iPhone4G, “Tablet” etc - the “iTunes factor” alone gives Apple a huge edge in consumer space… not to mention superb hardware - unlike HTC/etc )

    and in Enterprise space too…


  6. 6 Trevor Cape

    Not only will all of the above mentioned situations likely to come to fruition,developers will also see their development time cut down significantly, for both iPhone and Android because increasingly more advanced mobile app development SDKs that simplify the process.

    One promising SDK is Titanium, it is open source and allows the development of cross platform (iPhone and Android)applications with only the knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript, oh, its free also.

    Check it out:


  7. 7 thibaut

    Hi Trevor,
    Thanks a lot for the link.
    I would totally agree with you on the subject, there are a lot of initiatives out there to make development not only faster but also easier in the sense of multi-platform (and I’m not going to start a list of project here as this would be a blog of its own).
    I would add to it that whether it’s web based or through a cut down IDE I do believe that these technologies will make it onto devices themselves soon too!
    However these projects mean an even crowdier application space, it will be interesting to see how the various recommendation engine deal with this.

Leave a Reply

Twitter links powered by Tweet This v1.6.1, a WordPress plugin for Twitter.