It's a bold move to begin saying that VOIP is starting to make traditional voice obsolete but it's already started. Skype's the 800-pound gorilla in the room now but I think like any young market, being the first or the biggest is a terrific position to be in but it's never over with giants like Microsoft and Google coming after you.
Plus, voice being a traditional market for a lot of telecoms, they're not going to go quietly and just cede the market to others. These guys are fighting, possibly, for their survival in a fast changing mobile market.
Over the next year, we're likely to see major changes in how wireless providers change their business models to accommodate the demand for VOIP instead of traditional voice plans. We're going to see deal cut in such a way that they'll get a piece of the revenue generated from such a move.
How about platforms like the iPhone and Android? It's a little different here. No one knows what Apple's going to do given how they like to share nothing. For Google, I can't think of anyone who doesn't believe VOIP is a market they're going to take Google Voice into. This is probably why Apple hasn't approved Google's official Voice app. Of course, this tells us where Apple's going as well.
For Nokia, RIM, and Palm, they'll probably be making deals with the likes of Skype. I think acquisitions are also possible. So for those mobile warriors that work in VOIP startups, prepare to be rich or close to it.
Microsoft just unveiled their Windows Phone Series, aka Windows Mobile 7. I'm sure we'll see more in the coming days but with its tight integration with Live services, I foresee VOIP features as a part of MSN Messenger. And soon.
For now, as mobile users, we just have to wait and let the coming storm settle. See who's still in the race. And as confusing as it'll be, we're the ones who get to pick the winners. And the market is big enough for multiple VOIP providers.
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