The most interesting finding of IDC’s “Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2009-2013 Forecast” is that there will be 1.2 billion mobile workers roaming the earth by 2013. That is more than one-third of the world’s work force and is, of course, a startling finding.
The good news for proponents of unified communications is that IDC puts it at the center of this great growth. Says the release:
�the most significant gains will be in the emerging economies of Asia/Pacific, where a strong economic recovery and new interest in unified communications will drive healthy growth in all aspects of mobility spending.
It’s fair to assume that IDC thinks that UC will be a key part of that growth everywhere, not just Asia-Pac. The report makes a number of other claims. The specificity is overstated, as it is in most analysts’ reports. Guessing what the future brings in general is dangerous enough; assigning specific numbers and percentages is a bit silly.
But they are worthy of note for the general trend lines. IDC concludes that the United States now has and will continue to have the highest concentration of mobile workers. This is a bit of a surprise because the United States traditionally hasn’t been the cutting-edge nation in mobility.
The study also says that Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) has the most mobile workers and that Western Europe will pass the United States in total number by the end of the term of the study. Finally, Japan will have about the same percentage of mobile workers as the United States in 2013. This total – in the 75 percent range – is about as high as the concentration will ever get.
For IDC’s predictions to be realized, mobile device vendors and other players in the ecosystem must make moves to bring functionality of various sorts to smartphones. This is happening. Within the past week, for instance, Skype and Verizon Wireless announced an exclusive — and, to some, highly intriguing — arrangement. Another (and more subtle) example is D2 Technologies’ upgrade of its mCUE line to enhance IP capabilities offered to devices using the Android mobile operating system.