Friday, September 15, 2006
Skype to Disrupt Mobile Phone BizNetGear announced the first Skype phone ($249) that runs over WiFi, and this has all the earmarks of a disruptive technology that telecom companies will have to counteract.
WiFi phones free users from monthly service charges, and Skype users no longer must have a PC nearby. Calls to other Skype users will be free, and calls to standard phones cost a fraction of today's prices.
Of course the big challenge for Skype is reliability, if users can't connect, they won't be customers for long. I have been using Skype every day for the past two months and was happy until the last week when my connection started sucking.
Marketers need to think about how WiFi phones will present new challenges and opportunities. Advertisers may have more inventory on Skype users' desktops as well as perhaps geotargeting customers on their phones as they roam about. But equally important is considering what might be lost. If the telecom industry declines substantially, what does that mean?
Often times disruptive technologies will have unanticipated consequences as they rollover into seemingly unrelated technologies. For example, DVRs are forcing TV advertisers to adjust, but they have also helped to create YouTube by making it easy to save content and then post it online.
Analyzing and planning for the ramifications of disruptive will keep others from eating your lunch.
By Jason Dowdell at 11:18 AM | Comments (2)