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Chad,

Thanks for finding the articles. In return I offer this one:

IBM folds e-wallet:
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-5903227.html

The mediums are different obviously, with the portability of the handheld being the critical factor. Some parallels can be drawn from the read though obviously.

On the issue of personalization: Consumers have been very protective of their privacy on the web. Look into the Doubleclick/Abacus fiasco. I think most (all?) resent the spam they recieve in their email inboxes. The few advertisements they have opted-in for, are usually junked or unsubscribed from after a few emails as the consumer is so sick of being hit with millions of unwanted spam emails, they don't want to even see another ad, even if it is wanted.

What is to say the same will not happen with wireless mobile-commerce? Unwanted, un-needed ads 95% of time, causing us to ignore the 5% of ads that we really want? The WWW was supposed to usher in a entirely new level of one to one personalization with the consumer as well, see the early rates paid for banner advertising. It failed, m-commerce needs to be substantially different to succeed where e-commerce advertising at least, has failed.

That is the major problem I see with the wireless e-wallet. The only successful consumer e-business that has really emerged from the internet is the Ebay or auction model. How that transelates over into the wireless world might be a interesting option to persue? I realize that Ebay already allows wireless bidding from PDAs and cell phones - any idea how successful that has been?


Two - Even if this sort of killer app emerges, it doesn't necessarily mean that we'll see a company benefit from its implementation. Not convinced? Quick - tell me who exactly benefited from the mass acceptance of email. I can't name anyone. Certainly not the vendors of the email clients. Many are free. Others are cheap. Not a great investment there. Probably not the providers of the mail servers, either. Tools for email, to allow you to do other stuff with it? Hmm... never saw a good investment for encoding binary data into text messages. Likewise many of the "groupware" sort of tools were added onto the clients and servers. I don't really see a beneficiary of it all. Not a direct one anyway. Of course, the network providers and the infrastructure players benefitted from the adoption of email. And they would continue to benefit from the rollout of such a network as I describe above.


I think your second question hits the nail on the head. Great riff. It makes a lot of sense. Unless a company manages to score gorilla power in the wireless world and I do not see one yet (although Openwave is very interesting), no-one will really benefit from the killer app of wireless, not even Infospace.

Steve

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