Go figure -- one thing that's not ailing in this economy is something
that many, on the surface, would assume one could live without. As
mobile data usage rises, a great deal of that comes from the average
smartphone. In a new report from The New York Times, we're forced to
think about just how much of a necessity these ultra-smart cellphones
have become. Just five years ago, these things were simple luxuries.
Now, they are practically needed for super-efficient businesspeople.
One example of just how useful these are explains how someone who was
recently laid off still relied on their expensive smartphone in order
to land the next job. By having that "always-on" connection, job
seekers can keep their email under their nose at all times, and
responding quickly to potential nibbles certainly leaves a good
impression. In fact, one could argue that the smartphone is actually an
investment for those Type-A individuals who can't afford to fall behind.
Despite the credit pinch, sales of BlackBerry handsets, iPhones and all
other smartphones are still strong. According to a Gartner research
study, sales are expected to continue soaring on the order of 25% over
the course of this year. One thing that's helping the smartphone boom
is the shift in society that expects users to stay online and
"connected" as much as possible. Obviously, Facebook and Twitter
applications on smartphones help to accomplish and meet that
expectation. In a sense, the smartphone has become an "essential" in
this mobile society, though we still maintain that data plans are far
too pricey for most to swallow. Can you imagine how many more iPhones
AT&T would sell if the monthly data plan was knocked down to $10 or
$15? Maybe one day....