Tag Archives: Smartphone

Moving On – Phone Wise

Well, since I’ve posted about my mobile phone situation┬ábefore and it was fairly well-read I’m going to do so again! Last week my contract came up and it was time for a new phone, for which I chose an iPhone. I’m off BlackBerry.

For the decision I considered all options (BlackBerry, Android and iPhone) and came to this decision for a few reasons:

  1. Believe it or not, but the move away from a BB isn’t going to be an easy one for me (insert sniggers here). Aside from the fact that I’ve been using them for years, I really haven’t had too much to complain about. Although I would like to support Canada, as well, the future of the company (along with future technical support) is what is worrying me the most. I know I’m contributing to the catch-22 of their demise, but I can’t help it!
  2. The software the Snap It uses is built in Cocoa and if there is any sort of mobile capability in our future it’s going to start on iPhone. While nothing’s in the pipeline, who knows what the next 2 years are going to bring, so being proactive is likely a good thing.
  3. I’m a Mac and Apple TV user, therefore having another iPhone device integrates well. Not that I think it’s going to be a monumental upgrade to my life, might as well keep things in the family if there’s a choice.

While these aren’t the most sophisticated reasons, to be sure, I’m sticking with them. After using the iPhone for a while I honestly miss the old BlackBerry e-mail organization a bit, but the new ones don’t look much like the old ones anyway, so couldn’t stay regardless.

This isn’t a very scientific list and it’s very specific to me, but those are the reasons I had. Android was a strong possibility, but once I was trying it out in the store I just didn’t end up liking it as much. This is likely because I’ve messed around on people’s iPhones more than Androids, but the benefits that I found on the online reviews didn’t really sell me on Android. Not that they weren’t valid, just didn’t matter to me.

So, as many people have pointed out to me this week, I have “come over to the dark side.” What I’ve made sure to point out to them is that I have never been an iPhone hater, but rather preaching indifference to what other people are running. I made my decision for me and you should make it for you.

Smartphone Market

For someone who doesn’t really care about owning the newest technology (I’m a use it until it dies type of person), I’m pretty interested in the industry. The smartphone market in particular is fascinating to me.

I think what I love about the market is how dividing it can be among friends. They seem to be one of the only purchases an adult can make where another adult feels it’s completely socially acceptable to publicly criticise and ridicule the purchaser. Not only this, but the personal opinions and preferences of the purchaser never enter into the conversation.

I’m being a little facetious, but just think about how extreme some people are about supporting their particular brand of phone. Phrases like, “I can’t believe you have a…” and “I’ll never not use a…” seem to be fairly common. Many people’s views are extremely finite.

In fact, if you got on the cell phone train in the 90s and always had the most popular phone of the day, you would have ended the sentence “I’ll never not use a…” with: Motorola, Nokia, Motorola (again), Blackberry, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy. That’s more flip flopping than a presidential election (hey-o). What’s more is if we were really being honest, before your first cell phone you probably would have said something along the lines of, “Cell phones are pointless, I’m never going to get one.”

The fact is that there is always a rise and fall to all technologies. The reason that there is such a fast change in the cell phone market is that the typical consumer doesn’t have the phone for more than three years. Then the contract is over and some new, fancier, shinier, more popular phone is on the market.

As I said above, there hasn’t really been a company that has has been able to be on top of the cell phone market for more than 5 – 10 years, at most. This is because being on the top is hard. You have a large, loyal client base and you want to keep them happy, which in most industries means giving them more of the same. Not so for mobile phones.

No, this industry demands innovation, while not alienating your current market. Basically a fool’s errand. I’m not saying it can’t be done, we just haven’t seen a company pull it off yet.

I have no clue what the smartphone market is going to do and anyone who says they do is lying. The only thing I feel comfortable saying is that no platform is going to stay on top forever, so stop being rigid in your views. Odds are we’ll all change between a few different brands throughout our lives, so don’t be hating on the others. You may end up changing over.

Now for a change, I’m actually going to attempt to back up my points (shocking, yes). It’s not scientific, but more than I usually offer.

Motorola – Was huge when cell phones first became popular, with an awesome analog devices. The industry started to go digital and they dug their heels in the ground because so many people were on the analog system. Until they upgraded that is…

Nokia – Digital phones. Had some games, had some media capabilities (remember downloadable ringtones??). More of a footnote than anything, filling the void Motorola refused to enter.

Motorola again – Came back with the Razr, the well-designed, well-marketed flip phone. At this point, though, it was sort of like making an awesome horse and buggy system when Model T’s started rolling off the lines, because people were changing over to…

Blackberry – Invented the smart phone market and increased corporate stress at levels not seen since the first union (kidding if you’re part of a union). Chaining workers to their company email, calendar, etc. was an employer’s dream.

iPhone – Was laughed at by the people at Blackberry, because it was a “toy”. Turns out people wanted that toy. Then businesses wanted that toy. Then businesses started because of that toy.

Samsung Galaxy – Neat-o operating system, first for just nerds, now for everyone. Has a good design and saves people from the rigidity of iOS, if that’ their thing. Also invented the phablet, but we should all make an effort to never use that word again.