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Life in Mobile by Seth Kaplan

RISMEDIA, February 10, 2011—I recently attended a phenomenal real estate conference at which the following question was posed to the mobile panelists: “What do you see happening over the next three years in mobile?” The witty panelist replied, “The next three years? We are waiting to see what happens in the next 3-5 minutes!” At the time, I enjoyed the remark, but it wasn’t until afterward that it truly was put in perspective.

As I used my iPad to search the Internet, I came across a number of articles regarding this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The first big announcement of the week (at press time) was that Verizon will begin offering Apple’s iPhone this month and that changes were made to the antenna in order to avoid the problems that plagued AT&T customers. As I mentioned, I recently started using the iPad and since I am already a Verizon customer, I had thoughts that a transition away from the BlackBerry and to the iPhone might be a good complement to that. That was until I read some more news about CES.

What I went on to read proved that mobile is evolving so quickly that while you might think you have your mix of gadgets figured out, in as little as 3-5 minutes, you could be forced to rethink it for the opportunities offered by the newer and cooler.

When it comes to “phones,” to completely generalize the category—since really the devices are pocket PCs—Motorola impressed everyone with its Atrix. This Android-powered, 4G device will run on AT&T and have a one gigahertz dual-core processor.

What does that mean? It means that it is so powerful it will have its own laptop dock, which—when plugged in—converts the phone to a functioning net book computer with keyboard. Other docks allow you to use it to power a computer monitor and plug in your own keyboard to the device. From the sound of it, it’s literally a “Pocket PC.”

Motorola was again the big winner when it came to the vast array of tablet devices that were on display at CES. Its Xoom device was described as the “most iPad like,” which in this case was used to describe its physical appearance, but also drew comparisons in user experience as well. The overwhelmingly pleasing aesthetics of all Apple products leaves competitors struggling to fight both fronts, but looks like Motorola is doing a good job with its new tag team of devices. The Xoom runs the very tablet-friendly Android 3.0 OS, which looked pretty smooth in the video demo posted online.

The biggest surprise was RIM’s BlackBerry tablet device, which was well received. More advanced than anything the company has put out in years, according to reports, it gives all of us diehard BlackBerry users a glimmer of hope. What is no surprise and no secret is that the technology and tools available are improving so rapidly that we can use them to become more efficient. However, technology should work for you and not the other way around. It is important to choose the products and services that are right for you to become more efficient as a business person because you have invested in the right mix for you.

As you choose the gadgets that are right for you, remember that your clients and prospects are doing the same. Make sure you are positioned correctly to handle the shift in communication as well as marketing, which now needs to be geared toward users via their plethora of mobile devices.

Seth Kaplan is president of Mobile Real Estate ID. For more information, please visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.

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