Michael Parekh writes:
The carriers, especially in the US, will be increasingly pressured from five directions to open up their platforms:
1. Consumers, who will demand more access, at affordable, generally flat pricing to the web via their mobile device.
2. The handset manufacturers, who need to increasingly behave like their PC brethren to keep their price points high in a Moore’s law driven commodity business, i.e., stuff in more functionality at the same or lower price. This means cram in hard drives, faster processors, more memory, better input systems, chipsets that support multiple wireless networks (traditional cell of all flavors, next gen wireless broadband, Wi-fi, Blue-tooth, Wimax, etc.), better screens, bigger/better batteries, GPS, etc.
3. Advertisers, who will increasingly demand similar breadth and depth of inventory they are getting on the PC-driven web. They are already spending 5% of their advertising budgets online, and liking it.
4. Online content and service providers, who also will drive the availability of their offerings onto every type of mobile device off the PC.
5. Internet telephony applications will increasingly be demanded to be run on mobile devices by consumers and providers like Skype, who will expect the same cost/quality of VOIP service on their mobile device as they get on their PCs/laptops.
All this means the wireless phone business, despite their many unique characteristics, will be flattened from vertical to horizontal, just like the wired phoned business has been over the last decade. In the meantime, US consumers especially will have to make do with smaller PC based mobile devices to run the kind of apps they need.