Commonwealth Club’s Mobile World at Microsoft

05Aug09

Nearly 200 gathered at Microsoft tonight for the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley’s Next Big Thing in the Mobile World moderated by the very entertaining Jon Fortt of Fortune who spent considerable time talking about 3jam and Google Voice, Apple pulling the app, and the next big thing being voice in the cloud – watch for the Fortune article. Audio to be available from the Commonwealth Club soon.  Below are the notes of what the panel said:

Glenn Lurie, ATT
Main focus is on wirelessly enabling non-mobile devices (car, e-book, netbook, dog collars), and managing Apple relationship.  Have a 13yo daughter than texts way more than talks – its a messaging device, more about data and being social for the youth.  3 years ago we went from business to consumer – the US public has changed in their consumption.  We’re a $130B company who needs to listen to customers to keep them, Google Voice is all new, if there is interest in the cloud, we need to move there as well, we’re learning, if customers want that, we need to deliver it.  Next big thing is 10-12″ screen in purse with all your reading material for the day, the e-reader and how it interacts with mobile, will change what eveyone is doing. As devices become more connected, the rate plans needs to include all the SIM cards in a household.  If camera sends a picture, consumer can decide subscription vs. pay per image.  Exclusivity is important to allow investment in innovation.  Mass adoption of mobility is due to US subsidies.  ATT investment is the reason why the US leads the world now in innovation, not too long ago it was Asia and Europe. As for Fortt question about Om Malik and Michael Arrington’s criticizing ATT service, he replied that ATT is investment $18B in upgrading its network many improvements will be seen 4Q this year, particularly in SF with the 850 overlay.  The upgrade is also the reason for any new drops experienced and is only a temporary disruption in service.  All the carriers are in a panic over bandwidth and the surges that’s coming, doing a pretty good job of keeping up, driving more usage than any on the planet, video hogs will be metered, pounding on vendors to be smarter, better, faster.  With LTE network by 2011, everything will be connected to each other.   

Tim Attinger, VISA
50 year old company with a recent IPO, moves $4.5T annually, 1:4 on the planet has a VISA card – the majority are debit/prepay cards, 1:2 has a mobile phone, the future is mobile.  Opening platform for development (no SDK yet).  Access to Symbian, Android, iPhone SDKs have had a catalytic effect on the world.  Voice-based pay.  We’re all about democratization of global access, the currency of progress, moving from cash to pocket commerce.  Talked about the pharmacist who is a branch of the Bank of India via SMS and a 2G connection.  VISA mobile very happy on Android.  LBS couponing could be huge, permission-based with discount and promotion opt-ins.  

Arun Bhikshesvaran, Ericsson
Smartphones have given us a purpose in life, a reason for, and a way to use, the bandwidth.  Voice is moving toward a rich media experience e.g. life streaming, 5yo daughter has phone and loves video sharing with him.  Smartphones have given us a purpose in life.  Need IT security and stable device.  Next big thing is scale in 3 dimensions – bandwidth and speed, devices and apps, miniaturizing parts.

Ali Diab, AdMob
Bandwidth is becoming ubiquitous.  Affordable, unlimited plans are key to market growth and consumer adoption.  MS not as developer-friendly as Apple.  iPhone is more like a computer than a phone.  Mobile is following web success of ad-based monetization models.   Grads choosing to develop on mobile over web, most popular class at Stanford is CS 103 iPhone App Development.  More animated, video apps on the horizon.  AdMob does not store personally identifiable information.  Expect to see an opt-in for LBS. Predict in 3y data access will be free, more will be on mobile than desktop.

Alan Rambam, Mobile Behavior
Mobile has always been about socialization.  At the end of the day Twitter is SMS.  Younger generation is the mobile first generation.  NYU ITP has an outstanding developer program.  Check out the www.nextgreatthing.com. Interesting are: Booyah (gets points fo doing stuff in the real world), SquareSpace (turning light into game), and the advent of augmented reality.  Youth have grownup talking in anonymous environments.  LG and Samsung are turning address books into social networks.  Next big thing is socially-connected shopping with VISA Go layered on top.  Nokia life-blog button enables real-time endorsed impressions.

Peter Hoddie, Kinoma
Very concerned about bandwidth, wifi should smooth bumps. Set my data free, why should the carriers who control the pipe tell me what to do.  The entire Jon Stewart catalogue is on the web but not on my phone – that’s a missed opportunity.   One app at a time doesn’t scale.  In 3 years expect to see apps working together, linking to each other like the web.  

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2 Responses to “Commonwealth Club’s Mobile World at Microsoft”


  1. 1 The Next Big Thing in Mobile: 5 Trends We’re Watching « MobileBehavior
  2. 2 The Next Big Thing in Mobile: 5 Trends We’re Watching « brady ambler: all about digital

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