Thursday, November 26, 2009

The New Emerging Open Source "Mobile" Parade and Food for Thought on Thanksgiving

I can't believe it's been six months since I published a post here, I promise to do better. As I watch the Macy's Parade today, I started thinking about some market dynamics and disruptions we have been witnessing in recent months. Those who know me know I use an iPhone and am in my second year of loving this phone. Why? Applications - ease of use - the collaborative nature of this device - which is the leading market disruptor for mobile phones - and the way it has carved out an entire industry. Let's look at what I mean.

I talk on the phone maybe 5% of the time I use this device. Mobile devices used to be either 100% phones or 100% email. I am on email mostly, text, the web, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, taking pictures, checking weather, travel arrangements, and so on.  I am not an online game player but I have a couple of individual games I enjoy. It has become a collaboration tool. It is even an extension of my Digium Switchvox phone system - my calling rules set to find me/follow me to my mobile and if I don't recognize the number (yes, I see caller ID) or am tied up it bounces back to my office voicemail. Cool call screening method, eh? More importantly, I have improved my productivity with my iPhone. It's only going to get better. On business trips, I find I use my laptop less and less each trip.

Now, the more interesting 'technology disruption' is the coming force of - Google Android. That's right, Android. This open source OS is being used for mobile phones and desktop phones. The nature of open source lends itself to a broad community of developers. My Digium and Asterisk experience helps me understand the potential of the future Android AppStore - or maybe AppStores. It's not there yet, but eventually the community and commercial offspring will be the driving forces. Like the iPhone and Apple's iTunes AppStore the Android mobile phones and desktop phones will create nightmares for traditional players. This market is exciting. Just check the number of Android-based products appearing.

Note that these are mostly all consumer oriented.  Well, guess what? The features and capabilities of iPhones and Android-based mobile phones are so compelling, they have permeated their way into business enterprises of all sizes. RIM's Blackberry devices, although a  favorite of many, are under attack and IT executives are listening. More companies are allowing "user supplied" choice of mobile phones for a number of reasons: unbeatable features, cost - the individual owns the phone, and the collaborative nature of these phones does lend itself to increased productivity. The management of these devices is a huge new market opportunity but this disruption parade has begun! 

This is the tip of the iceberg. As more evolves I'll cover some of the more interesting developments here. In the meantime, watch Google's Android progress. Thanks for stopping by and now it's nearly time for "food to eat" rather than "food for thought!" And of course football! Happy Thanksgiving 2009!


Digium Bill said...

Today in Twitter saw this eWeek article on Android and Google Chrome OS: It is one of those foundational components for smart mobile phones and netbooks that will enable Google to enable an AppStore potentially rivaling or surpassing Apple. Time will tell.

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