So enough with the Apple-Samsung litigation speculation of the past two days. What does accelerating smartphone use mean for lawyers?
One thing about writing a legal weblog for over 7 years: if you throw enough words up on the Internet, some will either stick, or look modestly prescient later. (As to the other 95%, well, just move along…)
Back at the end of 2010, I had an extra bonus item for my obligatory “Top 10 for 2011” list. Here it is to save you a link-check:
11. Mobile Legal is On the Go. It’s coming to the corporate market and even faster to the consumer legal market. While many lawyers are still tied to a desk, many clients get outside in the fresh air and will increasingly have a smartphone in a purse or on the hip. Without totally geeking out, if the Apple iPhone comes to Verizon in 2011, the smartphone trend will really accelerate. If you are still using a BlackBerry, you likely haven’t seen what mobile search is like or what a newer Android phone linked to a 4G network will mean. Law firms will quickly see that their websites are totally inadequate for these computers on-the-go. Entrepreneurs will develop apps that strive to make legal practice more location-independent and cost-effective. Good if we get away from the office; bad if we have to work everywhere. Just a lawyer’s luck to be able to work all the time for clients who want to pay for results, not hours.
Rather than simply posting this, I wish I had gone long on Apple and shorted Blackberry maker RIMM. Visually, if we must:
But back to late 2010, I missed the mobile video angle. Cisco has been tracking this trend for a while, and just yesterday a report surfaced that stated by next year half of all mobile phones will be smartphones (two years earlier than prior estimates).
BlackBerry is still mostly words and text. Apple’s iPhone (and those using Google’s Android OS) is all about pictures, video and things that move. We may use our smartphones for reading, but the fact that we can point at the familiar icon and watch a video in seconds is at the core of what is the real revolution in the palm of your hand.
I have been compiling a list of what this means, and I’ll start to throw it at the digital wall tomorrow.
The good news, it’s comprehensive. The bad news (for mobile users) it’s over two hours long. The other news (again, for some mobile users) it’s apparently in Flash, so it doesn’t always play back. (To be fair to video streaming sponsor ii3, this streaming feature helps ILTA members who can’t attend the live conference; perhaps there will be excerpts posted later).
Now here’s another approach, this time from Thomson Reuters. On this page, they have two YouTube videos embedded. Here’s one:
This video is 90 seconds long; the other one, 60 seconds. Both play on mobile phones. And because they are hosted on YouTube, they are easy to find. (I found them via Susan Hackett here, which is even better.)