Proctele apps in the App Store

Proctele apps in the App Store
Click the picture to see Proctele apps in Apple's App Store

Monday, March 12, 2012

Smartphones are fantastic

The smartphone has become many people's companion. Whenever there's dead time, we pick up our smartphone and do something with it. While waiting we read news feeds and even books, play games, watch short movies, browse our picture album, update and browse Facebook and Twitter, search for new apps or some other content. We did this even before the smartphone, but the experience wasn't as rich in those days. We would listen to music, which was stored on the device, or the FM-radio, maybe even read news feeds, call someone, send SMS, browse through the settings and set another ring tone.

Smartphones are indeed fantastic versatile devices, but there still is one important feature missing from them: payment. There are payment methods based on SMS, but they are limited in scope. 
Payments have been moving away from cash for about two decades and therefore payment terminals have had to be exchanged once in a while. That's costly for small traders, who aren't keen on ever fancier payment solutions. Consequently, the smartphone as wallet is not going to happen very quickly. I expect within seven years the smartphone will be as good for payment as a credit card is now in 2012.

When cultural history is written in about 50 years, I think the smartphone and the pad-computer will be seen as particularly important devices, the devices that changed the world. Wireless technologies will be seen as the enablers that made the lift-off possible.

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