The Internet in Your Pocket

The Internet in Your Pocket

Summary: With the title, you might have thought that this article was going to be about the iPhone. Well, not directly.

TOPICS: Nokia, Mobility

With the title, you might have thought that this article was going to be about the iPhone. Well, not directly. The title refers to a talk that Tero Ojanpera, the CTO of Nokia, gave at the O'Reilly's Emerging Telephony conference last March.

Olanpera says that "There is no such thing as a mobile Internet -- there is just the same Internet for everyone -- no matter how you access it." He believes that converged devices are the future because converged, programmable platforms allow you to mix and match content from various sources.

Ojanpera points to two important changes that have occurred online: First, the middleman was eliminated--no one uses travel agents anymore. Second, active participation grew--blogs, social networks, and wikis are good examples of this. He believe that these communities will soon go mobile in a big way.

This is, I believe, one of the secrets of Twitter's success. The strong integration of SMS into Twitter allowed people to blog small snippets to Twitter on the go. No need to be in front of your computer to easily update your friends on what you're doing.

Ojanpera points to other applications that Nokia is piloting, such as contactless credit cards embedded in phones. He's used his phone--in NYC, no less--to pay in MacDonalds. Soon such applications will be commonplace.

Topics: Nokia, Mobility

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1 comment
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  • If there is only one web, there are different experiences

    There may not be a mobile Internet, but there are low-speed, small screen, limited I/O device web experiences.

    Bill Joy defined six webs (

    Taking a full screen browser (Safari), connecting with a low-speed connection (GPRS/EDGE), then displaying it on a small screen using pan and zoom I think will fail. Just like panning displays on ultraportable laptops failed.

    Match the experience to the content. Don't shoehorn a full web page (adds and all!) into a phone display.

    It would be equally nice if ISPs could publish their connection rate for given IP addresses, so web site would automatically offer low-bandwidth pages when accessed from a known low-speed connection. Nothing like going to an Internet cafe in the third world and accessing a U.S. web site only to spend 30 minutes downloading 2 MB of Flash ads.