Mobile phones are no longer the third screen

Having just returned from China and a trip to South Carolina I’ve had to use a mobile phone (it’s a Blackberry Storm) as my primary communication device for nearly two weeks. Although I won’t get into the problems that Research in Motion (RIM) has in general with loss of subscribers and a still paltry amount of applications, I have to report that the BB Storm performed admirably and reliably.

Despite the BB Storm’s limited apps, the ones I have downloaded, I use on a consistent basis. Even the Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter applications worked from my phone while I was in China although access via the hotel’s internet connection from my laptop was denied. I read newspapers, watched videos on YouTube, checked email, used Google Maps to find where I was going and even tried Foursquare (it worked fine but all the locations were written in Mandarin characters so that was a bit tricky).

In recent years mobile phones have been designated as the ‘third screen’. The idea is that television and computers are the other two screens. But in this increasingly fast paced and mobile world a smartphone is no longer a luxury but a necessity for many people – including me. My internet connection in the hotel in Shenzhen was glacially slow, such that at times I just did not even bother trying to do things that I would normally accomplish in a nanosecond here at home. Instead I used my mobile phone.

I also find myself using mobile sites with increasing frequency. In so doing I’ve found that many companies do a poor job of creating a good mobile experience for their customers and prospects. (Full disclosure – our team is building mobile sites for clients so we are attuned to this issue). With smartphone adoption continuing to grow the importance of having a really good mobile site has never been greater and will continue to grow.

I think mobile should be considered the first screen. A mobile phone is within arm’s reach at all times for most people and is likely the first screen people look at each morning.

How about you? Is your mobile phone ever out of sight or access? Is it the first thing you look at in the morning? Are you doing more and more on your smartphone?

About markkolier

Futurist, entrepreneur, left lane driver
This entry was posted in Communication, Customer Experiences, Mobile Communication and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mobile phones are no longer the third screen

  1. Tom says:

    Great observation, Mark. When I leave home in the morning, I always carry keys (hopefully), cash/and or wallet, and smart phone (BB). Of the three, I think the smart phone would be the last item that I part with.

    Like

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