CTIA, is about to begin in Orlando, Florida and ReadWriteWeb's Sarah Perez and I are on the scene to find out what's hot for mobile device power users, mobile developers, the Internet of Things and more.One of the biggest mobile technology conferences in the world,
Mobile is no doubt the future of the consumer computing experience and a world of connected devices are sure to make huge new sets of data available for developers to play with. The movement of mainstream markets will open up new possibilities for experimentation, too. Here's what I'll be looking to see at this giant event.
Apple rocked the mobile world with the first compelling mobile app experience that was loved by consumers and developers. Once unimaginable, mass market providers are now competing to win the hearts of mainstream app users.
Unlike at smaller, freakier industry events I attend - I'll be looking at CTIA to see what big app builders are going to try to move whole markets with. I expect to see a new baseline of offerings that will set the tone and create expectations that smaller fringe developers will work within over the next year.
For example, the app PhoneGuard aims to bring location tracking to the mainstream by targeting parents who want to block their children from texting while driving and get a report detailing where they were if they drive over a certain speed. That's the kind of mainstream use case and clear value to consumers that could leave a wake of opportunity for other developers seeking to leverage the resulting consumer acceptance of conditional location tracking. I'll be looking for more apps like that at CTIA.
Android, Apple & Competition
Handsets and tablets are all judged against Apple devices and this show will be another big opportunity to see what others can bring. Android, and perhaps to a lesser degree WebOS, provide a clear and increasingly strong OS alternative to try to put in an apple-beating form factor. That's just the first step of the challenge, of course, as the app landscape remains so tilted in Apple's favor. (The battle never ends, though: see last week's news New Dashboard Provides Android Developers with Better Stats)
CTIA is an industry event, though, and the rest of the industry desperately hopes that now that consumer demand for beautiful smart phones has been validated, challengers with higher margins for the rest of the supply chain will continue to grow in strength. That more Android phones are now sold than iOS phones is a good sign for the market, for competition and for consumers on all platforms.
Networks as Platforms
The emerging era is an era of data as a platform. From the tiniest Tweet or individual beat of your heart to the massive deluge of data expected from a new world of connected devices reporting to the web about their use for the first time - so much more data is available than ever before. That data is a raw resource waiting to be given form. Mobile phone companies see more of it than almost anyone on earth. (See, for example, our post Meet the Fire Hose Seven Thousand Times Bigger Than Twitter.)
Can these companies create new wealth and consumer value by opening up their data to a world of hungry developers? Or will they horde and squander this rich resource, suffocating it under the weight of their own limited imaginations and incredible appetite for short term recovery of huge infrastructure outlays and their need for profit? I'll be looking for the latest data points to gain insight into that question.
Spectrum crisis, machine to machine communication and much more can be understood in a number of different contexts.
ReadWriteWeb looks at the web as a readable/writable platform, enabling new publishing possibilities and a new understanding of the world. That's the context I'll be looking at CTIA through. Stay tuned for coverage of the most exciting mobile developments we can find here.