It's All Just Messaging
from the calm-down... dept
Tomi Ahonen has a lot of really interesting things to say about the mobile space. When he talks, it's usually worth paying attention, as he's been studying the space for many years, and usually has great insights into what's really happening in the mobile space. Andrew Odlyzko is another sharp thinker in the technology space, who not only was one of the only people who noticed that Worldcom and other telcos were lying about claims they were making way before anyone else did, but also recognized that connectivity is more important than content and has made other interesting points concerning the growth of the internet. So, when Ahonen dismisses Odlyzko as a "clueless American analyst," something doesn't seem right. In this case, though, it seems like Ahonen has become a little too focused on trashing "clueless Americans" than with the actual issue. His entire rant is about how mobile email won't be the killer app for mobile devices. He might be right... but discussions about what will and won't be "the killer app" are usually pretty pointless. Ahonen, however, gets incredibly focused on what seems like a silly debate over "who will win: SMS or mobile email." All of these "which technology will win" debates tend to miss the point -- which is that technologies evolve and change to handle what people need them to do. Both SMS and email are simply different forms of messaging and each have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the situation. The "advantages" that Ahonen lists concerning SMS don't actually seem that advantageous in some situations. He claims that SMS always beats email because the other person is always there. That's nice in some situations, but it also means more interruptions -- which may not be ideal for certain forms of communication. Also, his claim that kids are using SMS text messaging rather than Blackberries is a bit misleading. The Blackberry isn't marketed to kids. So, what they have available to them is a phone with text messaging, so of course they're more likely to use that than mobile email. While it's true that mobile email may not be "the killer app" for mobile devices (but who really cares?), trashing anyone who says that mobile email is a useful application seems to be going a bit overboard as well. As noted, Ahonen is usually very sharp, and worth paying attention to, but this time, it seems he over reacted a bit. Update: Tomi responds in the comments and admits he may have gone a bit overboard. He's edited the post so as to no longer call Odlyzko clueless and explains his position more fully.