Wed 8 Jan, 2003 12:11 am
New Cell Phones Falter
Why the Smartphone Is Not Catching On
Tue Jan 7, 1:12 PM ET
Kimberly Hill, Wireless.NewsFactor.com
Though there has been a lot of carefully constructed industry excitement over smartphones -- devices that combine calling capabilities with functions like calendar management and Web browsing -- this new wireless category has not taken off like other mobile-equipment niches. And it is not likely to soar anytime in the near future.
It looks as though the consumer has met the newest cell phone technology with a mighty yawn. The telcos are bewildered; they spent billions to develop the new phones and networks, and the consumer just wants a cell phone to talk on pretty much the way the home phone is used. Go figure.
Huh. Maybe if they took away all the other gadgets they've given us, we'd have time to play with their phones, eh?
(They're forgetting, I think, how many users in the domestic market primarily use the cell while driving and walking. All other time is taken up with something else, and I hope to God there's no one out there playing Tetris at the wheel of their SUV in the HOV lane of I-90...)
A number of recent studies indicate the major considerations influencing the choice of cell phone hardware or carrier were voice quality, dropped connections, and pricing. It seems folks want to use cellphones as telephones, and are quite content if their needs in that regard are met. The "Gee-Whiz" features, such as taking and transmitting photos, web-browsing, and games are Non-Starters. The ony "New Feature" that is getting much play is Text Messaging. The anticipated 'Killer App", Web Connectivity, is a resounding flop so far.
Just a thought, but maybe it's not the devices that are being overvalued: maybe it's the web!