Thanks to the rise of a new generation of smartphones, the Internet is going through yet another renaissance. If current trends are any indication, it won’t be long before the mobile Internet eclipses its wired counterpart. Soon hundreds of millions of people will be walking around with highly personal computers in their pockets.
Infonetics, a market research firm, estimates that there will be a billion mobile broadband subscribers by 2013, while others expect data services alone to bring in around $50 billion for the phone companies in 2009. This much-awaited marriage of mobile and the Internet is opening up new vistas of opportunity.
Hundreds of startups, giants like Nokia and Motorola and disruptors such as Apple and Google are all positioning themselves for what is going to be a bonanza as big as the wired Internet. Below are GigaOM editors’ top 15 most influential people in the Mobile Internet; together they make up the inaugural Mobilize 15 Influencers, a list that is going to be published annually in tandem with our Mobilize conference. We have purposely listed them in no particular order; tell us who you think should be No. 1 in the poll below.
- Julius Genachowski, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
- Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator, NTIA
- Dick Lynch, Chief Technology Officer and EVP, Verizon
- Scott Richardson, Strategic Adviser to Clearwire
- Ranveer Chandra, Researcher in the Networking Research Group at Microsoft Research
- Steve Jobs, CEO and Chairman of Apple Inc.
- Andy Rubin, Google VP of Engineering and Father of Android
- Jahangir Mohammed, CEO and Founder, Jasper Wireless
- Joe Hewitt, Programmer, Facebook
- Robin Chase, Co-founder and Former CEO of Zipcar, Founder and Current CEO of GoLoco and Matter Networks
- Jon S. von Tetzchner, Co-Founder and CEO, Opera Software
- Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, Co-CEOs of Research in Motion
- Ian Freed, VP Amazon Kindle, Amazon.com
- Frank Meehan, CEO, INQ
- Sanjay Jha, co-CEO, Motorola
With additional reporting by James Kendrick, Kevin Tofel and Josie Garthwaite.