Recently I was speaking with a person who is managing a fairly sizable team of developers that is creating a mobile application. They anticipate seeing the application launched within the USA in around six months or so. The person explained to me that their biggest challenge to-date is coding for and testing various Java ME versions of their client app which must run on hundreds of different handsets, all with different form factors, and on a variety of different operator networks. When I asked why they were spending so much energy on their Java ME client the response was that their customer required the client to run on 80% of the handsets in use by consumers today.
If I were in their position, I’d spend more time and energy convincing my customer of the reality that is upon us and leave the Java ME slogging to my competitors. The mobile application landscape has and will continue to change rapidly in the months ahead, thanks to strong growth and innovation in the smartphone category. A recently published Gartner study reports that in 2Q09 the overall handset market declined 6.1% while the smartphone category increased by 27%. If you are currently developing a mobile application or soon will be, here are 7 future proof assumptions that I think you can safely make.