January 5, 2010 is the day Google launched its first consumer physical device, the Nexus One – a phone. In geekdom it is quite the popular topic, trending on twitter as well as the chiming of every major tech site to post review. Here are some of the posts. TechCrunch, GigaOM, Mashable, Engadget, Gizmodo, gdgt and BGR thoughts which review the physical phone itself, the software (Android 2.1), how it compares with the iPhone and how the launch of the Nexus One wasn’t the paradigm shifting event for mobile phone salvation we expected. I promise you they all cover each of those matter far better then I can, especially since I haven’t had a loaner phone for weeks preceding the launch – nor do I have one now. Instead let’s talk about how this will affect your organization. If you’re thinking, “my organization isn’t techie at all,” then this is for you.
Increased Validity of Android – for all intents and purposes Google’s launch of the Nexus One with T-Mobile (and upcoming Verizon) will place its open source operating system Android in the hands of non-Geeks. This is a big deal as there are far more people that will like Android because they can get free turn by turn directions on the Maps then the people who will like the Nexus One because it runs the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that facilitates maps happening in glorious bliss behind the scenes. This will also spearhead the wave of Android phones that are coming from Motorola, HTC, LG and others in 2020.
Spread of Smartphones – because there will be more of these bad boys in the hands of non-early adopters as they upgrade with their current carriers which will spark a couple key things. First, your website will need to become mobile friendly pronto – it will no longer be seen as an option to have a mobile optimized site. Second, the Android app market will see a signifiant increase from the 10,000 it has today as consumer programs will come out of the woodwork like they did for iPhone and organizations like yours will begin to build and launch apps for your consumers.
Rise of the Engaged consumer – we will continue to see the rise of the always on customer. What this means for you is that their questions, comments and concerns will come to you faster and from new locations then you’ve seen before. Perhaps more importantly their expectation of your prescese and response will reward those who are ready with open arms to customers who want to talk. This will also open up new channels of communication and opportunity to connect with your customers, which will be scary but will make you a better organization.
For many, a phone with Android will be the very first time they’ve used open source software as part of their daily life and with Google’s support I think we’ll see it continue to grow in market share on new devices which will drive app invovation. By far the biggest effect you’ll see is that your customers will have smartphones and while they all won’t know how to use them, they’ll do a few things well and that will disrupt your current business practices.
A few concrete examples, if you’re a
- national retailer – make it easy to order online via mobile
- brand with lots of locations – make it easy to find and contact them
- local church – show sermon notes or bible passages during services
- non-profit – use your mobile site to showcase your work and align volunteers with places to serve near them
These are just a few ideas. You’re bound to have a few that are key for your organization, find one or two and get the strategy mapped out.
The launch of Nexus One is the ushering of mobile data into the hands of the masses and that will rock your world in 2010. Launch with it.