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Thursday, May 26, 2005
(Via Newsweek) 20 percent of all phones in Tokyo link to the fastest mobile networks in the world. Tokyoites use their phones to watch TV, read books and magazines and play games. Technology revolutions come in two flavors: jarringly fast and imperceptibly slow. The fast kind, like the sudden ubiquity of iPods or the proliferation of music-sharing sites on the Net, seem to instantly reshape the cultural landscape. The slower upheavals grind away over the course of decades, subtly transforming the way we live and work. The emergence of mobile phones around the world has been slow but overwhelmingly momentous. Sales of mobile phones dwarf the sales of televisions, stereos, personal computers. There are 1.5 billion cell phones in the world today, more than three times the number of PCs. Mobile phones are so integral to our lives that it's difficult to remember how the heck we ever got on without them. As our phones get smarter, smaller and faster and enable users to connect at high speeds to the Internet, an obvious question arises: is the mobile handset turning into the next computer? In one sense, it already has. Today's most sophisticated phones have the processing power of a mid-1990s PC while consuming 100 times less electricity. And more and more of today's phones have computerlike features, allowing their owners to send e-mail, browse the Web and even take photos; 84 million phones with digital cameras were shipped last year. Will mobile phones will ever eclipse, or replace, the PC, and the issue suddenly becomes controversial. PC proponents say phones are too small and connect too sluggishly to the Internet to become effective at tasks now performed on the luxuriously large screens and keyboards of today's computers. Fans of the phone respond: just wait. Coming innovations will solve the limitations of the phone. "One day, 2 or 3 billion people will have cell phones, and they are all not going to have PCs," says Jeff Hawkins, inventor of the Palm Pilot and the chief technology officer of PalmOne. "The mobile phone will become their digital life."
Category : Mobile Phones |
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