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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

The Next Big Thing in Mobile: the Personal Cloud

Amit Chawla
Monday, October 3, 2011
Amit Chawla
A major change is brewing in the mobile industry—the advent of the personal cloud. Mobile users, of which there are now more than five billion, will be storing more of their data and rich media in personal accounts in the cloud, also called 'digital lockers.' Personal clouds are beginning to be used by both consumers, as well as enterprise users, and there are three primary reasons why they will be storing even more data and rich media in the cloud:

1. Smartphones are evolving into powerful personal computers, which store increasing amounts of data and media. While, in the past it might have been just a minor inconvenience if your phone was lost, broken or stolen, it is now a major nuisance--given the amount of data and content stored on a users’ phone. Just as people have become aware of the need to back up critical data on personal computers, the same reasoning applies to mobile devices. By saving one's data and rich media in the cloud, the user is assured of a reliable backup of their personal or business data.

2. As smartphones and mobile data plans become ubiquitous, consumers are increasingly using multiple wireless-devices, such as two phones (one for work and another for personal use), a phone and laptop, or a phone and tablet. This will make it progressively more difficult to keep them in sync, if for example, you have some contacts on one phone and other contacts on another device, or you want to access your calendar across multiple devices. The same goes for email, pictures, videos, files, etc. While it is possible to sync devices using a cable, the reality is that, many people do not do this, for a variety of reasons — inconvenience, tediousness, technical challenge, and more.

Thus, the cloud is a natural warehouse, to store digital information and to keep things in sync across devices for easy access. It also becomes an easy way to share data and media with other systems (e.g. email systems and social networks), as well as with other people (e.g. family, relatives, co-workers and colleagues).

3. The cloud will grow to become an important tool for people, to access and purchase mobile content; including music, videos, movies, e-books, games, apps, and other digital content. Although this is still in its infancy; the trend is clear that companies will use the cloud as a distribution channel, to offer users additional digital goods.

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