Molders producing components for the cellular telephone business have seen the ups and downs - mostly downs - in 1995. But, they say, the salvation of the U.S. cell-phone market will be when it becomes a consumer, rather than a business, item. Actually, I think cellular phones are already on their way to becoming one more thing the American people just can't live without. I see, for example, more cell-phone usage among women. And not just business women, either.
It's becoming common to see homemakers carrying their cellular phones with them as they do their weekly errands, such as grocery shopping. Recently, while squeezing lettuce heads alongside another woman in the produce department of a grocery store, a cellular telephone sitting in the child's seat of her cart began ringing.
``It's for you,'' I said to her.
She gave me a look that said ``mind your own business'' and answered her phone. She chatted with a friend while continuing to search for the perfect head of lettuce.
A few days later, while standing in the checkout line behind a woman in an office supply store, her purse began ringing. She stopped in the midst of writing her check to dig through her handbag to find the source of the ringing and answer it.
Her hand soon emerged from the depths of the bag holding a cellular phone with a loud ring. ``Hello,'' she said. ``Oh, Marie, yes I called to find out if you and Harry were planning to ....''
Thus did the purchasing transaction end and the conversation with Marie begin, while those of us in the line behind her - a line that had grown in length - looked on in impatient amazement. Of course she couldn't write the check and talk at the same time, and finally noticing the glares from those behind her, told Marie to call her back in five minutes after she was in the car.
Another time, in an airport restroom, a woman in the adjacent stall had been able to answer both the call of nature and a call from a friend at the same time, thanks to the wonders of the cellular telephone.
The great thing about this telecommunications phenomenon is that it's becoming worldwide. People everywhere are getting attached to their cellular phones. And that's just what the industry hopes will happen.
Yes, molders serving the telecommunications industry should not be short of parts to mold over the long term.
In a world where people may be out of sync in some areas, it's certain that we'll never be out of touch.
Goldsberry is a Plastics News correspondent based in Phoenix.