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Home arrow Blog arrow Low-tech America

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Low-tech America Print
Written by Mike Noel   
Tuesday, 20 February 2007
For most people in America, a cellphone is a cellphone. That's it. The phone is used for talking mostly and occasionally some SMS (short message service) messages. And you know what? That's the way people like it. For several years cellphone companies have been trying to push more and more services on the phones hoping that people will love it. But they don't. A phone is a phone. There are a few hardcore gadget-type people who like all the fancy stuff -- a phone that doubles as an mp3 player, pda, dvd player, and paperweight -- but that's not the norm.
This is in sharp contrast to what most of Europe and Asia sees with their cellphone usage. Cellphones there are routinely used for everything that people in the US use laptops for. In fact, for many people in those regions their cellphone is their only internet access. And it is fast. The newer cellphones can download a 3MB song file in less than 4 seconds. That's faster than most landline internet connections. The phones have high resolution screens and high pixel count built-in cameras plus zillions of other features that the users use everyday.
So why don't Americans want all these fancy features? I think the answer is fairly simple. Americans like choices. We like to go to the mall to eat where we can choose to get a drink from Taco Bell and french fries from McDonalds and a sandwich from Burger King. Having a single device that does everything means that we wouldn't be able to choose all the different options. We'd be stuck with such & such service for such & such feature. Not what we want.
I think that the cellphone technology industry will continue to try and push new do-everything devices but it will be quite a while before American's adopt these wholesale. Of course I could be wrong. I guess time will tell.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 February 2007 )

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