At DevCon, Tech Titans Weigh the Impact of Global, Mobile Users
By: eBay Inc. Staff
PayPal’s VP of Platform Osama Bedier says that change is coming.
Speaking at the ninth annual eBay Developers Conference 2010 in San Jose, Calif. on Thursday, PayPal’s Vice President of Platform Osama Bedier and several executives from leading technology companies heralded paradigm shifts that are driving new types of e-commerce, particularly mobile forms. They cited new opportunities for application developers as payment mechanisms, computing models, and global technology usage patterns enter a new era.
Renee James, Senior Vice President of Intel’s Software Services Group noted that “wireless broadband is at a tipping point,” resulting in “an application development ecosystem that is on fire.” She noted that mobile devices are spreading out globally to many new users who have no previous, legacy systems. For example, she said that 30 million low-cost netbooks (most of them based on Intel’s Atom chips) will ship this year—a hot, new mobile category that she emphasized is not cannibalizing sales of notebook computers.
“We are in an era of global device explosion,” James said, “where new forms of usage will emerge, and that’s an opportunity for developers.”
Exploring the relationship between mobile device explosion and developers further, executives and product managers from Research In Motion (RIM)--maker of the BlackBerry--showed off never-before-seen features in eBay’s BlackBerry application. These included a number of features that make it easier for buyers to track auction results, and ways for buyers and sellers to communicate in real-time.
Citing relationships between the early days of electricity and the current state of payment mechanisms, PayPal’s Bedier said the next 10 years will bring sweeping changes in payments. He guided the audience of developers through the evolution of coin, paper, and plastic payments, and into the digital age, where, he said, “the next paradigm shift in payments is ahead of us.”
Bedier emphasized that mobile devices will increasingly include digital wallets “that live in the cloud” for payments, identification, memberships, coupons, and more. He also stressed that virtual currency mechanisms, including micropayments, are in their infancy.
As for PayPal’s business, Bedier noted that “we opened up our platform last year and didn’t know what to expect,” but he said, the move has helped PayPal spread to new sites and applications. He also noted the increasingly global role that PayPal plays in transactions. “Close to 30 percent of PayPal transactions happen between a sender and recipient who are in different countries,” he said.
The concept of global, mobile reach for applications was a common thread in Thursday’s DevCon keynotes. “Going forward, this will make it much easier to grow the audience for your applications,” said Intel’s James.