We Are In A Mobile Bubble

iPhone with a dead-man lock screenThe last two years have seen an unprecedented surge in mobile devices, spawning operating systems that work in the cloud, and hundreds of thousands of apps that follow wherever we go, anywhere and anytime. We, the users, have been the beneficiaries of this trend, which has greatly redefined culture as we know it. Even Apple did not buy a single TV advertising spot during this month’s Super Bowl, relying on free TV advertising generated by iPhone-carrying Giants and Patriots players recording their own football game.

People with disabilities have greatly benefited in the form of better access to products, services and content that were otherwise impossible or expensive to use.

Unfortunately, like the dot-com and housing bubbles before it, this free ride will not last. As CNN Money reports today, wireless capacity is dwindling while demand is still surging. At some point, something will give, and it will be higher costs as service quality erodes.

Many small and mid-sized companies that have staked their survival on the mobile platform – including those that developed apps specifically for people with disabilities – will cease to exist, as the inevitable industry consolidation begins, with wide implications for the users themselves.

Hold on to your horses.

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