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A Smart Phone Will Be in Everyone’s Future, Prepare Now

In a Newsweek article about the rapid growth of Google’s Android phone, there is this paragraph:

By next year 5 billion mobile phones will be in service, out of a total world population of about 7 billion, according to Yankee Group, a high-tech research firm. Most of those will be “feature phones” with limited capabilities. But over the next decade the technologies will become so cheap that virtually every phone sold will be what we, today, would call a smart phone. “This is a battle for literally every person on the planet. That’s why these markets are worth fighting for,” says Carl Howe, a research director at Yankee Group.

Here is more:

So what happens when most of the residents of planet Earth carry a device that gives them instant access to pretty much all of the world’s information? The implications–for politics, for education, for global economics–are dizzying. In theory, the mobile revolution could enable citizens to demand greater openness and accountability from their governments. The reverse might also be true: governments could more easily spy on citizens. “You also have the prospect of having 5 billion surveillance points,” says Jonathan Zittrain, codirector of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Thanks to Poynter Online for the pointer to the article.

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