The chief of Finnish cellular
phone maker Nokia Corp said on Friday he expects web-connected
mobile phones to outnumber personal computers linked to the Net
within three years.
"The future is not PC-centric. It's mobile phone centric,"
Nokia chief Jorma Ollila told a seminar on mobile networks and
digital home appliances in Tokyo.
He said mobile phones are quickly becoming a
"personalised" tool for various forms of e-commerce.
"Supply chain management, supplier and vendor
relationships... all of these will be managed through mobile
devices rather than wireline connections through desktop PCs,"
Nokia, the world's biggest mobile phone handset maker with
sales of 76.3 million phones worldwide in 1999, is aggressively
pushing the convergence of mobile telephony and the Internet.
Last year, it introduced WAP (wireless application
protocol-based) phones, which use software bridges that
interpret the Net for phones or any other wireless gadgets. The
phones have caused a stampede in Britain.
British Telecommunications Plc's group director, Andy Green,
was even more aggressive about the prospect of a wireless
"I don't think a single phone would be sold in Japan or in
Britain in 2001 that does not connect to the Internet," he told
He predicted that PCs will quickly retreat as a major
Internet access platform. "PCs will be the fourth. Mobile
phones, TV sets, game machines and then the PC as a way to
access the Internet."
In Japan, NTT Docomo, the world's second largest mobile
phone company, launched its wireless Internet service i-mode a
year ago. Now, it has 4.2 million users, becoming Japan's
biggest service provider as the craze sweeps the country.