Evolution Of Mobile Phones (Presentation at Ignite Sydney 2)

During the last 2 years I’ve become really interested in mobile phones and how they are such a powerful enabling tool to help connect people, share information, ignite our creativity and imagination.

Earlier this year I did a short presentation at Ignite Sydney 2 about “The Evolution of Mobile Phones” which you can view below along with my notes:

Evolution Of Mobile Phones – Presentation Notes

  • People think mobile phones are a new technology – Motorola launched the 1st real portable mobile phone (Motorola DynaTAC 8000x) in 1983. it was so cool and fashionable there was a 6 month waiting period!
  • These first mobile phones were just that – phones. No SMS, Camera, Music, Games or Video
  • What about the creator of mobile phones today? Although an also-ran these days Motorola designed some of the most influential phones in the past including the 1st ever clamshell shaped Motorola StarTAC in 1996 and the thin stylish Motorola Razr from 2004
  • Mentioning Nokia – they dominated the field for a long time – but haven’t been inspiring for some time
  • Which brings us to the Apple iPhone – it’s revolutionised the industry in the last 2 years with it’s ease of use, many apps, innovative touchscreen, and ability to play music/video and access the internet via WiFi or 3G at high speed
  • People in this audience have quite likely always bought the latest and greatest mobile phone – so you might be surprised to hear which phone is the best selling of all time
  • It’s the Nokia 1100 which sold over 200 million units, mostly in the developing world where phones are still largely about talking and texting. Their countries typically skipped straight past landlines to mobiles
  • Mobile phone carriers had no idea SMS/text messaging would be so popular and earn them so much money $$$ !
  • In many ways it isn’t accurate to use “phone” to describe the iPhone, Blackberrys and other devices that people in the audience today have in their hands now.
  • I know that I mostly use my HTC Dream for SMS, surfing the web, keeping track of meetings, watching videos, listening to podcasts, using the GPS so I don’t get lost, the camera if I spot something worth photographing … the phone functionality is just a bonus
  • But all these cool features are a problem – these converged devices typically don’t last even 1 day before going flat. Battery technology will have to improve in leaps and bounds to allow all the brilliant features to be used with no worries
  • BlackBerry has had a strong grip over the business market because its so secure and integrated with corporate email
  • People on a budget can’t afford new fancy smartphones. The sub-$200 price point is where things really get interesting and mass adoption can take place
  • “The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed” – science-fiction author William Gibson
  • Concept phones offer glimpses of devices we could use in the future
  • Mobiles may become part of us – why use blocks of plastic & metal with screens when images can be beamed straight into your Eye. Already being used by military and medical fields
  • Bone Conduction technology delivers sound directly to your inner ear letting you listen to music/phone calls and still hear everything around you because the headphones do not cover your ears
  • Regardless Of Which Technology Wins – the key thing to remember is what these devices can enable us to do….
  • Which is Connect People, Share Information and Ignite our creativity and imagination

What do you think will be the most exciting future features of mobile phones? Where do you think mobile phones are headed? Will iPhone gain mass-market domination over Nokia?

2 thoughts on “Evolution Of Mobile Phones (Presentation at Ignite Sydney 2)”

  1. Once in the early 80’s I saw a man walking briskly down the street in the Gold Coast talking agitatedly into a mobile phone just like in the video above. Those things were EXPENSIVE. He was clearly showing off or, at the very least posing himself as the harried business man making use of the very latest in business tools to be as efficient as possible.
    Sadly for him nobody gave him a second glance and I for one, thought he just looked like an idiot.
    Now you see everybody flicking images across the screens on theit iPhones. I think that is really neat. And better stiill, nobody has time to smoke anymore, their hands are too busy!

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