Despite the emergence of several vendors – and even Google’s highly anticipated offering – it’s unlikely that anything will be able to displace Apple’s (News - Alert) iPhone from its position atop the smartphone market any time soon, an official with an international provider of products and technologies for unified visual communications over IP and 3G networks told 4GWE.TMCnet in an interview.
According to Anatoli Levine (News - Alert) of RADVISION, whose U.S. headquarters are in Fair Lawn, N.J., the device’s interface, slick appearance and widely imitated App Store will drive Apple's success through 2010.
“Competition for the Number 2 slot will heat up though, now adding Google to the rumble with Nexus One, so we will see the fight between RIM, Palm, Google, Motorola and others for that second spot,” Levine told Crossfire Media’s Carl Ford (News - Alert) in an interview, printed in full below.
According to Levine – who is speaking at the 4GWE Conference and the M2M Evolution Conference next month – 2010 will continue to be the year of mobility, with GPS, location-based services and RFID markets forging ahead through the next 12 months.
Carl Ford: Smartphones continue to rise, find their ways into offices and homes alike. Who will dominate that market and why?
Anatoli Levine (pictured left): I don’t think there’s anything that can move Apple’s iPhone from the leadership position in the smartphone industry – at least not in the near term. The combination of slick device, outstanding user interface and app store with thousands and thousands of choices will keep Apple ahead in 2010. Competition for the Number 2 slot will heat up though, now adding Google to the rumble with Nexus One, so we will see the fight between RIM, Palm, Google, Motorola and others for that second spot.
CF: We hear more and more about high-definition voice features in IP communications products and services. What is going to drive wideband audio and HD VoIP into the mainstream market? How long will it take?
AL: HD Voice is being discussed a lot lately. Yes, the voice in HD has a lot more clarity compared to standard definition. The interesting fact is that most of the equipment shipped today by Cisco (News - Alert), Polycom and others, already supports HD voice – but customers aren’t always aware of that. There are few obstacles on the way to the beautiful HD voice world. For one, it is interoperability – there are 24-plus different HD audio codecs in use today. The next one is focused apps and the content - there are literally no apps which require HD Voice, though many will certainly benefit from it. This logically leads to the next issue – customers will not be paying extra for HD Voice, therefore someone has to absorb the cost. The easiest way to bring HD Voice to the masses is a fork-lift upgrade – or delivering the solution when there was none before, like the case of Orange deployment in Moldova.
CF: What’s the most innovative product that’s going to hit the market in 2010, from a company other than your own?
AL: I think it will be a product that blends mobile apps, geo-location aware services and RFIDs. Integration of RFIDs with useful services seems to be heavy in the air – similar to the way you can feel a thunderstorm is coming.
CF: We entered 2009 in a recession and now we’re seeing signs of the economy picking up. How did the slow economy affect demand for your products and services and what are you anticipating in 2010?
AL: What recession? We didn’t feel a thing – yeah, I wish J. Of course we did feel a slowdown, and the recovery will be very gradual in 2010; it will take time before technology spending will return to 2006/2007 levels. Technology is getting better, and it leads to the higher productivity gains, however, the competition with good FREE products and services is increasing as well…
CF: President Barack Obama has been in office for nearly a year. What has surprised you, whether a pleasant surprise or disappointment, about his presidency, policies and administration?
AL: Technology seems to be making much smaller headlines next to the financial crisis, unemployment, wars and healthcare reform. I don’t think I feel surprised or disappointed, it is rather as expected.
CF: If you were president of the United States, what tech-friendly policies would you enact?
AL: I would focus on ensuring that Internet services, including VoIP, would be delivered tax-free, so the innovation will not be interrupted. And of course, broadband should reach everyone, everywhere in the country.
CF: What are some of the areas of market growth in the next few years?
AL: The trends of 2009 will continue – more mobile apps, more connected mobile devices, more connected devices at home (DLNA is making a lot of progress connecting all kinds of devices inside the house). Video apps and adaption should grow (please!), and some innovative geo-presence based services should come to life.
CF: I understand you are speaking during ITEXPO East 2010 in Miami, to be held Jan. 20 to 22. Talk to us about your session or sessions. Who should attend and why?
AL: I’m speaking at this session: “Mobile VoIP, Imagine the Possibilities” on Jan. 20 at 12 p.m. Overview:The popularity of 3G smartphone devices, along with the emergence of applications and faster connectivity, makes the mobile network an ideal platform for developing applications that incorporate real-time VoIP. However, there still challenges regarding audio quality, network resources, and corporate mindset that are inhibiting widespread delivery and adoption of mobile VoIP. This session will discuss the new set of requirements that emerges when VoIP functionality is implemented on mobile devices and networks, and how optimal voice quality can be achieved.
Who should attend? Anyone interested in discussing advances and challenges of mobile VoIP should attend this session.
And I’m moderating another session: “The Future of Mobile Video” on Jan. 21, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. Overview: Mobile Video Applications will benefit from 4G’s increased bandwidth and ubiquity. Mobile video applications range from one-way content consumption (i.e. mobile TV) to real time, bi-directional video. This session will examine the demand for wireless video applications and whether or not 4G technology will make real-time, two-way video a common element in our day to day communications? Is 4G’s big and ubiquitous pipe enough to drive a breakthrough in demand for real-time video? What does “video everywhere” mean for the device and how will the devices drive demand for wireless video applications? Do we need new set of application tools and standards to build these devices? Do we need to wait for HTML or other standards to appear to make mobile video common? Or may we need no standards at all?
Who should attend? Anyone interested in discussing the future of mobile video, including standards, applications and potential should attend this session.
CF: Please give me one outrageous prediction pertaining to our markets for 2010.
AL: Google will merge with Microsoft (News - Alert)? Well, ok, maybe not. Predictions are hard to make, especially in the area of technology. So I guess my outrageous prediction is that there will be no outrageous revolutionary products announced next year. The pipe will get bigger, and it will reach into more places, and there will be more apps. Then, may be we will see first actual IMS deployment? How about that for outrageous?
Meet RADVISION’s Anatoli Levine at the 4GWE Conference and M2M Evolution Conference. To be held Jan. 20 in Miami and collocated with ITEXPO East 2010, the M2M Evolution Conference will focus on how telemetry has been changing to take advantage of the Internet, where WAN and LAN systems were points of aggregation in the past today’s machines benefit from the ability to connect worldwide. And as the machines continue to look to network the wireless world represents a large growth opportunity for data communication. Also held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami, the 4GWE Conference will focus on the realities of deploying 4G technologies and delivering broadband wireless applications to a growing community of wireless broadband consumers. Don’t wait. Register now.
Michael Dinan is a group managing editor for TMCnet, overseeing TMCnet's Web editorial team and covering news in the IP communications, CRM and VoIP industries. He also oversees production of e-Newsletters in the areas of 4G wireless technology and smart products. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan