Last week, Wal-Mart released the latest 4G Android phone at a price that has truly democratized the mobile phone experience. The phone is available for $29.99 (that is, of course, after a rebate and getting locked in for a two-year contract) – just in time for Christmas. This week the same phone is available in other stores besides Wal-Mart.
This release comes in tandem with a suggestion from MobileBeat that we can rechristen Gen Y as Gen Mobile based on a recent report from Nielsen that tells us that “62 percent of US mobile users between the ages of 25 and 34 own smartphones, compared to just 43 percent of all US mobile phone users.” Although… the mobile phone market is growing across all segments.
The industry has been talking about the rise of mobile for years now, we’ve talked about it in blogs past and there are entire websites dedicated to the future of mobile. However, what it actually means for the research world and our future at large is still up in the air.
I have a tendency to take the big questions to TED. And Jan Chipchase, Nokia researcher, has an interesting TED talk presentation entitled “Connections and Consequences.” Among many other discoveries that Chipchase has made in the field while analyzing what mobile penetration means, he suggests that one of the things that will change in our future is the standard for innovation. A la Chipchase: “the benchmark for a big idea is changing. If you want a big idea you need to embrace everyone on the planet, that’s the first thing.” From Chipchase’s point of view the mobile phone makes it possible for everyone to transcend space and time – conveniently. In other words, we’re upping our ante because of mobile saturation.
What do you think the future of mobile holds for us? What do you think of Gen Mobile?