Why 'Mobile' Is on the Way Out
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Datamation author Mike Elgan expounds on Facebook CEO's remark, "the iPad isn't mobile." The word "mobile" has become obsolete. In the technology sector, almost nothing is built these days for non-mobile usage. Being portable is almost a given -- even most desktop PCs can be wireless, and therefore mobile. Cloud-based software is widely used for email and back-ups enabling users to access their personal data on computers wherever they find them -- at the airport, in a hotel, at the Apple store. Mobile devices are the mainstream now, and makers of computers, telephones, and software will have to look for new ways (and new terms) to distinguish their products. Just as the terms "color TV" or "multimedia PC" now sound arcane, using the adjective "mobile" to describe a tech device is fast becoming a thing of the past.
That pronouncement came this week from the world's youngest billionaire and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. In talking about new Facebook "mobile" applications, he was trying to make a distinction between cell phones and touch tablets from a usage point of view. The audience laughed when he said it, because people instinctively know that the iPad, of course, is a mobile device. There were people in the audience taking notes on them, for example. We iPad business travelers often take them on trips instead of laptops.