The number of subscribers to mobile cloud computing applications will explode to nearly 1 billion by 2014, according to a study from ABI Research, a market analysis firm.
In 2008, only 42.8 million mobile device users subscribed to cloud computing services that move computing power and data storage away from mobile phones to on-demand or "cloud-based" services. But ABI expects that number to rapidly climb to just over 998 million mobile phone users in 2014.
Through next year, the majority (about 60 percent) of mobile cloud-computing applications will be location-based services such as navigation and map applications, according to the report. But beyond that, the mix of mobile cloud computing applications will expand to include collaborative document sharing, scheduling and sales force management applications.
An example of the kind of mobile cloud computing application consumers will increasingly use is available today from lock manufacturer Schlage, which offers the "Link" service, a keyless lock system that homeowners use through their mobile phones to control door locks, as well as a home's heating and cooling systems, security cameras and even lights.
ABI Research expects the major "Platform-as-a-Service" vendors, including Google, Amazon Web Services and Salesforce.com, will begin "aggressively" marketing their mobile capabilities in 2010.
"By 2014, mobile cloud computing will become the leading mobile application development and deployment strategy, displacing today's native and downloadable mobile applications," said ABI senior analyst Mark Beccue in a statement about the report.