I think he vastly overstates the case, and that it's more evangelical posturing than objective analysis and prediction.
I think some of the biggest fallacies are around advertising & the supposed "personal" nature of mobile.
The first issue - what is the definition of "mobile"? Is it a normal cellphone, on a "normal" network? Is it a unique number, or a SIM card? A laptop with WiFi is mobile. The free newspaper I read on the tube is mobile. The radio in my car is mobile. Even if you say "mobile electronic devices that link to a two-way wireless network", you have a broadening definition. We might find that Rupert Murdoch introduces a portable 6-inch WiMAX tablet optimised for full-browser MySpace & Sky TV, is that "mobile"? If the Economist moves to an e-book or flexible electronic paper & you get content downloaded via Bluetooth or UWB or NFC.... is that "mobile"?
But the main fallacy is "One SIM = 1 Mobile Number = 1 identifiable Person". This is only partly true today, and will be completely false tomorrow. Sorry advertisers, forget about one-to-one marketing hype, it's an unattainable dream, which ignores technology evolution.
- Firstly, fixed and mobile numbers are being blurred. A fixed number may end up on a mobile device, or vice versa.
- Secondly, the mobile industry is pushing SIMs and mobile numbers towards non-personal, and even non-display oriented devices, like femtocells or PCs or even consumer electronics products.
- Thirdly, mobile phones are being pushed as "gateways" for multiple users or multiple devices - almost like broadband modems/routers. I saw a device at 3GSM which pushes video from the phone screen to an external TV. So, advertisers, +44 7934 104943 might be a phone... or a plasma TV with 10 people watching. This data will probably not be fed back via the network.
- Fourthly, the average number of mobile devices owned by an individual will grow exponentially. Cellular radios are cheap, so people will own a bunch of phones & other connected gadgets, with multiple numbers and multiple service providers, making total media consumption impossible to track.
- Fifthly, and especially in emerging economies, mobile devices are shared, perhaps between all the members of a village
- Sixthly, while anonymous prepaid users' behaviour can be tracked up to a point, there is much less "hard" data available about the subscriber
- Seventh, people switch phones & operators regularly. There is no obvious & easy mechanism to port measurement of media consumption.
So, advertisers - don't believe the hype about unlimited, exquisitely-targetable marketing enabled by mobile communications. It's simply not true. Yes, mobile advertising will become very important, but it's critical to have realistic expectations which take into account.