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The Mobile Ecosystem


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Mobile Applications Development - Lecture 1

Brief History of Mobile

The Mobile Ecosystem

Mobile as the 7th mass medium

This presentation has been developed in the context of the Mobile Applications Development course at the Computer Science Department of the University of L'Aquila (Italy).

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The Mobile Ecosystem

  1. The Mobile Ecosystem Ivano Malavolta
  2. Roadmap• Brief History of Mobile• The Mobile Ecosystem• Mobile as the 7th mass media
  3. Brief history of Mobile• Many generation of mobiles• G is often referred to the networking aspect – es. 2G, 3G, 4G We will not not. We will focus on the DEVICE
  4. Brief history of Mobile• Motivation: At some point a device comes and changes everything
  5. The beginning…
  6. The Brick Era* Picture lovely taken from
  7. The Brick Eracalls• It was Portable!• More expensive than payphones• Enormous battery• Stakeholders: – Stockbrokers, salespeople, …• After a while, more cellular radio towers and… it got (a little bit) smaller
  8. The Candy bar Era* Picture lovely taken from
  9. The Candy Bar Eracalls SMS• 2G network : GSM, CDMA, TDMA, iDEN• More cellular towers less power needed much smaller• Better voice quality• Added SMS• Everyone wanted to have a mobile phone – economic prosperity in EU, USA, and JP
  10. The Feature Phone Era* Picture lovely taken from
  11. The Feature Phone Eracalls SMS & MMS music & photos• 2.5G network: GPRS• Camera• MMS• Data-capable devices• Interneton mobile (very poor) – high prices – poor marketing – inconsistent rendering
  12. The Smartphone Era* Picture lovely taken from
  13. The Smartphone Eracalls SMS & MMS music & photos• 3G, HSDPA, WI-FI• Like a feature phone, but simulating a PC• Its own OS (es. Symbian)• Larger screens, stylus• The Mobile Platform becomes key• (push) email as primary driver
  14. The Touch Era* Picture lovely taken from
  15. The Touch Eracalls SMS & MMS music & photos APPS• 3G, 4G NOT a phone -• Accelerometers NOT a computer• GPS/Location-based• User-centered design – true impact on his eveyday life• Rich interfaces• A personal media platform• Mobile web - everyday
  16. Roadmap• Brief History of Mobile• The Mobile Ecosystem• Mobile as the 7th mass media
  17. The Mobile Ecosystem
  18. The Mobile Ecosystem HSPDA 4G GPRS Edge WIFI
  19. The Mobile Ecosystem Services Applications Application frameworks Operating systems Platforms Devices Networks Operators
  20. The Mobile Ecosystem• Operators make the entire mobile ecosystem work• ROLE to create and maintain wireless services over ROLE: a reliable cellular network • Voice They install • Messages cellular towers • Internet access Operators
  21. The Mobile Ecosystem Operatorsdata source:
  22. The Mobile Ecosystem Mobile networks communicate through electromagnetic radio waves with a cell site base station, the antennas of which are usually mounted on a tower, pole or building. Networksimage from: Operators
  23. The Mobile Ecosystem Networks Operatorsdata source:
  24. The Mobile EcosystemThe PHONE – handsets or terminals in industry• But also other devices such as tablets, ebook readers… Devices Networks Operators
  25. The Mobile Ecosystem Feature Phone VS Smartphone (and touch phones) Devices Networksimage source: Operatorsfeature-phone-world-global-smartphone-penetration-at-27/
  26. The Mobile EcosystemPlatforms provide access to the devicesThey provide a core programming language in which ALL the software is writtenThree main categories:• Open Source free to use and modify Source: – Android Platforms• Proprietary by device makers Proprietary: Devices – iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Networks• Licensed sold to device makers Licensed: Operators – JavaME, BREW, Windows Mobile
  27. The Mobile EcosystemOS have core services or toolkits that enable apps to talk to each other and share data or servicesFor example:OSs are common in Smart Phones, Operating Systemsbut rare in Feature phones. Platforms Devices Networks Operators
  28. The Mobile Ecosystem Smartphones by Operative Systems Operating Systems Platforms Devices Networks Operators
  29. The Mobile EcosystemThey run on top of the OS, sharing core services such as:• Communications• Messaging• Graphics• Location Application Frameworks• Security Operating Systems• Authentication Platforms Devices• … Networks Operators
  30. The Mobile Ecosystem Application Frameworks Operating Systems Platforms Devices Networks Operatorsdata source:
  31. The Mobile EcosystemDefinition: In the realm of technology, this usually refers to a computer program that runs on a website (Google Apps), a small computing device (iPad App) or a cell phone (Android App). Applications Application FrameworksExample applications may Operating Systemsinclude Games, Web Browser, PlatformsCamera or Media Player. Devices Networks Operators
