Before that momentous moment, we had been reliant on the good old fixed landline, fax machines, pagers and the early beginnings of email. The mobile phone, in all its clunky glory, suddenly meant that we were able to make contact on the go – albeit for only a short period at a time and at a big cost.Back then, it marked the end of a cold war-type battle between Racal Vodafone and BT Cellnet to make the first call. With Harrison helping Racal Vodafone take that accolade, it took a further two weeks for BT Cellnet to match the accomplishment.
Since then the mobile phone has gone from a device which had to be carried round in its own briefcase to one that has arguably replaced our personal computer, address book, camera, tape deck/CD player/MP3 device and even TV. The mobile has followed trends which saw it shrink in size during the period immediately after the turn of the millennium, before ballooning back up as consumers demanded bigger, colour screens. This, and the advent of smartphone applications, has given rise to a new swathe of businesses and entrepreneurs. Pick up anyone’s smartphone and you’ll have access to any number of service providers who will give you a lift (Uber/Hailo), clean your house (Handy/Homejoy), secure a holiday rental (Airbnb/HouseTrip) or complete any miscellaneousness job you may have (TaskRabbit). Combined with the democratising of previously costly hosting, website creation and branding, young enterprising people are able to use the popularity of mobile usage to create new businesses. And, despite seeing historical technology such as pagers and MiniDisc players slip out of popularity, it appears the smartphone is here to stay. Read more about mobile and business:
- Five reasons you’re missing out on mobile payments
- Shopping on the move: Retail goes mobile
- We strive to harness the power of the smartphone
The dominance of the Apple iOS and Google Android operating platforms is being challenged by Windows, Chinese options and even the second (or third/fourth depending on your viewpoint) coming of Blackberry. Developers now have an incredible array of software to play with when it comes to producing new products for mobile. When the 60th anniversary of the first mobile phone call rolls round at the beginning of 2045 it’s fair to say that the mobile and the world it inhabits will be a very different place. Wearable devices are on the rise and could shape the way we interact with mobile for years to come. Google Glass is also changing the way we interact with the spaces we move and operate in, creating a kind of real time augmented reality. But with implants and smart material in their infancy, it’s hard to map out where mobile will go. We at Real Business would love to hear your thoughts below. By Hunter Ruthven
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