What will happen with $300 handset in 2040

Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank and Yahoo! Japan, has an interesting way of thinking about how the future will look different in about 30 years from now. With an average mobile device that costs $300, he says, we can now store 6400 songs, 4 years worth of news and 4 hours of movie. By 2040, he expects that those numbers will change to: 500 billion songs, 300 million years worth of news, and 30,000 years of movie. Although I am not sure where he got these numbers, one can easily project such staggering numbers by just extrapolating the past trend. The question is, what are you going to with all these storage space.

Another thought: About a year ago, I told folks at Samsung Electronics that one potential game changer for their mobile devices might be a radical increase of the storage capacity by an order of magnitude. Not just double or triple the size, compared to iPhone; 10 times more or 100 times more memory, making essentially people forget about memory all together when they use mobile devices. Given Samsung is the world’s largest flash memory manufacturer, Samsung probably has the biggest cost advantage in pursuing such a strategy.

Professor | Writer | Teacher Digital Innovation, Design, Organizational Genetics Case Western Reserve University

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