“I’m absolutely certain that Net devices will become ubiquitous and will change our relationship to computing and to information. However, I’m just as certain that the industry suffers from a surfeit of hype, which is to be expected in any new, explosively-growing industry.
International Data Corp. (IDC) says there are currently only 560,000 wireless Internet subscribers in the U.S. This is a trivial number given the hype wireless Internet has received. Even if this number were twice as high, it would barely cover early adopters.
CIDCO recently bragged that its MailStation e-mail appliance has sold a total of 17,400 units through the second quarter. The device has been on the market for a year.
While Net devices will eventually become ubiquitous, the devices, applications and content still aren’t mature or compelling enough to capture the broad public’s interest. Sorely lacking are multi-purpose devices with sharper displays and killer apps. Besides personal information management, telephony and
e-mail, we need acceptance of applications such as device-based payment systems,PayPal, and e-books before broad-based acceptance can occur.”