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« Household Penetration Rates for Technology Across the Digital Divide | Main | Sheer Misery! Nokia Q4 numbers end year with disasterous numbers »

January 25, 2011


Samir Shah

It is amazing how successful monopolies change our habits. We have gotten into voice habit (Bell System) and PC habit (Wintel).

Bell system did voice but did not do what was SMS at that time, the telegraph. Just imagine what the phone with telegraph would have been. Also, in spite of inventing almost everything under the sun with Bell Labs, Bell system did not turn our phones into PCs, which was left to Wintel. Maybe Bell System was afraid of another video calling kind of a debacle.

What is more important in mobiles is NOT voice reachability but MOBILE INTERNET. In fact I am of the opinion of totally discounting the whole voice aspect of mobiles which, thankfully, LTE does.

That brings us to my main point, engineers and MBAs see the world very differently. Eric Schmidt may see Google Voice as a very important product but I see it as a Netflix DVD kind of a deal, bringing millions, money or traffic or whatever, now but it is still a business that will go from millions to zero, maybe in ten years, but it will. By every metric, voice is going down, at least in developed markets, which US is.

Warning: I have vested emotional interest in this. Instead, Google should have cultivated emerging markets. In my case, India, with language machine translations and translated Android versions. Money wise, it would have been much cheaper than the time required to do Google Voice and the potential payoff is immense. Google and Android are successful in spite of these oversights, just imagine how successful they would be with this already in place. There is a reason why I am attacking one of very successful Google product because I want to drive home a point.

And, iPods Touch lacks mobile Internet and just has Wi-Fi and that is the reason why it can not compete with her elder brother, iPhone.

Voice is a Bell System legacy habit and NOT THE FUTURE, (including India where, currently it is a runaway success) MOBILE INTERNET is.

Voice is a 100 year habit and PC is a 30 year habit. Both are going away, first PC and then voice.

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Nowadays, mobile is one source of communication. In people lifestyle, maybe many can't live without this product of technology. Mobile internet is awesome to everybody, but PC also exists. So people might be fond of using either mobile or PC or some other gadgets.


Samir Shah,
google voice is free for in US, Canada calling. And Google voice has free SMS anywhere and everywhere. SMS is pretty important.


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There is a reason why I am attacking one of very successful Google product because I want to drive home a point.


There is a reason why I am attacking one of very successful Google product because I want to drive home a point.

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So how many is the 'unique' user count? That is 3.7 billion people. It is already over half of the total population of the planet - and considering most of the planet lives in very poor conditions, mobile phones are by a very wide margin the most widely spread technology on the planet. Yes, 54% of all people alive on the planet have a mobile phone.

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