You’ve got to hand it to Dave Michels. He’s got a way with words.
His cryptic prophecy for the desktop VoIP phone has many within the VoIP equipment space talking. Being heavily entrenched in the equipment space, I’ve been asked by many executives what I thought about Dave’s prophecy.
Rather than respond individually, I figured I’d post my thoughts here.
To me the real message of the post is lost within some of the sensationalism concerning desktop VoIP phones.
The real message that should have come through is that personal and business communications have become increasingly fragmented. There is more choice in “how to get a hold of someone” today than ever before.
Thus the evolution of communications has limited the total possible growth of desktop VoIP phones.
But desktop VoIP phones aren’t going extinct. And today desktop VoIP phones are still the most relevant enabler of business VoIP calling.
That’s because the phone call is an experience. An experience ingrained into tens of millions of prosumers. It’s an experience tied to a desktop VoIP phone. And won’t soon be untied.
This will fuel continued growth. Growth that will eclipse 2008’s numbers.
Yes desktop VoIP phones will face viable competition. But these competitors have to change prosumer habits.
Something that is tough to do.
Meanwhile desktop VoIP phones will continue to evolve in order to maintain ownership as the preferred means of enabling a call.
After all, manufacturers aren’t going to roll over and die. The recent trend towards media phones is one indication of that.
One thing Dave correctly observes is that people love their cellular phones. They are becoming increasingly more relevant to prosumers.
But I envision a partnership between the cellular phone and desktop phone, sort of like the my Apple IP phone mock from 2007, that will meet the changing needs of the prosumer.
So the real message that the evolutionary fragmentation of communications will limit the potential growth of the desktop VoIP phone over time is true.
However this will also occur for all other current and subsequent forms of communications as technological advancements and evolution continue. Other enablers of business communications are not immune to the fate predicted for the desktop VoIP phone.
The market winner of course will be the device or interface that is the most relevant to the user.
And today that’s the desktop VoIP phone. Something I see continuing for quite sometime.