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Saturday, 17 May 2008

Idea generation #28 (Part II): Mobile opportunities

Continuing from the previous post on mobile opportunities.

The Churchill Club's annual Top 10 Trend dinner also highlight a number of mobile opportunities. In particular, I thought the following are all relevant trends:

  1. From Vinod Knosla: The mobile phone will be a mainstream personal computer. With built in projector. Authentication. Credit. Khosla says he keeps pictures of his passport electronically on his phone. He says people will be less likely to carry their laptops. Come near a computer, and physical hard drive will be yours, including half-sent email message you left at home. Lose the phone, and all the information is on the network. Imagine what you want to do, and it should be available anytime. Projectors in cell phones in next two years. More than one camera per cell phone; high priority for Texas Instruments. Critical ingredient is high speed networks, which we will have in next 2-3 years. cards on SIM cards. ID cards, passports, drivers licenses. Any information you need.
  2. From Roger McNamee: Betting on smart phones: The mobile device migration to smart phones from features phones will produce even greater disruption than PC industry moving from character mode to graphical interface. Used to be just Palm and Research in Motion. (Note that McNamee’s firm is a large investor in Palm.) What you are really doing, is put in real software environments, with applications layer that separates network from physical device. Phones far more pervasive than PCs. Will take out Motorola. One of LG, Samsung or Sony Ericsson as well. Will be intensely disruptive. And it will hurt Microsoft. You can not make a great consumer product with unbundled operating system. It will be incredibly disrupted. In five years, half of what we think of as phones will do something far more profound than what we think of a phone as doing. Design centers will fragment. An Amazon Kindle is a smartphone, with 3G network behind it. A life changer for people who use it. Will turn billion unit a year industry on its head. Assume Nokia, Apple, RIMM will do really well. (And Palm will do great, he says.)
  3. McNamee: Within 5 years, everything that matters to you will be available to you on a device that fits on your belt or in your purse. Massive shift in Internet traffic from PCs to smaller devices. You should all get a Kindle, and study this thing, Roger says. Apple has it in the long run, wrong. Won’t be about watching created content, it will be about creating content. Within 10 years, more Internet traffic from your person than all other locations put together. Maybe actually more transaction, as opposed to bits, he corrects, given HD video traffic over the Internet at home. Khosla thinks the trend is already here. He does agree that the device will be transformative. McNamee says he is astonished how surprised people were by the iPhone and the Kindle. “Imagine all the other stuff you aren’t thinking about,” he says.
  4. Schoendorf: 80% of the world population will carry mobile Internet devices within 5-10 years. Dial-tone is going to be gone. By next year, people will put micro cells in your house. China Mobile has 500 million billable lines. Within 5-10 years will hit 5 billion global wireless phones. Jurvetson thinks 80% is simply too high; he noes that a quarter of the world’s population has no electricity. They will concentrate in the richest nations, Jurvetson says.