Is your mobile phone a need or just a want?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2007, 12:00am

What do you use your phone for?

'Where are you?' 'I won't be long, I'll be there in five minutes.' 'Which MTR exit are you?'

Have you ever been late or not sure where to meet a friend ... and your mobile phone battery is dead low? Annoying! The mobile phone has filled in a gap. It is a technically advanced solution to fulfil a basic human need: communication.

Mobile phones have also widened the communication possibilities: voice is not the only one. SMS, smileys and even a new English language is being invented by users to type faster. But do you only use your flashy handset to exchange useful information? Marketing people have turned mobile phones into calculators, cameras, music players and more.

Why did you change your handset the last time you did? Probably not because it was broken. Did you want to add a new service? Did your handset look out of fashion? Try to list the reasons: how many reasons were rational and how many were not?

Now, look at how many functions duplicate other items you have: you have a MP3 music player and a camera already. Why do you need the function on your phone? Isn't that the power of marketing: to turn wants into needs?