IBM to invest $100m in mobile R&D

Mobile research to focus on consumer and business users that connect to the web via mobile devices

Tags: International Business Machines CorporationUSA
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By  Mark Sutton Published  June 18, 2009

IBM has announced that it will realign $100m of its R&D spending to target mobile technologies.

The company says that the investment, which will be spread over the next five years, will target those people that use mobile devices as their primary means of accessing the web. The research will include mobile services and applications for consumers and business users.

IBM’s Institute for Business Value predicts that there will be around one billion mobile users by 2011, a growth of 191% from 2006.

Dr Guruduth Banavar, global leader of the mobile communications focus for IBM Research and director of IBM Research – India commented: “Mobile devices are gradually becoming ubiquitous and helping us transcend many boundaries -- geographical, economic, and social, among others. With high penetration, simple user interface, and significant cost advantage for end users, mobile telephony holds the future of communication and exchange of information for the enterprise.”

The company is already involved with developing mobile solutions, and points to the success of recent pilot projects. IBM’s first-of-a-kind (FOAK) program has run a pilot to develop mobile processing of insurance claims, using a technology called BlueStar; and a mobile voice service that provides information such as market reports, weather, health information and travel data to farmers, repairmen, small businesses and consumers in southern India.

IBM invested $6.3 billion on R&D in 2008.

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