Wireless Predictions - A Reader/Writer Discussion

(Editor's note: The following is a back-and-forth between Patrick Conway and Renfield Kuroda, who wrote "Wireless Predictions for 2001.")

PC: Very good article. I like your originality and style. I have a couple of questions.

RK: Thanks.

PC: First, I agree that the youth market is the place for wireless phones to prove untested technology. Here in the US, we're bombarded with all these over-hyped wireless commercials for untested business applications (lots of smoke-and-mirror action). But my question is, Do you think the US youth market is a fair comparison to the Japan youth market? I don't have any statistics to back me up, but I can't imagine the US youth market penetration for cellphones is near Japan's.

RK: No, but killer apps like messaging and chat can drive usage.

PC: Also, the density of the teen population in the big cities of Japan seems to be greater than the US. So there are more chances for youth to compare and share the latest new thing.

RK: Actually, lack of density means more reasons to wirelessly, indirectly stay in touch with circles of friends.

PC: Once the Japan youth market latches on to something just get the hell out of the way. It happens in the US, but generally not with the same frequency or speed.

RK: I don't buy that. Witness the popularity of (in no particular order): Levis jeans, sketcher sneakers, Nikes, The GAP, InSync, et cetera. US teens set global fashion/music/entertainment trends.