Lessons for Mobility

Techdirt has a great article this week contrasting people’s attraction to Wi-Fi enabled devices with people’s disdain for their cellular devices (seemingly largely driven by their dissatisfaction with their cellular carriers).

What are the lessons for those believing in the revolutionary power of mobility?

I tend to think it has to do with the direction of integration…  A laptop maker who builds mobility (in the form of WiFi) into their laptop, still has a great laptop but now the value is increased by mobility.  A wireless company that sells a voice plan, but then tries to build laptop functionality into a cellphone has a cellphone that’s slightly improved, but isn’t a very good laptop.

Building mobility into products creates significant incremental value.

Converging a capability into my mobile device creates some value, in that now I have that capability everywhere I go, but if the compromises are too great, mostly it can create frustration.

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