When is a phone not a phone?

How do you categorise the mobile phone as a media device? Not easily.

You can’t simply call it a phone any more.

A communication device? That doesn’t cover its entertainment use such as listening to music or watching a video.

A handheld computer? Even that falls short when you consider that computers are not used to make phone calls and send texts.

Taking the lean-forward vs lean-back view doesn’t work either: email and texting are lean-forward activities while watching a video and listening to music tend to be lean-back.

Mobile has the capability of a laptop and is infinitely more portable. It can be an alternative to watching movies on a TV, to web browsing on a PC, to making a phone call on a telephone.

It can change from a work device to a leisure device in a second, one minute used for enterprise and the next for entertainment.

In fact, you only have to read a review of a new mobile to realise that the distinguishing features are more about camera spec, screen quality and memory, than about phone calls.

When choosing a new mobile phone, how much do you consider making phone calls on it?

In fact, the term mobile phones only misrepresents what they have evolved into.

They are different things at different times and many things all at once.

It’s versatility is one of the reasons why this is the channel for reaching customers. Always on, always within reach, always personal.

More than anything else mobile represents the ubiquity of technology in our society and how power is now in the hands of the individual rather than the organisation.

This is why it must be a part of, if not central to, communications strategy.

It encompasses so many categories that no matter what type of content you are preparing, you need to prepare it for mobile.