business

Here Come Rich Social Media Phones

A Motorola exec said at a London conference that media-capable smartphones will nearly overtake simple voice and texting handsets by 2012

R.I.P. voice and texting: these two bastions of mobile revenue are set to be usurped by rich social media fuelled by an increasingly ubiquitous mobile web.

Speaking in a keynote at the Symbian Smartphone Show in London John Ellis, director of carrier market development in Motorola's software ecosystem team, said: "Texting and voice of today are slowly evaporating and slowly diminishing in our rear view mirror as we move into social media, rich user experiences."

Ellis predicted within five years smart phones will be poised to outsell basic mobiles in global sales – rising from nine per cent of the global mobile market today to 23 per cent in 2012, while basic mobiles will see their market share diminish from 34 per cent today to 24 per cent over the same period.

"Feature phones of tomorrow are smart phones of today. Convergence is happening. And what's really nice about this is that this convergence does not displace technologies – rather, it expands the mobile opportunity&

"The mobile opportunity is wide open. Is a very big and open space and in that space software is in the driver seat. It does not matter how you get where you're going anymore. Whether it is smart phones, a PDA, a mobile internet device. It does not matter. What does matter are the apps, the experiences and the ecosystem," he said.

According to Ellis, the shift to open mobile platforms – such as Google's Android platform and Symbian's decision to go open source – is the key trend driving smart phone growth and accelerating the development of mobile social media.

"It's no surprise that the fundamental technology trend that we see& is open. Open is making a large scale assault on the world. It's getting to be a bigger and bigger winner," he claimed.

Also giving a keynote at the show, Samsung's Ho-Soo Lee, EVP of mobile solution centre in the company's telecoms business, showed off a concept future mobile device in the form of a flexible bangle worn on the wrist which would include 'bio-sensors' to monitor things like heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure.

Ho-Soo predicted future mobiles will use HBCs – or 'human body communications' – to enable data to be sent between two devices using the human body as a conduit, rather than through the air as with Bluetooth or wi-fi.

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