The future of smart phones
Smart phones have come a long way since they first made their debut. Believe it or not, there was a time when not every person and their Mother had a smart phone. However, smart phones still share the same means of communications as cell phones prior to smart phones and the wide spread availability of the Internet. Our phones all still make calls and send messages in similar fashion to the way they did before they had access to an Internet connection.
While phone calls and text messages still serve as a primary means of communication, recent years have yielded newer technologies that we now rely on for communication, namely social media. Instead of relying solely on a phone call to communicate, we now have the option of sending messages using other services over the Internet. Why is this relevant? For one, they’re free. Almost all major social networks are free to join and so common in today’s age that you can initiate communication with almost anyone you might know without a cellular device.
Why do we still pay to make phone calls and send text messages when we can do seemingly the same thing for free over the Internet? As Dave Johnson asserts in this article (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/living-with-a-smartphone-and-no-cellular-plan/), some smart phone users have begun to see the value of their smart phones separate from their wireless providers. Unfortunately, this limits user’s communications to when they are in their home or office, or in range of a wireless hotspot. This may not be feasible for some as they see their phone as a necessity and having to constantly deal with a lack of coverage may not be ideal. However, in the future if wireless Internet continues to grow in the same trend that it has in the past, it may not be so unrealistic. If wireless Internet is available 50% of the time now, it is reasonable to expect that 70-80% of the places we frequent will be equipped with wireless Internet. If you ask me, those days are rapidly coming to an end. Instead of relying on a wireless carrier for your communications we will start to rely solely on the power of the Internet.
How does this affect smart phones? I think we will begin to see personal devices that are not connected to a carrier. Sure, the option to be connected a consistent 3G Internet connection is not going away but becoming an option instead of a requirement. It would seem that we are in store for an age of mobile devices whose only requirement is an Internet connection, freeing them from the strain of monthly bills and allowing their owners to make use of Wifi networks to communicate.