Europeans and Americans differ on their mobile phone perspective

Europeans and Americans differ on their mobile phone perspective

Summary: Did you get the free cell phone your carrier provided with new service and are you satisfied with it? Or do you seek to find a mobile phone that matches your personality and style? Michael Mace put together a great editorial on the differences between U.S. and European mobile phone users.

TOPICS: Mobility

My first free phone from T-Mobile was a Nokia 3650 and after receiving the device I discovered how powerful of a smartphone it really was and loaded it up with apps and games. That was over 4 years ago and I have kept increasing my frequency of usage of Nokia devices to the point that now the Nokia E61 is my primary mobile phone. I am very impressed by the Nseries and other Nokia devices and find it a bit strange that US carriers and consumers aren't more excited about the devices. I just read an excellent editorial by Michael Mace describing the difference between European and American mobile phone usage. I agree with his analysis based on my personal experiences and actually think Americans are more apt to just search for and use the cheapest phone they can get when they sign up for mobile service. I relate more to the European personality, as I am sure most of us mobile enthusiasts do, since I find I thoroughly enjoy using my mobile device and think of it more as my personal assistant and accessory rather than just a cell phone.

nokia_n70.jpgPart of my goal in writing this blog and actively participating in online forums is to spread my enthusiasm for mobile devices and attempt to educate and inform people about how powerful and functional these devices can be to make their lives a bit better. I share my devices and knowledge directly with family, friends, and co-workers and some of them embrace the technology while others seem to be too busy and just want a phone that makes calls. I think it will take quite a bit of time, and maybe never even happen, before Americans embrace the "mobile" rather than just look for the cheap, free "cell phone".

Topic: Mobility

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  • European "mobiles" are great

    if you're a 17-year-old girl who has nothing better to do with her time than play games on a 3 cm screen with thumbs the size of a pencil.

    Those of us who don't want to put in the learning curve to get functions we already have otherwise, without magnifying glasses and a pencil, are a different story.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • This American just wants a phone that works.

    Yeah, you are right, I don't give a fig if my cell can dance, I just want a working PHONE. The only "advanced" feature worth anything to me is a decent phone book in it. Keep the rest, and sell it cheap.
    • T-Mobile SDA is an AWESOME phone

      I understand that most Americans are just looking for something that works and that I am not the standard consumer as I like to use devices that do so much more and am actually more of a data consumer than a voice user.

      However, I have to say that the T-Mobile SDA (aka HTC Tornado) is one heck of a phone. This thing gets the BEST RF reception I have ever seen on a mobile device and the very cool smart dialing feature saves time when dialing contacts. It is also available for a very reasonable price and includes many additional features that you don't have to use if you don't want to, but if you do then they are there for you.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Additional features

        [i]It is also available for a very reasonable price and includes many additional features that you don't have to use if you don't want to, but if you do then they are there for you.[/i]


        How do you get rid of the much-worse-than-worthless QWERTY keyboard that takes up more than half of the UI area? Ditch that sucker and the thing might have a hope of being usable.
        Yagotta B. Kidding
        • T-Mobile SDA has no soft input panel keyboard

          Yagotta B. Kidding, I think you are confusing the T-Mobile MDA which is a Pocket PC Phone Edition with the Smartphone model SDA. The SDA looks like a fairly standard candy bar form factor cellular phone and also has a high resolution display so you can actually see a ton of information in clear fonts on the display. It is an outstanding quality phone and my coworkers actually use it more for the phone and excellent reception rather than all the bonus Smartphone features.
          palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    • So does this Dane.

      Leave all the gongs, bells, and whistles to the kids. I [b]have[/b] a digital camera, and I [b]have[/b] a Palm, and I [b]hate[/b] writing text on the phone keyboard.
      Give me a phone, menu based so I can use it in the car where a GUI and a joystick is hopeless, with good soundquality, voice activated numbers and a phonebook with several levels. Let it have bluetooth and GPRS, and forget the rest. If it even will stand outdoor use - it's a mobile phone rememeber, and not succumb to the faintest trace of damp, I'll buy it. My present one is a Nokia 6310i which almost fullfils all of these criteria and has lasted for close to 4 years now.
  • The cell phone vs a "mobile" platform

    You're right about some Americans that just want their cell phone to make calls. I am one of them. I only want to make calls on my cell phone. And while I am not looking for the cheapest carrier/cellco, I am looking for a reliable provider that doesn't hose me with a contract and poor service.

    As for my "personal assistant," I carry a Palm Tungsten T5 which I don't want to make calls with. Why is that? you might ask...

    Well, when I am on the phone I like to use the T5 to take notes or look up stuff. You might claim that I can do just that with a smart phone and a Bluetooth headset, but the difference comes in two distinct reasons:

    1] I have complete freedom regarding the data that I place on and take off the T5 while most cellcos want to charge me just to move say music or data onto and off of the smart phone. This has been discussed at length on ZDNet where it has been reported that the cellcos go out of their way to disable PC connectivity features that the smart phone makers provide (by remotely disabling the software interfaces) in order to charge liberally for cell use to do the exact same function. Verizon, I believe, is very guilty of this. IF we could freely use those "smart" features to their full advantage, it would make the smart mobile phone much more attractive but frequently we cannot without paying through the nose. It's just not cost effective to be at the mercy of poorly regulated cellco providers.

    2] I enjoy the security of not hanging all of my personal data out on the WWAN with little to protect it but my reliance on the same cellco providers that can turn features on and off my phone without my intervention. With the Tungsten T5, I can manage all of my apps and data and I alone have complete administrative rights for its use.

    3] Americans can't count... Just kidding!

    Until the American cellco providers let their customers, that own the device, have complete authority over its feature set, apps and data management, I will not "buy" into the smart phone juggernaut.
    • Reduced Feature Set

      As far as transferring data between the smart phone and another device, I can say for a fact that Verizon does not do this. I can transfer anything I want (via usb or wifi) from my i730 and my laptop or desktop or other pda, etc, without charge. One thing they do attempt to prohibit is the use of the phone as a modem. They want to charge you monthly for the ability to do this, even though this funcationality is built into the phone. You can get around this however, with a little hack. Anyway, I love my i730, and havent had any problems with transfering my data between my other devices.
      • Correction

        The previous post should have read that Verizion does not CHARGE to transfer data between the smart phone and another device.
  • Phone

    Yeah, just a phone to use like the ones at home. I have cameras,computers and maps. Just a phone tio carry and talk to whom I want to when I want. The rest of it I'll do some other time.
  • RE: Europeans and Americans differ on their mobile phone perspective

    I guess I differ from most of you in that I like just carrying one device. I use a Blackberry curve and also switch between it and a Samsung Blackjack that I have upgraded to Win Mob vs 6. I use them both for phones, planning and organizing devices through syncing with Outlook, music players, and reading devices thru the use of Mobi Pocket Reader instead of having to carry around books too. I have found them both relatively easy to use, especially the Blackberry, but in some areas that I go, edge service is very poor, and since my Blackjack is 3G it gets better reception in these areas. Once again, I actually agree that a phone needs to work well as a phone first, but carrying several devices when one will do all of the functions just as well doesn't make sense to me.