The NY Times did a big piece on a company called ShopText today. It's an interesting idea and one that I'd love to see take off. I question though, whether or not it is a "new form" of impulse as the title of the article reads.
Mobile content retailers have been pushing mobile content (e.g., ring tones, games) with short codes in magazines for years now – literally. Adoption has been fairly low to date and limited to a younger audience (e.g., readers of CosmoGirl).
As an extension of ecommerce, it isn't so new. As a virtual mobile payment, it is more new – not much of that out there yet.
I am wondering if we'll see it in catalogs. Is it more time-efficient than a 1-800 number to place an order. (Anyone order from those flight catalogs on airplanes?)
Will early adopters be online consumers … the ones who like to comparison shop, look for good deals, and read consumers reviews? The small screen has some limits (e.g., ability to read product description, enter a size, enter a gift address, etc.)
I like the idea of it as a core technology for MCommerce applications. I like the idea of not having to register my cell phone number and credit card with every possible online entity from which I may buy something.