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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Eric Schmidt on the Asian mobile revolution

Google Thailand yesterday released an opinion piece from its Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt about his views on the mobile revolution in Asia, a region that relies more heavily on mobile activities and innovations more so than the tech powerhouse nations in North America, Australia, and Europe.

Published in full by Jon Russell on the Asian Correspondent website, here are some of the highlights of the piece.

Schmidt began his note by telling a story about an extortion attempt which is nothing special except that the extortionist uses an SMS to send the threats and includes his mobile payment account number to have the money transferred.

While in the US this would be akin to using a Paypal account to demand ransom, the fact that this system uses SMS instead of an app means it works with any mobile phone, not just smartphones.

He also notes how in Kenya people can buy weather insurance and receive payouts over SMS “if the rain doesn’t fall within a specified range.”

SMS-based financial services is something that he highlighted early and often, showing that the app environment is not necessary for a thriving mobile economy. While smartphones may offer a more robust and pleasant experience in performing mobile transactions, SMS-based activities still win out in most markets due to the blanket compatibility and ease of operation.

He ended his praise of Asia by saying that the resolution of conflicts between Cambodia and Thailand was done not via formal diplomatic discussions but through SMS.

Eric Schmidt will be in Bali this week for the Regional Entrepreneurship Summit between the 22nd and 24th, which will also be attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

View the original article here

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