In an era where information and communication is getting democratized and is increasingly becoming a tool for repressed social classes to express themselves as part of intensive campaigns of civil resistance, Oppressive regimes have resorted to Internet Black Outs, Internet Censorship, Social Media/ Facebook/Twitter Censorships to snub out people’s voice. However, companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter have worked on way-abouts to reach out to the people and help them reach out to the world media.
Today’s Internet blackout at Syria is one such example where Google has now started a call service to post tweets through a voice connection. Here’s how Google is helping people’s voice on Twitter. A great example of service to people!
On Twitter’s becoming the voice of people – Post the Arab Spring, this is yet further proof of Twitter’s pre-eminence as a communication platform. In many ways it represents the kind of impartial, democratic, cheap yet scalable media tool that the Internet has always promised. Indeed, in many ways, Twitter has begun to function as a protocol rather than as a product.
Internet was introduced to India in 1998 and over the last 14 years, Internet penetration has increased to 121 million (10.2% of India’s Population). India already is the 3rd largest country in terms of numbers of Internet users globally.
The convenience of train travel booking through the IRCTC website is seen as a significant catalyst to the growth of Internet penetration across India (Smaller towns, Rural areas included) and the grand old-dad of e-commerce in India. India, which is a conservative society in terms of Credit card spends, has never shied away from spending for Railway tickets online. Thus IRCTC is in effect India’s first killer Internet App.
For a geography and an economy such as India, Internet would in future, be the tool for deliverance of education, healthcare, governance, information and banking to the masses. There is enough and more focus and push from the government to increase internet penetration in the
country. So what then could be India’s next Killer Internet App? The basis of “killer app” is increasing the Internet penetration. This is how it could really start working-
1. Vernacular Internet – With the Indic scripts and other language technologies coming to the maturity threshold, Internet in India would follow a vernacular path to massification.
2. UID aided- The UID would be key to provide an identity to every single individual in the country which is stored centrally and accessed by different services (Banking, Loans, education, professional, travel etc). Adhar which means basis in Hindi would be the fundamental construct to empowering people of India
3. Financial Inclusion – The government currently is working on a Direct Cash Transfer Scheme (DCTS) as a part of the MGNREGS ( Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) – financial inclusion which would reach the population at the bottommost layers of the social and economic hierarchy. Alongside there would be others such as Payments, Banking, Money transfer etc.
To me, these three aspects (Vernacular medium, Aadhar UID project and DCTS under MNREGS) coming together would form India’s next Killer App – which will enhance penetration across social levels, geographics and economical classes opf people. The Internet was the information super highway when it was designed. Connecting people to this super highway would be India’s next killer Internet App.
Most of 2012 is behind us and it is still an Android – Apple duopoly on Smartphones and tablets. While Android devices and the iPhone make up an overwhelming majority of all smartphones being sold (85% as Gartner Q3, 2012), Windows Phone is still to get the traction it hoped for (although it registered a 1.5X growth over Q2, 2012).
In the mean time, Samsung and Apple dominate the smartphone landscape sharing between themselves 104% of the total mobile phone industry profits generated. iPhone cornered 63% of Mobile phone profits, Samsung made away with 40%. The only other OEM who has been in the black is HTC @ 1% of the mobile phone profits. Phone brands other than Samsung and iPhone have seen a reduction in market value of a combined 64 per cent (Q3, 2012 versus Q3, 2011).Over the last year (YoY Q3,2012 versus Q3, 2011), Samsung profits from Mobile operations jumped 231% while Apple increased 163%.
The good news is that the industry has had net value creation–always a healthy sign that innovation is being valued and absorbed and there could be an outside chance for a third payer (possibly Microsoft) some chance at gate crashing into the industry profits. However, with most of the profits getting banked only at Samsung or Apple, there is very little room for other OEMs (i.e Nokia & RIM) to spend lavishly on devices and services.
On the good many others who are completely sidelines (the list includes Motorola, Nokia, Sony (Ericssson), LG, Blackberry) – the decline is monumental. They all saw Apple coming a mile off. The media had been speculating for several years on when iPod would become iPhone. Yet they sat on their hands, too busy creating monopolies of their own to see where the world was headed. And in doing too many things for too many segments across too many geographies on a varied range of price points – they never built a roadmap to what could be the future of mobile computing.
Interestingly enough, almost all the value from the Android ecosystem is concentrated in Samsung. From the mobile operators’ point of view this emerging duopoly must be deeply worrying. Having been forced to bend to Apple’s will, they were very happy to see the emergence of Android, with its promise of a multitude of manufacturers competing for their attention. Now it looks as though Samsung is in position to
call all the shots in the Android market
Going forward in Q4, 2012, the only thing that can be expected in this equation is Apple regaining ground basis the holiday season bookings of iPhone5 which has generated much of a hysteria around the world
- Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached almost 428 million units in the third quarter of 2012, a 3.1 percent decline from the third quarter of 2011.
- However compatred to Q2, 2012, the market has grown by 2.3% propelled by the growth of smartphones which added 15.6 million units to its Q2, 2012 number
- Smartphone sales accounted for 39.6 percent of total mobile phone sales, as smartphone sales increased 46.9 percent from the third quarter of 2011.
- Smartphones continued to fuel sales of mobile phones worldwide with sales rising to 169.2 million units in the third quarter of 2012.
- The smartphone market was dominated by Apple and Samsung. Both vendors together controlled 46.5 percent of smartphone market leaving a handful of vendors fighting over a distant third spot.
- In the smartphone market, Android continued to increase its market share, up 19.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2012.
- Although RIM lost market share, it climbed to the No. 3 position as Symbian is nearing the end of its lifecycle. Channel destocking in preparation of new device launches for RIM, resulted into (lower than usual) 8.9 million sales to end users in the third quarter of 2012.
- With the launch of iPhone 5, Gartner analysts expect iOS share will grow strongly in the fourth quarter of 2012 because users held on to their replacements in many markets ahead of the iPhone 5 wider roll out. Windows Phone’s share weakened quarter-on-quarter as the Windows Phone 8 launch dampened demand of Windows Phone 7 devices.
All figures as per gartner.com