Want to know the next big thing in technology? So do the throngs of technophiles, investors and media types descending on Las Vegas for the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show.
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Before the action even got underway, the blogosphere erupted with predictions over the following question:
“Which technology will have the biggest impact on the market?”
Will it be ultra-high definition TVs?
The connected car?
Or will the introduction of a new mega-drone turn the city on its ear?
Well, try none of the above!
Although all represent disruptive technologies with compelling long-term appeal – which I’m tracking closely – none of them represent the very next big thing.
I’m talking about the device that’s going to sell millions upon millions of units in the coming months, become a household name, and mint savvy investors a fortune in the process.
As it turns out, that technology is already being deployed en masse. The clues are hiding in plain sight, too.
Just like they were in the Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze.
Inspector Gregory: Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?
Holmes: To the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.
Inspector: The dog did nothing in the nighttime.
Holmes: That was the curious incident.
A similarly curious incident occurred yesterday at CES, and it served as a dead giveaway to the next big thing in technology.
And that’s not the only clue. The evidence abounds. But forget hopping on a flight to Las Vegas. I’m going to serve it all up to you on a silver platter today.
All I ask is that you put your deductive powers to work. Use the clues I’ve provided and submit your best guess. Tomorrow, I’ll reveal the technology and, of course, I’ll share the most profitable way to invest in it.
Let’s get to it, shall we, Sherlock?
Hiding in Plain Sight
During yesterday’s CES press conference with $124-billion tech behemoth, Qualcomm (QCOM), President Steve Mollenkopf did, well . . . nothing.
As Consumer Reports’ Donna Tapellini wrote, “Everyone loves a good show, especially journalists. But when we go to a news conference, we expect to hear, well, news. And news was in rather short order.”
Mollenkopf didn’t even use PowerPoint slides, according to FierceWireless’ Mike Dano.
The silence, or “incident,” if you will, is particularly curious in light of a nine-figure investment Qualcomm made last July.
Oh, and there’s the fact that Mollenkopf did mention that LTE will go “from being a premium product to being a mainstream feature.”
These two incidents are related, and that’s your first clue about the next big thing in technology.
Bigger, But Broken
We all know that Verizon Communications (VZ) markets itself as having “the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.”
Yet, during a recent investor presentation, its Chief Financial Officer conceded that the company “did not anticipate that amount of growth in the network.”
That’s a problem Verizon plans to spend $500 million this year to correct – an amount that could easily purchase one million units of the next big thing in technology.
For, as one industry insider revealed, the devices cost “about as much as a tattoo” and soon should cost less than a mobile phone.
By now, you’ve figured out that the next big thing in technology is related to mobile devices. So, yes, 2014 is going to be all about mobile (again).
But mobile is a big market, with lots of innovations being introduced. Many of them fail to ever generate meaningful sales. So how can I be so sure this is the next big thing and not another overhyped flop?
Because a former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman said it’s a “big deal.” And he believes this device “will drive enormous change in the mobile industry.”
I think he’d know better than most, don’t you?
It appears he plans to use his intelligence for personal gain, too. On Monday, this gentleman joined private equity giant, Carlyle Group, to serve as a partner on its U.S. buyout team.
His focus is technology, media and telecom prospects, particularly in the internet and mobile sectors.
Coincidence? Hardly! It’s another clue. All of it. His statements. His career move. And his new focus.
Now, these four final clues/words should be more than enough to help you figure it out: Airvana, Zarlink, Mindspeed and Picochip. (Notice that I didn’t include any ticker symbols? That’s another clue.)
Those are all the hints you get. Now it’s time for you to tell us what you think is the next big thing in technology.
Be sure to tune in tomorrow when I reveal the most important information of all – how to profit from it.
Ahead of the tape,