Between the 1980s and the 2000s, the mobile phone has gone from being an
expensive item used by the business elite to a
pervasive and personal communications tool for the general
population. They even developed to specific styles of phone seen as a regular
fashion symbol. Inevitably, a mobile phone culture evolved in which the phone
becomes a key social tool.
Through the mobile phone, countless people keep in touch using SMS. This also
creates a whole new culture of 'texting'. The commercial market in SMS is
growing. Many phones even offer Instant Messenger services to increase the
simplicity and ease of texting on phones. In most countries, mobile phones
outnumber landline phones, with fixed landlines numbering 1.3 billion but mobile
subscriptions 3.3 billion at the end of 2007.
In developed countries today, 50% of children own mobile phones. It is not
uncommon for young adults to simply own a mobile phone instead of a landline for
Even in some developing countries, where there is little
existing fixed-line infrastructure, the mobile phone has become widespread.
According to the World Factbook the United Kingdom now has more mobile phones
Invented in 1997, the camera mobile phone makes up 85% of the market. Mobile
phones also have features beyond sending text messages and making voice calls.
They now have a limitless range of features to make communication and
transactions faster. Most cellular phones sold in the last three years have
integrated cameras. The other more up-to-date models have high quality digital
cameras. Many of the cameras are capable of taking both still and video images.
Images can usually be sent to other mobile phones and
embedded in messages.
The range of additional capabilities include e-mail, phone and address books,
alarm clock, stopwatch, live video feed via Piconet. Mobile games such as
role-playing games like Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy series can be played. they
also do recording and playback of voices, music, images and pictures, include
Internet browsing, music (MP3) playback, personal organisers, built-in cameras
and camcorders, ringtones, games, radio, Push-to-Talk (PTT), Bluetooth
connectivity, call registers, downloading video for later viewing and even
serving as a wireless modem.
However, there is a price to pay for this phone culture. Several studies have
shown that motorists have a much higher risk of collisions and losing control of
their vehicle while talking on the mobile phone and
simultaneously driving. This occurs even when using the hands-free
system. In fact, using a mobile phone while driving poses the same risk as
someone operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. In some countries,
laws are passed prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving.