ow do you start a blog about “what’s going to big this year in mobile” when every year we’ve been working in the mobile space has been a BIG year for mobile and every year something comes right out of leftfield that you weren’t expecting. For now, and despite the impact they will have on the future of the sector, I don’t want to dwell on the Big mobile news of last year such as the launch of SIRI or Google buying Motorola or even the negative aspects of the year such as the passing of Steve Jobs and RIM doing its dumbest to self implode. The stuff that rocked my mobile boat last year were some of the things that may have slipped under the radar but will have massive impact on the sector in the some of the ways that we haven’t quite spotted yet.

For example, in 2011 we saw Visa introduced peer to peer payment functionality with very little fanfare (intentionally) and we saw the evolution from beta to V1.0 a number of incredibly useful device agnostic apps such as Ever note and Dropbox that integrate across all your desktop and portable devices. Both of these developments have incredibly positive repercussions for mobile because they make consumers become more and more wedded to their mobile handset and tablets. These developments are potentially more important for the sector and the industry as a whole than some of the bigger news stories over the last 12 months. Why? Because they are all about how people will use their phones and this is ultimately what will drive the success that is the mobile sector.

People’s phone usage is what will determine the speed of growth of mobile connectivity and usage. If Mobile is going to be as important as all the commentators are saying then its the responsibility of the tech companies, the content providers, the app builders and the brands and marketers using mobile to provide the services and functionality that will make consumers upgrade their phones, buy the latest tablets and readers and link it all up to the cloud.

Although the mobile Eco structure is evolving rapidly the first two stages of the standard digital growth path, infrastructure and software/Services, are in place. This then turns the rapid growth spotlight on to the next two phases; content/aggregation of content and retail/commerce and monetisation. These phases will be what will bring the majority of brands and marketing businesses to the mobile table. Those business that aren’t there soon will be in big trouble.

We saw an incredible jump in Mcommerce across Europe in late 2011 with retail business that hadn’t already got Mcommerce sites and Apps pushing to bring them to the consumer for the first time. And this was just in time for many of them because of the huge jump in demand. For instance on Cyber Monday in December 2011, 10.8% of people used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, up from 3.9% in 2010 (IBM Cyber Monday benchmark survey 2011). By 2015, it is predicted that mobile shopping will account for $163B sales worldwide, an incredible 12% of global ecommerce turnover (ABI Research, 2010).

With Sixty-five percent of mobile users saying they used their mobile device to find a business to make an in-store purchase (Source: Google, 2011. its clear that the retail sector have to have an offering in mobile and most of them are finally catching on.

So predictions for 2012 beyond the most commonly talked about? We’ll see a lot more integrated device agnostic functionality and smart TV Phone handset interaction. We’ll also see retailers sorting themselves out with better mobile Mcommerce and search sites. It’s not a secret that there will be the iPad3 and iPhone5 launches, but the integration of SIRI is the Application that will drive more mobalised interaction and IOS development.

In short we’ll see another BIG year for the sector. No real surprise there then… until we look back this time next year.