Mobile phone, not PC…
..There is a powerful device already blossoming in emerging markets, connecting rural people to each other and the rest of the world, and facilitating commerce. That device is the increasingly ubiquitous mobile phone.
While it is true that the mobile phone cannot do everything a PC can, it is a more reasonable first step into the digital age for developing countries. For one thing, it is cheaper: Even the least expensive laptop on the market cannot compete with a device that retails for $40 or less. Mobile phones are more portable, and their extended battery life is suited to regions where access to electricity is lacking or non-existent. And the infrastructure needed to connect wireless devices to the Internet is easier and less expensive to build.
But most of all, mobile phones have already been chosen by the people. The growth in mobile phone subscriptions in developing countries has been organic and explosive – The number of cell phones in India, for example, has already crossed 200 million, and growing at 7.5 million a month. Or, for instance, Africa alone has grown from 10 million to more than 200 million subscribers in the last four years, and is expected to triple by 2011; This is in a market which analysts feared would never be able to afford wireless services.
For the first time ever, more people will have a mobile phone than a regular telephone. In emerging markets, the mobile phone is much more than just a means of communication. Often, the mobile phone is an identity, and the only way to reach across geographical boundaries. That’s why it’s important not to impose a bias when comparing the relative merits of mobile phones and PCs. For example, oral communication gets an edge over the written word for the semi-literate people. Mobile devices are much more than phones in emerging nations.
Read the full article at http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=330661
Mobile candy for the next generation
If you think that “mobiles for the youth” isn’t a significant segment, think again. By 2012 (only four years away), 500 million Indian youth will own a mobile phone. So if you see phone manufacturers and mobile operators making a beeline for younger people, you know why.
The industry is bolstered by estimates that suggest 10 per cent of a young person’s disposable income is spent on mobile products and services. Meanwhile, here are a few (affordable) phones targeted at the youth:
(Read the full article listing specific popular youth-oriented mobiles at http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=330869