One of the least used apps on my iPhone is the Phone app. I guess it can be useful every now and then, but if given a choice I would rather have an Internet connection than make a call. Tweeting, emailing and using iMessage to send small messages to my friends or my colleagues – it all supersedes the ability to make phone calls.
I wonder if Steve Jobs at one point regretted calling it a ‘phone’. Probably not, as for 80% of the population, the phone option is what sells the iPhone. In fact, I’ve been told that 20% of iPhone users never install an App. Not one. They use the apps that are installed by default and simply ignore the App Store.
Still, I can’t help but believe that there is a widening gap between the ‘phone’ part of the iPhone and the rest of it. There’s a wider disconnect between the naming of the devices we own and their actual use, too. When people mention ‘The Future of Mobile’, I think about conversations we had 10 years ago. ‘Mobile’ seems to imply the use of phones. Of course, the future of computing is a lot broader than mobile phones. We still don’t know what category an iPad falls in. It isn’t a PC and it isn’t a mobile phone, that much is sure. It is however part of the future of mobile.
In this issue we look into the disconnect between the future of mobile, mobile phones and mobility. Although they all seem related and part of the same category, there are subtle differences that invite us to think of a new definition. Until we agree on that new definition we will focus on the disconnect first.