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November 5, 2008

The dawn of the fourth screen

BOSTON, USA – The other day when Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was addressing the Chief Executives Club of Boston one of his topics was the technology being developed and implemented for developing markets. Although it could hardly be called a rant, one of his key points was how “the impact that the mobile phone is having on the quality of life in poorer parts of the world is often overlooked”. He even highlighted the development of other, sometimes more impressive technology, even mentioning other companies, and how Nokia’s work in developing countries goes pretty much unnoticed in technology blogs (heh, not this one!). Hence my question at the end of the story about mobile email, and how many people might actually see it’s significance (thankfully, a few of you did).

The stats quoted always astound me. Two thirds of the global population will be using a mobile by sometime next year. I’m pretty sure that’s more than use a PC (anyone clarify?). That the mobile is the fourth screen is no misnomer, and increasingly (I’m convinced) will have an even more important part to play in how we live.

Olli-Pekka’s talk is well worth 20 minutes of your time (yes, it’s a long-ish one) as hearing the man leading Nokia say a lot of this stuff someone makes it a lot more real. Do you agree? I’d be interested to know your thoughts on what technology has the greatest impact.