Last week while working with my ANPI marketing team, I asked them to consider what Apple had identified as key features during the announcement of the new iPhones. They identified cheaper version with multiple colors, improved camera for better pictures, new operating system, fingerprint recognition for improve security, wireless file transfer, longer battery life and faster processor to play games and improve video features. Please note what was not mentioned during the event; using the device as a phone. It is not a discussion point because the device is no longer primarily used as a phone.
To most of us it is obvious that the smart phone is used to quickly access social media, email and texting. However, also consider that even greater numbers have transitioned to using their smart phone as their alarm clock, camera or watch.
The Consumer Electronics Association reported that smartphone usage for Americans is measured at 20% for phone calls with texting, email, web browsing, and social media rounding out the top five with those four activities equaling 57% of the total use. Interestingly, Americans still use their smartphones for making calls more than any other single activity whereas in the UK, the opposite is true. One possible reason is the pricing of data plans which is more attractive outside the US.
According to a study of UK mobile users they only spend 10% of the time each day using a smartphone for either making or answering a phone call. More than 65% of their top activities were surfing the Internet, tracking social media, listening to music, playing games and reading email which tied with making calls. None of these is a traditional functional of a phone.
I think the use of the word “phone” soon will not define the device most of us carry. As phone calls because the less used reason for having the device, then other monikers will present themselves as a better descriptor. Consider that as part of Unified Communications solution, the phone now assist as our personal digital assistant (PDA) and also communicates with our co-worker’s PDAs. The next step is to increase the deployment of Communications Enabled Business Processes where the small and powerful mobile devices become the primary user interface.
The smartphone is now a data, video, entertainment, eCommerce platform, computer and communications device. Consequently, just as the album and CDs lost out to cloud technologies, devices such as cameras, GPS equipment and watches will probably lose out to the smart(TBD).