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I have been taking in a lot of mobile data recently. One article in particular has me thinking a bit more about the overall future of mobile as it relates to how mobile(-oriented) companies are approaching the near future.

IBM used to be a hardware and then processes company. It was their goal to not just get you to use their hardware, but also sow into their way of work by investing into their processes. They would endear themselves to consultants, marketing agencies, and even governments who could use their hardware expertise, but then glean from them lessons about how they use that data.

Then they made a change. I can’t remember exactly when, but when IBM made the change to being a services, information architecture and strategy company, lots of folks looked at them weirdly. You see, IBM realized that at some point, that to remain relevant, they had to move past the hardware into something more applicable, and sustainable.

I wonder if mobile companies are thinking the same way?

Mobile companies seems to be riding a wave if diminishing revenues on hardware and software to a platform and services mindset. But this will only remain viable for so long. You can only enable the market so long before you no longer have the ability to be relevant and give value back to your customers.

IBM turned their hardware knowledge into strategy knowledge, and is now back-boning information enablement on a macro level (utility management, infrastructure, environment, communications, defense, etc.). Could the Nokias and Googles of the mobile world be looking to do the same thing, on a personally powered, micro level?

What would that look like? Imagine mobile devices and services connected to an intermingled “Internet of things” or “smart utilities.” Could the decoupling of data from local storage to shared, subscription-based hosted models and APIs essentially make the idea of personal communications as smart as the user and the network?

I am not sure. But, as I read the comments to that article, I kept seeing not that mobile is the end, but a means to enable a different kind of future. One not as controlled, but very much monitored. Could the aims of mobile educate users to the point of being the nodes that power the network, like on the movie The Matrix? I wonder…

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