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December 09, 2015

Which Disappears First as a Result of Mobile: Your Desktop or Your Home Phone?

Andy Abramson wrote a great piece about Microsoft’s using Skype as part of their Office strategy and how it has been an aggregation point for over-the-top strategies. For many of us, the declaration that voice was just an app was followed by the realization that it was better as a function.  Embedded annotation, speech recognition, and collaboration: Most of this points to the use of voice in real time. However, there is a value to store forward voice that has not yet matured in the consumer psyche. In theory, the texting generation is going to have a “Eureka moment” where the text and voice blend together.

For today, that moment has not arrived.

However, what has arrived is a clear case where the desktop and the home phone are no longer valid use cases for the Millennial generation.

This struck me with a cruise ship show on the Carnival Conquest (my vacation for the year). The show features Lady Gaga’s Telephone song. For anyone too old to know, it’s a song that features Beyoncé, and they sing about not being able to hear because the reception is bad and they are clubbing. Ignoring the lyrics, the choreographer added a yellow 2500 set that you would see these days in a guardhouse, and what used to be standard issue for a desk.

Combined with Andy’s article, I started to think about how we are working today. I still don’t like my mobile phone as an email reader/writer, but I have to admit the surface seems to be hitting a sweet spot that the tablet market is still trying to match up to.

So now comes the question: Which is dying faster, the desktop environment or the home phone line market? The landline market is probably the greater loser since at one point we were close to 97 percent penetration and today we are somewhere near 60 percent. According to Gartner, the Desktop Market had a recent decline of almost 12 percent. 

From a strict numbers perspective that means the U.S. is about equal with 70 million sets being a good ballpark number for both markets. Of course, the consumer number is more striking because it’s where the wireless starts. However, it’s clear the innovation of the voice app has yet to result in better tablet integration.

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