3rd party apps aren't what makes or breaks a smartphone platform

As a user of many smartphones, I find the basics in Symbian on the E7 beat out the flashy apps on other platforms.

As my friend Kevin Tofel reported yesterday a mobile analytics firm reported for the first time that mobile application usage beat out the web browser on Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, iOS, and Java platforms. I load a ton of apps on my devices, but I am coming to the realization that I am generally more satisfied with just sticking with the default apps on a platform and thousands of apps in an application store is not as important as we are all led to believe.

My current active smartphone collection includes the Droid Charge, Nokia E7, and Dell Venue Pro. I have 3rd party apps on all of these, but tend to use the preloaded apps and utilities on my E7 and DVP more than 3rd party apps while on my Droid Charge I do use 3rd party apps more. While the app and UI may not be the flashiest, I am using the E7 more than the other two because it gives me the best RF signal, is the best hardware, has the longest battery life, and is a solid performer. The Dell Venue Pro is 2nd, but the battery life kills that too quickly. The Droid Charge regularly just freezes for a minute at a time and is becoming a rather cumbersome device for me and I am considering dropping it soon.

Nokia's Symbian devices may not appeal to folks who like iOS or Android, but there is still something to be said for Symbian and for those of us who are used to the operating system running it on hardware as fantastic as the E7 is nice. I purchased a Nokia E6 that arrives in a couple of days and imagine it will be my new primary device since it runs Symbian Anna and has a form factor that should be very functional.

While I do enjoy loading a ton of apps on my smartphones, at the end of the day the device that keeps me connected the longest (RF reception and battery life), responds and is there when I need it, and appeals to my senses (fantastic hardware) is the one that I go to and thus there is still a valid place for Nokia's Symbian devices in the mobile marketplace.

I do think the available 3rd party apps and services on a tablet form factor are more important than on a smartphone device and that is why my iPad 2 beats all other tablets out.