Apple has quietly been putting together a strategy that will allow it to gain the upper hand in a wearable tech market expected to explode over the next few years. That strategy revolves around the one thing that will
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Companies that make CPU chips - the "brains" inside every kind of computing device - have a fresh catalyst within the mobile wave to help stimulate sales: "ultramobile" products.
Ultramobile is the term that research firm Gartner is using to describe very small and light notebooks, as well as tablet/laptop hybrids like the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Surface.
In its projection for this year and next, Gartner sees the ultramobile category adding to the growth of mobile wave devices like smartphones and tablets, which together today form a much bigger market than that of traditional PCs.
Ultramobiles will create new opportunities for the CPU-makers as the mobile wave continues to rise.
"The 'mobile wave' is massive, and is where growth is at in the chip sector," said Money Morning Defense and Technology Specialist Michael Robinson.
At stake are billions of dollars in revenue.
If you've been riding along with me for any length of time, you know I get really revved up whenever I talk about the "Mobile Wave" in technology.
The truth is, I can't help it: I look at the forecasts, calculate all the money that can be made, and end up feeling as jazzed as can be about the windfall profits we can reap from this transformational trend.
It's all possible today, thanks to a new type of tech called Near Field Communications (NFC).
No coins to fumble with. No waiting while the store's machine dials up your bank. No receipts to sign and then stuff into your pocket. The spread of NFC technology is a win-win for the customer and the merchant alike.
With NFC, your phone becomes your wallet. It's able to "talk" to any vendor, bank, brokerage, or credit card firm you like. This technology is set to take the world by storm.
In as little as a decade, billions of people around the world will convert to digital currency as their means of paying for the things they need every day.
There's just one thing slowing it all down right now - mobile security.
Using mobile phones as de facto wallets alarms some people. They fear that if your phone gets stolen, thieves could gain access to every bank, brokerage, or store account you have.
But that's about to change...
Making Digital Money BulletproofIndeed, much to the chagrin of thieves and con artists, mobile security will hasten the advent of bulletproof digital money used around the world.
I had the chance to talk about this with Michael Saylor, author of the best-selling new book "Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything." Saylor, who also serves as CEO of MicroStrategy Inc. (NASDAQgs:MSTR), told me alarmists are missing the big picture:
"I think the most important thing to be said about mobile security, and maybe mobile identity, is there are one million organizations in the world that have obsolete, ineffective identification systems now. Most of these things - passports, credit cards, driver's license, even things we think are reasonably secure, aren't. And many things aren't secure at all.
"I think that it's now possible to create a mobile identity system that runs on a smartphone which is anywhere from 100 times to 10,000 times as secure. Not only are they more secure, it's impossible to counterfeit and impossible to forge."
In fact, there are three key security features Saylor believes will make mobile commerce the standard of safe business transactions in just a few years.