Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

Summary:Mobile technology, smartphones in particular, are very personal devices. The fact of the matter is that no matter how personal these phones become, there is no perfect device nor platform for everyone.

Mobile technology, smartphones in particular, are very personal devices. I suspect it's because anything used repeatedly during the day, up close at that, invokes a very personal experience. The personal nature of smartphones is evident in any article on the web dealing with one phone or another. The comment section for such articles immediately becomes a shouting match over which platform is best. The fact of the matter is that no matter how personal these phones become, there is no perfect device nor platform for everyone.

Everybody uses smartphones differently, and how they use them determines which platform or phone is the best fit for them. Some folks primarily use smartphones for phone calls, if you can believe that. For those folks the smartphones that don't do voice calls well, and there are more of those than there should be, don't qualify as a good fit. It doesn't matter how fancy a phone/platform may be, if the basic needs of the individual user aren't being met then they fall short.

Case in point: my 17-year old stepson, a typical teenager in every respect, a kid who loves gadgetry, uses an old Nokia smartphone (I forget which one) by choice. He is in the unusual position of getting early exposure to nearly every top-of-the-line smartphone that comes into my office, and he is duly impressed by many of them. But when it comes to his choice of smartphone for everyday use, the old Nokia wins hands-down. Why is that? According to him because it does phone calls and text messaging very well. Those are his top two uses for a phone, and all of the fancy smartphones he's tried fall short compared to that Nokia with its nice keyboard.

It is important for each individual to understand what uses of a phone are important to fit their lifestyle, and go with that no matter how public pressure tells them otherwise. It doesn't matter if a particular smartphone is cool, or has state-of-the-art features; it only matters if it does what you need, and does it well.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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