First Click: What comes after the smartphone?

October 30th, 2015, Thomas Ricker  “The Verge” writes an article detailing an interesting podcast produced by a16z, where Benedict Evans, an analyst for Andreessen Horowitz (‘a16z’) a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley that invests in technology companies and Steven Jay Sinofsky, former President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, 2009-2012  thinking out loud about what comes after the Smartphone.  The premise is mini computers disrupted mainframes;  PCs disrupted minis  but the  Smartphone ends the dominance of the PC. The companies that got in early capitalize and prosper.  Companies that preferred to stay in the past are gone. So, what is next? When all 7 billion people on Earth have a Smartphone in their pockets, what comes along that is 10 times the size to keep progress moving.  Their answer is, Everything or The promise of the internet of Things (‘IoT’) is that the things around us will be connected to everything else in some meaningful way. Think about the number of things you own versus the number of smartphones you own, and there is a market increase from 1, to ten or even hundreds of devices per person.  Last year over 1 billion smartphones were sold.  IoT sales could eclipse that with 10 to 100 billion devices sold each year. Whoever owns IoT will own the next wave of computing and the competition has already started!  That’s why Apple rolled out HomeKit and Google bought Nest.  Google’s going deeper, in an effort to own the foundation of IoT with its Brillo operating system, Weave communications protocol, and Thread mesh networking protocol.  Microsoft is in the race with Windows 10 IoT Core, while Huawei has LiteOS, Tencent has TOS+, and Samsung has Tizen.  Samsung’s also trying to own the underlying hardware required to make all those things smart with it Artik chips.  Intel and Qualcomm have similar offerings.  Right now its hard to predict a clear breakout winner though Apple and Google have the advantage of controlling the phones and tablets used to control all those smart devices.  Microsoft’s near-absence from mobile has ended its dominance. Whoever owns IoT will own the future of computing.

Question: 1) Do you agree that the future of the Smartphone is in the internet of things where everything is connected? 2) Do you see a possible partnership between Apple and Google since they seem to have a real advantage at the outset. 3) What about Microsoft, is it truly down and out of the new IoT future?



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