“There is not going to be one Next Big Thing – it’s going to be many things working together, combined to work seamlessly” said Motorola’s president and COO, Michael Zafirovski in his speech at CeBIT yesterday. This seems to be a common theme emerging from CeBIT, and is reflected in the nature of the mobile devices coming into the market.
It’s almost impossible to buy a mobile phone that is just a phone. Even the most basic phone available has a some sort of PDA functionality, games and a simple WAP browser. Many phones appearing now are in fact more sophisticated than the people you see chatting into them – and the phones at least will continue to get more sophisticated and useful.
Where the challenge for network providers and mobile phone manufacturers lies now is bringing several channels of communication together: many consumers have a fixed line at home (often more than one), a mobile for each person, a mobile in the car, a phone in the office, email on some devices not others … it goes on. Although solutions have been banded around for years (Wildfire, anyone?) the scale of the problem is now far greater than was anticipated before the rapid growth of mobile communications and internet usage began ten years ago.
The current situation does not allow for simplicity and will begin to turn users away unless investment into the seamless integration of devices and services begins to rival the effort put into getting the latest megapixel camera into the smallest form factor.