Is the future mobile? It certainly seems so. Nowadays, we can do anything from our smartphone; there’s an app for virtually everything, from checking the weather forecast and booking our trips to keeping track of our spending habits and obtaining customized budget plans. We demand that information and services to be available on our smartphones at the speed of light, and of course,
we want it in our own language.
According to Strategy
Analytics, a global research and consulting firm, there are over 1 billion smartphones in use today (1 in 7 people worldwide own a smartphone). It took 16 years to reach this number, but the company predicts that in just 3 years (by 2015), another billion smartphones will be in use across the globe. Compared to our current world population of 7 billion, 1 billion may seem very little and indeed the vast majority of people do not own a smartphone; however, Strategy Analytics sees massive potential for smartphone use and future growth in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa.
Globalization and localization go hand in hand; and just like with a website or product, taking a mobile app global means more than just translating the content from one language into another;
it should also be adapted to the criteria of the target market. Cultural variations, idiomatic expressions, images and even the color and layout of mobile pages are all important factors for the success of an app in a given market.