I noticed when I was back in England last year that everyone, I mean even the least technology savvy in my family, were touting phones with not only camera's but were also MP3 players. My phone did not even have 1 Mega pixel camera, theirs had 3. When I left for England the adverts for things like Chocolate were in full swing.
It shocked me that new mobile phones were adopted so quickly in England and apparently in Europe. This has a lot to do with the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technical standard, which apparently the rest of the world adopted fairly readily. The US market has many standards (or more accurately does not have one) which is one reason why the iPhone (which uses GSM) will not be very pervasive in North America, but in the European continent is set to be a dominant player.
SMS is a part of everyone's life in England, while in the US this appears to be restricted to the young and the technically aware. In England literally everyone and their mother was texting everyone else. This is due to the low cost associated with one common standard, even across borders of countries. As a result paying bills, bidding on auctions and even gambling can be enjoyed via SMS.
Of course other market factors come into play, for example, the PC has significant penetration in the US and so this along with the pervasive Internet connections served to reduced the need for some of the advanced phone features available throughout Europe and Asia. Some are predicting that the cell phone is set to challenge Visa and MasterCard for payment dominance across the world, but as long as the US continues to support multiple standards this will remain difficult.
"Temptation is the fire that brings up the scum of the heart." - William Shakespeare
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