I hope you’re prepared, because mobile web browsing is predicted to overtake desktop web browsing by 2015. In just a few years, your target market could be solely using their phone to research and even buy your product. Can you afford to miss this boat?

A recent report issued by Morgan Stanley outlines some scary predictions for internet usage over the next 10 years. Thanks to convenience and improving data coverage, the smartphone market has exploded, and based on current growth rates more people will be accessing the internet via their mobile handsets than their computers.

Another fact from the report: the average iPhone user spends only 45% of his/her on-device time making voice calls. The rest of the time? Accessing the internet, emails, apps and more.

The majority of modern phone handsets can now access the internet, and most mobile carriers are introducing data packages into their plans (take Telstra, for instance, who have recently revised their popular $49 cap plan to include 1GB of data).

Smartphone handsets (basically defined as a mobile phone handset which can mimic the basic functions of a PC and usually includes a full keyboard) however, are the big movers in the mobile market. In 2010 they comprised 19 percent of total worldwide mobile communications device sales, and are growing fast. Some predict that global smartphone sales will achieve an annual growth rate of 22% between now and 2015.

To give you a real-time example of the growth of mobile phone usage, we are seeing between 5-10% of our enewsletter database accessing our emails via an iPhone. 12 months ago this figure was approximately 2-3%. (If you are a Mailbox client and you’d like to know how to see how this is trending for your database, contact me).

Do you know what your email campaigns or your website looks like on a smartphone handset? Did you know you can create a mobile version of your site? All of this is possible, and accessible.

And then there’s apps – a whole new sphere of mobile marketing.

To give you some background, there are several operating systems which smartphone’s link with, depending on their manufacturer. For example, Apple is with iOS (aka iTunes), Nokia is with Symbian and Blackberry is with RIM. And then there’s AndroidGoogle’s answer to the operating system war. Android is a completely open source and any manufacturer can link their product with the system. Big players like Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson are manufacturing handsets which link with Android.

Currently, Symbian has 37.6% market share (worldwide), Android has 22.7%, RIM has 16.0% and Apple’s iOS has 15.7%.

So, there is the ability to develop apps for any of these Operating Systems (OS’s). However, currently, it seems developers cannot develop a ‘one size fits all’ app – they need to adapt apps to the various systems if they want to achieve ‘across the board’ access.

The app market again, is a growing phenomenon. The 2010 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index indicated that 41% of smartphone owners had downloaded and installed an app, and 43% had downloaded and installed between 2 and 5 apps in the last 6 months. More than 25 billion mobile apps are estimated to be sold in 2011.

You’ll be pleased to know that we have just been given approval by Apple as an iOS developer, so we can now create custom apps for business under our new product called appbox.

We’re also exploring many other areas of web and mobile website development.

There is so much more happening in the world of mobile – mobile phone credit card processing technology, the rise of location based services (i.e. foursquare), integration with social media – the list goes on.

Every business, big, small or in between cannot ignore the signs. Now is the time to arm your business for the mobile internet era. How? Talk to us today.