[Mobile World Congress 2013] Day two
In the Conference Stream at the Mobile World Congress, day one was about the scale of the industry, the staggering growth prospects and the disruption that lies ahead for many industries. Day two included a more detailed look at the industry drivers, emerging markets, mobile marketing by big brands and the new generation of operating systems. (video)
The next few billion
There were some interesting thoughts bringing the new 'few billion' people onto the internet. There is no doubt what the impact of internet connectivity does to change the lives of people, and it's clear that this access has to be via mobile broadband.
Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia was optimistic about the pace at which this rollout is going to occur, "Connecting the next billion will occur much more quickly than the first billion, of that we can be certain."
When asked about the developer ecosystem, he commented "we don't have to get developers to develop apps for FirefoxOS. There are already ten million HTML5 developers that are enabled."
It's clear that offering services is one of the most important things to the next few billion as they are younger, urban people and not rural people as assumed. By creating services that improve literacy and healthcare, the overall market for connectivity and commerce will lift mobile connections past the nine billion mark. The same holds true for banking as existing financial institutions cannot offer branch networks to all. It must be mobile.
Big brands making a difference using mobile
As always, a marketing discussion cannot go far without Unilever being close. As the world's second largest advertiser, it has done some amazing work across the globe using mobile in smart and simple campaigns. Keith Weed, Unilever's CMO stated that "he wants to get to the future first and wants Unilever to be the best mobile marketer in the world." He shared their approach to integrating mobile into their marketing efforts:
Evan Gerber from Fidelity Investments had some great points about mobile and technology adoption:
The final keynote of the day was about the alternatives to the Apple iOS and Android duopoly. It was the open source community's big entrance into what is generally considered to be an unhealthy dominance by the two 'A's'.
I was a proud South African to see Mark Shuttleworth delivering exceptionally articulate arguments about the Ubuntu OS Mobile. Considering that his projects could impact the connectivity and therefore lives of so many people is a humbling thought.
The interface looks very interesting with innovative touch and slide navigation. I managed to capture his demo videos of it running on a phone and tablet . Please excuse the quality.
Mitchell Baker, the founder of Mozilla is a very interesting person. She didn't hold back when describing the state of the mobile and internet industries. Her view that central control destroys quality was demonstrated in this comment, "when products are managed by large, dominant customers, they will decline to irrelevance. At one time even Internet Explorer was a good high quality product."
It is going to be tough for the open source movement to gain traction and distribution, however, with the mobile operators fighting the dominance of Apple and Android, and throwing their weight behind FirefoxOS, they might just be able to make a difference.
As always, follow me on Twitter at @angusrobinson and let me have any questions or comments.
About Angus Robinson
Angus Robinson is Director: mobile, content and community divisions at NATIVE and has 17 years experience with technology start-ups. Angus is also a founding member of the South African Chapter of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and is active on the WASPA Code of Conduct Committee and a number of other WASPA subcommittees. Contact details: Twitter @angusrobinson