Preface: Welcome to the Mobile World

We already live in a highly mobile world that would seem foreign to a visitor of even ten years ago. Nearly 80% of Americans above the age of five own a cell phone. Our telephones, and our telephone numbers, are no longer tethered to a geographic location. We can place and receive phone calls wherever we go. In fact, nearly 10% of American homes have “cut-the-cord” and no longer have wireline telephone service.

The mobile device we carry increasingly is more than just a telephone. Device convergence is no longer just a cool concept—it’s an everyday reality for corporate executives and mobile moms alike.

The most visible example of device convergence is the camera phone. According to Strategy Analytics, 257 million mobile phones with digital cameras built in were sold in 2004 (“Taking Camera Phones into Digital Still Camera Territory: Megapixels, WLAN and Printers,” Strategy Analytics report summary by Neil Mawston, April 11, 2005, www.strategyanalytics.net/default.aspx?mod=ReportAbstractViewer&a0=2354). That’s four times as many camera phones as stand-alone digital cameras. Our theoretical visitor from the past would wonder whatever happened to the traditional film camera. Is this dramatic shift due to camera phones having surpassed the quality of photo taken by an old Kodak Instamatic? Nowhere close. Not yet. But because we always have our mobile device with us, the camera phone’s value is defined by its mobility—by the increased opportunities ...

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