  32. The Mobile Ecosystem Apps live between the device and the user APP Applications Application Frameworks Operating SystemsThey must fit with their usage context Platforms DevicesThey must know the specific device Networksattributes and capabilities Operators FRAGMENTATION PROBLEM
  33. The Fragmentation problemIt is the inability to develop an app against a reference operating context (OC) and achieve the intended behavior in all OCs suitable for the application.OC = the external environment influencing its operation Applications Application Frameworks Operating Systems Platforms Devices Networks Operators
  34. The Fragmentation problemfor further info:
  35. The Mobile Ecosystem Services are “everything the user is trying to do”They are often available at different levels:• Application Services• Application Framework Applications• OS Application Frameworks Operating SystemsExample services may include: Platforms• the Internet Devices• sending a text message Networks• being able to get a location Operators
  36. The Mobile EcosystemAll of these layers must be passed through before you get to the content Services Nowadays, the mobile Applications ecosystem is: Application Frameworks Operating Systems complicated, fragmented, Platforms and a political nightmare Devices Networks Operators RUN AWAY!!! however…
  37. Roadmap• Brief History of Mobile• The Mobile Ecosystem• Mobile as the 7th mass media
  38. Mobile Market Mass Media??? How big is the Mobile Market???data source:
  39. Mobile Market in 2009data source:
  40. Mobile Market in 2009data source:
  41. Mobile Market in 2009data source:
  42. Mobile Market in 2011…
  43. Mobile MarketMobile is the LARGEST, most available mass medium TO MANKIND
  44. Mobile as the 7th mass mediaEach mass media has advantages and disadvantages, each playing a significant role in societyIf we understand how we relate to each mass media we will understand what our customers expect from our mobile apps
  45. Mobile as the 7th mass media 1 Printing PressReduced time to publishEnables information to be easily copied and distributed
  46. Mobile as the 7th mass media 2 Recordings aka recorded soundMusicStarted as information sharing (news)
  47. Mobile as the 7th mass media 3 CinemaVisual ExperienceSimilarly to recordings,it started as information sharing (news)Intense personal experience
  48. Mobile as the 7th mass media 4 Radio= recordings + live broadcastIntense personal experience
  49. Mobile as the 7th mass media 5 Television= radio + videoPrices dropped down a TV for each home more intimate and visceral medium
  50. Mobile as the 7th mass media 6 InternetComputers @home, not @workWeb 2.0 = interact with other usersPurchase, download and stream recordingsListen to radio and TV streams
  51. Mobile as the 7th mass media 7 MobileIt started at the same time as the WebUnique trait: it can do everything all the other media can do trait• Reading (and publishing)• Play recordings• Watch movies• Listen to radio• Watch TV (and streaming)• Surf the Internet
  52. Unique benefits of MobileApart from covering all the other media, mobile has 5 unique benefits: First truly personal mass media We don’t share our phones with our friends Information is always available 24/7, First always-on mass media even when idle 7 out of 10 people sleep with their First always-carried mass media phones within reach Only mass media with a built-in Universal click-to-buy + credit cards payment channel At the point of creative impulse Ability to create or consume content whenever the mood strikes
  53. ContextCONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXTCONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT Mobile apps have the amazing capability to add CONTEXTCONTEXTadding immediate relevance to whatto information, CONTEXT CONTEXT we are doing right here, right nowCONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXTCONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT
  54. References 1-2-3
  55. Tips for the projectThere is no “perfect app”, you have to find the sweet spot costs, revenue, development or market share, and configuration, time to market maintainability, and reliability your APP User Goals usability
  56. Tips for the project1. Find a REAL NEED first2. Find your GOAL to fill the need3. Reverse Engineer the goal into a potential app4. Remember the unique benefits of Mobile (slide 53)5. CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT – Location, camera, always-carried, accelerometer – WHO is your typical user???? Define usage scenarios
  57. Tips for the project app:This is my checkbox when I review an app: Does it have a clear goal? Is it filling a real need? Does it consider the context in which I’m using it? Is it integrated with other services? Look at and discover a new world out there!! ☺ Is it a pleasure to use it? I look at UI design, interface slickness, ecc.
  58. Hello WorldLatest Movies App