Friday, January 8, 2010

Evolution of The Cell

As I opened my Nexus One that came in the mail yesterday I admired the smooth texture of the packaging and sleek design of the device, it got me thinking about how far we've come. Mobile subscribers will hit 4 billion worldwide in 2010. NUTS!

In the beginning, the sole purpose of a "cellular phone" was to make and receive calls. It was an overweight, overpriced PHONE. That was it! For the next 10 years handset manufactures focused on bringing the size of the devices down, along with the price. For the most part, this which was achieved. You can literally find phones that are the size of a peanut that sell for $20.

Next, a camera would come into the fold. Hand held digital cameras had become popular in the late 90's. Naturally the demand would for ONE device that combined camera and phone. Initially the photo quality wasn't the greatest but it was CONVIENIENT. Having SOMETHING to capture life's unplanned moments what what was important. Kyocera introduced the first camera phone in 1997. By 2002 there were about 80 million camera phones worldwide and by 2004 that number jumped to 233 million. Today, Cameras are standard on phones and there are a BILLION of them worldwide. CRAZY!

IPOD: After the Ipod achieved ridiculous success there became a demand for phones to carry music as well. This demand reached a tipping point when the Iphone was released in June of 2007, the rest is history. Phones are now being designed for the sole purpose of downloading music and ringtones. You're are seeing smartphones hit the market with 16gb of memory and full multimedia capabilities. It all comes back to convenience. Having all of these mini devices merged into ONE is a dream come true. People are willing to sacrifice fidelity for convenience.

So what's the next craze? What are the people DEMANDING to be on their phones? I think we all know.

WEB and BEYOND. Insiders believe that we will see a flood of phones hit the market with full web browsing capabilities.The fierce competition between handset manufactures to improve function and design will bring costs down and improve overall function. We've already witnessed the success of Apple's Iphone and the App Store as a mobile online revenue model, but could that just be the tip of the iceberg? The "cellular phone" may reach a popularity like never before with the winds of the web behind it.

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