Saturday, November 12, 2005

Mobile Phone: The Social Networking device

The debate over whether consumer electronics devices will converge around the mobile phone or some other device is a long, drawn out and well beyond illumination by a short blog post. I had personally felt that the devices would not converge around the mobile phone. I expected that we would use more than one device and the mobile phone would not be the dominant device.

Now, I know the argument is a red herring.

And all because of one person and one interview.

Anina points out that the value of the mobile phone arises from being the social networking device. An iPod is not -- an iPod is an entertainment device.

In the mobile operators march to higher ARPU, the importance of social networking is lost. How important? The single biggest activity on the internet is social networking whether for business or pleasure. Every email, every IM, every blog is social networking.

The handset manufacturers and wireless operators will only achieve success by developing devices that support and reduce the friction of social networking. They won't achieve success by trying to cram as much content as possible into a phone.

Anina is an influencer and it is going to be fascinating to see where she goes.

Update: Anina is running a discussion of the interview on her blog. 13 Nov 2005