Food for Thought on Smartphone and Voice Trends
Suppose this will likely sound a bit ‘odd’ to many of you out there, in a fog of PDA designs and hyper-data consumption, but here’s a friendly heads-up from the future. As most markets have rushed towards this space, some tipping into the 50% adoption range, we are starting to see a gentle push-back here. While the typical Japanese so-called feature-phone is not your usual beast, pre-installed Flash since 2003 along with touch & swipe screens, Digital TV and NFC.. all old news, there were a couple of ‘Aha’ moments recently that led to this blurb.
In the spring of this year DoCoMo introduced their new line-up without a single clamshell design.. wow, it was like the death of i-mode and nobody even bothered to mention. However, their latest round of 16 units included Four new flip models.. we asked vendors on the street, who basically said: “so many customers don’t want a Smartphone”. When pressed for ‘why’ that might be, aside from #1 concern about battery power, several said: “maybe for them.. it’s just a phone, they already have computer”. Imagine there will be a notable segment of the consumer market, globally, that does not want or need the latest phablet to handle their tasks. DoCoMo got that message, for now, wonder what will be on offer from them in say 3-years?
Also, had an interesting conversation with mid-life CEO geek type recently; he noted barely ever making voice calls anymore, rather swap texts or tweet ‘like’ channel comms instead. When I asked if he had Skype on the PC (of course), pointing out that’s an easy way to share quick notes – or – jump on a call, did he use voice more often? “Sure.. if it’s free and more efficient” was the basic reply. So, as new/old habits (re)form, buzz is always cyclical, would seem, as usual, it’s a matter of user need with tool cost vs. value efficiency = human nature. Personally, rather have quick 60-sec call, rich intell. exchange, than continue swapping texts.. just sayin.
— WWJ Editors