High-speed networks and mobile devices will result in a greater opportunity for vendors to drive growth around embedded software, according to Robert Abbe, managing director in the communications and software computing infrastructure group at investment banking firm Jefferies Broadview, a division of Jefferies & Company Inc.
Among the other technology prognostications Abbe offered in an interview with TechWeb: Consumers can expect wireless security updates to cellular phones and handheld devices, and e-mail will become the key mobile application. In addition, he believes the delivery of streaming music and video to the cellular phone will attempt to catch up with e-mail, ring tones and games.
With more businesses allowing employees to work remotely, mobile devices need to operate across a secure platform to manage e-mail, sales force automation and customer relationship management applications, Abbe believes. "Sybase and many other are enabling organizations to push out capabilities to the Blackberry or other handheld devices," Abbe said. "Symantec, MacAfee and other major security vendors are working on applications, and in the next 18 months there is likely to be acquisition activity driven by technology rather than pure consolidation and cost-cutting."
Carriers will continue to provide applications tailored to delivering games, ring-tones and full music track downloads. Similar to Jamdat Mobile Inc., there are a series of content companies realizing success as the trend moves toward a third-party open Internet-based developer model from a hosted business model controlled by carriers. This will give gamers a broader range of content. Abbe said when this happens consumers can expect Google Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and America Online Inc. to play a major role in managing and searching for that content.
To secure the mobile warrior, companies in the United States will spend $415.9 billion in 2006 for security software, services and hardware, up from $13.5 billion in 2004, according to IDC estimates.
Expect cellular phone manufacturers like Motorola, Nokia and Palm Inc. to diversify risk and move toward more types of operating systems. Many are concerned about "Microsoft controlling the operating systems and replay what we've seen on the desktop," Abbe said. "You saw Motorola aggressively pursue PalmSource, a move to control their destiny with open source solutions for future mobile devices."
Higher-end cellular phones and mobile devices that run Linux will begin to become more prevalent in 2006, Abbe said. Earlier this month, Nokia launched opensource.nokia.com, a new Internet portal for its open source software projects. The idea is to drive reliability features into higher-end mobile devices. The projects presented in the portal enable Nokia to share information on mobile software with open source developers to further drive the industry's development. Nokia, even though it mostly uses the Symbian operating system in smart phones, in May released a mobile device called the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet on Linux, all indications there is more to come.
Listen to Robert Abbe discuss his predictions in this podcast.