Getting Smarter

True confession: my cell phone is over four years old and it doesn't do anything fancy (at least that I'm aware of). I'm very satisfied with the phone because hey, it works. That is, it makes calls and sends text messages. It does not access the Internet, send and receive emails or accommodate "apps." In short, it is a dinosaur, a relic from an older time. And so, I guess, am I (sadly).

I bring this up because I just completed the cover story for this issue which focuses on smart phones and how they're revolutionizing the way we do business. I have to be honest, before writing the article, I didn't know the difference between an app and a mobile website. I was not aware that apps for the iPhone are not the same as those for BlackBerries or Androids. I didn't even really know what apps did, to say nothing of actually using one. I'm embarrassed to admit all this, but then again, I think I'm probably not alone.

For those of you in the same boat as me, I hope the article on smart phone technology will be helpful and illuminating. For those who are more seasoned, may it serve as an update on what's available to you and how today's offerings can streamline your operations. Either way, following are some interesting facts I discovered through my research:

According to Turn Page -

  • There will be over 30 new tablet-type mobile devices introduced into the market within the next 12 months.
  • More than 28 million iPad units will be sold by the end of 2011.
  • There will be over 1 million apps in the app stores by the end of 2011.
  • Currently there are more than 50 app stores in existence.
  • Total apps - Apple 225k, Android 50k, all the rest 70k.
  • $17.5 billion has been spent in app downloads to date.
  • Apple has 150 million credit card numbers on file. That's more than the total amount of households in America.

On a similar note, I recently read an article about a movement among municipalities to reduce paper consumption by issuing iPads to all city council members. At first, the idea sounds extravagant, but when you consider an iPad costs a few hundred dollars and the cost of paper to a small city, over the course of a year, reaches into the tens of thousands or more, it actually makes a lot of sense, both financially and environmentally. From there, it's not a stretch to imagine a time when all public school students will be issued a tablet PC in place of textbooks. The possibilities are endless... and fascinating, provided we keep our eyes and our minds open.

To my fellow dinosaurs out there, good luck on your own travels down the information superhighway. If you lose your way, just remember you can always ask your kids for directions.