A change in the Internet world, driven by mobile?

Posted on January 5, 2010  /  4 Comments

Will the shift to mobile as the primary interface to the Internet, dethrone search engines such as Google, that generate their revenues from advertising? An interesting discussion in NYT.

As people increasingly rely on powerful mobile phones instead of PCs to access the Web, their surfing habits are bound to change. What’s more, online advertising could lose its role as the Web’s primary economic engine, putting Google’s leadership role into question.

“The new paradigm is mobile computing and mobility,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “That has the potential to change the economics of the Internet business and to redistribute profits yet again.”

In recent decades, the power of industry giants like I.B.M. and Microsoft, which once seemed unassailable, waned as computing shifted from big mainframes to PCs, and from PCs to the Internet. Many analysts say it is now Google that is faced with a less certain future in the face of another shift.


  1. The NYT article has missed “Unity” the world’s highest capacity submarine cable that Google is deploying with Bharti, Reliance and KDDI and few other big outfits. One may wonder why a search engine company would invest in such a transpacific undersea cable linking Asia with the USA. Cloud computing and content delivery network (CDN) may answer that question.

  2. Well, Google is all over, they have kind of vision perfected on issues like Information Harvesting (IH). it is quite eye-opening how much data is readily available, unstructured. The future ball game would depend on how much you do the digging deeper and connect those pieces of the puzzle, per se, whole of it – gets you out of business ordinary. What is it they say? Knowing is half the battle.

    Seems like France is considering Google tax and report says that it would help level the playing field between Internet portals that offer free content and copyrighted content.

    I have a mixed feeling about it but mobile devices would definitely drive tomorrows Internet economy.

  3. this is not a question of extinction of the desktop or high powered laptop computer but one of leapfrogging to other more adaptable devices for the world’s 5 billion or so who require connectivity but have neither the resources nor the need for large (non-mobile) devices. i posit a world in which low-cost smartphones have ubiquitously replaced everything from newspapers to town halls and can be easily used for an incomprehensible range of productive activities heretofore inaccessible to the vast majority of marginalized people. the only question is can the earth provide enough of its finite mineral supplies to construct these billions of devices? i fear the outcome of such scarcity…