The event had the theme of “Wireless is the Biggest Tech Platform in History – Now What?” The Churchill Club had two industry leaders, Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm and Jon Rubinstein of HP (formerly Palm) share their insights and vision of the industry with Kara Swisher, of AllThingsD.com.
Smartphones are a clear trend in the market. The changes in the pricing for data plans has helped increase the % of users who have a smartphone, rather than a feature phone in today’s market. As Jacobs explained, “Mobile is an always on experience which enables you to react and respond right away”. He mentioned an application economy that is in the industry now, which enables the end users to use it like a mini-computer.
There are challenges and limitations that are impacting the industry and its rapid growth. The limitations mentioned by Jacobs were the spectrum, which the industry and government leaders are working on, as well as battery life. At this time a Qualcomm solution, Mirasol, was referenced which is a low-power display technology. Rubinstein agreed on the two challenges, and mentioned the well known statement that the battery technology has not progressed at the same rate as the experiences and functions that the users want to do on the device.
The competitive nature of the market then continued into the ecosystem, where the carriers remain a significant influence in the market. Their use of subsidies and data plans as the discount factor for mobile devices will continue to influence the purchasing behavior of the end users. The competition for the top mobile OS will continue, with Android and Apple’s iOS leading the way. Rubinstein used this opportunity to insert the goal for WebOS to take the #3 position.
Looking into the future, the discussion highlighted other technologies that are evolving, such as mobile TV and health care. This includes the integrated product experience via mobile, where you stay connected via your phone, car, computer, television and other appliances. Overall, it is clear that people are willing to share more, based on their location, financial information and general identity as we look at the hot developments in mobile. An analogy was made to the audience to relate back to years ago when caller ID was seen as an invasive technology and how it evolved. Relate that to social media, location based services, and mobile banking/shopping in today’s environment. Jacobs believes that the cell phone will keep you connected between the physical and digital world of today.
Overall, it was a great event. The audience was engaged and invited to continue the conversation with the upcoming event Dive into Mobile.