February 26, 2004

Cellphone Demographics: One Billion Served (Elsewhere)

We are so under-connected here in the US. Way behind. Among the ways? Broadband (which for most of us is really midband) and in cell phones. According to 3G Americas, not only do we only have (in North America, so this includes Canada) 12.3% of the worlds cell phones compared to Europe at 25.79% and Asia at 38.94%, but GSM (and WCDMA) have more than a billion combined users, out of 1.5 billion cell phone users, but the US (with Canada) has 30 million GSM/WCDMA users.

Ohheee. Pat yourself on the back!

So while everybody else is deep into text messaging, sms (sending photos), email on phones, surfing the web, we are hanging out with our few cellphones and our few BB connections, losing ground in adapting the always-on, wired via wireless way of behaving and thinking, our friends around the globe are marching on with a different way of seeing and understanding the world. When I text message my friends (in the US), it's pretty much one way. They can read them, but with the phones we get here, it's a nightmare replying, not to mention the anti-competitive prices which discourages people from wanting to get a phone that they can txt-msg on. And when I send photos, there are literally about 20 people who can receive them, and I have to remember as I'm taking a shot for someone whether it will get there. And then of course there are the network drops, where loads of messages are just plain lost and never arrive. The whole thing is utterly ridiculous.

And BB, well, suffice it to say that getting in the habit of being always-on, leaving the computer on and rebooting once a month, is something only a quarter of American can do. But when they do, they get it. It's always-on and it changes everything. Suddenly, the internet is quick and available and the source for everything from search to news to entertainment. And it's active. The TV doesn't cut it once you know this and live it. You still want TV, because it's rich media, but you can "watch TV" in the background while you move around, fast, choose what you want and make your experience. People who get this are way ahead of the curve here, but compared to South Korea, where 90% of the populace lives this way, we are so behind.

But I swear we can keep our edge by clamping down with restrictive IP (intellectual property). Yeah right. Not going to happen. We won't have a clue about making and selling digital media if we keep this up.

Link via Gizmodo.

Posted by Mary Hodder at February 26, 2004 07:32 PM | TrackBack