At a time when Sri Lanka is hosting the South Asian Mobile Conference 2012 in Colombo, I think it is appropriate to share this story with others. According to ICTA sources, the interesting feature in this year’s conference will be the use of the mobile in social networking and the future of popular user engagement. A presentation on the “Future of Media” will also be held.
There is no question about the fact that young people are very involved in the use of smartphones and the other day my youngest grandson who is still in nursery school asked me to buy a SIM card for him. As all the adults at home had mobile phones, he somehow or other succeeded in persuading his father to buy him one. When I told him “ This is awesome!”, I was surprised to note that he did not look very excited. I was disappointed with his reaction and asked him whether he was not happy with his new phone. He responded by asking me what was the use of it without a SIM.
Did we even know what a SIM was, when we were toddlers? We did not know even what a mobile phone was, to begin with. This highly popular device, which has a subscriber population of over 17 million in Sri Lanka now, according to the latest survey, was first invented by a man named Martin Cooper in 1973 while he was working for Motorola. The first phone released by Motorola was the Dyna Tec phone. It then cost a whopping US $ 3,500 and did not sell particularly well to the general public.
Our present-day youths are hanging around in shopping malls and other meeting places with their Wi-Fi phones having access to free Internet, to communicate with their friends globally. Now the problem is to find a toddler who has no knowledge of what a SIM is!