Mobile Technology: The Relentless Pace of Change Continues
By Terence Ronson Managing Director, Pertlink Ltd. | January 15, 2017
There's only one way to view this – we live in a mobile world. Almost any consumer product or service developed today, is most likely created with a mind-set that one day it will somehow be used in a mobile manner. Consigned to oblivion are the days when we need to return to a desk to do email, go to a fixed line to make a phone call, plug into a network port for internet connectivity, have a hard-wired antenna to watch TV, or wear a wired headset to listen to music.
However, one of the remaining requirements of "being connected" is the need to plug in our devices for charging – but that is slowly eroding. To understand the power of charging, just look around you and see how many people have their mobile devices tethered to some form of mobile power pack - I call this BYOP – Bring Your Own Power. Low-batt as it's often termed, is a modern-day curse, and as we constantly glance at the screens of our mobile devices, or set alerts, when we observe a reading of <40%, we break into a cold sweat, as we quickly triangulate and find a place of solace to get a power fix.
Joking aside, mobility has an abundance of advantages, many of which we are only now coming to terms with – quite likely because the devices have technically matured, prices have fallen sufficiently, and the applications become useful. In fact, for a while now, the computing power contained inside that smartphone in your pocket or purse, contains way more computational capabilities than the vehicle that took the first Apollo Mission to the Moon.
When we hear the term "there's an app for that" – there either is, or quite likely there are a group of hooded programmers or system architects huddled together in a basement, garage, dorm or around a kitchen table busy collaborating on how to bring that code to market with the potential of being the next Facebook, Instagram, or Tinder.
The market for mobility is huge. Correction. it's Ginormous! Let me give you a simple example. The 2016 edition of the World Fact Book (published by The CIA – and yes, there's an app) shows that for example, Hong Kong, with a population of 7.2m people, has a staggering 16.74m mobile phones in operation. That's over two mobile phones per man, woman and child. South Korea has a population of 51m and 59m mobile users, while the USA has a 324m population and a measly 382m mobile users. Those three countries total half a billion mobile phones in use.
The last 35+ years has seen the single greatest explosion in the use of any tech known to mankind, the mobile phone. And the one single event that led to this, happened on June 29th 1997 when Apple changed the world forever, as the Tech God known as Steve Jobs proudly launched the iPhone. Shortly after that date, there was probably no single place on Planet Earth (and maybe even parts of the Solar system) that had not heard of the iPhone. So significant was this moment that it once and for all made mobiles useful, and like the Calculator, Mouse and Windows that preceded it, the Mobile Generation was born. Now well over half the population has been ushered into the Mobile era.
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