30 juli 2007

When is a cellphone considered obsolete?

Recently I started to wonder why Sweden has come such a long way with computers and internet access but still ignore internet on cellphones - it is as if it doesn't exist. What I would like to know is, if the situation is the same in other parts of the Nordic region and what about Europe? 

Reports have shown that the operator Three has the highest score for the category "income per subscriber" in Sweden, which should come as a wake-up bell you would think for other cell operators. But I'm not too certain that they care about how much their neighbour makes on mobile services since it doesn't affect their own customer base or price setting strategy. Leading the list on "income per subscriber" only says for a telecom competitor, that they have a higher attraction on the stock market for those wanting to invest in the possibly lucrative future of mobile telecom services.

Will GPRS get shut off anytime soon despite the GSM market continuing to prosper? Doesn't seem like it will. I look at my friends cellphone usage habits and see a pattern in the way they look at their mobiles. Very easy: it's a phone to them, it's a phone just like their first cellphone they bought in the late 1990s. However, about two years ago they saw low-budget cameras get built-in and so now they know their device under the name "camera mobile" even though I know it's called "camera phone" in other places of the world. It's interesting, actually. I do find it very interesting. Is the GSM industry aware of their customers' perception of the devices they promote and are they feeling satisfaction over the situation? If they are very satisfied it means that they have reached their goals and know their prosperity is deeply rooted in how customer habits work.

So, seeing as the telecom industry keeps spitting out new GSM phone models on the market in Northern Europe I continue to wonder: will profit, technology - or both - drive the decision to evolve the European mainstream cellular market? Today the 3G handsets keep maturing every year and more customers turn to these mobile devices. But ... when will it break in with 51 % market share? 

Sony Ericsson probably aren't going to stop producing GSM phones anytime soon, as their CEO Svanberg have witnessed growth take place in new markets. I believe that means they are going to continue manufacture and sell those very phones not only in new markets but also established ones to profit further. Will Apple speed up the cellular service market with their 3G iPhone or will instead Nokia single-handedly take care of the evolution? We'll see in a not so distant future!