Home > Local Search, Mobile > Mobile Local Search has finally arrived. Just in time for the holidays!

Mobile Local Search has finally arrived. Just in time for the holidays!

It appears that everything is finally coming together for mobile local search. When I started at V-Enable in 2004, we were still powering mobile search for downloadable content (ringtones, etc).  Between content and text messaging, that was about it for non-voice services.  How differently do you use and depend on your phone now?  We use to have our phones with us at all times, but kept them in your pocket for the most part or up to your ear.  Now, it spends most of its time in your hand.

At V-Enable, we began building mobile local applications for carriers in 2006, despite challenges in device user interfaces, poor marketing of data services and applications, and expensive data plans.   Now that many of these issues have been addressed, along with the impact of the iPhone (true definition of a game changer), mobile local is finally getting its due respect.  Check out this great comparison below from Kelsey’s mobile user surveys since 2007.   With Google’s recent push into powering a free GPS Navigation service on its Android Platform (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/technology/companies/29gps.html), adoption in this category will continue to grow significantly.  At $10/per month, GPS was a little hard to swallow for most consumers since they may only use it on a limited basis, but with a free service, this may become your dominant local search application.   However, to compete with other local search providers, many GPS providers will need to update the user interface, search results, and relevance of local ads.  Many GPS search interfaces are great at searching what’s around me, but difficult to quickly search in other areas/cities.  Furthermore, most will still need to integrate an ad based model if they want to compete/offer a free solution.   Look for many of them to roll out tiered services in the next year or two with perhaps limited functionality on a free service.

Categories: Local Search, Mobile
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