Mobile Phone a Social Computer

trip hawkinsDavid Beisel is quite impressed by Trip Hawkins’ portrayal of the mobile phone as a social computer. Hawkins’ who is the founder of Digital Chocolate, a mobile gaming company is of the Silicon Valley set that came of age in the PC era. He was part of a panel, Smartphone in 2010 at Always On. It is no surprise he and most of the others (especially the elder statesmen of Silicon Valley) view mobile phones as a computer, albeit tiny one packed in a little tiny case. They are the ones who are super impressed with Treo.

Looking at mobile phones through PC eyes is simply myopic. Mobile phones have a different behavioral relationship with their users. People love their phones, they hate their computers. Mobile phones are fun, computers are work. But mostly – phones are not computers – they are terminals on the edge of the network, they lack the complexity of a PC, and are managed. They are devices that help people communicate, not compute. They let you consume bits some of the time, not all the time. Phone is being forced to become a computer to fit an old vision – and that’s simply loco!