Are you an EAR or an EYE person ? Mobile phone are becoming extinct !


Its happening. We predicted it would and now its happening.

No – the Neutrinos are not mutating (a 2012 movie reference)

But there is certainty a shift – a paradigm shift in the mobile phone.

The mobile phone is being moved from the EAR to the EYE !

Its a very significant move that will change the way we look at these devices into the future.

This cartoon depicts this accurately:


I am often asked : “What handset should I get ?” or “Is this a good phone or not ?”

I answer it by firstly asking: “Are you an Ear person or an Eye person ?” ie. Do you make more calls or use your Keyboard more ?

If you are not sure, I then follow it up with the question: “If you have a cell phone that has a broken screen but the Microphone and Speaker work fine or you have a cell phone that has a broken speaker but the Screen and keyboard work fine – which you do prefer ?”

Most people answer the latter – in other words: they use the Screen and Keyboard more than the phone call function.

This is very interesting as this was becoming the standard answer. Why would a mobile PHONE not be used as a PHONE ?  to find out,  I conducted an informal survey amongst clients, friends & random strangers:

The results: A whopping 78% of them use their phone PRIMARILY to send TEXT message. To clarify that, this includes Instant messages such as BBM, WhatsApp as well as SMS. The making of PHONE CALLS is very much secondary.

My survey also shows that the main reasons clients prefer to use TEXT vs. CALLS are:

  • Saves time – people are more direct with their questions and answers
  • Convey clear instructions – no misunderstanding of what they THINK you meant to say
  • No going off-topic – with TEXT you stick to the topic and dont get side-tracked into other discussions

There is further proof to my theory of phones moving from the Ear to the Eye in that phone manufacturers have abandon the smaller screen, smaller form-factor in favour of larger clearer screens with better keyboard and functions.

I have been on this for a while now: see Galaxy Note review & Mind the Gap

Tomi Ahonen has recently published his report We Are Hitting Major Milestone: Time to stop calling it ‘mobile PHONE’ in which he further shows how SMS usage is far outstripping phone calls.

Cast your eye onto that exploding Tablet market – most don’t have ANY phone functionality built in even though they have SIM cards.

So what does this mean ?

This mean that as mobile phones develop they are less of a phone but more of a connected device that is mobile. This also means that the numeric keypads are no longer the primary keys on the handsets as we are making less phone calls. Buttons on the device will change to give us instant connections to our apps eg. a Facebook button or an Email button in favour of a Dial button.

The way we use our phone for Data means that we should be seeing more Contracts from the Cellular operators that are more Data centric. Instead of buying a contract that has voice and adding a Data Bundle, we will buy a Data Contract that has a Voice Bundle (If you want to).

More Data demand means that Cellular Network providers will need to focus more on providing decent speeds to meet customers demands. Data, especially in Video formats (think YouTube or Skype) are very data intensive.

As the Chinese say: May you live in interesting times – even though it is meant as a curse, we are certainly living in a time where serious shift is happening. More and more services are being added to the handsets like NFC, Mobile Wallet and coupled with Cloud services to store and access your data from wherever you are it seems like the days of PHONE CALLS are numbered.

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