As a software platform and data application consumer device, the typical modern smartphone can do all that a consumer laptop can do. Every bit of it. This is well known even in Microsoft’s HQ and even Steve Ballmer seems to recognize this. But for the consumer of digital services, a mid-range standard mobile phone, a non-smartphone cellphone, can actually deliver seven unique abilities that no personal computer can match today…..
Yes, the phone can do everything a PC can do, but also there are seven things a modern phone can do, that the PC cannot. The modern mobile phone is inherently superior in capability than a laptop or desktop PC. Inherently superior yes. There is sound reasoning why so many are abandoning the laptop and selecting the iPhone or the Blackberry etc.
These are not some company secrets tightly guarded in the headquarters of Nokia, Samsung and Motorola. The seven unique abilities of mobile beyond those on PCs are openly listed at Wikipedia and explained in full in books such as my latest hardcover book, Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media. The mobile phone is not an inferior tiny PC, it is a superior communication, consumption and creation device, far more powerful than the personal computer – of any size, and with any size screen.
Here is the Wikipedia entry refered to by Mr. Ahonen:
Mobile offers seven benefits that cannot be replicated by the six legacy mass media. They are:
1 Mobile is the first personal mass media
2 Mobile is permanently carried
3 Mobile is always-on
4 Mobile has a built-in payment mechanism
5 Mobile is available at the point of creative inspiration
6 Mobile has the most accurate audience measurement
7 Mobile captures the social context of media consumption
Many may claim that the internet offers some of the benefits (personal, payment, audience accuracy and social context). The internet is only semi-personal such as shared computers at home and the office, and the ability for example of employers to read content consumed by employees. The internet in its native form cannot handle money or payments, and requires cumbersome work-arounds such as Paypal accounts and using credit cards. On mobile payments can be enabled on the click, such as with downloading ringing tones.
The internet promised full accuracy of users, but with firewalls, deleting cookies and false web identities, there is no accuracy of audience on the internet. On modern mobile networks every user is uniquely known and even if they attempt to hide behind “pre-paid” (pay-as-you-go) accounts under a “Mickey Mouse” type of name, the true identity of that given phone and its phone number, and any media consumed on it, is fully known and accurately tracked on the network. The same allows the capture of social context, not possible across internet services, only possible within a given internet service like Amazon etc. On mobile networks, if the operator/carrier decides to track it, all social context information can be captured.
And people keep wondering why I say that mobile is the future…