Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mobile Internet access is looking up

We have discussed mobile device form factors. We still don't know what form factor the public will choose, but we just got an indication. Apple's iPhone is a better Internet access device than any previous cell phone, and, since it was introduced, Google has seen 50 times more searches on the iPhone than any other mobile handset.

Virtually all phone manufacturers are working on touchscreen devices similar to the iPhone, and many of them will use Google's Android operating system and application bundle.

Phone manufacturer Nokia is convinced the public will want mobile Internet access. They recently purchased NAVTEQ, the street mapping company used by Google Maps and others. Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Nokia president and CEO, believes GPS chips will be as common in mobile phones as cameras. He says "navigation is one of the foundations of the context-aware mobile phone. We believe it will be as important as voice capability was 20 years ago."

IPhone users like to access the Internet, but that does not prove the billions of simple cell phone users will feel the need to convert. Is mobile Internet access important to you or are you satisfied with your current cell phone? If you had a mobile Internet device, what would stop you from running Skype or another VOIP program instead of using cell call minutes? Check these hypothetical auto navigation videos from NAVTEQ -- would you use these applications?