If I could find one word to describe this week in mobility it would have to “eventful”. And that’s putting it mildly. With two huge announcements in the mobile device world this week, I can see big changes ahead.
First, earlier this week we learned the new math that Google + Motorola = Googarola. Frankly I’m not a big fan of ‘creative spelling’, but this seems to be the term people are using to describe the Google acquisition of Motorola. As a consumer with an iPhone, iPad 2, Galaxy S2 (Android phone) and BlackBerry Playbook in the house, I am excited to think about what this deal could mean. Google will have more control over the hardware, and at the same time, other Android handset manufactures should benefit too. From the enterprise point of view, with Google competing directly with Apple as a software/hardware development company, perhaps their approach to mobile device management will change. That certainly would help enterprises be more willing to adopt Android en mass.
Second, the news came this week about HP’s change of heart regarding WebOS. In what some bloggers refer to as a ‘dramatic turn of events’, HP announced that they will stop selling hardware based on the webOS platform acquired from Palm. Specifically HP said that “it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones.” While the WebOS device never really picked up speed in the enterprise and app developer ecosystem, they were well liked by consumers and hyped in the early days as a great competitor to iOS.
So what do we make of all this excitement? The hardware world has been pretty active this entire year with the Nokia/Microsoft announcement at Mobile World Congress, and these two announcements this week. What I want to explore is how this news will impact both the enterprise and the consumer market.
I did a lot of reading this week on these topics and found a comment from Aberdeen Group’s Andrew Borg most interesting. He talked about Google acquiring a handset division that could “target the developing world with an ad-underwritten entry-level low-cost or no-cost handset”. The potential of what this could mean to both consumer and enterprise space is quite staggering. To put it in context, he continued “If the entire world’s ‘plain vanilla’ feature phones are combined with all of its smartphones, the total number of mobile devices dwarfs the number of desktop and laptop computers by orders of magnitude. And, for the developing world, handheld devices will be the web access tool of choice.” I think it will be interesting to watch this roll out over the coming months and years. And I’m looking forward to more excitement in mobility to come.
Talk about change…