Preparing for the $20 mobile paradigm

Mobile Mentor's CEO Denis O'Shea believes we are approaching what he calls the '$20 mobile paradigm'

Mobile Mentor’s founder and CEO Denis O’Shea says the BYOD trend is “simply a phase that will lead us into a future situation”.

He describes that future as the “$20 mobile paradigm”, explaining that, by 2020, he predicts that people will be able to buy a smart device for $20, have unlimited mobile service for $20/month and build an enterprise mobile app in 20 minutes.

O’Shea belives the “matrix of considerations of BYOD” will be resolved in the next five years, with long term benefits including the much discussed productivity gains, along with staff satisfaction and front line innovation.

“BYOD is intensely personal. If we get it right, we can really empower the user,” said O’Shea at his presentation at IDC’s Enterprise Mobility Conference, in Auckland last month. According to the CEO, being an SMB is no reason to lag behind. “When the business models change, it is the fast who eat the slow, not the big who eat the small.”

O’Shea also believes that this mobile transformation is led from the bottom up, with users driving the adoption of mobile devices, as those are the workers who get the biggest benefits out of it. “BYOD facilitates the mobility of the masses, that’s where the real benefit is, not at the executives at the top of the pyramid,” he says. “If we can mobilise the people who work on the land, restaurants, stacking shelves in supermarket, farms, in large production environments, that is where the real opportunity lies and BYOD is the catalyst to get there,” he adds.

Enterprise mobile applications will be easily created by anyone in the future and he says HTML 5 is opening that development up to anyone. "We are very excited about HTML 5. It levels the playing field," he says.

Speaking at the same event, Charles Anderson, IDC's associated VP and head of the Asia Pacific telecom practice, said that the enterprise mobility market in the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) will increase from US$6.9 billion in 2013 to US$12.8 billion in 2017. The New Zealand market, he added, will grow at a 18.9 percent compound annual growth rate through 2017.

According to Anderson, in New Zealand the highest growth rate will be in mobile value-added services. "Companies are buying tablets either as a laptop replacement or to integrate into a business process. You are going to see tablets become more and more important in the enterprise," he added. "BYOD isn't a trend, it's the norm," he says. "Companies will revisit their mobility deployments and strategies in 2013," he adds, saying that this year will see "the mobilisation of the business processes".

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Very naive analysis, three problems with this theory:
1. $20 handset, the manufacturers don't make any money.
2. Nobody wanting to BYOD will want it.
3. $20 unlimited mobile service, telcos don't make any money

Won't happen...



If the price of a mobile device is going to drop to $20 by 2020 where will the quoted $5.9 billion growth in mobile device sales come from between now and 2017? Will we end up buying more phones because one is not enough or will the price drop to $20 only happen after 2017.

Cloudy Computing


Mobile Mentor doesn't produce any mobile devices, or run a mobile network. I don't even think it employs any developers and building enterprise mobile apps. Sorry Denis your comments lacks credibility.

Denis O'Shea


These predictions may seem crazy on the surface but consider the following:

In 2012 you could buy a tablet running android 4.2 for just US$60. The industry prediction is that the bill of materials for a standard mobile device will be $US10, which means that a NZ$20 retail price is feasible. Of course there will always be a shiny new device for $1000 but a $20 device may be good enough for many people.

Republic Wireless sells an unlimited wireless plan for US$19. The secret is that it is a mix of WiFi and cellular - and this is the future. WiFi in our homes, office and public transport and cellular in between. Also consider that the cost of mobile data and landline data will eventually converge which means mobile data will cost a lot less than today #.. but of course we will costume a lot more. Looking at the way rates have dropped in Australia, we believe $20 plans will eventually happen.

Building a iOS native app in 20 minutes has been possible since 2009 and with a platform like BlinkMobile we can already create enterprise apps and forms very quickly. HTML5 and standard code libraries are the secret to rapid app deployment.

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