Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reprise....What Comes After The $99 Laptop Revolution?

What comes after the $99 laptop revolution?

We live in a fast moving world. Consumer sentiment has shifted from laptops as the “can’t-live-without device” to mobile phones and tablet computers. What will be the next “gadget” revolution in order to make Internet access and mobile communication affordable to everyone? Is it the $99 smart phone (non-subsidized retail price), the $49 tablet computer (or tablet-phone) or a $9 feature phone?

What Comes After The $99 Laptop Revolution

All the fascination we see presently about terminal hardware applications will be over in the near future. The "Cloud" and SAS will rock the hardware and software world and make access to technology easier for vast populations. Devices to do so will cost pennies on the current dollar or the will be free.
Like the PC makers, the sun is already setting on cell phone devices, associated applications, OTS packaged software and related products. Even though these products are enjoying current popularity They are expensive and will be rapidly overtaken by tight economics and services competition.

Smart,strategic planners are pointing to the future and it is not a hardware and licensed software market - it is service oriented with low cost access and rates. Volume, free products, advertising and shareware will drive it all.

Possible exceptions for a bit longer period of time are the high-end hardware and software technologies in government contracting, which for security reasons must be cloistered, protected and safeguarded. Your friendly government agency will be the last to boot its PC out the window.

I suspect we will not have a 99$ revolution, nor a Cloud take over, nor unmetered connectivity services.

In contrast to optimists about the Cloud and services there, ...this will be just another metering point, and some firms are optimistic that they can pull more out of customers this way than with COTS or custom.

There is still a lot of room, in the 300 to 1500 lap tops, and the 1000 to 5000 for product enhancement and price maintenance. This includes entertainment specialized, gaming systems and multiscreen work environments.

Software alone will continue to be more of the average cost for many users...nickle and dime by apps or in large chunks for tool sets from Microsoft, Adobe....

It is possible after decades of experimentation that wearable systems may make more progress, including heads up or wearable displays and alternate input systems. One aspect of the "bigger business" may (still) more accent on fashions, not just shells and covers but ownership of more devices.

Inexpensive devices (smart phones, netbooks, or even tin cans on a string) matter not when the connectivity to the world is metered and expensive.

The next revolution has to be centered on inexpensive connectivity. Otherwise, trading a high capital cost for an expensive gadget vs a high monthly access cost for a cheap gadget does not help society.

The Revolution is already here. Smartphones sales have already exceeded PC Sales (,2817,2379665,00.asp) . Think about what a smart phone can do

*often have faster processors than PCs

*they know where their users with GPS

*know direction that user is going with built in compass

*take pictures, video, and record audio

*Can do real time video conferencing

*Can email and do SMS

*Provides connection to the Internet

*Countless new uses are being introduced via apps

*Fits in the palm of your hand

*Oh yeah can be used as a phone.

And the device can be free with a data plan.

My friends, the revolution is here. You can either be in front of the tsunami or play catch up.  

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