No other consumer durable has achieved such large patronage from the public in a short time like mobile phones. It has penetrated to all segments of society irrespective of socio-economic patterns. In the early stages of its introduction, mobile phones were considered as a luxury which only affluent people can afford. But in the course of time the growth chart of this small device took a turn to meteoric heights with universal consumer acceptance. Production of mobile phones multiplied when several manufactures entered the scene. Multifarious features were incorporated in the device to enable it to function not only as a phone, but also like many other gadgets. When competition between mobile companies intensified, prices started declining to low levels making the product affordable to everybody irrespective of their economic status.
Mobile phone, as mentioned above is not merely a phone to talk today. Multimedia features like digital camera, music player and video player are now available in it. It can function like a computer enabling the user to send emails and to surf internet. Data transfer from compatible devices is possible with general packet radio service, Enhanced data rates for GSM evolution and Blue tooth connectivity. USB support is yet another feature to add more flexibility to the usage. Mobile phones are good sources for entertainment too. They are integrated with music systems like music players and FM radio. Digital camera feature is a bonus to the users. GPS based navigation system is also incorporated in the modern device. Some of the latest mobile phones have innumerable special features but have very reasonable price tags. With 5MP digital camera and mobile broadband connectivity the device has become more consumer oriented and utilitarian. Another feature is the multimedia messaging facility with abundant internal memory.
Apart from offering variety of services to individual users, the compact device is a catalyst for many innovative social changes. It is one of the modern devices that has helped to improve the lives of people by providing valuable information to them at right times and at the right places. The fishermen in the sea can now receive advance warning about impending storms or about the lucrative price for their catch. Farmers can receive timely advice on the vagaries of nature and consequent impacts on the produces. They are served with necessary advice on protective measures against pests, availability of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. People living in remote areas are provided with valuable information and advices on health and hygiene as well as about antidotes for epidemics. All these diverse services are extended to large segments of population who have no access to computers and internet. All pervasive devices are able to convey messages to many inaccessible places thanks to the evolving technology.
The core reason for the popularity of mobile is the multifarious roles it is playing. It has a different role to play for each user. As it has become affordable to every one and is a reliable source to convey and receive information, mobile phone is today a succor to the needy at crucial times.