I am sitting in the corner of the local Starbucks in Cebu City, Philippines listening to the conversations and watching the customers who sit nearby. There are three Korean teens with their noses pressed close to their iPhone’s, apparently discussing the video game they are playing. A Filipina near the Korean teens gazes at her new iPad, then looks around the room to see who is watching her. All over the sidewalk are hundreds of passersby with their faces close to their cell phones, thumbs moving at breakneck speed. I wonder how many come to this public place to be seen with their devices, verses those who just want to use them for the purposes they were intended?
The Tech companies must know that the value of many of their devices is not it the capability of the device, but in the imparted social value they have by a consumer walking around the mall with one. A few years ago here in the Philippines, a single iPhone or iPad could not be found in the hands of any consumer. Since I moved here permanently a year ago, it seems that every teen and young adult has an Apple product in their hands.