New technologies seem to take similar paths. First the technology is conceived and bantered around in discussions. They we see sample silicon, followed by prototype hardware. Somewhere during that time, software is developed. This first generation is usually just a glimpse as to what end users can expect in subsequent generations, when something that's really usable comes along. By the third or so generation, we have shipping hardware that end users can really latch onto.
That's basically been the story with mobile TV, which seems to crank up the propaganda wheel at the industry's largest trade shows, such as the 3GSM World Congress (next week) and the CTIA event in April.
Many of the announcements that have filled my In-Box this week pertain to mobile TV, from various participants. As it should, it runs the gamut from the silicon suppliers and software vendors to the handset makers and service providers.
As far as the timeline is concerned, two years ago was the "discussion" year. Last year was the "sampling and prototype" year. So this year should be the real production year. I'll let you know.