The last thing that consumers will want to see next year is a small display on either their smartphone or tablet. Devices such as the Dell Streak, which boasts a 5-inch display, wont cut it in the tablet market. Products such as the BlackBerry Tour and its sub-3-inch display wont work in the smartphone space. Screen size matters. In 2011, consumers are going to look for larger displays, around four inches on smartphones and 7 to 10 inches on tablets. They wont like anything smaller.
3Lack of Multitasking
The past year was an important one for iPhone owners, thanks to Apples decision to finally bring multitasking to its platform. Multitasking was also made available on Apples iPad. However, full multitasking isnt available on Windows Phone 7 devices. In 2011, every device must have the ability to multitask or consumers and enterprise customers will take their cash elsewhere.
4Poor App Support
Applications are extremely important in the mobile market. In the iPhone App Store and Android Market, consumers will find an ample supply of programs. But the same cant be said in the BlackBerry App World and Microsofts mobile app store. Even the number of apps available to the iPad leaves much to be desired. Next year, consumer will expect see a slew of effective apps on all platforms.
5Poor Printer Support
Right now, trying to find easy ways to print documents from a smartphone and tablet can be difficult, to say the least. Mobile devices simply dont have enough support to appeal to customers. That needs to be addressed by next year. Tablets and smartphones are quickly becoming mobile-computing companions for people around the globe. If they lack the ability to connect to just about any relatively new printer, they wont be as valuable to customers as they could be.
There are some devices on the market, most notably the Motorola Droid X and the Samsung Galaxy Tab on the tablet side, that fail to appeal to enterprise customers. They focus solely on the consumer market to the detriment of their sales on the corporate side. For now, that might not matter to vendors. But in 2011, every company will be forced to bridge that gap whether they want to or not as the enterprise becomes more willing than ever to break away from RIMs BlackBerry.
As damaging as a consumer-only focus can be, its important to note that companies that cater only to corporate customers could be in for trouble in 2011, as well. RIM is arguably the most obvious company engaging in that strategy. Although the companys BlackBerry Storm is more consumer-focused than the rest of its products, it still has a corporate feel to it. Thats a problem. Focusing only on the enterprise will turn consumers away and negatively impact market share.
The mobile market is an interesting space when it comes to security. On one hand, consumers and enterprise customers are potentially less at risk for having a security issue on mobile platforms than they are on a Windows desktop installation. But on the other hand, its important to note that malicious hackers havent turned much of their attention toward the mobile market just yet. In 2011, they will. And vendors will need to spend more of their time focusing on security.
Anyone who picks up a BlackBerry OS-based device or even a Windows Phone 7 product quickly realizes that the browsing experience leaves much to be desired. Thats a problem. Smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming the go-to devices for customers that want to search the Web away from home or the office. In the new year, consumers arent going to tolerate a sub-par browsing experience.
10Lack of 3G (at Least)
Although most smartphones feature access to 3G networks nowadays, Apple is still selling versions of its iPad that are WiFi-only. The HP Slate 500 also lacks 3G. RIM will not ship its BlackBerry PlayBook in 2011 with 3G connectivity built-in. Thats a problem. Consumers expect to have the ability to surf the Web while theyre away from a WiFi connection. No having 3G connectivity built into every single device a vendor makes would be an absolute mistake in 2011.
11Obsolete Operating System Designs
The last thing consumers and enterprise customers want to see next year is an obsolete operating system design. Thats precisely why Microsoft finally brought Windows Phone 7 to the market to replace Windows Mobile. However, RIM wasnt so forward-thinking. With the companys BlackBerry OS 6 release in 2010, it provided incremental updates to BlackBerry OS 5. It was a disappointment for consumers and even some enterprise customers that were hoping for something more iOS-like. As popular as RIMs phones might be, it cant expect its operating system to carry it through 2011.