What does the future hold for technology and can it break free of the silicon valley giants?
– Hi everyone, Mike Morrison here.
Well, it’s all about competition, or is it?
This week I heard some fascinating stuff on the news and I’d like to share some thoughts with you. So if it’s all about competition maybe it’s time for change.
And what do we mean by change?
Well, for those of you that might not have heard it, on the news this week we’ve had Donald Trump. And he’s been talking about what technology can be shared and can’t be shared around the world, and in particular, talking about Android technology software and Huawei phones.
Now, Huawei, if you might not know it, are a Chinese manufacturer, and I think they’re second or third-largest in the world and they’re growing dramatically. And of course, there’ve been some changes. So what’s Trump said? He said no more technology to the likes of Chinese firms. Now, a little while after that was announced on Monday, there have been one or two changes. However, it set the ball rolling. So let’s explore something for a minute. Let’s go back in time first of all.
When it comes to smartphones there was a system called Symbian, which was used primarily by Nokia but also by Siemens, Ericsson, Samsung. That obviously grew out of favour and there were others around. Nokia took other things on, Windows was around, Blackberry was around.
But of course, they’re going, going, gone.
All three of them basically, have gone from being operating systems.
All about Choice
Now, we have a choice, we’ve have Apple and we’ve got Android. So we’ve got Apple IOS and we’ve got Google Android, and they really are the only two smart operating systems that exist. So really what we have is a cartel. We have just two providers that allow us access to telephones around the world. Both American based companies. So great news, with Trump saying that technology can’t be used by these other players there are problems. Now, Huawei does use a few American chips in its phones so there will be a technical challenge there. And at the same time, Apple and Google and others use Chinese chips.
This folks has some really interesting challenges for everyone. But here’s the thing, when it comes to innovation, when it comes to change, when we’re under stress, when we’re caught in a corner, competition stops copying.
Now a few years ago when I was talking to somebody that I treat as a mentor, he went around Toyota. And what Toyota used to do is that they used to open their factories up and allow all their competitors to come in and watch them. And when challenged to this behaviour, Toyota turned around and said, look it’s really obvious. We’re showing them our shop floor, we’re showing them our production services, and what they’re then doing is copying what we got on the production line. But of course but what’s in RND is six, twelve, eighteen months ahead of here. So while they are copying what we’re doing, their not necessarily innovating and getting ahead.
Thank you, Mr President,
So what I want to say is, thank you, President Trump. You’ve handed the future of tech to China because now what’s gonna happen is, if these Chinese firms and others can’t use American technology such as, Apple and Android, they will have to develop their own. We will have to have at least a third if not a fourth alternative of technology.
Now Samsung for a long time have been trying to put their own wrappers around Android. Many of the other firms have too. So you know, this change has potentially, both killed the US tech giants, at least not killed them but certainly gonna put them into submission.
It is going to change things. We’re not going to expect change tomorrow.
We’re not going to expect it next week. But I suspect it will be in about three to seven years. These operating systems take a number of years to change.
With Google driving everything on the web to be mobile friendly, this means actually that having Apps isn’t quite so important as it used to be, providing whatever browser you have can use websites on a mobile device well. So perhaps having now is the time for third operating system. This will mean significant competition.
Third choice coming
Here is to a third choice. So thank you, Mr. Trump, by potentially stopping China from using American software, what you are really saying is, prepare yourselves, develop your own. That’s innovation. It comes from when we’re stressed. It comes from when we’re cornered. Human beings and our companies are lazy. We like to copy. We like to use what other people have done first. And given the first choice, we will.
However, when that ability to copy is taken away, we start innovating. Let’s look forward to some real innovation in the technology world.
My name is Mike Morrison.
Thanks very much.
I would love to read your comments or views on this matter.