Cell phones have far outpaced personal digital assistants as the electronic device favored by consumers - 187.7 million people, or 65.4 percent of the U.S. population, own cell phones, according to the Yankee Group, which has stopped tracking sales of handheld computers that lack cellular connectivity, calling them irrelevant.
From an AP story posted today
Palm Pilots have become irrelevant. Blackberries must include the cell component, awkward interface and all. Nintendo DS and Playstation PSP need to call home either to download the newest games or to connect with someone else to play with. Steve Jobs had better turn that nifty little iPod Nano into a cell phone. If your handheld device does not connect to something, then it no longer has the necessary power.
Is this because the consumer wants these bells and whistles? Or because, as the phone companies have discovered, the consumer will pay for the additional features – whether they truly need them or not? How much are our lives truly enhanced because we have multiple ringtones?
Novell had it right in their advertising campaign over ten years ago: The Network is the Computer.