Marc Andreessen, who declared that software was eating the world in 2011 and that online-business services were the theme of 2012, has a new prediction for 2013: Cheap smartphones are going to connect the world.
"The $50 Android smartphone is about to hit the market worldwide," Andreessen, the Netscape co-founder turned venture capitalist, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. "Smartphones are about to be put in the hands of another 3 billion people who don't have them. And that's probably the single biggest thing that's happening right now."
A bargain-basement phone running Google's mobile operating system would enable poor people who can't afford today's smartphones, including those in emerging markets, to finally have regular Internet access, according to Andreessen, a founder of Andreessen Horowitz. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg.com, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.