If you are considering becoming a 1M/1M premium member and would like to join our mailing list to receive ongoing information, please sign up here.

Subscribe to our Feed

Trend Radar 2008: The Convergence Device Movement

Posted on Wednesday, Jan 2nd 2008

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

Hacker News
() Comments

Featured Videos


in short, you want omniscience! and why not? me, being in a small town in south india, i just want the damn junk sms’s from reliance and airtel to stop, and for my usb modem, cdma technology, to get even just double figures in kiloBITS per second, and, hmm, some antibiotics that were actually real for the lady in the village who just died of infection would be nice, and the kid i took to the dentist today, mouth swollen like a cricket ball, it would be cool if she could have got a root canal instead of the tooth yanked out…. some convergences are just slower than others i guess.

gregory Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 12:24 PM PT

i will talk about villages and all in a later post.

but yes, i want omniscience.

i want omnipotence to make a difference for myself and for all others who care to look for it.

and i want “omnijoyence” – eternal joy 🙂

Sramana Mitra Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 12:52 PM PT

[…] segment is part 3 in a running series Jump to part: The Convergence Device Movement, Device Usability, MiniaturizationOur wish list for what features we want on the Convergence Device […]

Trend Radar 2008: Miniaturization - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Friday, January 4, 2008 at 3:07 PM PT

[…] missed them, I started two series coverages this week which will each continue for several weeks: Trend Radar 2008 and Deal Radar […]

This Week’s Posts - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 7:00 AM PT

[…] segment is part 4 in a running series Jump to part: The Convergence Device Movement, Device Usability, Miniaturization, Simplicity in DesignSimplicity and Reduction in Design are […]

Trend Radar 2008: Simplicity in Design - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 3:06 PM PT

As usual thanks for the insightful posts! I’m curious what your thoughts are about converging a good digital camera to the handheld of the future? I read recently about FujiFilm cameras that allow for camera-to-camera beaming…surely it won’t be long and all digital cameras will have this ability. Digital cameras are typically used by most travelers…how and when and will this be converged effectively into the smart phone with gps, etc.?

Shelli Johnson Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 9:20 AM PT


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, art galleries, …what do you mean exactly by “by people whose taste I trust”? I ask because I just interviewed a Baby Boomer (avid) traveler who flies 100,000 miles a year for leisure trips…she says what Carolyn from Colorado says on Trip Advisor…isn’t enough…she doesn’t place 100% trust in it because, as she says, “I don’t know if Carolyn wrote that when she was in a bad mood, is writing from a competing establishment, and so on” So I’m curious what your opinion is about how peer review sites are now requiring/including more information the describes the person posting the review… I know anonymity by its very nature, solicits more participation, but I can understand my baby boomer traveler friend’s concerns…
Your thoughts on if people should be required to submit full name, etc., on peer review sites is important, and if there should be at least an option for people to search reviews posted by people who have submitted all of their specifics…

Shelli Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 9:45 AM PT

Not only. I think, we all develop, over time, in real life, a set of people whose recommendations we respect. In the virtual world, also, this dynamic will apply.

Sramana Mitra Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 7:42 PM PT

On camera integration – I think you will have what you need within 3 years.

Sramana Mitra Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 7:44 PM PT

[…] Trend Radar 2008: The Convergence Device Movement […]

The Law of Mobility » Blog Archive » Business Models: January 2008 Monday, January 28, 2008 at 3:50 AM PT