2011 was a good year for mobile. Smartphone penetration reached 44 percent by the end of the year, meaning nearly 103 million mobile consumers use smartphones (according to figures from comScore). And after the holiday reports come out, that number will only increase. Gartner is reporting that, worldwide, over 440.5 million smartphones were sold in the third quarter of 2011. And paidContent.org is predicting another 120 million to be sold in 2011′s fourth quarter. The massive growth in smartphone sales is coupled with the fact that mobile is the fastest growing media among consumers, with up to 30 percent growth per year.
On our side, 2011 was also a good year for Torsion Mobile. We broke ground on the Mojaba system by building a simple platform on which agencies can build mobile websites. We’ve been fine-tuning that system for the past year, garnering feedback from users around the country. We’ve also added new members to our team, met with members of the local Des Moines startup community, and allied with marketers who will be some of the first users of Mojaba. Now we’re readying ourselves for a Beta launch in the next few weeks and a full product launch at the end of January.
Here’s what we’re looking forward to in 2012, both for Mojaba and the state of the mobile Web:
- More HTML5. With GeoLocation features, offline support and functionality on most operating systems, HTML5 lets mobile websites offer nearly the same features as native apps at less cost to produce and promote.
- An emphasis on websites instead of native apps. Now that mobile web apps can do nearly anything a native app can, we’re looking forward to a push toward website production. And by eliminating a trip to the app store, websites are easier for users to interact with than apps. See our guide on native apps and web apps for more reasons why web apps are the future.
- QR codes that lead to user-friendly websites. In May, we reported that QR code use is up over 4000 percent from 2010 to 2011. QR codes are now influencing more users and driving traffic to more mobile sites than ever — which means that presenting a mobile-optimized experience is essential for the coming year.
- More local searches on mobile devices. According to Google’s GoMo initiative, 95 percent of smartphone users have searched for local information — and 59 percent visit a location after searching for it. And Mashable reports that 51 percent of adults looking for information about local businesses use the Internet to do so.
- The emergence of Mojaba as a key tool for mobile Web creators. We’ve been hard at work to build a powerful-yet-simple-to-use app builder that helps agencies create mobile-optimized websites for their clients, bringing businesses up to speed in the mobile market. We’re just about ready to introduce our system and begin the work to build long-lasting relationships with our customers.
We’re excited for 2012 and the promise it holds for new innovation. Stay tuned to see how the mobile Web is growing and affecting consumers around the world — and how Mojaba can help shape the global shift to mobile.