(List compiled by Andrew Dominguez. Data sourced from Finviz.)
Need a map? Need a dinner reservation? Need subway schedules? Need to check your teenage kid’s Facebook activity for any suspicious behavior? Never fear, mobile internet is here!
The internet is now omnipresent, thanks in large part to smartphones.
“By 2014 smart phone ownership will have doubled from 2010 and will be double that of games consoles and consumer PCs, with six billion potential customers,” said Roberto di Pietro of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies at The Future Wireless International conference in Cambridge (via Business Weekly).
And we have yet to realize the full capabilities of this technology, and all of its accompanying baggage.
“We're used to phenomenal industry growth but this is just the beginning. We have a new growing pain - how to provide appropriate quality of service,” added Peter Whale of Qualcomm at the same conference. He is referring to the amount of traffic that mobile internet carriers will have to manage – large volumes could bog down even the most sophisticated of systems.
Thankfully, innovators around the world are coming up with solutions to these problems and many others everyday. Thanks to companies like Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google, the internet is searchable from nearly anywhere in the world. Microsoft’s Bing and Google Goggles even allow you to look up information based on photos taken with your smartphone. Taking a photo of a storefront can now trigger a web search for reviews, discounts, etc.
Much of the next generation of mobile technologies that help digitize our daily lives is being branded as “Sixth Sense” technology – basically adding the internet to our primitive five senses.
Possibly the most exciting project is Sixthsense, which is being developed by Pranav Mistry at MIT. His current prototype includes a simple webcam and portable projector that allows his mobile device to see the world and project data onto it. So far, he and his team are able to use the device to seamlessly display book reviews onto books, take photos without needing to hold a camera, project up-to-date flight information on a boarding pass, and much more. The possibilities are endless. And the hardware required for this tech marvel only costs $350, which is less than the cost of most unsubsidized smartphones.
This technology could also transform the lives of the disenfranchised members of society. Students at Srinivas Institute of Technology in Mangalore, India, have developed gesture recognition technology that is able to convert sign language into speech.
"Every gesture made by the hand has a pattern and a position which are unique. The database store of the 6S-GRS has all features of the gestures and set of audio files corresponding for each gesture. When a gesture is sent to the database, the system converts the image of the gestures into speech," said college principal Srinivasa Mayya.
Interested in the future of mobile internet technology? To help you with your own research, here is a list of some of the companies that are involved in the development and manufacturing of mobile devices, software, and wireless internet connectivity.
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List sorted by market cap.
1. Apple Inc. (AAPL): Personal Computers industry with a market cap of $331.08B. It designs, manufactures and markets a range of personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, and sells a range of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. Its products and services include Macintosh (Mac) computers, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the Mac OS X and iOS operating systems, third-party digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, and a range of accessory, service and support offerings. Its iOS platform (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) is the widest-used mobile operating system.
2. China Mobile Limited (CHL): Wireless Communications industry with a market cap of $187.47B. It provides a range of mobile telecommunications services in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and directly-administered municipalities in the People’s Republic of China, as well as in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. As of March 31, 2011, its total number of customers was approximately 600.8 million. It provides its customers with Internet access through, wireless local area networks (WLAN). As of December 31, 2010, it had 56,500 WLAN hotspots at such locations as airports, hotels, conference centers, schools and exhibition centers in the People’s Republic of China.
3. AT&T, Inc. (T): Telecom Services industry with a market cap of $182.52B. It is a provider of telecommunications services in the United States and worldwide, including wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, data/broadband and Internet services, video services, managed networking, wholesale services and directory advertising and publishing. Its wireless segment provided approximately 47% of the segment operating revenues during the year ended December 31, 2010. On December 31, 2010, the Company had more than 95 million wireless subscribers.
4. Google Inc. (GOOG): Internet Information Providers industry with a market cap of $173.45B. It generates revenue primarily by delivering online advertising. It focuses on areas, such as search, advertising, operating systems and platforms, and enterprise. Its Android platform is the most widely-used smartphone operating system and is also being used on tablet computers.
5. Vodafone Group plc (VOD): Wireless Communications industry with a market cap of $137.05B. It is a mobile communications company operating across the globe providing a range of communications services. Its Internet services enable users to access the Internet on their mobile handset. Vodafone has a significant global presence, with equity interests in over 30 countries and over 40 partner markets worldwide. It operates in three geographic regions: Europe, Africa and Central Europe; Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, and has an investment in Verizon Wireless in the United States.
6. Intel Corporation (INTC): Semiconductor industry with a market cap of $119.19B. It designs and manufactures computing and communications components, such as microprocessors, chipsets, motherboards, and wireless and wired connectivity products, as well as platforms that incorporate these components. Its Intel Atom processor-based platform is designed for a range of computing devices, including high-end smart phones and other mobile handheld products. It has also developed wireless connectivity products for both mobile and fixed networks based on WiMAX.
7. Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Telecom Services industry with a market cap of $104.51B. It is a provider of communications services. It offers a variety of data services and applications, such as Internet access through its smartphones and feature phones, mobile broadband service, messaging services, business-focused, location-based services, and consumer-focused multimedia. It also offers Internet access devices, such as computers, tablets, Mobile Hotspot devices and universal serial bus (USB) modems. During the year ended December 31, 2010, Verizon launched its 4G LTE network in 38 metropolitan areas and more than 60 commercial airports in the United States.
8. America Movil S.A.B. de C.V. (AMX): Wireless Communications industry with a market cap of $102.39B. It is a provider of wireless communications services in Latin America. Its principal operations are in Mexico, Brazil, Southern Cone, Colombia and Panama, Andean Region, Central America, United States and Caribbean. It provides mobile telecommunications service in all nine regions in Mexico. As of December 31, 2009, the Company had 59.2 million subscribers in Mexico. Its also provides wireless services in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile. As of December 31, 2009, the Company had 21.8 million subscribers in the Southern Cone region.
9. QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Communication Equipment industry with a market cap of $93.64B. It designs, manufactures and markets digital wireless telecommunications products and services based on its code division multiple access (CDMA) technology and other technologies. It is a developer and supplier of CDMA-based integrated circuits and system software for wireless voice and data communications, multimedia functions and global positioning system products. It grants licenses or otherwise provides rights to use portions of its intellectual property portfolio, which includes certain patent rights essential to and/or useful in the manufacture and sale of certain wireless products. It also generates revenues through mobile information products and services and software and software development aimed at support and delivery of wireless applications.
10. Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Networking & Communication Devices industry with a market cap of $85.64B. It designs, manufactures, and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology (IT) industry and provides services associated with these products and their use. Its products are designed to transform how people connect, communicate, and collaborate. Its products are installed at enterprise businesses, public institutions, telecommunications companies, commercial businesses, and personal residences. Its Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client enables users to access networks with their mobile device of choice, including laptops and smartphone-based mobile devices while allowing organizations to manage the security risks of borderless networks.