3. Mobiles are becoming the next platform.
Mobile phones are not only more visible but they are also becoming more powerful. The positive feedback cycle between the mobile devices capabilities and network speeds is akin to the hardware-software combo which powered the personal computer revolution. Mobiles phones are now becoming replacements for watches, cameras, photo albums, MP3 players and even credit cards. In emerging markets, they are becoming the lifeline for millions bringing forth not just connectivity to those whove been deprived of it for long but also the potential for increasing incomes and opportunities. The next big thing will be around mobiles and data. The promise of 2000 when i-mode became the envy of the world is all set to be realised.
John Battelle: I repeat my mobile prediction from last year, in the hope that it will come true this year: Mobile will finally be plugged into the web in a way that makes sense for the average user and a major mobile innovation – the kind that makes us all say – Jeez that was obvious – will occur. At the core of this innovation will be the concept of search. The outlines of such an innovation: it’ll be a way for mobile users to gather the unstructured data they leverage every day while talking on the phone and make it useful to their personal web (including email and RSS, in particular). And it will be a business that looks and feels like a Web 2.0 business – leveraging iterative web development practices, open APIs, and innovation in assembly – that makes the leap.
Fred Wilson: Mobile is a platform that the current web giants don’t control. The carriers control it today, but are going to lose that control slowly and surely over the next several years. This is a place where someone new can come in and shake things up.
James Kendrick: With several new smartphones due to appear early next year with new features and cool appearances we should see this segment start to take off. The upcoming Treo 700w running Windows Mobile will see brisk sales exposing the technology to consumers who have never seen them before. This will escalate sales even further and other smartphones like the Motorola Q will be well met by computers. Carriers will continue to add download services offering all sorts of video and music that will make the smartphone fill a larger role in the consumer’s daily life. When you add easy photo sharing of photos taken with integrated cameras that offer good quality images into the mix I think you’ll see sales in numbers bigger than ever. Price concessions will need to be made by the carriers to bring the price point down low enough to generate mass market sales.
Mercury News: The list of new features that $150-and-under mobile phones have or will have in a matter of months sounds a bit like the Ginsu knives commercial of old: It slices! It dices! Phones these days can play music, show television clips, swipe credit cards, scan product labels, act as debit cards, locate a person on a map, wire money to bank accounts and send video voice mail. Heck, They can even show full-length movies — that’s if anyone will want to stare at their phone for that long.
Tomorrow: Digital Home
TECH TALK 2006 Tech Trends+T