Yesterday’s discussion with Nikolai on global mobilization from the perspective of government and major corporations really only scratches the surface. Yet, there’s a lot that can be extracted from just those five basic points that can be useful to developers and others who are on the periphery of the mobile market.
Mobile & Internet Infrastructure — Rolling out 3G, 4G, WiFi, landlines or even satellite into remote locations is not itself a problem. Making it commercially viable for companies to do so is difficult. That is the critical barrier. Going on, per the goal of Internet.org to provide Internet access essentially for free? That’s far more challenging.
Tip: If you live “near” an unconnected or under-developed region, it is worthwhile for you to acquaint yourself with the people and companies likely to be involved in developing it. It will be easier to get to know them on closer to a “first name basis” before the real development putting you ahead of everyone else competing to be part of the jobs, projects and other opportunities.
Supply and Demand — Alongside infrastructure development the drive is to increase demand for mobile/internet services – which is very difficult to do when the devices are priced way outside the people’s purchasing power within a particular area. That’s where the Nokia X line comes in – bringing mobile within the purchasing reach of more people. That initiates new competitive cycles where, over time, a) even more affordable devices become readily available, b) cascading increases in business increase the area’s purchasing power, c) more people acquire secondhand devices.
Tip: Waste not, want not. There are several possibilities worthy of exploring. One is that many people with older mobile phones will be looking to get some cash value out of them to help pay for a new device. Sometimes, these are resold. In some cases it could be viable to work with vendors to have apps to have your apps pre-installed on these second hand devices. This seems a bit far fetched, but if your average paid advertising cost per install is $ .50 to $1.00 is frequently greater than local emerging market wages.
Distribution — In the short-term, the rollout of new products like Nokia X resides mostly outside of the “internet business model”. It must be done through “brick-n-mortar” stores, where in some areas the actual “bricks” might not exist. Sequentially, it is less about product time to market than it is about the time to actually build that market starting with the major cities of each developing country. more