Changing the Rules

Recently, our president, Rick Osterloh, has been sharing his thoughts about the mobile device industry and other topics on Medium. We wanted to share one of his posts here. He’ll be posting more stories like these on Medium, and you can find them here.

Last week the Times of India reported that Flipkart, India’s leading e-commerce site, would abandon its desktop website and go all-mobile. This says something about how they see their market and the users they are cultivating. India is one of the great growth stories for mobile — a country with 1.25 billion people and just over 200m mobile Internet users.

But that great untapped market is also a conundrum. Many of the people on the fringes of global mobile Internet adoption have radically different expectations and habits than the consumers we’re used to dealing with. In some cases they’re buying bandwidth literally a few kb at a time. No matter how inexpensive good devices get, many of these people don’t have the years of accumulated experience that make modern mobile operating systems decipherable.

This is a great illustration of something I’ve been talking about with my team recently. The mobile device business remains one of the most amazing growth stories of our age. But three forces are profoundly changing the shape of the industry, making this the most interesting and perilous time since it emerged in its modern form in 2007. We have to adapt to this new world to survive. These three forces are new users and markets; China; and new competitors and new models.

Read the full post on Medium here.

Posted by Rick Osterloh, President and COO

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