Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Sep 2012 11:26 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "The rise of the tablet has heralded changes big and small across the tech ecosystem, from a booming market for cloud storage to the fall of Flash. If the computing industry was a stagnant pond in late 2009, the introduction of tablets a few months later was less akin to a pebble flicked from the shore and more like a boulder hurled from 10 feet up. The ripples have been widespread and lasting." Simple question: if an ordinary user used her laptop to check Facebook, the news, and read a few blogs, and now uses a tablet to do the exact same thing - how much has really changed? Are any of the things mentioned in this article - the rise of HTML5, streaming video, and internet storage - really the result of tablets?
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RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by dragos.pop on Tue 11th Sep 2012 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
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I'd argue that smartphones (even before the iPhone) have contributed much more to this "change" we're speaking of. This is especially true for lower income people in developing countries. They'd have never thought of buying a desktop/laptop + home internet connection, but by replacing their old dumbphone (most of these people never had landlines before) with a cheap smartphone and decent prepaid plan, they're at least "connected" like the rest of us now without having to break the bank too much or resort to a cybercafe.

While I do agree that smartphones have contributed to this "change", people in developing countries that could not afford a PC+Internet did not change their dumbphones with smartphones.

Mobile internet is more expensive than home internet and a PC is not so expensive. But I don't know the situation in Africa or rural parts of India for example.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Neolander on Tue 11th Sep 2012 12:12 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Neolander Member since:

I think the OP's point was that in some countries that never had a reliable landline phone infrastructure to begin with, mobile internet connexions can be cheaper, faster, and have more coverage than the wired ones.

Not sure how this makes people ditch PCs for smartphones for everyday internet access though. Even in developing countries, a desktop or laptop with an EDGE/3G connexion sounds like a cheaper and more powerful choice for work.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by gan17 on Tue 11th Sep 2012 12:30 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
gan17 Member since:

Not sure how this makes people ditch PCs for smartphones for everyday internet access though. Even in developing countries, a desktop or laptop with an EDGE/3G connexion sounds like a cheaper and more powerful choice for work.

That's because you're comparing it to how we (I hate to use the term "power users") use the internet. A lot of people can make do with a lot less.

I'll give you an example.
I currently reside in Singapore. Like many developed countries, we often require people from poorer neighboring nations for many 'hard-graft' jobs. Some time ago, I was at a construction site discussing something with the owners and architect (interior design project) of the building. Noticed a lot of foreign construction workers there, many of whom seemed were Nepalese, I was told. During lunch, one of them was having a VOIP video chat on his smartphone. After which he proceeded to do what looked like checking/replying email. Took a chance and decided to chat with him, hoping he spoke some English, and turned out he did. He said he was communicating with his wife, who also was using a mobile connection. Told me that it was just too expensive to get a laptop, and it was risky since he shared a flat with other workers he didn't really know. He said he paid approximately $SG60 a month for data and calls (phone cost SG$40 with the plan - 2yrs). Hardly went above that rate per month since his needs seemed to fit within the data limit, and he used wifi from restaurants and public-service areas whenever possible. Said his wife did the same. Seems they still use some form of ADSL in Nepal which requires a land-line subscription, which according to him, is simply impossible for most lower-income people there. He told me he even managed to improve his English and pick up some Mandarin just by surfing and using some apps from the Android market. He did admit that it was still pretty expensive for most people in Nepal to own a smartphone + data plan, but it was a cost he was willing to bear (since he sent money home) to hear his family's voices, and it was still much, much cheaper than getting a home internet connection over there.

I doubt he cares if he's running Gingerbean or Jelly Bong, I doubt he torrents Japanese cartoon-porn by the terrabyte, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't need to compile stuff. But that budget smartphone has become his internet-capable computer now. An internet-capable computer he'd have never had if computers were still the traditional computers (desktops/laptops) you and I do most of our work on.

Edited 2012-09-11 12:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3