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I just read Dennis Howlett’s blog post over at ZDNet regarding the lack of business applications or direction at Mobile World Congress. I’m in agreement that as we continue to realize the benefits of accessing our enterprise content from mobile devices you would expect the leading handset producers to step up and recognize this emerging business opportunity.
One comment from industry analyst Dean Bubley when asked if emerging markets would bypass laptops in favor of mobile devices seemed to miss the point.
“I hear a lot of rubbish talked about this. Mobile handsets are still relatively expensive for these nations so what would you rather do – have everyone in a village with mobile phones or share a laptop that has a USB GPRS modem? People forget that in emerging nations, economic choices need to be made. There are better things to spend money on than handsets.” – courtesy of ZDNet
Maybe I’m just not buying his underlying message that a laptop is a cheaper or more effective business appliance than a yet undefined mobile device. It appears that he is also blind to the inevitable convergence between the laptop as we know it and our trusted mobile. In response to Dennis’s post I added:
“3rd world nations where one laptop per community is the solution do not drive business needs anyway so I see these comments as moot.
I think the next big transition in the industry will be the Dells and HPs of the world competing or partnering with the Nokias and Sony Ericssons. While one tries to make powerful devices more portable and smaller the other tries to make an already small and portable device more powerful. Seems like the innovator’s dilemma all over again yet no one sees it.
If both HP and Nokia launched an identical device that combined reasonable processing power, camera, phone, keyboard, WiFi, WiMAX, etc…which branding would you trust more?”
Clayton M Christensen put similar words to paper in 1997 with The Innovator’s Dilemma which although sites aging technologies for his analysis still presents an infinitely valuable analysis of how juggernauts can miss the next technology cycle.
Seems to me that RIM is best poised to capitalize on the mobile enterprise if for no other reason than their acceptance in the corporate environment.

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