When mobile is the norm: researching mobile information systems and mobility as post-adoption phenomena

Reference: Middleton, C., Scheepers, R., Tuunainen, V.K. (2014). When mobile is the norm: researching mobile information systems and mobility as post-adoption phenomena in European Journal of Information Systems, 23(5), 503-512


The rise of mobile devices and use have increased drastically during the past 7 years, where mobile subscriptions today are estimated to be equal to the number of people on this planet, almost 7 billion subscriptions in 2014 versus 2.75 billion subscriptions in 2006. Mobile technology has become a way to interact with family, friends, share news, enjoy entertainment, and access information. Mobile access in 2011 had a different meaning of what it is today, where everything is now accessible and a click away. We note that mobile emergence first started with the GSM digital cellular standard and ever since, we had a transformation from mobile phones that provided text and phone to handheld devices that are known as smartphones and tablets which combine a series of functionalities other than sound and text such as: e-mail, instant messaging, social networks, note-taking, camera, flashlight, payment methods, location services and maps as well as games and entertainment applications. The term that his highlighted in this article is “UBIQUITY” which is the ability to be anywhere, anytime especially when referring and talking about mobile phones, smartphones, and tablets. Information systems that are used in mobile devices; smartphones and tablets, are shifting and developing their services and functionality. Nowadays, we talk about mobile entertainment as well as communication media and social networking and vehicle services where the use of smartphones is basically for navigation purposes and GPS and information on road conditions. Applications that have entered the smartphone and tablet world can be referred to as highly complex “micro information system” that integrate computing functionality with content.

When it comes to the mobile user himself/herself, what can be identified is that some users own more than one mobile device whether it is two smartphones, one smartphone and one tablet, or a work phone, a smartphone and a tablet. Users not only care about the functionality of these devices but also on the aesthetic aspect of design that encompasses their devices. The user identified in this article can be a private, social person. He can also be an employee, an entertainment user, a professional, a citizen, or even an activist, and each one of these characteristics define the way and how the user exercises “choice” and degree of usage by taking action to maximize usability of devices and ensure benefits from use. Some research questions that were asked in this article included and are not limited to:

  • How the infrastructure can be enhanced to enable IoT ( Internet of things)
  • How can persistent digital devices be addressed?
  • How can we increase accessibility to mobile networks and services for those who are currently not using them?

The context of use that were discussed in this article also became a central concern especially when reflecting on the multiple, and potentially overlapping roles of an individual and the potential overlapping contexts of mobile technology use. Some positive consequences of mobile use are apparent however some contradictions are highlighted as well. Moreover, mobile computing is enabling new behaviors flowing from the same individual as private, national, and global user. In addition to that, the global service providers are coming up with new ranges of services and applications and are clearly shaping the way individuals connect to each other, influence from each other and learn from each other. However, to each new invention its drawbacks, and in this case it is the deterioration of the traditional phone booth and landline as well as newspapers, bookstores, maps, and an increased invasion of privacy, identity theft and higher surveillance on the internet searches.