The Mobile Revolution

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The Mobile Revolution

by Dan Steinbock

Kogan Page © 2005, 304 pages, $39.95 (ISBN 0-7494-4296-4).

The Making of Mobile Services Worldwide

Dan Steinbock knows his technology. As affiliate researcher at Columbia Institute for Tele-Information at the Columbia Graduate School of Business, director of the New York office of the Academy of Finland, and author of The Nokia Revolution, he has spent much time researching and thinking about mobile services. In The Mobile Revolution, Steinbock presents a comprehensive account of the explosion of multimedia messaging, camera phones, location-based services and mobile phone television as the mobile industry grows larger across Europe, the United States, Japan, China and South Korea.

Steinbock addresses these issues to help managers and marketers understand how they can mobilize their products, services and companies. By describing how innovative companies have been able to put mobility into the hands of consumers and businesses, Steinbock reveals how markets and business strategies have been impacted across all industries by recent and rapid developments in mobile technologies.

From Ears to Eyes

Steinbock writes that, in the past, mobility was driven by technology change, but notes: “With increasing penetration, the momentum is now on usage. Tomorrow it will be on mobile content.” In the past, voice was the driving force behind mobility. Then, software became the key driver of mobility. Now, he explains, mobile subscribers are only attracted by new services and compelling content. To show readers how the perspective of marketing innovation is applied to the mobile business, The Mobile Revolution describes the details behind “the changing mobile markets, service pioneers, mobile consumer services and business services, as well as strategy.”

To discover the current and future state of the mobile business, Steinbock performed in-depth interviews with dozens of senior executives from among the world’s leading mobile vendors, operators, IT enables, media and entertainment corporations, consumer electronics experts, mobile developers and brand marketers. He also compiled an extensive review of the theoretical frameworks and empirical industry competition in the mobile world. The result of his work is a detailed look at the massive transition in mobile service innovation from voice to data.

The Mobile Revolution begins with an exploration of mobile market innovation in a global context and looks closely at cutting-edge markets as well as the top mobile vendors and operators that serve them. Steinbock describes how the United States, which dominated the mobile industry until the late 1980s, lost ground to Nordic countries, which have recently lost ground to the Asia-Pacific region. Service innovation now belongs to Japan and Korea while India and China represent the largest growth markets. In addition, he explains mobile globalization through the experiences of companies such as SK Telecom, Ericsson, OgilvyInteractive Worldwide, and pioneering mobile marketing service providers such as 21 Communications in China.

The Mobile Revolution also focuses on the ways that mobile innovation parallels the traditional marketing approaches of product, selling, marketing and customer concept. It also explores the stories of the mobile service pioneers, such as Vodafone, SK Telecom and Verizon Wireless, as told by their top developers and executives.

Mobile Consumer Services

While looking at the rapid expansion of mobile customer services worldwide, Steinbock describes the experiences of content providers such as Wall Street Journal Interactive, New York Times and Yahoo! Asia. Steinbock quotes Neil F. Budde, the founding editor of the Wall Street Journal Interactive Journal as saying, “The newspaper in your pocket is not that far off.”

In a chapter titled “Device Formerly Known as Cell Phone,” Steinbock writes, “Today, the industry deploys a variety of segmentation principles (technology, lifestyle, functionality, experience), while preparing for smart and wearable phones.” This is where Steinbock introduces readers to the FingerWhisper, a new kind of wearable handset that uses the human hand as part of the receiver. It looks like a wristwatch and converts voice to vibration through the bones of the index finger. By inserting the finger into the ear canal, the vibration is heard as a voice. Throughout, Steinbock offers an insider’s look at dozens of devices such as this, allowing readers to see tomorrow’s improved mobility today. ~

Why We Like ThIs Book

The Mobile Revolution describes an exciting future of mobile technology whose possibilities are endless and fascinating. By documenting where the world is now and where it is quickly heading, Steinbock reveals the amazing range of products and services that will be shaping our increasingly interconnected lives. ~

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