built over the years following the release of the Psion Organiser 1 in
1984 and, by 2003, millions of portable information devices had sold
around the world. These included pagers, iPods and generic MP3 players,
personal organizers (both the original handheld computers and the latest
PDAs), Game&Watch 1 devices and, of course, mobile phones.
People were getting busier and more 'connected'. Business was becom-
ing more demanding, requiring decisions faster, for higher stakes, and
24 hours per day. It was an exciting time and mobile technology, it
seemed, had all the answers. Except that it didn't work out that way.
What the oracles didn't predict was that while there would be a
worldwide explosion in the use of mobile phones, they would largely be
used to send text messages, buy ringtones and wallpapers, and take photos
or video. People didn't buy them to do business after all. They bought
them as personal statements and as fashion accessories. They bought
them as a convenient communications device. They also bought games.
Quite a lot of games, actually. Thousands of titles were developed and
sold directly to the public or shipped on devices. The market for mobile
phone games quadrupled between 2002 and 2003 and it is estimated that
over 50million phones that allow after-market game installation were
shipped in 2002 alone.
Fast forward five years to 2007 and there are nearly three billion mobile
phone subscribers worldwide. 2 The mobile phone has now become the
personal information accessory of choice - everyone is 'texting' using
appalling new pseudo-grammars (wch is gr8 if u cn do it), crowded buses
sound like call centers, the mobile games market has exploded into the
public eye with huge titles, such as The Sims 2 , 3 and in many parts of
the world a new kind of digital life has emerged and become the norm.
The newest devices are a far cry from the Nokia 6600. January 2007 saw
the iPhone launched into the marketplace, followed closely by the Nokia
N95 in March of the same year with the slogan 'It's what computers have
become'. In October 2008, the T-Mobile G1 became the first smartphone
to use the Android platform. Clearly innovation and demand caused
many changes in just those five years!
Let's look at some of the figures to put this into perspective - in 2007,
mobile handset annual sales exceeded 1 billion units for the first time.
That means that more than 2.7million phones were sold each day.
Moreover, sales of Nokia handsets alone in 2007 were larger than the
entire industry in 2001 and 2002! Figure 1.2 charts annual sales and
shows how the market almost tripled over a six-year period, with an
annual growth rate of nearly 20%.
1 If you missed the 1980s, find out about the Game &Watch craze at en.wikipedia.
2 Global cell phone penetration reached 50% in November 2007, according to