Mobile Future

Today’s real wireless issue and it’s not the iPad

The lights have dimmed at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center and for all the hype surrounding the iPad, the far more important issue involves the rapid impact that tablet computing will have across the wireless ecosystem.

If the iPad is a success, watch for hardware and software developers to respond in kind – and fast.  Take hardware development: By the fall of 2007, consumers had shown clear interest in mobile phone touch screens.  A year later, at least three other companies had unveiled touch screen phones.  Since then, even more choices have emerged.

That, in turn, spurred the current surge in mobile apps.  If tablet computers become a success, expect to see a huge amount of resources deployed for software development.  Earlier this week, The New York Times’ Jenna Wortham once again showed why she has a reputation for being ahead of the curve on tech trends.   On Monday, The Times published this article by Wortham on the broader implications of the iPad [Link]:

“Apple’s move to open up the iPhone to outside programmers in 2008 started a software-writing frenzy. [The iPad’s 10-inch screen and other features] could inspire developers to create new twists on apps, like games that two or more people can easily play at once on the same device.”

As with mobile phone apps, the growth of the “tablet app” market will continue to hasten America’s mobile adoption.


For policymakers, the importance of allocating enough wireless spectrum to accommodate consumers’ expected surge in mobile usage becomes even more important.  Fortunately, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet recently approved a bill that’s a step in the right direction.