For most of us, mobile phones are an essential part of our ordinary life.
Nearly everybody has one and frequently deals with it. Its latest species are the so-called smartphones.
In one of my former blog posts “10 Things for having a smartphone”, I already dealed with this issue from my personal point of view and in with a limited focus. Now, I try to swift from the consumer’s view to a manager’s view. Therefore, I will try to explore the evolution of smartphones dealing with the following questions: How did it progress? How did this business start, how did it develop until now and how might it change in the future?
Interesting articles concerning this current issue (and a lot more) can be found on the homepage of „Technology Review”, an independent media company owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
In his article “Are Smart Phones Spreading Faster than Any Technology in Human History?”, Michael Degusta, founder of “Steel Card, LLC” writes about smartphones becoming the fastest spreading technology comparing to former technologies. His thesis is supported by data he found in “Wall Street Journal”:
Mobile phones reached a saturation of the market in just 20 years whereas the installment of electricity cables and telephone wires, his so-called “last mile-problems”, appeared to spread more slowly. He thinks that smartphones are on the way to reach the same saturation time and that tablets might even spread faster. Nevertheless, he points out that it is not easy to draw conclusions from the data today available: Due to him, the data does not include global information and it is furthermore difficult to track every technology.
Degusta’s article has been commented by several people. One of them is Michael Mace, well-known tech industry blogger and consultant, CEO of Cera Technology and former director of Mac platform marketing. His comment about Degusta’s article: “You’re comparing apples to oranges here.” He marks that besides the smartphone, all the technologies that have been listed are new sectors of products acquiring big changes. In his opinion, “smartphones are a direct replacement for the mobile phone that was already in the pocket or purse of most people in the developed world”. Consequently, it would be logical that they spread faster. He thinks that smartphones should rather be compared to other substitutes like Blue-Ray player or Flat Screen TV in terms of their role as substitute.
Nevertheless, one is able to see a certain progress, might it be “the fastest spread in human history” or just a little step for something to become huge. In my following blog posts, I will try to analyze the past, the present and the future situation in smartphone eco-systems.