Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Ubiquitous Smartphone

Today, for most (or many) people in the world, there is only one internet – the one they access via their mobile phones.
 
Or, as the tech analyst Benedict Evans puts it, “Mobile is not a subset of the internet any more, which you use only if you’re waiting for a coffee or don’t have a PC in front of you – it’s becoming the main way that people use the internet.”
 
Smartphones are increasingly becoming the devices on which we access the web at home as well as on the move, meaning more power for Apple and Google. That’s because they control the only two operating systems – iOS and Android.
 
And so the tech-world order as we know it, is a duopoly. Two behemoths dominate – Apple, with its product-design flair and mastery of marketing and supply-chain management, running a high-end, incredibly profitable, tightly controlled ecosystem made up of both hardware and software; and Google, with unchallenged mastery of search, a dominant (though not total) grip on Android, and huge investments in robotics, cloud services and AI controlling the mass market.  

This shift has long been predicted – for example by Jonathan Zittrain in his 2008 book "The Future of the Internet – and How to Stop It", but few people thought it would happen so quickly.
 
The tsunami was triggered by the late Steve Jobs when he had the insight that phones were really powerful networked computers that you could hold in your hand. This led to the launch of the iPhone in 2007, after which the die was cast.
 
On Monday, I was in Petaling Jaya  Uptown 5 in Damansara Utama for the Phoenix Toastmasters Club meeting. I was there to deliver my Advanced speech from the Storytelling manual – titled “Saint Nicholas”. I was voted Best Assignment Speaker.

























And talking about Toastmasters, I think of "friendship". This is a good reminder:

 

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