Mobile Technology Revolution

by / Thursday, 07 March 2013 / Published in Guest Internet

Today I was looking into the mobile technology revolution and its impact on hotels, there was endless amounts of statistics on the subject so I’ve compiled some of them to give you a clear picture of where it’s heading.

In the last couple of years mobile technology has grown an astounding amount, while researching the number of users that now own a smart phone I was surprised to see that 2012 saw a dip in sales compared to the previous year (the following table shows smart phone sales in the second quarter of 2012 compared to 2011). (Figures sourced from www.gartner.com)
Worldwide Mobile Device Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2Q12 (Thousands of Units)

Company

2Q12

2Q12

2Q11

2Q11

Units

Market Share (%)

Units

Market Share (%)

Samsung

90,432.1

21.6

69,827.6

16.3

Nokia

83,420.1

19.9

97,869.3

22.8

Apple

28,935.0

6.9

19,628.8

4.6

ZTE

17,936.4

4.3

13,070.2

3.0

LG Electronics

14,345.4

3.4

24,420.8

5.7

Huawei Device

10,894.2

2.6

9,026.1

2.1

TCL Communications

9,355.7

2.2

7,938.9

1.9

HTC

9,301.2

2.2

11,016.1

2.6

Motorola

9,163.2

2.2

10,221.4

2.4

Research In Motion

7,991.2

1.9

12,652.3

3.0

Others

137,233.4

32.8

152,989.70

35.7

Total

419,007.90

100.0

428,661.15

100.0

When I first read this I was actually quite surprised, I thought that 2012 would see more people buying the latest technology. However when I continued my research a figure that knocked me for six was this: ‘1.04 billion people now own a smart phone’ (sourced from CNet stats for 2012), when you consider the population of the planet is roughly 7 billion that’s certainly a large percentage!

I wanted to compare this to the latest device that people seem to now be using in everyday life, the tablet.

Sales are up year on year since 2011, where having a tablet device was a luxury, however now with the adoption of devices such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7 it’s an easily affordable item (compared to owning an iPad, which is slowly become more affordable to everyone). Looking to the future it would seem that sales will increase and more and more people will own a tablet device.

(Figures sourced from www.gartner.com)

Worldwide Sales of Media Tablets to End Users by OS (Thousands of Units)

OS

2011

2012

2013

2016

iOS

39,998

72,988

99,553

169,652

Android

17,292

37,878

61,684

137,657

Microsoft

0

4,863

14,547

43,648

QNX

807

2,643

6,036

17,836

Other Operating Systems

1,919

510

637

464

Total Market

60,017

118,883

182,457

369,258

Well by all accounts I think from these statistics it’s clear that tablets certainly won’t be disappearing any time soon and one thing they all have in common? They are all Wi-Fi enabled devices.

So moving back to my initial question “what does that mean for hoteliers?” Well in terms of items now wanting to connect to a Wi-Fi network you potentially have a laptop, a mobile and a tablet (per person) and the question it poses is, will your hotel be able to handle the demand for that amount of connections?

All those devices will be eating in to your bandwidth which in turn could crash your server, which could be a costly fix (and could give you quite a few unhappy guests).

Now would clearly be the time to start future proofing and perhaps upgrading your current solution making sure these problems aren’t met.

Next time I’ll be looking at the BYOD (bring your own device) which refers to employees bringing their own smartphones, laptops and tablets into the workplace for connecting to a corporate network and what implications that means for a business.

-Karl

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