Mobile WalletsSmartphones are going to begin a whole new market segment called Mobile Wallets. Will our cellphone become our new credit card? Recently Google bought mobile payment startup Zetawire. The NFC chip, which will allow for mobile payments, will start to be put into all mobile phones during 2011. The newest Nexus phones come with the NFC chip. According to TechCrunch, Apple was recently looking at purchasing BOKU, another mobile payments startup. But I believe the real revenues will come in 2012 in the Mobile Wallet world.
Squarehttp://www.squareup.com/ – The NFC chip is big, but I think that the most exciting development on the horizon for smartphone commerce is Square.
This product was created by Twitter co- founder Jack Dorsey. I believe that Square will revolutionize the way credit card payments are made. Square is a plastic attachment for cell phones (only iPhone and Android so far) that creates a sophisticated POS (point of sale) for all businesses.
Square will allow anyone to accept credit card payments without contracts or monthly fees. According to Square, this small device is free with a 15 cent/transaction fee. Here’s a video on how Square works - http://techcrunch.com/2009/12/01/jack-dorsey-square/.
Paypal BumpMoney will be transferred between phones by bumping two phones together. Here’s an entertaining video (good British humour behind a great app) that shows this Paypal Bump and the iPhone application in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9RNJ2yywuk
QuoraQuora – http://www.quora.com/ - is hot in Silicon Valley and I believe that 2011 will be the year it will make it big outside the “Valley.” The executive team that heads things up on the technology side all come from Facebook. They know more than a thing or two about social networking. Quora gives you the ability to follow topics and questions as well as people. It defines your profile by interests, not just by people you know. While Twitter and Facebook are also trying to create this interest graph, Quora is designed from the ground up for interest graphs. Check it out to be ahead of the social curve. Here’s a 60 second social media profile on Quora - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Fa0klZu68U
IPO ComebackDuring the last two years we haven’t seen many successful IPO’s. This will begin to change in 2011. Recently Telsa stock has been skyrocketing. Kayak and Skype have announced that they are going public. Companies such as LinkedIn, Zygna and Groupon have intentions to go public. Everybody is speculating whether Facebook will go public. They raised 500M on a 50B valuation so Facebook may be able to wait a while before they go public. Recently there has been a lot of money on the sidelines in the technology realm. Many technology companies are profitable before going public unlike the more reckless investment model that characterized the “dotcom bubble.”
Battle for TVThe way we watch TV will continue to change in 2011. Apple has launched AppleTV that streams movies amongst other things. But competitors such as Google and start-ups Boxee, Hulu and Roku are going to throw a few punches in the battle for your TV viewing. This battle will create a giant market for apps that could rival the billion dollar smartphone app market.
Tablet MarketIn 2010 we saw the arrival of the iPad that has created a new technology segment called the tablet market. The iPad is awesome. I'm sure Apple has an even more awesome iPad 2 in store for us. Can Apple's competitors come up with a credible product to compete with the iPad in 2011? Will the new version of the iPad leave the competitors in the dust? One thing is for sure, we will see many new competitors in the tablet market from Google, Dell, Samsung, and RIM to name a few.
It is going to be a very exciting year! By the end of 2011, I believe that Square, Mobile Wallets, Quora, IPO’s and the battle for TV are going to change the way we think about our technology and business.
What are your predictions for 2011? Which technologies and companies are you watching?
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