Mobiles for Rural India

International Herald Tribune writes:

Mobile phone usage is rising faster in India than anywhere else in the world, with some six million customers added every month. Large cities and many medium-sized towns are already blanketed with retail outlets, and competition among manufacturers and carriers is fierce.

Rural India has become the next frontier for the industry’s biggest players. About 70 percent of India’s 1.1 billion population, 770 million people, live in villages and rural areas.

Phone manufacturers have begun introducing new products that will be targeted at rural markets. On Thursday, Reliance, the Indian mobile phone service provider, said it would sell a Chinese-made phone that would retail for 777 rupees, or $19. Nokia also unveiled seven new models last week targeted at emerging markets to be priced at $45 to $120. In November, Motorola introduced the ultra-low-cost Motofone in India, costing about $40.

Spare Cycles

Chris Anderson writes:

pare cycles are the most powerful fuel on the planet. It’s what Web 2.0 is made up of. User generated content? Spare cycles. Open source? Spare cycles. MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Second Life? Spare cycles. They’re the Soylent Green of the web.

Web 2.0 is such a phenomena because we’re underused elsewhere. Bored at work, bored at home. We’ve got spare cycles and they’re finally finding an outlet. Tap that and you’ve tapped an energy source that rivals anything in human history. Solitaire Players of the World Unite!

Rising Competition

WSJ has an article by Dr. McAfee and Dr. Brynjolfsson:

If this brutal competitive cycle — first described as “creative destruction” by Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter in 1942 — makes you uncomfortable, we’ve got some bad news.

We’ve been studying competition in all U.S. industries, not just the high-tech ones, and we’ve observed a remarkable pattern: On average, the whole U.S. economy has become more “Schumpeterian” since the mid-1990s. What’s more, these changes have been greatest in the industries that buy the most software and computer hardware.

Over the past dozen years, in other words, information-technology consumption is associated with the kinds of competitive dynamics we’re accustomed to seeing in the IT-producing industries. And because every industry will become even more IT-intensive over the next decade, we expect competition to become even more Schumpeterian.