Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 30, 201010:55 PM

Invasion Of The Hand Computers

We have to give up on the idea that there's a difference between being "online" and what we're experiencing on our mobile devices.

They're both "online" and it's only going to be a short while where the experiences of being online via a computer (be it desktop, laptop or netbook) is that much different from our mobile devices. Afterall, where does Apple's iPad fit in the mix? Is it a mobile device or is it closer to a netbook? (Julien Smith, co-author with Chris Brogan of Trust Agents, and one of the regular co-hosts of the Media Hacks Podcast, half-jokingly remarked that the iPad was nothing more than nine iPhones stapled together).

We also need to ditch the term "smartphone"... and fast!

"Although only 21% of American wireless subscribers were using a smartphone as of Q4 2009 compared to 19% in Q3 2009 and 14% at the end of 2008, Nielsen expects smartphones to account for more than half of the US mobile phone market by 2011. Nielsen predicts smartphones will account for 24% of the US mobile phone market in Q1 2010 and rise to about 33% market share by Q4 2010. Growth will then accelerate in 2011, hitting 40% in Q1 2011 and about 50% by Q3 2011. Based on this rapid increase, smartphones should pass the 50% mark during Q4 2011."

That was the big news from Marketing Charts on March 26th, 2010 in the news item, Smartphones Projected to Overtake Feature Phones Next Year. Without even looking at the news item, it's not hard to imagine that people are doing way more things than just using their mobile devices for talking. These are no longer phones. These are no longer remote controls for our personal lives. These are computers. Just like that thing on your desk or that laptop you schlep around.

This is the year of mobile (that was a joke).

There will be no "year of mobile" and if there is one, it has probably already passed us by. We're inching ever-closer to a moment in time where you won't/don't need to take both a laptop and an iPhone (BlackBerry, Android, whatever) on your business trip - you'll just take one computer (and odds are it will be the one that can fit in the palm of your hand). I've Blogged about this before (The Lines Continue To Blur (At Breakneck Speed), Game Changer - Game Over, What Will Be, The Google Phone Is Really About This..., etc...), but Marketers are still focused on saying "online" and "mobile" and keeping those walls far and wide apart.

Mobile and Online are not separate things. They're the same thing, we're just not comfortable with the pace of change.

By Mitch Joel