Today, Jacobs Media consultant, analyst, and raconteur, Ralph Cipolla, talks about how the mobile wave is now sweeping the hotel industry, starting with an innovative inn in Vancouver, BC.
“Cell Phone Only” isn’t just an “at-home” phenomenon anymore.
Any follower of our JacoBLOG knows the annual Jacobs Media Techsurvey started in 2005 with a major finding about what became known as “Cell Phone Only.” That study revealed the degree to which consumers jettisoning their landline was taking place.
We knew it was happening out there, but we had no sense of scale. So we asked the question, collected the data, and the term “CPO” crept into the radio lexicon. In those days, Arbitron did not include CPO homes in their diary sample frame, an issue that became important for the Advisory Council, largely based on our data.
Back then, an astonishing 17% of our total sample had become CPOs, especially younger people and fans of the Alternative format. In this year’s Techsurvey8, CPOs have almost doubled, now comprising 32% of our mega-sample that encompasses twelve different radio formats.
In focus and L.A.B. groups, consumers tell us that when they consider the expense of having both a mobile phone and a landline, there’s no question which one gets tossed. Many only have a landline because of a security system, rarely using their old school phones to actually talk. And when was the last time you saw a teenager talking on a landline phone – much less answering it?
Now, it appears that this trend that had existed within the narrow context of the home needs to be expanded… to include hotels.
Check out The Opus Hotel in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighborhood. According to USA Today, this past March, they outfitted every guest room with an iPad2. And now, they’ve replaced the traditional, dated, and generally useless hotel room landlines with iPhones. There’s one in every room. (Why didn’t the W think of this first?)
As a guest, it’s your iPhone for the duration of your stay. You can use it in the room, anywhere in the hotel, or anywhere in the city.
You can leave the hotel and use this iPhone as your personal phone, giving you 24/7-anywhere Internet access. Better still, American guests will love free local calls and no sky-high International Roaming fees.
For many of you, the only corded-phone you still use is the one at your workplace.
It would appear the landline can run… but it can’t hide. How long before your desk-phone is replaced by an iPhone5 or the latest Android device?
Mark the date: mid-2012.
The landline is on the endangered gadget list. Now, not even away-from-home locations aren’t safe from the inevitable presence of the smartphone.