During the Mobilebeat 2010 conference held in San Francisco, California, Humphrey Chen, director of new technology development at Verizon Wireless, indicated that smartphones could replace PCs in the future. more specifically, they could be hooked up to a docking station with a keyboard, camera and monitor, transforming the smartphone into a full-fledged PC replacement.
"With gigahertz processors, the divide between the smartphone and PC has narrowed," said Chen. "That's Microsoft's worst nightmare because there is no Windows or Office revenue, but there's a big Google Apps and Verizon cloud computing opportunity there."
Chen is referring to the proposed smartphone/PC setups that could access Verizon's Long Term Evolution networks currently operating in Seattle and Boston. Although only established as a trial, users are experiencing 10 Mbits/s downloads and 5 Mbits/s uploads. Naturally hooking up smartphones to a desktop-like configuration would be ideal for at-home use.
Another proposition Chen offered at the conference was to create separate consumer and business clients on a single handset. This would suggest that carriers could bill two parties for services on the device. "We are exploring virtualization technology to make that happen," he said.
Chen also revealed how much Verizon spent upgrading its network to 4G. "We spent $9 billion on 700 MHz spectrum to take coverage to the next level for 4G, and now we are spending billions of top of that to build the networks out."