The mobile phone has become a necessity for all those who can afford it. But what it means is different internally and externally; for some the phone will be a tool to organize their office schedule, to others in the US the phone will simply be a product to display music, movies and games. For others the phone will be all those and more: it will mean prominence, money and a high regard a style.
I now this personally from my time in Tunisia. Unlike in the U.S. a cell phone just means that: a cell phone. In Tunisia a cell phone is something that people show off with, often trying to impress their friends and more importantly strangers. The cell phone in the US means simply a phone, it is not a fashion accessory. In
Tunisia, people are very considered with the phone they carry and how it reflects on them.
The mobile phone can be a symbol of status not just an article of necessity. In Tunisia even people without much money will save a significant amount of money (by universal standards) to buy the coolest phone.
In Tunisia, people will often have their phone publicly displayed at a cafe table their sitting at in order to show-off. There a phone can be proof that one is from a wealthy family.
I think this is cool how in one culture a product can mean something in one area and another in one place. But why? Why is the mobile phone so important for Tunisian and less so for Americans? Does it have to due with development levels? Is it like this in other nations as well, an obsession with the cool phone?