Basic human needs: food, shelter, love... and a smartphone. According to a 2009 prediction report by technology market analysts Gartner, mobile tech will defy the economic downturn to become a simple fact of life.
The report predicts that instant messaging (IM) will be the next big smartphone application and more companies will interact with customers directly via mobile devices.
As user interfaces improve, more than 50 percent of wireless subscribers in North America and Western Europe will be using mobile IM regularly by 2014.
Nor will it be the domain of text-speak teens; as "LOL"-ing, emoticon-using adolescents carry their IM habits and communities into later life, and corporate advertising goes mobile to attract younger demographics, mobile web-based IM will become an area that no phone-maker or service-operator can afford to ignore.
Meanwhile, by 2011, more than half of Fortune 500 companies are going to be interacting directly with customers via mobile devices, making the mobile phone a real necessity of daily life.