Mobile Portals are becoming very popular, especially in Asia. Within Asia, India is interesting, for being a high growth market for Mobile and for Value Added Services (on top of basic Voice in Mobile) like Mobile Portal services and at the same time being very price conscious.
In India, in Mobile Portal services you have rich content being offered by MSN-Hutch GPRS Phones followed by Reliance phones. The list of service providers are going to grow in the next 6 to 12 months and the consumer is going to decide the winner(s) based on ease of use, reliability, speed and above all relevance to their daily lifes.
Currently these portals in many parts of the world are offering basic news, enterainment and downloads like RingTones, Screensavers, etc. Over time these portals will start to offer relevant content (relevant to the user based on current location and time) like travel information while I am away from home, eateries details while I am in a food court, emergency medical information, be a repository of all my personal information and more.
Let me explain the shopping experience I am looking for in the long term. Today when I go to a mall and say I see a TV that I like. I would do little bit of comparison online on other options before I buy it. I don’t want to do standard Internet Search and go looking for TVs for hours. Based on my location that is inside the mall, inside an electronic store near a TV, I would like to see comparable options closer to that. May be even Manufactures information about the TV, about its features, technical details, etc.
In the near term too, I see big scope for mobile shopping. In fact, I see that mobiles have great potential to make online shopping available to vast number of people in India, who otherwise cannot afford (or have) access to a PC and Internet. This can include simple shopping options like food while working late, do some gift purchases for friends in last minute, greeting cards for occassions, discount purchases, books, etc.