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Se você quer entender o mercado mobile, ele é o cara.

In cars, for a hundred years we’ve seen major car manufacturers compete for market share against each other. There was no ‘platform’ war in cars. Rarely do we see a major battle of rival new technology platforms aiming to serve the same need. But every now and then we witness a ‘megabattle’ that determines winners and losers for that given technology platform for decades to come. We had a platform war in the Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) wars in the 1970s and 1980s. VHS won that and Betamax was defeated. We had a platform war on PC operating systems that Microsoft Won and Apple’s Macintosh lost. We had a short-lived platform war in the BlueRay vs HD DVD standards that has gone and BlueRay won.

So lets understand this platform war. The smartphone race is not a race to win the current smartphone market. In 2009 the smartphone market was about 175 million handsets. What makes this battle an enormous one is far exceeding the current market size of ‘smartphone sales’ and their immediate projections of sales over the next few years, into the 250 million – 500 million range. The smartphone is not the start of the mobile phone industry. The mobile phone business is the most dynamic, most competitive race for the soul of the future of the most widely spread consumer technology ever. Televisions sell 300 million units per year. DVD players sell about 250 million units per year. Personal computers including laptops, netbooks, tablets like the iPad and desktops – sell about 300 million per year. Videogame consoles sell far less than 100 million per year. Mobile phones sell more than all of those – combined! Mobile phones sell 1.3 Billion units this year. To put it another way, more new mobile phones sell this year, than the total worldwide installed base of all personal computers in use worldwide.

There are 5 Billion mobile phone subscriptions in use on a planet of 6.8 Billion people. No other technology comes close to its penetration rate, not wristwatches, not FM radios, not cars, not TVs, not PCs, not even the ‘plastic’ we have in our wallets – even the total user base of all forms of plastic money, credit cards and all banking cards, is far smaller than the spread of mobile phones.

And even that is not the full story. Mobile phones are now the focal point of all forms of digital convergence. You remember reading ‘the internet changed everyhing’? It didn’t. The biggest internet giants like Google and Yahoo are now saying the future of the internet is on mobile phones. The PC industry giants like HP and Dell say the future of the computer is on mobile phones. The media giants from TV (BBC) to music (Warner) to videogaming (EA) etc are saying all future media content will be available on mobile phones. The future of the digital car is on phones. The future of digital money – is on mobile phones (Kenya became the first country where more than half of all bank accounts are now mobile, that happened earlier in 2010; meanwhile Sweden has started the debate of when should they get rid of cash money and use only mobile payments). And thats before we add all that is coming in mobile advertising and marketing too – yet another industry that is running to get into our pockets. Its time to smell the cellphone.

If you think digital convergence is a major trend in your business, whatever that business is, then mobile is at the center of that convergence. While smartphones today form only 19% of all phones sold, most major analysts of mobile believe that the majority of all mobile phones will become smartphones before the end of this decade. Many think that all mobile phones will be smartphones by then. And the relentless advance of Moore’s Law certainly suggests its likely that most ‘dumbphones’ will turn into smartphones by the end of the decade.

Tem muito mais, seus posts costumam ser imensos. E valem a pena.

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