The “Rest of world” can now afford to buy a phone. People who never thought they could afford one will own one by 2009. Those with 50 euro budgets can now afford cheap smart phones that let them surf the web, search with Google (snark ) and access information …. but only if they read Roman alphabet or English, the dominant language of the Internet.
What are the opportunity areas that open up in the future when people from all walks of life, all kinds of educational backgrounds, speaking myriads of dialects and languages, many of which have never been written down or are from purely oral cultures, have the CAPABILITY to access the ‘Net?
Will they jump in like we do and surf to our hearts content as Google imagines they will from their cosy well fed grounds in Mountain View? Or will they turn their faces away as I read in the article today, that the real reasons the next billion won’t go online isn’t access but relevance. There’s nothing out there in languages they can read or understand nor relevant to their needs.
A whole new web needs to arise.