Indian Mobile telephony

The computer was 25 years old last year – the IBM PC as it was known then and while there were many that feted that birthday –a lot of forward looking people called the demise of this technology not too far in the future. Handheld computers and smart phones are expected to take their place and the name of the game is ubiquitous computing. The global PC market is estimated to be $200 billion a year and though growth rates are not what it used to be 2007 was in fact one of the better years with numbers between 12% to 17% growth in Q2 2007. A large part of the growth was attributed to the growth in portable (laptop) computers. A lot more interesting facts about the computer can be read here.  and the fact was that this is was also the year that Apple computers – hitherto a bit player in the computer industry has seen shipments of its computer line grow – thanks to what analysts call an ‘halo’ effect.

 

Global PC shipments in Q2 2007

 

Q2 2007

Q2 2006

Growth

Vendor

Shipments

Share

Shipments

Share

YTY

HP

11,335

19.3%

8,303

15.9%

36.5%

Dell

9,491

16.1%

9,978

19.1%

-4.9%

Lenovo

4,879

8.3%

3,989

7.6%

22.3%

Acer

4,261

7.2%

2,742

5.2%

55.4%

Toshiba

2,407

4.1%

1,981

3.8%

21.5%

Others

26,452

45.0%

25,303

48.4%

4.5%

Total

58,824

100.0%

52,297

100.0%

12.5%

Source: IDC

Gartner has actually put a higher number on the growth than IDC and ranks Apple fourth in the United States but are not in the top five internationally.  But even at its best the PC is still a slow laggard to what mobile phones have done in India. Reuters reported yesterday (23rd August 2007) that for Nokia India was in fact its second largest market – beating – hold your breath the US, but well after China which is their largest.  Nokia shipped 60 million handsets from its factory near the southern Indian city of Chennai in the 18 months to August, and CEP and President Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo expects demand to remain strong as India’s user base surges.’

 

The mobile phone it appears has truly and completely upstaged the PC and at India this is brought home by recent reports that most people now access the internet more through mobile phones than computers as a recent report in the Economic Times mentions This has a lot of significance for a developing nation such as ours and as Robert Jensen professor of Public Policy at Harvard (John F. Kenney school of Government) has shown through his research on the fisher men of kerala – a simple technology like mobile telephony increases their earning substantially with a commensurate increase in their quality of life; healthcare etc. The report can be accessed here from the NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research) here as a PDF  Mobile telephony is indeed going to be the way forward for our country – the device that will finally unlock the true potential of the vast network out there which earlier seemed limited to computer owners.

 

This is a fact that is recognized by the pone makers and Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania had a good analysis of what Nokia has done at India as business policy to take the lead here.  And a ot of it has to do with making a good product. The made for India and made in India Nokia 1100 is estimated to be the best selling electronic product of all time selling 200 million units in comparison to a 100 millon iPods and 150 million Playstation 2 and shows where this market could go and the potential there. The fact is also borne out by another crude measure – the amount of PE and VC money following startups in India in the mobile telephony application space. Another interesting item in the news was a potential rumor that Google will launch its G phone – a mobile phone (and service) in India first in the next few days.

 

  

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About Soumya
A technology enthusiast, forever enamored by all that it hath wrought and of course here is an attempt at making sense of it all and perhaps simplifying it!

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