Business, Hardware

Battle for the Pocket: Epitaph


I wrote about the battle for the pocket in my books early in the past decade. At first the theory was very controversial. The first times I argued phones would win over PDAs or stand-alone cameras, I was crucified. Same happened here on this blog when I first suggested that the iPod’s reign was coming to an end, due to musicphones. But the theory was sound, it was only a matter of time, and I was proven right. Even Apple admitted that they had seen the rising threat of musicphones, which prompted them to create their own ‘musicphone’, i.e. what turned into the iPhone.

I discussed the Battle for the Pocket in several of my books and followed its success path. The theory emerged in my second book M-Profits in 2002, and while the heated battles continued, I updated the theory and facts for 3G Marketing in 2004, Communities Dominate Brands in 2005 and Digital Korea in 2006. By the time I released Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media, the contest was pretty well over.

The Battle for the Pocket was a popular element to my workshops and seminars in that time frame. And there were a few interesting parts to the theory. I said that basic phones would evolve to featurephones [musicphone, cameraphone, messaging phone etc.] and the ultimate end-state was the smartphone. Interesting how that turned out to be true too, nobody doubts that today.

We now have the ‘final word’ on this tech battle, from wide international consumer research by Jacobs Media and Arbitron. These two analyst houses are leaders in researching Radio Ratings and Media usage as such. Both firms just finished research about consumer behavior after the consumer starts to use a smartphone. Guess what? They found that the use pattern for every gadget was the same. With users of smartphones, the use of their other digital non-smartphone gadgets is down. When consumers have smartphones, the use of digital cameras is down. The user of GPS units is down. The use of laptops and desktop PCs is down. The use of video game units is down. The use of camcorders is down. The use of iPods is down. The use of car radios even, is down. Mobile wins in the battle of the pocket. In United States, TV is flooded with advertisements for iPod, not the iPhone. Three cheers for mobile!

The next barrier for the mobile: Taking over the role of cash with services such as FaceCashNow, if you want to see where this new decade will go, I have taken the same theory and applied it to industries, in the race to control 5 Trillion dollars worth of industries. Who wins there? Check out the first stab at that convergence contest. Incidentally, this was part of what I would have shown the bankers in Canberra if they had not censored me. But I am not going to be stifled, I was also caught on video in Toronto at the Mobile Media week two weeks ago talking about the 5 Trillion dollar contest, and that eventually cash will disappear. I would invite you to watch a 32 min video that is only a year old and see how many theories put there are coming to life today and tomorrow.