There are clearly lots of changes in the “mobility ecosystem” these days. For example:
- Microsoft is buying Nokia’s phone and services business and has announced the next version of its Surface tablet which will include docking capabilities
- Apple announced not one but two new smartphones, with one “going gold” almost immediately (in colour only; sales in the first weekend were close to a diamond record sales level)
- Rumours are also circulating that there will be further Apple announcements in the iPad area in October (perhaps this will include a surprise game changer?)
- Recent statistics claim that in Q2 Android has the largest share with shipments at 79 per cent, with Apple at 19 per cent of shipments
- Blackberry has announced a radical corporate downsizing after announcing close to a $1 Billion write-down in inventory of its most recent products
- Sales of PCs and laptops are down significantly, as was indicated by HP’s recent earnings report – total units were down 8 per cent with Desktops units down 9 per cent and Notebooks units down 14 per cent
- New devices are beginning to emerge including watches and glasses, all of which presumably will eventually integrate into the overall mobility ecosystem
- There is more and more talk of “The Internet of Things” being the next generation of highly connected data sources, which would obviously include the “personal data gateway” aka the smartphone acting as a hub for body sensors, audio feeds, video and other sensory sources. There is even a consortium to promote this new direction for the Internet.
When it was finally announced and the rumours proved to be correct, the Apple 5S was met with some skepticism, even disappointment. Some reviewers felt it was not enough of a leap forward to re-kindle Apple’s reputation for being a “game changer.” It almost seems to be viewed as a failure…..although I suspect many companies would love to sell 9 million units of any product on the first weekend of sales. It reminded me of the way movies get ranked when they first come out in the theatres.
This hyperactive competition is generally viewed as being beneficial for the consumer, as it typically results in more options, and more functions and features for the same or less price.
But….where is all of this really leading us? Is there grand vision for the “SMAC” industry – the global convergence of Social networking, Mobility, big data Analytics and Cloud computing – that can allow co-opetition in the mobility ecosystem.
Here’s a few ideas that could become key result areas for the converged mobility ecosystem of the next decade:
- Multiple technologies and platforms must be convergent as there will never be only one supplier and/or technology;
- the global integrated mobility architecture must be both service- and data-oriented to accommodate a very wide variety of stakeholders including both customers and providers;
- ubiquitous communications is a fundamental underpinning for the mobility ecosystem;
- information and data discoverability, accessibility, reliability and understandability are critical for virtually all applications;
- security, privacy and trustworthiness are and always will be pervasive requirements; and
- the KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly) principle must always be maintained since most people will want “always on, always working, always easy” to be the rule not the exception.