Cell phones provide everything you need in one device
By Sol Tran
Originally published: 10/16/08 at 1:03 AM PST
Last update: 10/16/08 at 1:16 AM PST
As we munch on our food, I swing my hand as I show him iBowling, a new motion sensor game I just downloaded on my phone. Jaysen raves over the new song “Love Lockdown” by Kanye West, so I decide to give it a listen and download it onto my iPhone in just a few minutes.
There is so much I can do with my phone. Yet, when it comes to paying the bill, I still rely on my old-fashioned credit card. But with the rapid growth of the mobile phone, I expect that to change in a few years.
We can’t use our phones as credit cards yet — at least not in the United States — but with the invention of the iPhone, we are on our way there. The features on the iPhone are already astonishing. With it I can sing karaoke, tape interviews with celebrities on the go, talk to voters in battleground states, listen to music, look up drinking games and cocktail recipes, check my Facebook events, chat on AIM and, oh yeah, make phone calls.
Yet we are still behind Asian countries like South Korea and Japan in phone technology.
Looking at their technology gives us a glimpse of what is to come here.
Not everybody in the U.S. has an iPhone or smartphone, a term used to denote phones with advanced capabilities, but in Asia these types of phones have become the norm.
In China, some were watching live Olympic broadcasts on their phones while commuting home from work. Students in Nagasaki can go shopping in Tokyo for the first time and find information about a store just by pointing their cell phones at it.
By 2013, I wonder if we’ll even be buying cameras as Christmas gifts anymore (unless you are shopping for an aspiring photographer). If we do, it will be the one on cell phones.
With phone cameras already reaching 8 megapixels, such as that on the LG KC780, it’ll only be a matter of time before smartphones are forced to improve their camera features in order to compete with regular digital cameras. The iPhone only has a 2 megapixel camera and no flash.
At this rate, it doesn’t seem like it will take much longer before smartphones become standard for us in the States.
About 10 million iPhones have already been sold, and competition is springing up fast from Google with its new Android platform available on the T-Mobile G1 phone.
If you look around, you probably can find a few classmates using either a BlackBerry, iPhone or some other smartphone.
This is why capitalism is so beautiful: competition, baby. The iPhone is now only $199 with a two-year contract, and the new T-Mobile G1 Android phone is even cheaper at $179.99.
With a market that already includes competition such as Research In Motion’s Blackberry Storm, HTC’s Touch Pro and LG’s Dare, expect the prices of smartphones to plummet even further and features to get even better. What does that mean? We will all have one very soon.
On top of that, multiple industries are emerging as a result. We’re seeing a mobile platform system industry surface as Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Apple, Blackberry and Google compete. Nokia, Motorola and China’s TechFaith are also jumping into the industry.
There is also the mobile payments industry. While it has taken off in Asia and parts of Europe, it doesn’t seem like it will be too long before I’ll be able to buy a bean burrito from Taco Bell using my cell phone right here in Santa Clara.
MasterCard is already moving into the industry fast, saying it expects mobile payments to be the norm in the United States by 2011. Juniper Research also speculates that the mobile payments industry will be a $375 billion market by 2013.
It looks like soon we are going to be leaving our credit cards, flashlights, cameras, iPods, Game Boys, computer notebooks and maps at home, because all we’re going to need is our mobile phone.
Contact Sol Tran at firstname.lastname@example.org.