A Little Mobile Phone Sanity

Over at Mobile Opportunity, Michael Mace writes about the mobile phone taking over the PC:

It’s long been an article of faith for many mobile enthusiasts that
mobile phones are going to become the dominant means by which the human
race deals with the internet.

After quoting some of the voices saying just that, he lists two mistakes he thinks they’ve made:

–They’ve assumed the internet is a thing, and
–They have forgotten about Moore’s law.

He argues that “People do an incredible range of tasks that take advantage of the internet, some of them well suited to a mobile phone and some of them not.” As for Moore’s law, he says let it “continue to chew on the UMPC [ultra-mobile PC], and I think a PC will soon be within the reach of a working-class family in much of the developing world.”

Perhaps my favorite part is his assertion that

The idea that people in the developing world won’t want or need the
benefits of a larger screen and keyboard is patronizing. It assumes
that they’ll be content to be second class citizens for many Internet
services permanently.

The idea that the mobile phone won’t eat the PC doesn’t mean we no longer have to meet the needs of mobile users, it just means we have to continue to meet the needs of PC (and very soon TV) users.

Mace envisions a future of “smartphones with flexible screens and fold-out keyboards that can fulfill all of the functions of a PC.” Before that, I see a future of smartphones that simply plug into a screen and keyboard at home and in the office, eliminating the need for a desktop or laptop.

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