"2011 wasn't just the year of mobile. It was the year mobile took over the world," says The Mobile Future, in its 2011 Mobile Year in Review video (below):
Smartphone revolution in full bloom. 2011 was the year everybody (in the developed world at least) used their smartphone to surf the Internet.
- In the first half of 2011, Facebook Mobile use went up 166%. That's 350 milllion mobile users.
- Twitter:103 million wireless tweets per day in 2011.
- Foursquare: 1 billion check-ins in 2011.
- Instagram: 26 photos uploaded every second in 2011.
- In the U.S.: Consumers bought more smartphones than PCs and wireless subscriptions outnumbered people in 2011.
Political movements in the Middle East. People in Egypt, Syria and countries across the Arab world used mobile Facebook and Twitter to organize protests and topple regimes.
Increased use of the mobile web means increased need for spectrum. Carriers and cable providers are making deals and investments to meet the growing need for spectrum all over the world.
- Some predict there will be 2 billion mobile devices in the U.S. by 2015 (6 per person).
- U.S. wireless data traffic is expected to increase by 1,800%.
- 6 U.S. carriers are rolling out 4G service this year.
Mobile OS platform battle continues. In the U.S. market and around the world, people are trying new mobile platforms.
- In 2011, Android and iOS jockeyed for first place, Windows Phone made some inroads and BlackBerry usage dropped off.
- Android and iOS saw a 140% jump in activations, year over year, this Christmas.
- In September, The Atlantic put together a really cool interactive map of smartphone demographics in the U.S.
Old tablets die, new tablets enter. Although the iPad still leads, the battle for tablet supremacy is only beginning.
- HP put its TouchPad to bed.
- Amazon made a big splash with the Kindle Fire.
- OEMs put increased emphasis on tablet strategy in 2011.
- Consumers passed on the BlackBerry Playbook.
Platforms need apps. The apps that run on these platforms became a multi-billion-dollar industry in 2011.
- Apple paid mobile app developers upwards of $3 billion in 2011.
- 1 billion apps are downloaded worldwide each month.
- Small business owners are using apps to track productivity, manage travel plans, track equipment/inventory and speed up invoicing.
- Companies ramped up their app strategy in 2011.
AT&T and T-Mobile USA: The merger that never was.
- March 2011: AT&T to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion
- Nov. 2011: AT&T/T-Mobile deal looks shaky
- Dec. 2011: What's next for T-Mobile?
Mobile Payment: A clear winner has yet to emerge.
- AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile invest $100M in Isis
- Amex partners with Sprint to offer 'Serve' mobile wallet app
- Google Wallet goes on tour in select cities with Sprint and Samsung.
- NFC's got legs: SIM based NFC is supported by 45 carriers worldwide
Online retailers invade the brick-and-mortar space. This has been especially true over the past month as online retailers attempt to connect with consumers via the in-store experience.
- Google recently opened Androidland in Australia. Do recall that Google first attempted to sell the Nexus One exclusively online and failed.
- eBay opened up a pop-up store in London, allowing shoppers to touch and feel products they could buy online.
- Amazon caused a stir with its Price Check app, which allows it to infiltrate brick-and-mortar stores via shoppers' phones.
- Even an online app store has gone brick-and-mortar: Openspace.