As the world continues to view the smartphone market as a battle between RIM and Apple, my T-Mobile Google phone is about to get an OS update that will bring on some new features. The update will also provide improvements to the camera capture feature, GPS and G-Mail integration.
The software release includes an on screen qwerty keyboard, video recording and playback, and some widgets. While the market for third party applications is still decidedly in Apple's favor, I am excited about the prospect of receiving remote updates to my G Phone.
It is my contention that, going forward, the carriers will need to distinguish themselves beyond the type of device that they support. Once they are able to do this, remote provisioning is going to grow in the mobile market. Releases of software upgrades are common, but he question is will the carrier's participation be something more than simply distributing these upgrades? I believe the carriers will need to show a willingness to attack these provisioning issues if they do not want to be "just a dumb pipe".
Going forward it is still a question on whether there will be a shared app store, or if it will be device specific. If it is shared, a significant amount of expertise will be required by the carrier to provision these applications.
This Market is Ready to Explode
Apple has migrated 5.5 M subscribers from Verizon Wireless to its' iPhone, It's unclear if T-Mobile's net increase in subs of almost half a million is based specifically on the GPhone, but the fact remains that 23% of all cellular phones are now smartphones, up from about 17% in the first quarter of 2008. As we see sales of smartphones, as a percentage of total cellular phone sales, growing, we have to keep in mind that only two thirds of the smartphones are on a 3G network thus far. Imagine the growth potential as carriers expand their 3G network footprint and evolve to a 4G network?
An Understanding of the Issues Driving this Growth is Critical
As the demand for mobile broadband applications continues to grow, new business models and revenue opportunities will emerge. Carriers, applications developers, content providers and smartphone manufacturers will need to understand what drives the wireless consumer's expectations and requirements for the next generation of wireless services. The growth potential for the smartphone market, and the demand for 4G services, will be huge. An understanding of what is driving this demand and building a network to support it, will be the difference between the winners and the losers.
Crossfire Media's 4GWE Conference will address the critical market and technical issues that will shape the evolution to 4G services. The conference will cover topics such as Broadband Applications, Alternative 4G Delivery Strategies, Advocacy Issues, and Wireless Backhaul Requirements.
As a reader of my blog, I would like to offer you an additional discount off Early Bird prices. If you register here and enter priority code CARL, you will receive an additional 5% off early bird prices. This offer expires on July 3, 2009.