Life in a cellphone

How your handset has shrunk your world to fit into your palm.

| Updated on: Aug 10 2010, 01:18 IST

There's a world in your mobile phone — rather, the cellphone, in itself, is your world. With a Global Mobile Survey (GMS) by Lintas revealing that mobile phone will overtake the computer as the most common web access device worldwide by 2013, it is much more than just talking or SMSing now.

"Once, mobile phone symbolised luxury. Now, we look at it first thing in the morning, and breathe later," says tech-blogger Nita Suman. From waking you with that morning alarm to sending you to bed with reminders for the next day, life without a cellphone is unthinkable. Only money, according to the survey, surpasses it in the 'most wanted things for living' in the present.

With an estimated 1.82 billion Internet-enabled phones in use worldwide, staying in touch is no more the basic motive. "In fact, calling is probably one of the last things I do with my phone," says Rachit Srivastav, a BPO executive. Courtesy SMS, and now social networking, on an average, six out 10 people you see with a cellphone are typing something into it. The GMS report reveals that 49 per cent of smartphone users across the world use their phones to handle data more than voice calls (37%).

A bane for the CD industry, mobile phones are also new-age music systems as they can be connected with car music systems, computers and home stereo systems. And with iPhone recently releasing its 32GB phone — anticipated in the market soon are phones from Motorola and Nokia — handsets are even eating into the space for MP3 players. "The cellphone is now an all pervasive gadget; it's a camera-cum-game-console-cum-music-system-cum-browser packed together," says Piyali Bose, 21.

Mobiles are even providing single-touch info on food, medicine, geographical positioning and more. "I'd have been a lost soul on Delhi roads if it was not for a GPS navigator in my phone," says writer Smita Das. It's not just to make calls anymore. Cameras are an integral part of cellphones now. Spice recently launched a 12MegaPixel camera phone.

Cellphones have changed the way we listened to music. The new-age phone is a complete music system. SMS has not only changed the way we communicated over phone, but has given birth to a whole new lingo. The biggest use of cellphones in the age group of 18-24, as per the GMS survey, is social networking and internet. Gaming on phones is one of the biggest industries, and India is fast emerging as a huge market.

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First Published Date: 09 Aug, 18:18 IST