I have tried to consistently synthesize trends that I see in the technology industry for my readers. In this new series, I will take a look at where these trends are going in 2008.
The Convergence Device movement is in full swing, and as you have heard me say time and again, this is one of the most powerful trends of the next five years. Although several smartphone vendors spotted the cell-phone-PDA-camera-module integration early on, it wasn’t until the middle of 2007 that the broader market recognized this as a phenomenon. The catalyst, of course, was Apple’s iPhone, and instead of repeating why this is a very significant development in the industry, let me point you back to Frank Levinson’s superb analysis, iPhone and the Future.
So what’s in store for 2008?
From the investor point of view, the smartphone stocks are fertile ground. Apple, RIMM and Nokia all have bright prospects. Even struggling Palm, I believe, has a turnaround opportunity due to the market momentum. But also keep an eye on the component vendors that serve the smartphone industry.
From the entrepreneur point of view, the form factor of access is changing. Conceivably, over the next five years, applications accessed over the covergence device will expand from email, SMS and games to Enterprise 3.0 and Web 3.0 apps.
One of my personal favorite examples is from travel. I want my personalized, GPS-enabled travel guide on my convergence device which can show me, in any city in the world, at any moment, the nearest and the most highly recommended (by people whose taste I trust) restaurants, cafes, music venues and art galleries.
My other favorite example is from enterprise. I am a buyer for a retail chain. I am standing in the showroom of a clothing designer. I want to be able to know from my convergence device (without too many clicks) the historical size distributions of each of the stores that are part of my chain, so that I can plan my inventory scientifically. Today, simple business functions such as this one are still in the dark ages, and are largely unaided by technology.
So, to summarize, I would like to see Web 3.0 and Enterprise 3.0 applications taking into account the convergence device as an access platform, and the usage of these applications “in context” and “in the moment” as a best practice.
This segment is a part in the series : Trend Radar 2008