CTIA: News and More News

I’m grateful right now not to be at CTIA in Orlando. It’s a mammoth show and it’s easy to be overwhelmed. There is going to be lots of news and announcements coming out of the show. Many items will be about devices, some will be about advertising and some will be about mobile content (e.g., TV).

In addition to the new Samsung-made Helio device, MapQuest’s “send to cell” and AdMob’s $15 million round, you can see other announcements here. Voice search provider V-Enable and InfoSpace will have announcements this week, among scores of others.

My quick thoughts on the state of mobile:

  • Ads will work on mobile devices but the right ad models have yet to be definitively established.
  • Text and voice are where the volume of usage is. Services and advertising built around those will have near-term success.
  • Two device scenarios: it’s quite possible that eventually we’ll have people using phones for voice and mico PCs or tablets (e.g., this Samsung or HTC or the Sony eBook or the Nokia Tablet, etc.) for everything else. These devices offer big enough screens to make mobile web browsing really viable and more like the desktop than the current experience on the tiny wireless screen. In that event, mobile advertising will merely be an extension of current online advertising. But it’s too early to tell whether these devices will become truly useful and widely adopted.
  • Mobile video will eventually be a phenomenon but it will be awhile and pre-roll may not find acceptance.
  • The mundane but often overlooked aspect of mobile is carrier pricing for airtime and services. If not priced attractively people will not pay for enhanced service packages, which delays adoption and ad revenue growth.


Here’s GigaOM’s “Five Trends to Expect at CTIA


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