The Smartest, Richest Companies Can’t Crack Mobile. The Future Belongs to Anyone Who Can
After all, the global economy is in the earliest days of the mobile shift. The iPhone debuted less than a decade ago. And all of these companies, the heaviest of tech heavyweights, first rose to prominence before mobile mattered as anything beyond a way to make a phone call and maybe send a text or an email.
Insane results from Apple during the week (really?! 34,000 iPhones sold every hour non-stop for three months?!?!?). The title of course to their article is suitably provocative but it does highlight a point that nothing is stable right now. Nokia, the king of the dumb phone, is now owned by Microsoft and a shadow - interestingly, Apple with only around 5 different devices to choose from and only sells smartphones now sells more phones than Nokia does worldwide across smartphone and feature phones.
I wouldn't necessarily agree with the provocative title of the Wired article but there is a hugely profound change ongoing at present - more phones on the planet than pc's and more and more services including enterprise tools moving onto phones and tablets. Not to mention more and more work moving away from siloed tools (think Excel) into web apps and SaaS systems.
There will be holdouts, but those companies who jump on the opportunity can only stand to benefit. Seven years ago, a large amount of industries were upended by the introduction of the iPhone and then the behemoth that is Android (it may not make any significant revenue for most of the companies involved but with over 1 billion Android devices shipped in 2014 alone, it's profoundly changed everything). With technology changing so quickly, we may be in a relatively stable period of time when it comes to the dominant phone manufacturers, and with the quality of mobile networks reaching a point where it's hard to notice the difference (i.e. while going from dial-up internet to the first generation of 'broadband' was like night and day, but it becomes less apparent to all but the truly nerdy whether you have a 100Mbs or 250Mbs download speed). But with new wearables (from wrist watches to Virtual Reality to Augmented Reality to who-knows-what), there is still huge opportunities for a disruptor. Fun times!