Sunday, November 01, 2009

Stuck with texting and the "Less Than Free Business Model"

We are living in very interesting times as far as arrival of the personal computer/communicator goes. I'm not sure we Europeans really get what is happening as we "stuck on texting" as Robert Scoble has observed. In a July posting he said:

But here’s where my own observations in London’s tube (the subway system here) come in: the UK is stuck on texting. That’s all I see most people do with their phones.

That rut that Europeans are stuck in is going to doom them.

Nokia simply does not understand how important the Web is and it’s because they ride the same subways and see the same behaviours.

"Text-blindness" may also keep us from seeing what happens next. In a very interesting blog post Bill Gurley looks at the disruptive influence of Google on the "turn-by-turn" mapping business. Google not only uncut the incumbents, they reduce the price to below zero. Yes, if you build a phone and put Android on it (and hence gain the ability to use their navigation software) they pay you - the phone manufacturer - to use the software. How? Advertising. Who'd use Symbian - even if if were free?

And who'd bet against something similar happening in desktops, notebooks, tablets, .... At least Apple will be left with hardware to design and sell. Unlike Microsoft.

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