11 April 2010

The triumph of the ordinary cellphone

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Ghana girl calling
What if, globally speaking, the iPad is not the next big thing? What if the next big thing is small, cheap and not American? A good reflection by Anand Giridharadas in the New York Times.

“Forgotten in the American tumult is a global flowering of innovation on the simple cellphone. From Brazil to India to South Korea and even Afghanistan, people are seeking work via text message; borrowing and lending money and receiving salaries on cellphones; employing their phones variously as flashlights, televisions and radios. […]

Not for the first time, the United States and much of the world are moving in different ways. American innovators, building for an ever-expanding bandwidth network, are heading toward fancier, costlier, more network-hungry and status-giving devices; meanwhile, their counterparts in developing nations are innovating to find ever more uses for cheap, basic cellphones.”

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