LIVE FROM MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2014: Terry Gou (pictured), founder and CEO of device manufacturer Foxconn, used today’s Global Device Summit to talk up the importance of the wider ecosystem, noting that “terminals alone cannot meet our needs. We need to create a smart society”.
“Devices are terminals. Cloud computing, cloud storage and transmission through the internet have to be integrated,” the executive said in his keynote presentation.
And Gou has put his money where his mouth is: in its home market of Taiwan, Foxconn has a stake in operator Asia Pacific Telecom, as part of an ecosystem that also includes content and cloud propositions.
Driving growth is customer demand, and “behind this demand is that people’s needs are not satisfied”. He continued: “This unmet need for 4G information provision is a driving force for the industry.”
“I won’t say the device itself will meet people’s needs: I focus on the ecosystem,” Gou said.
The executive also touched on one of the industry’s hot topics – wearable computing. While noting that such products will play an important role in areas such as health management, he also acknowledged that some current devices have been unable to generate long-term customer engagement.
“The problem doesn’t lie in the device per se, but the integration of the cloud network and the terminal. We need to have a bigger ecosystem,” he said.
And this need for integration also extends into other markets, for example the automotive sector, where a number of auto manufacturers and operators have initiatives intended to drive the adoption of smart vehicles.
Such propositions will not work without a supporting “smart city” initiative, which can work across products and services from different parties. “No single manufacturer, or operator, will be able to do that,” he observed.