A rather bold assertion from The Economist. In a social sense, mobile phones are replacing cars:
Phones are now the dominant technology with which young people, and urban youth in particular, now define themselves. What sort of phone you carry and how you customise it says a great deal about you, just as the choice of car did for a previous generation. In today’s congested cities, you can no longer make a statement by pulling up outside a bar in a particular kind of car. Instead, you make a similar statement by displaying your mobile phone, with its carefully chosen ringtone, screen logo and slip cover. Mobile phones, like cars, are fashion items: in both cases, people buy new ones far more often than is actually necessary. Both are social technologies that bring people together; for teenagers, both act as symbols of independence. And cars and phones alike promote freedom and mobility, with unexpected social consequences.
Via Ratchet Up.