Mobile Technology and the Digital Divide

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Consider the history of technological disruption. What replaces current technology isn’t always better quality. For common, personal use, the cell phone has dethroned the digital camera. Many of us nowadays, despite owning some sort of high number megapixel digital camera, create most of our images with our cell phones because of accessibility. Back in the day, the portable radio dethroned home living room radios simply because of accessibility and despite lower quality.

91% of American adults own a cell phone and 60% use their phone to access the internet (source:

In the same way, the mobile phone is bridging the digital divide and subsequently may be poised to overthrow the desktop computer because of accessibility and in spite of quality. The McKinsley Global Institute identifies the Mobile Internet as #1 in a list of twelve most potentially disruptive technologies in the coming years. And here, Mashable has given us some insightful stats on how the digital divide is still a large issue, even in the United States.

“…minority groups are increasingly going online with mobile devices…”

Huge sections of the world’s populations are coming online, opening up new target audiences for your website and your brand. The experience of the mobile user should not be neglected and your design and content should cater to the mobile platform. We can do this through responsive design and progressive enhancement and a content first approach that considers the content needs of all your users above all else during the design process.

“People often point at the failings of the mobile internet as rationale for why it won’t overtake the desktop web. “No one will ever want to do that on mobile” gets used to justify short-sighted decisions. Truth is, we can’t predict all the ways that people will want to use mobile in the future.” – Karen McGrane

Every day, all of us at Beacon are working towards improving our practices so that we can provide the best tailor-made mobile solutions to our clients, and we are incredibly excited about how the internet is revolutionizing our world as accessibility skyrockets.