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I love apps, I hate apps. Their ingenuity and variety has brought fun and delight into my life, but I also long for a world without them. That is to say, a world without a handful of companies circling their wagons around my content and how I interact with my community. Fortunately something happened this week that should fuel a glimmer of hope for an alternate mobile future.
Indonesia is not only one of the fastest growing mobile and Web markets in the World, it has also lately attracted the investment attention of global digital giants like Yahoo. So what opportunities and insights do they see in the market that many are now comparing to India and China?
Most Japanese access the Web primarily through their phones, but when it comes to mobile social networking - it is gaming that really drives user interaction. But interestingly enough, it is not mobile games as we know it. Could the future of mobile entertainment be simple games designed for just one finger?
I was hesitant to write this post. After all, the last thing the world needs right now is yet another burnt offering to the Jesus Tablet by an Apple fanboy. But in all the praise, whining, worship and ennui that characterised last week's coverage of the iPad's launch - something was missing. In my view, the difference between whether the iPad becomes a genre changing device, or just a tech geek curio like the Apple TV or the Mac Book Air has little to do with hardware or design, and everything to do with how users end up doing with it. And that, quite frankly, is still very much a mystery. So selfishly, I'd like to propose five ways that Steve's new toy might change my life - or at the very least, improve my day.
But it did provoke another thought. What we are seeing now is what you might call the third phase of the mobile evolution. Phase one was about transforming eighties mobile bricks into slick, design lust objects. Phase two was about figuring out how to make mobiles impersonate your Walkman and personal video player. Phase three, in my opinion will now pit Apple, Google and Microsoft against each other as they all attempt to control the ecosystem for cloud based applications.
Apple's new MobileMe service has had a tough reception. Not entirely unsurprising. After all, when you are heralding the second coming of the 'Jesus Phone', its inevitable that expectations might be running unfairly high.
I've been totally immersed in Mobile TV for the last few months and on Friday I presented a keynote talk at CASBAA's 2007 conference in Hong Kong on the subject. One of the main problems with Mobile TV at the moment is expectations. Individually - 'mobile' and 'tv' - are two of the biggest business ideas of all time. Not surprising then that most people simply expect 'Mobile TV' to be a runaway success right out of the box. If only it were that simple.
Whether it be chasing online eyeballs or trading for silk and spices, the West has had a long fascination with expanding Eastwards. The lure is part growth fetish, part colonial fervor. But there is a catch. Unlike the Opium Wars of an earlier age, this time round the Orient may have the technology advantage.
© 2013 Tomorrow Limited