In an earlier post, I stated that I think there will be 200 M broadband connections (access speed > 1 Mbps) by 2015. I got some feedback that the prediction seems unrealistic (some called it crazy) given that there are less than 10 M broadband connections today and probably less than 2 M connections with speeds greater than 1 Mbps. I agree that a 10-100X increase in the number of BB connections in 5 years is aggressive. Its also plausible. Here are some factoids to keep in mind:
- A MediaTek chip set based 3G phone (with a 2-2.5” screen) costs $ 35 to make (BOM cost) and sells for $ 50-60
- iPhone copycat phones are available for $ 70-100 today on ebay
- There are 200M + mobile internet users in China today, and projected to grow to 1 B+ by 2015
- 3 G data access costs $3-10/month in China today, see link
Is it crazy to think that by 2015, mobile phones with 3.5” screen size and features similar to the iPhone 4 will cost $ 50 (Rs 2500)? Or that iPad like tablets will be available for $100 (Rs 5000) ? Or that netbooks will cost less than $ 150 (Rs 7,500)? Or that an always on broadband connection will cost most consumers less than $ 10/month (Rs 500)?
If you believe the above, then, why is it hard to believe that there will be 125 M+ mobile (smart) phones with 3/4 G connections, and another 100 M PCs/tablets/net books with broadband access ?
If you buy into my vision of ubiquitous broadband in India, then the following questions arise?
- Which OS/platform will dominate? Will incumbents like Microsoft and Nokia maintain leadership in the new paradigm? Will the iPhone become the way to access the web in India? Or will India be the country where Google first takes market leadership with Android and Chrome? And will it matter who wins?
- How will consumers discover content and applications? Will the web paradigm of Google.com being the start page extend to the mobile web? Or will operators continue to exert the same stranglehold that they do on SMS/VAS services?
- What will be the killer application? Communication or shopping or gaming or….Will FB dominate mobile social networking? Or will networks like RockeTalk and SMS GupShup be the new Facebook?
- What will be the payment platform? Will Indian consumers take the plunge and begin to make on-line payments via credit/debit cards? And do credit/debit cards have adequate penetration to be relevant? Or will the ease of use of pre-paid cards win the day?
Let me know what you think?