Today something dawned on me: The industry has hit the threshold on the size of cell phones.
Why would I say such a thing? Part of this is based on an add I saw where you can actually download MP3′s to a specific cell phone to listen to music on the go. What kind of feature is this? Who the hell did they make this for? I’ll tell you who they made it for: everyone with a cell phone.
See, the way I figure it is that all the companies seem to be trying to figure out the new and interesting features that they can put in to cell phones. Why are they doing this? Because they want to motivate people to buy. The cell phone industry is probably starting to stagnate and they want to try to spur new sales. Why do they need to do this? Because they made the phones as small as they can.
I’m guessing that at this point you aren’t getting my rational. I don’t blame you… this seems really off track if I go back and read it. If you keep reading I swear it will make sense.
Up until this point cell phones kept shrinking. The first real portable cell phones were more like bricks with a big rubber antenna on them. They weren’t easy to carry around, they weren’t comfortable to use. Slowly but surely they start to become more portable. Motorola really seemed to pave the way in this with their flip phones. Nokia started coming out with smaller models as well. All hell broke loose with the StarTac and for the longest time it was ::THE:: phone to have. Samsung came in to the fold and then Nokia became a player making really tiny and skinny phones.
During this time the size of ones cell phone seemed inversely proportional to the importance someone wanted to project. The smaller your cell phone was the more important you seemed to be (or rich or whatever). This means that people all along have constantly upgraded (although when going to a smaller phone it would seem more like downgrading) their phones for models that were more portable and cooler looking. Tech heads helped ad to this by competing with one another for who had the smallest one. You’ve also got so many consumers that have cell phones now the market seems to have hit a high level of saturation.
Now a days it would seem it is a different story though.
The tech industry has had a lull and it would seem that the size can’t really get much smaller without being hard to use. My own cell phone isn’t any bigger then my middle and index finger combined. You can’t really get any smaller then that without either not being able to dial or just making it so damn small you’ll actually loose it. Granted they could make them even smaller if they came up with one that was, say, the size of a pen. It could just work off of one of these headsets you see everyone using (myself included) but would have to have voice recognition software so incredible you wouldn’t need to touch a button to dial or answer the phone. This, obviously, would be hard to get used to and a bitch to market.
So if they can’t make cell phones smaller how can they get people to actually buy new ones? Throw new gadgets in to them. Soon I am sure you will see cell phones that also can take digital pictures or have built in GPS functionality. They will put anything and everything that they can in to a cell phone so that way they can get new adopters and those just looking for an excuse to upgrade the thing they are looking for. What is going to be the side affect of these add ins? Size. The phones will start to get a little bit bigger again. Then, after they get the sales numbers they are looking for they will come up with a way to put all these features into smaller phones and the same people that bought the originals will cave in to get the smaller ones.
I’ll be interested to see what they do when this happens. I look forward to a cell phone that also doubles as an electric razor or tooth brush. “I’m sorry Jim, what did you say? The sound from my bicuspid getting scraped drowned you out for a second.”