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Strategic Investments Outlook in Mobile

March 1, 2009

Event video now available at TiE website.

This Tuesday, March 3rd, I am looking forward to hosting this event at TiE Silicon Valley. We have assembled a great, world-class panel that includes:

  • Eric Buatois, General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures
  • Jonathan Goldberg, Equity Research Analyst Deutsche Bank’s Wireless Research Team
  • Paul Moon, Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy, S.K Telecom Americas
  • Rakesh Sood, Venture Adviser, Docomo Capital
  • Alex Yu, Head of Wireless Corporate Development, Cisco Systems

As part of the event, I will have the opportunity to conduct a short one-on-one interview with Jonathan. He just got back from Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona and according to him “attendance at the show was down by about 15%, but decision makers from all geographies, as well as major and minor carriers still made it a point to come. Deals got done. The world kept turning.”

More importantly, he notes that “this year’s MWC was more memorable for what was not on display, than what was. There were no new Motorola handsets; there were no new working Android phones; there was no end to the iPhone clones; and there was far less hype around LTE than we had expected going in.” We will have an opportunity to dig deeper into why he believes Google is missing an opportunity with Android. We will explore areas where carriers are placing their bets in terms of investments and why he believes that carrier spending patterns look set to soften further as macro conditions tighten. Other than the Verizon LTE announcement he does not expect to see significant buildouts this year, and forecasts that equipment volumes will be down 8%-10%, but pricing will be down 15%-20%. Ouch.

Palm's hail mary?

Palm's Hail Mary?

Despite the gloom, he does see a few bright spots and we’ll highlight those. We will probe him on his optimism around Palm Pre and will also talk about cool SciFi stuff he saw at the show. This includes TI’s DLP that powers a cell phone projector (road-warriors can now really dump their laptops); and a Huggable Shirt, designed by livecircuitsdfd, a UK company, that allows a wearer to receive ‘hug messages’ from friends who send signals from their own shirts or via SMS. (The developers assured Jonathan that there were practical and health care-related applications for the device).

Jonathan will then moderate the panel with Eric, Paul, Rakesh and Alex. These guys are no pushovers and are bound to challenge Jonathan on his opinions, views, and forecasts… and these gentlemen are not so gentle in sharing their own opinions either. No guarantees, but we will try to have this event recorded and made available for those unable to attend.

PS: Here is footage from Jonathan’s interview with Bloomberg.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Shanker Trivedi permalink
    March 1, 2009 8:26 pm

    Look forward to a great event! I’ll be interested in Jonathan’s perspective on the market and investments outside of the mobile phone and telecom industry i.e. sensors, GPS, tags, etc. As the Barcelona Congress has changed its name from 3GSM to MWC, how much of the focus at the show is outside of the telecom industry? It would be great if you spent sometime on this aspect!

  2. March 2, 2009 2:49 am

    Very convenient program

  3. anand permalink
    March 4, 2009 1:14 am

    Good event.

    Many topics were covered. Of course, I wouldn’t have minded even more topics discussed, and in greater depth 🙂 Would have liked to hear more about near field communications. Perhaps more about specific apps that were driving usage, and what future types of apps might generate usage.

    “equipment volumes will be down 8%-10%, but pricing will be down 15%-20%. Ouch.”
    Was this 8%-10% drop in volumes, 8%-10% drop in prices, and nominal revenues down 15%-20%?

    I was surprised by Jonathan’s slight measured cautious optimism about Motorola and their big Android phone bet (notice all the qualifiers.) It seems like Motorola and Google are saving their fire for some big releases.

    Having two carriers on the panel was quite good. Paul Moon added his Helio experience. Rakesh briefly brought up i-mode (maybe this could have been discussed a little more. Since this seems to be the only carrier app store with some promise.)

    Again, congrats Ramneek on a good discussion.


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