Thursday, January 22, 2009

What Are Cell Phones Made For?

The answer seems obvious: to call! But this fact seems not that obvious for most cell phone companies. Indeed, technology is getting more and more portable, and therefore there is a large effort by handsets producers to promote other uses for cell phones. Also, phone companies are marketing a lot their 3Gs plans, and other services using these new technologies as new ways to generate growth.

Indeed, According to a new report by The NPD Group, 45 percent of U.S. mobile phone users prefer to use their mobile phones to make calls, and not for other available multimedia features. Only 20 percent of mobile phone users prefer to use their phones as an all-in-one multimedia device for music, videos, Web surfing, and other activities beyond making phone calls.
Moreover, let's not forget that smartphones, which are the most advanced kind of cell phones in terms of other apps (email, Internet, PDA, and multimedia) only counts for 13% of the cell phone market.

Actually, I believe that this fact is one of the main reason why mobile marketing (or m-marketing) is struggling right now. Potential is huge, the technology is constantly improving, but it doesn't seem that customer's interest is there yet.

New operating systems like Apple's or Google Android are great because they provide an easy interface to benefit from these new technologies. But I believe there is still a great effort of education ahead of us, in order to help customers understand how to use these new technologies and get the best out of them.