The end of typing

Wall Street Journal:

Instead of typing searches and emails, a wave of newcomers—“the next billion,” the tech industry calls them—is avoiding text, using voice activation and communicating with images. They are a swath of the world’s less-educated, online for the first time thanks to low-end smartphones, cheap data plans and intuitive apps that let them navigate despite poor literacy.


A look at Megh Singh’s smartphone suggests how the next billion might determine a new set of winners and losers in tech.

Mr. Singh, 36, balances suitcases on his head in New Delhi, earning less than $8 a day as a porter in one of India’s biggest railway stations. He isn’t comfortable reading or using a keyboard. That doesn’t stop him from checking train schedules, messaging family and downloading movies.

“We don’t know anything about emails or even how to send one,” said Mr. Singh, who went online only in the past year. “But we are enjoying the internet to the fullest.”

The next billion are vital to Apple’s growth as a company. So much so, that it would not surprise me to see a new version of iOS tailored for this audience.