Apr 17, 2009

Phones as Computers

As testament to the changing use of phones, consider the following. At North America's largest cell phone trade show in Las Vegas this month, there were only a few new phones for the US market that had a numeric keypad instead of an alphabetic keyboard. Touch screens also were out in force.

These changes are a recognition of the popularity of text messaging and wireless Internet use. Industry organization CTIA Wireless said US subscribers sent 1 trillion text messages in 2008 (three times the 2007 volume). Meanwhile, the same people used 2.2 trillion minutes of voice calls, an increase of less than 5 percent.

This shift in how people use their mobile devices has changed cell phone design to the point that 31 percent of phones sold in US in the fourth quarter of 2008 had full-alphabet keyboards, vs. 5 percent two years earlier. u me lunch, k?