Saturday, 9 February 2013

Who Will Be First?

Six years ago I walked into my present place of work (at the time Orange)  and picked up a company newspaper .The front page of the article stated that that they had a target of 30% market penetration with mobile phone ownership. The actual market penetratation at the time was something like 130% !! These figures may be coloured by the mists of time and so don't take them as gospel because they are based on my sieve like memory. However when you see suits on a train with a laptop , tablet and 3 phones trying to commandeer a table you can see the 130% market penetration in action.

Anyway, since that time companies have grown and evolved , and the things we have in our hands that we use to talk to each other bear no resemblance at all to Alexander Graham Bell's invention. In the late 80's a mobile phone required a briefcase sized battery pack and looked like you average military walkie talkie. Then battery technology came on leaps and bounds allowing creation of one piece phones that would actually fit in your hand. Sitting in the background at the the time you had the internet thing and you had the WAP protocol whence enabled very basic web access from the cutting edge phones. I always thought it looked rubbish but that's the only way progress is made. At the time it was groundbreaking , you could be in the middle of nowhere (assuming a signal) and find out the lasted horse racing results or football scores. A bit like Teletext and Ceefax on your phone.

Phones then got expanded keyboards , bigger screens , and eventually touch screen technology was integrated into the model. All the time capabilities are being enhances and phones can do more. I remember one of my Nokias had "Snake" on it , my Samsung Note 2 allows me to watch films , play "Broken Sword" , perform Office functions , connect to email , have a fully functioned web browser, and install new software if it takes my fancy. Of course this is all dependant on have a signal, but if my superfast 4G EE signal isnt available , I can connect to WiFi in Starbucks , Wetherspoons or wherever. So really it's not a phone is it?

It's a hand held computer, 20 years ago I was working on mainframes with less processing power that the device I have in my hand. It's three months since EE brought us into the 4G age in the UK , and the combined performance of device and signal means you can watch cath up TV whenever and wherever you want. My Samsung Note 2 is probably more powerful that the Star Trek communicators and tricorders. Combine with GPS if we had transporter beams we would be on a par with Star Trek. Even ten years ago you could not imagine being where we are now with these devices. EE is not , and never has been a phone company , it is about communications and connections , making the world more accessible and bringing people closer together.

Which brings me to the point of this post , we are not using mobile phones anymore , they are communication devices and hand held computers. However phone is a one syllable recognisable label. Mobil Phone is three but still recognisable. I am just wondering how long it will before someone instigates a new all encompassing name for these devices. If Steve Jobs were alive I would have said Apple , finally ditching the iPhone series with:

   "The iCom - It's not your phone , It's Your Life"