MEDIA POST -- Mar 21 -- A survey of 15,000 worldwide mobile users from the CMO Council tells us that consumers everywhere are getting more than a little pissed about their over-powered and under-utilized phones. The No. 1 complaint is that handsets have too many functions they just don't understand and retail chains are not knowledgeable about the technology. The success of the iPod is a good example of a device / interface / business model that streamlined the technical innovation of digital downloads in just the right way. With phones, drilling for applications and WAP favorites, passing photos to one another and downloading music is just on the other side of the tipping point of convenience. The content is not that good to induce us to learn new habits and easier channels to the same information are just not that far away (PC's). Mobile data is convenient, which is different from important. Important is connecting with family and friends, SMS. We need a seamless, solution for image-sharing and posting. Mobile music is another kludge that needs a usability rewrite.
Mark Brooks: Mobile dating and SNS will eventually be 'bigger' than online dating and SNS. 'Eventually' means 5+ years, perhaps as long as 10 years. I think laptops will morph into mobile devices which will incorporate mini phone-headset devices with voice recognition. The wireless high-speed internet will proliferate in the US and drive a huge shift towards a new breed of mobile devices. Noone wants to be tied down to a specific location. Just go take a look at a wifi enabled or major metro coffee shop. It's loaded with office escape artists. I hope iPhone bridges the 'usability gap' that Steve talks about! Society has a latent need to unhook and gain their mobile information-laden freedom.