The analysts at Morgan Stanley have produced a report that’s quite good reading on some of the major trends concerning mobile web. The report consists of:
- The Mobile Internet Report Summary Slides– a 92-slide presentation that provides highlights on the key themes
- The Mobile Internet Report Key Themes – a 659-slide presentation that drills down a bit more
- The Mobile Internet Report – a 424 page report which explores 8 major themes in depth and includes the two aforementioned slide presentations + related overview text
Some interesting things as I was going through it.
More than Mobile Internet
I think they had trouble coming up with a name and settled for Mobile Internet even though it isn’t a great choice. They talk about:
5 Trends Converging (3G + Social Networking + Video + VoIP + Impressive Mobile Devices)
which is more than what I think of as mobile internet. They point to lots of different mobile computing devices – Smartphone, Kindle, Tablet, MP3, Cell Phone, PDA, Car Electronics, GPS, ABS, A/V – but then they add in other things that to me are more about convergence than mobile, e.g., home entertainment, home appliances. Those things likely are not mobile. Instead, the interesting aspect is that they are now getting connected.
They also talk about waves lasting 10 years, but it’s a lot messier than that and the cycle times are much faster. And it’s interesting that while they talk about the impact of Facebook, they don’t quite seem to recognize the impact of Web 2.0, social networking, etc. that’s been a cycle much shorter than 10 years.
And they even point to how fast things are ramping on mobile access:
Open vs. Closed Platforms
They raise one of the most complex issues I grapple with all the time. Do you build towards for open or closed and how you deal with incumbent players. I like that they are raising these issues. They talk about Apple and Facebook quite a bit – both of which are relatively closed systems. And I’m not sure I buy some of their predictions just because of that question:
We believe Facebook has the potential to serve as a communications platform / engine of one-to-one, one-to-some and one-to-many (and visa versa) for the mobile Internet.
Facebook has made some moves recently that suggest that they may head more in the direction of Google Connect and be a platform, but their heritage and the way they view what the world looks like (think Facebook applications), suggest to me that they will continue to be a closed platform. This is likely worth a full post on it’s own, but I don’t seem that as being the communications and social network platform that we can rely on. I’m not so sure that a bet on Facebook as the platform is a good one.