Mobile Phones are now the most ubiquitous personal electronic device on the planet! (i.e. The cellphone is the ONLY universal gadget on the planet)...but the day-to-day challenges we have make them a pain...and therein lies the opportunity. Here are some stats to set the context and then the outline of this "killer app" I know we all would want - I think ;)
According to the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA);
* There are now 1.9 billion+ mobile phones in use worldwide, more than the number of TVs and PCs combined.
* By the end of 2008, more than 600 million mobile phone users worldwide will have mobile internet access.
* It's taken almost twenty years to hit one billion mobile phones, and only three years to hit the next billion.
* Almost one third of the Earth’s population now have a mobile social computer in their hands.
* There are more mobile phones than credit cards.
* There are more mobile phones than automobiles.
* There are more mobile phones than TV sets.
* There are and more mobile phones than fixed/wireline phones.
* There are three times as many cellphones than all PCs and PDAs combined.
* There are eight times as many cellphones than laptop PCs.
* Thee are 25 times as many cellphones than non-phone “standalone” PDAs.
* There are twice as many people have a cellphone than have access to the internet (and every cellphone user can be reached via SMS text messaging).
According to data released by the Mobile Data Association earlier this year the average age of the first-time cellphone customer in the UK (hardly a leader in cellphone adopting countries like Japan or Finland) is EIGHT years of age. That is a whole decade before they even become eligible for a credit card (and soon every cellphone will be able to handle payments from bus tickets and coke vending machines to airline tickets etc - nevermind all the online purchase potential)
Besides voice and text capabilities, functionality of phones continually leapfrog and we are now able to record personal videos, capture high res pics, currently do lightweight document/spreadsheet/presentation, store large amounts mms and corporate email data...etc.
Several analysts and industry experts I have heard speaking predict that in just Sub-Saharan Africa more than 50 million of these mobile devices, between today and 2012, will be utilized as the primary method of authorization, payment and identification.
Considering all the staggering data and trending analysis above herewith an application that will be the most succesful provided it achieves mass ubiquity:
My personal challenge : I am now the proud owner of 2 Blackberries and 3 Motorolla KRZR's. Why? 'Cause I just can't get all my address books, overall contact lists, pics, videos, tasks, notes, emails, sms/mms's, etc. into a single synchronised repository that heals back onto any new phone I get. I really believe this simple need is universal and what we need is a mobile client side app that does the following:
Overall product function and purpose; Build a planet wide accessible wireless data store (an ID and personality vault) for the initial upload and continual synchronization of all your personal mobile data. This universally accessible secure, self managed and maintained vault will be accessed by a client that is oem'd by all manufacturers/carriers and/or can be installed any mobile device irrespective of mobile operating system or manufacturer;
1. The client will autodetect all cellphone makes and OS versions and install with only a EULA being agreed to
2. Dynamically and in the background synchronises all change deltas to a secure personal mobile-data-and-config repository/vault that lives in the "cloud"
3. Will allow you to configure your privacy settings, enable parental control and access rights for all data within the vault
4. Will enable graded and granular sharing between vault repositories
5. Data within the vault will be stored in a format that can be reconfigured and repurposed on any number of other devices - allowing for;
5.1 data to be "healed" to any new mobile device(s)
5.2 auto synchronization between multiple devices a user may own
5.3 auto synchronization to/from 3rd party recipient mobile phones that the administrator/owner user may have given access rights to and/or subsribed to
6. The repository will be accessible via PC or any other device rendering a supported browser UI
Billing model for this service? - heck, just give me 10c a user...please? I'll share 5c with every manufacturer and carrier out there!
P.S. I should do a patent submission for this but you all know what my personal stance on patents are - someone just build this already!