Mobile phones - we get it

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McKinsey Quarterly adds to the mounting evidence that the mobile phone is The Best Thing Ever. From this month's edition:

We surveyed more than 600 workers in China who travel for their jobs: taxi drivers, plumbers, and salespeople, for example. Mobile phones, we found, offer these workers time savings of nearly 6 percent—a productivity gain worth some $33 billion in 2005. Part of the value of these gains goes to operators as service fees, and workers hold the remainder as part of their end-user surplus.

The benefits of mobile phones, to the economy and to individuals, increases as penetration increases. No surprise there. Of India, China and the Philippines, India has the lowest penetration...

For India, we forecast that a 10 percent increase in penetration would add $2.3 billion to the end-user surplus and a further $6.2 billion in operator revenues.

I'm looking forward to the rash of stories that will come out next year on how the Blackberry has increased productivity but increased job stress, reduced family time, and killed the idea of a vacation - for a net loss to humankind. Grameen, please stay away from the Blackberries.

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