Crossroads

At the intersection of technology, finance and the Pacific Rim.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Chicken or the Egg

"What came first, the chicken or the egg?" This is a question that we have heard since grade school and identifies the difficulty of identifying cause and effect--especially when it is cyclical or circular in motion. Having said that, much the same can be said of technology--is it technology driving markets or markets driving technology?

Last week I spoke about the cellular industry in Bangladesh--45Million subscribers with new subscribers generating about $2 per month in revenue. We may be seeing the same in the internet access device world where the cost of the device ($400) is too high to satisfy the billions of people out there who seek access. Intel has identified this market as may be seen in the PC World article:

"Intel Thursday showed a prototype of a range of low-cost "nettops' that
are to be introduced in the country over the next several months. The devices,
will be offered in the country by domestic and multinational PC vendors and
local system integrators. The devices, which run on Intel's new Atom
processor, will be priced low, from Indian rupees 5,000, but they will not have
a display, a spokeswoman for the company said on Thursday. The plan is that
users will be able to use their television sets or other displays in the home
with the device, she added."

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