It’s nice to have the New York Times and Wall Street in our corner in the debate about the future of the Internet. Our argument does not rest on the success of i phones, but on the whole idea that the days of the desktop computer, which was irrelevant to the BOP are over. Wall Street has called the end of an era and the beginning of the next one: The most important technology product no longer sits on your desk but rather fits in your hand. The moment came Wednesday when Apple, the maker of iPods, iPhones and iPads, shot past Microsoft, the computer software giant, to become the world’s most valuable technology company.
Apple is facing a potential antitrust probe into whether the software underpinning its groundbreaking iPhone unfairly locks out competitors. The US Federal Trade Commission became curious when a dispute that broke out between Apple and Adobe over the latest version of the iPhone software, which was unveiled last month. Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs has explained why the company’s devices don’t support Adobe’s Flash, a widely used video streaming technology. “Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true,” he wrote. Adobe’s Flash has become a de facto standard for the industry to create web games and present video, with about 75% of video served on web sites using Flash.
A story on the Barcelona GSM World conference had this interesting summary on the state of the handset market. With our focus on infrastructure we have not written much about handsets over the years, but it’s becoming difficult, especially in the context of the Mobile 2.0 narrative. As I said in a recent interview with the Expanding Horizons magazine: “Mobile networks will provide the key connectivity, especially as we see handsets becoming more advanced.” Global shipments of handsets had been falling every quarter since the third quarter of 2008, when the global financial crisis erupted, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.