Smartphones—extraordinarily powerful, mobile, data-network-connected computers equipped with GPS, accelerometers and all sort of other gee-whizzery—have become so ubiquitous so fast because they're so remarkable (and because falling tech prices have quickly made them affordable). But because they've become so ubiquitous so fast, I think we underappreciate the revolutionary potential of a world in which powerful mini-computers are everywhere, and where every person has an unfathomable about of information available all the time. Innovations like Twitter are dazzling and useful; they may well end up the technological equivalent of a plasma globe, a shiny, technological trinket that only hinted at the social and economic potential of the concepts upon which it was based.
The potential of the smartphone age is deceptive. We look around and see more people talking on phones in more places and playing Draw Something when they're bored. This is just the beginning. In time, business models, infrastructure, legal environments, and social norms will evolve, and the world will become a very different and dramatically more productive place.
Alex Schleber originally shared this post:
Great #stats on technology adoption cycles from @asymco via(which is noteworthy in and of itself, he is obviously becoming more widely noted as a mobile analyst).
The rampant sub 10-year adoption of the smartphone by 50% of the market is also the likely reason why we are NOT in an unjustified mobile/tech bubble, and why paying $1B for Instagram was not a mistake.
EARLIER this week, Matt Yglesias discussed an interesting analysis of penetration rates for various modern technologies, built around the piece of data that smartphones have now achieved 50% penetrati…