Yeah, I know, another post about the iPhone 5. But we’re going to look at another angle here.
I’ve been trying to get a handle on the apparent disinterest of the early-adopter crowd in the latest iPhone announcement.1 And while talking about that over beers with a good friend, a thought occurred to me: Mobile computing is essentially solved.
Maybe that’s what all the critics of the patent decision in Samsung vs. Apple are trying to get at when they talk about how the design decisions are obvious — we’ve arrived at large demographics having easy and ready access to powerful mobile computers and a visual and interaction language that is still evolving somewhat, but is readily intelligible to many.
We’ve arrived at the standard assumption being everyone you interact with having ready access to communications and computation devices, mostly in the form of what we still oddly call “Phones”, and not constantly carrying around your Smartphone is unimaginable to many, and may only be ironic expression of a certain quirkiness.
In short: smart phones, and by that I really mean ultra-mobile computers, have arrived. Done.
And maybe that’s why those nagging voices who expect a new “Revolution” from Apple are so persistently annoying: because they kinda have a point, albeit from a completely skewed vantage point.
Revolutions in technology, although happening way more frequently than in any other industry, only happen so often. The real question is: what’s the next frontier.
If we assume mobile computation to be solved, then the focus should be on what can happen around mobile computation. Sure, payments is big on the hype cycle,2 cars are going to profit hugely from the connectivity provided by those mobile computers, and we see a huge uptick in hobbyist sports applications.
However, we might want to look at further, and more interesting corollaries of mobile computation.