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The future of voice is “apps”

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With us moving away from single-purpose, 12-key-pad, mobile phones to more touch-centric Internet devices, the “voice” has been reduced to being an app. Sure, today, phone companies run that app and use traditional phone technology, but in the future, all voice communication could be from apps using Internet technologies.

On Wednesday, Juniper Research of the U.K. released a report that shows that by 2016 nearly four-fifths of 640 million mobile VoIP users will be making calls through apps downloaded on their smartphones, while rest of the calls could be over phone company networks. Even today companies such as Nimbuzz and Skype (s msft) are enjoying tremendous success on smartphones, a trend I have written about many times.

Juniper forecasts that the number of mobile video callers will jump to 130 million by 2016, thanks to the introduction of mobile video calling services from most major companies and improvements in video calling technology.

Well, I guess Microsoft buying Skype makes perfect sense. Now if they could improve the user experience!

3 Responses to “The future of voice is “apps””

  1. I am hoping that by 2016 there is no need to download an app for voice, but instead use the browser to make and answer calls and there is no need for 3rd party service providers to facilitate the rendezvous.


  2. Interesting.

    Then we should expect to see contextual identities supported by apps that help you keep track. Business identities can fragment for consultants and entrepreneurs. Personal can fragment for any number of reasons.

    We’re seeing the start of this with dating apps, and virtual PBX apps for business. Next, LinkedIn with CRM-like features to help you take calls from interviewers or candidates.