Despite all the media hype over smartphones, the reality is, most people don’t have one.

Tech author and 3G strategist Tomi Ahonen believes that the real killer apps are MMS and SMS. Read the full article on The Register.

And the numbers back him up. An iPhone app can only ever appeal to a maximum of 2% of the total number of mobile users. Smartphones in total only represent 17% of the mobile phone market.

"If you want to make money now, not some time in the future, stick to SMS and MMS," he said.

Conceding that apps would one day be huge, he said however that it would take at least ten years to get there.

Tomi is describing a classic case of what I am calling “Quiet Opportunities”. The media frenzy and advertising always make it seem like everyone’s got the latest craze. It is part of the consumerist culture we live in.

The reality is that the majority can take many years to catch up to a given bleeding edge. How many businesses are fully utilising all the features of their Microsoft Server software, and Office? How many are still using Excel as a database when an Access/Sharepoint combination is really what they need? How many businesses are kludging along with emails when they really need a real collaboration system?

And in the same way – is a smartphone app really right for you at this time?

MMS's no-frills sibling, SMS, has 4.2 billion active users of text messaging and 1 in seven people are consuming media content on a mobile phone. "In India today, one-third of all SMS sent is media, not person-to-person messages. This is your future."

He highlighted that with 5.2 billion total mobile phone subscriptions globally – versus 1.7 billion TV sets…

It seems that many developers and designers, like consumers, are caught up in the hype of the latest and greatest.

For those with the right attitude – that of genuinely helping the masses of businesses out there leverage technology appropriately and powerfully, the quiet opportunities to do meaningful and rewarding work remain abundant.