Yesterday’s blog post on LinkedIn by Martin Varsavsky, CEO of Fon, says that mobile phones are killing the laptop, and people will eventually quit using them simply because of the rise of mobile-only apps like Foursquare and Instagram. Also, laptops are $1,000 – $2,000, and smartphones are nearly free, and therefore people would rather buy phones than laptops.
Varsavsky’s reasoning reminds me of the old philosophy joke, “All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, all men are Socrates.”
So people will no longer buy laptops to write blog posts, create spreadsheets, create websites, design magazine ads and logos? They’ll just whip out their handy-dandy iPhone and everything will be just as powerful and fast as a laptop?
I don’t know what kinds of phones Varsavsky is using, but until I can use mine to tell my transporter chief to beam me aboard, there is absolutely no way a mobile phone is going to replace the laptop.
Besides, haven’t you heard, mobile phones are dying. At least, the technology experts are predicting that tablets like the iPad will outsell mobile phones in 2013.
Clearly — clearly! — this spells the mobile phone’s demise, right? Because with a tablet, I have a bigger screen than a phone. I can play games, watch Netflix without straining my eyes, and they’re faster and more robust, which means they’re better, right?
At least that’s what Varsavsky’s logic means, right? That our ringtones are slowly changing to death rattles?
If we follow his reasoning, the only reason tablets are outselling mobile phones is because the phone eco-system is dying.
And it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that everyone already owns a mobile phone and that sales plateaued, but tablets are still new enough that people are constantly buying them. Also, Varsavsky is hoping you won’t realize that many people already own laptops, which is why their sales have plateaued, while smartphones are just reaching the Late Majority adoption phase of technology, and people are still buying them.
While the sky may be falling in Varsavsky’s world, the millions of us who use laptops and desktop computers to actually produce the things the mobile phone users consume will continue on our way, doing the actual work on computers big enough and powerful enough to create it.
To say one technology is dying just because another starts to outsell it does not mean the death of that first technology. That’s like saying the 2nd place Indy 500 finisher is a failure. Specious arguments like that — as well as the one about mobile phones replacing laptops — deserve to be laughed at.
Photo credit: Wikipedia, Creative Commons