15 Billion More Reasons We Love Going Mobileby DA VE D IC OL A on JULY 4, 2011At the end of 2010, IDC predicted that this year over 25 billion mobile apps would sold. If thatprediction comes true, then the growth in mobile apps in 2011 will be an impressive 250% over2010’s numbers.Who would’ve thought there would ever be 10 billion mobile apps (the total estimated number sold in2010) in the first place, let alone 25 billion? Either way, that’s a lot of apps!Besides the ones that are near and dear to our hearts, like Social Jitney’spopular Alphabets in theZoo or Say No to Police, we’ve pointed out a few apps by other developers that have impressed usin the past. One that comes to mind right away was reported on in our February 8 blog, titled“ApplePlans to Extend Reach Beyond Hardware and Straight Into Your Wallet.”OK, that particular blog wasn’t about “apps” so much as it was about a general way that Apple plansto enhance the utility of the iPhone in the coming months. It covered the planned use of Near FieldCommunications, which is the same sort of technology that PayPass uses to allow “tapping” of creditcards at point of purchase instead of “swiping.” In short, we liked these developments as theyrelated to app developers and consumers alike, because they are going to represent one more waythe iPhone can enhance the mobile experience for users worldwide.So, how about the other side of that coin? What does the use of mobile applications designed totake advantage of point of purchase technologies mean to merchants?For one thing, it means that small companies interested in riding the multi-billion app wave of 2011will soon be able to accept payments – anywhere and everywhere – using their smartphones. Tous, this is the next natural progression beyond an installed-base, hardware dependent system likecredit card swiping machines that sit anchored to cash registers. Instead, the very smallest of smallbusinesses – even one man shows like sole proprietorships or individual consultants – will soon becompressing their own accounts receivable cycles by taking advantage of mobile payments.Mobile payments will, of course, still require some hardware. Like your smart phone. And a littledevice inserted into the phone’s data port that can read credit cards, either by tapping or swiping.That’s it.
With developments like these, small businesses can go more mobile than ever – and realize thefruits of their labor right there at the corner booth of a local restaurant or Starbuck’s café.We think this is just one good example of the billions of opportunities that exist for businesses willingto embrace mobile technologies. So many apps – so little time, as they say.