Saturday, March 21, 2009


Future of Mobile Phones

I’ve been watching the cellphone scene because I figure that when people start giving up their cellphones, we know things are really getting bad. Over the past couple of days two articles caught my eye.

The first article paints a troubling picture for sales of mobile phones. Until now, the convenience and continuing parade of new features have made this a growth industry, and in some countries, like Japan, cellphones are even considered fashion accessories. As such, the slowdown is ringing alarm bells among manufacturers. One egregious mistake in judgment stands out in this article.
“People are not going to give up their phones, even if there is a recession,” one analyst said. “If they lose their job it might be more important, but they are looking at their spending plans, and postponing buying new phones.”
But that is clearly wrong, as another article demonstrates.
Potentially chilling for U.S. cellphone carriers, around 19% of cellphone users have already discontinued wireless service in the past six months due to job loss or other financial concerns.
The world economic meltdown is just getting started, but already 19% of Americans have dumped their cellphones! Think of the consequences. As more people give up their cellphones, the drop in revenue will force carriers to cut back on base station maintenance, and towers with low traffic volume will be shut down. Further, as major carriers are publicly traded, they’re already losing value on the stock market.

Touted as handy for preventing crime and for keeping people in contact at times of emergencies and disasters (except when base station battery packs go dead), mobile phones could well be one of the products of technological civilization to go first.

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