Will the netbook play an essential part for mobile media in the future?

Netbook NewsIn this decade the mega-trend “Cloud Computing” will lead to a new era of the internet. Consumers will save their information, documents and content (fotos, videos, etc.) online, share it with others or publish it on the web. There are already many examples today to understand this major change of usability and consumer behaviour.

Besides mobile phones there is a huge potential for cheap and simple “terminals” to enter the “Cloud” online. Last year the first products in this niche-market had been launched: the Netbooks. Netbooks are often sold including a SIM-card and a data-plan for high-speed mobile connections.

Forbes.com wrote an interesting article why Apple is facing dramatic problems in the future due to this emerging trend: “Apple’s Real Problem: Netbooks”.

Furthermore the basic idea for a low-cost “Cloud Computer” can close the information gap on a global level. Nicolas Negroponte understood the potential of this idea and founded the non-profit organisation “one laptop per child” (http://www.laptop.org/en/) and started the developement of the 100 Dollar Laptop.

In combination with a smart “Cloud Computing Operation System” like David Liu’s gOS or Tariq Krim’s Jolicloud, low-tech Netbooks can become a very powerful device and shape the future of mobile media. “Cloud Computing Operation System” might be a “disruptive innovation”.

Wikipedia: A disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is a technological innovation that improves a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically by being lower priced or designed for a different set of consumers.

Last week I had the chance to discuss this question with one of the best-known experts on Netbooks: Sascha Pallenberg, aka the “Netbook King” (via Robert Scoble). Sascha is founder of Netbook News.

Here you can see what Sascha answered on my question:
Will the netbook play an essential part for mobile media in the future?

What do you think?
Join the conversation and give us your feedback.

About Monty Metzger

Monty Metzger is an Entrepreneur, Blogger and Trend-Scout. He is initiator and head of the MOCOM2020 project. He studied Business Administration in Germany and Switzerland and specialiced early on electronic Marketing. Since Monty founded his first company in 1998 he realised inspiring projects like BMW’s Web TV in 2001 or BMW’s first Mobile Marketing activities in 2002. He attended the “Innovation Academy” at the Harvard Business School and is blogging at monty.de He found the german office of the global Trend Research and Trend Consultancy “CScout” and expanded the company in China. Since 2008 he is focusing on the growth of “Ahead of Time“, an innovation agency focusing on Emerging Media, such as Social Media and Mobile Media.

7 thoughts on “Will the netbook play an essential part for mobile media in the future?

  1. Thanks a lot for your time Monty and for starting some more discussion on this topic.
    We are at the very beginning of cloud and mobile computing and it’s amazing what services you can use already. But with the raise of cheap mobile computing devices, this market will explode in the next 2 years

  2. My 2 cents are that Netbooks opened up a new door in the consumers mind for affordable (!!), portable, big screen, net connected computers. I do not expect Netbooks to become the predominant future mobile media devices.

    More important will be what comes AFTER the netbook. Now that “mental segment” opened up it depends very much what the next generation of netbookish devices will and can deliver, how and how much they will move away from the classic PC usability approach, how they will embrace the “cloud” as a real added value for consumers and most of all what “benefit” they can contribute to daily life. (apart from the “geek” appeal).

  3. For me there are two aspects to this discussion. Mobile Internet is per definition the Internet I can access wherever I am. So a SIM card is needed. And in this context netbooks play certainly a role. But even more important, netbooks play a role to educate the people to use actually the Mobile Internet more often. Like the iphone netbooks will dramatically increase usage of the Internet “on the go”-

  4. The pricepoint of netbooks is definately the number one sales arguement but even though it is important to think about the next generation or the next mobile device, we should know what users don’t want.

    The average consumer wants a keyboard! Forget about these 10 year old tablets that are getting refreshed and rehyped right now. The keyboard is still the basic input system we have to use. Hey, i would be happy to have an plug and play speech recognization software but do i really want that?

    Lets bring users into the cloud with the devices that are available and let’s get a new infrastructure for the education market established, especially in the western hemisphere, before trying to crusade the emerging markets with all these OLPC, PC-1 and whatever ideas. It never worked and it won’t work out, cause there is just no infrastructure for this and these markets still have other challenges to face (even the BRIC ones!).

    2009 is just the beginning and we will say hundrets of devices popping up all over the globe. The cloud is existing and i am sure that most of the mobile netbookers are using it most of the time. Now it’s a matter of getting more ecosystems online and have the first real cloud computer, that is also getting promoted as a cloud computer!

    But hey, maybe i am totally wrong and ideas like the design prototype from Mary Lou Jepsen will be the next “kick ass” cloud device:

    http://www.eeepcnews.de/2008/05/21/olpc-20-kommt-2010-mit-2-touchscreens/

  5. This is definitely the future! I recently wrote about it within the context of mobile phone ownership – that two devices (phone + netbook) will be an important emerging trend.

    The future is Mobile Internet Devices (MID) or Wireless Interenet Devices (WID), per the Intel hardware vision, especially within this timeframe (2020). Kids today are used to PSP, DS and growing up with their life in the cloud, not bound to the traditional laptop foci, like MS Office and other stodgeware.

    Operators will adjust their service offerings to multi-device ownership. This has various manifestations in terms of operator services and tariffs.

    Multi-device architectures will inevitably mean more data in the cloud, such as address book, text history etc. Nice opportunity for MNOs to get into sync and cloud storage services, which I think they should have aggressively pursued some time back.

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