The fourth estate

The 90’s were remembered for the battle between the Mac and the PC.

The last four years have seen the battle of the mobile, with some clear front runners – iOS and Android, and the rest – Windows phone, Blackberry and the recently deceased WebOS.

Last year, Apple answered the question whether there was place between a mobile and the laptop/desktop with the introduction of the now wildly popular iPad.

We now have three “smart” screens (mobile, tablet and PC) that demand our attention and which require content to be readily available and viewable at all times.

The fourth screen that has our attention at the moment but is not really “smart” is the TV. It’s only a matter of time that TV manufacturers (or Apple) will start making internet capable/aware television screens. The market already demands it – look at the sales of Roku, Boxee and other media streaming devices.

Two things to note here:

– WHEN the fourth screen is introduced, what new market opportunities will it create? Demand for very high speed broadband? HD quality streaming movie sites? Services for media bookmarking and syncing across screens? Will there be a new race for a TV OS? There certainly will be demands for TV apps.

– Once your TV is connected to the internet, how will the role of your cable company change? If you can watch the latest shows on Hulu, do you need to pay a monthly fee to your cable company? Will TV channels start selling apps to smart TVs?

Exciting times.

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