At present there are 20 million business users of wireless email worldwide, but this is set to explode and by 2010 there will be some 350 million business and consumer users of wireless email, claims industry analyst Gartner.
This will mean that 20pc of all email users in the world will be accessing services wirelessly and Gartner research vice-president Monica Basso predicts that by 2012 wireless email will have reached commodity status.
She predicts that traditional business email-centric devices are transforming into personal devices that span professional and personal life.
“Over the next three years wireless e-mail will become increasingly popular with both businesses and consumers,” said Basso.
She explained that growth in the consumer market will be fuelled by the increasing availability of wireless email support both in devices and from service providers as well as by improved usability.
Corporate use will also rise as enterprises come under increased pressure to provide real-time communications for their expanding mobile workforce.
“By 2012, wireless email products will be fully interoperable, commoditised and have standard features. They will be shipping in larger volumes at greatly reduced prices.”
A longer term trend that will accompany wireless email adoption is convergence. According to Basso, many users are frustrated with the volume of communications tools they have to deal with and these technologies will eventually converge into a single, technology-transparent and presence enabled messaging style.
“Convergence will happen on the client side, hiding technology complexity from users and allowing them to focus on messaging content.
By 2017, wireless email will be fully integrated with other messaging tools into personal, converged communications. Companies like Microsoft, IBM, Nokia and RIM are already taking some steps in this direction,” she said.
By John Kennedy