Proactive not Reactive
Anytime a company in the technology or personal electronics field comes out with a new device or system for doing things, the products or services available at launch are not quite as cool as the ones coming down the road. When a video game system comes out, there are typically only a handful of games available to the public ready for immediate consumption. Promises are made and expectations are set. Take the Wii for example. It’s only now that Super Mario Galaxy and Mario and Sonic at the Olympics are coming out. The system has been around for a year. The best X-Box and PS3 games are yet to come out still.
The same thing applies in the phone industry. Sure, the iPhone has some really cool features built in. What about the other applications that people are clamoring for? You only have one way to get from program to program, albeit a fancy one. Only now are we told that Apple will be releasing an SDK for it. I wonder if Apple is realizing how much potential business they’ve missed out on since June. Don’t get me wrong. I am not against Apple in any shape or form. I am merely using them as a basis for my next argument.
Most of the handset environment has been reactive. Very few companies have been showing foresight that will benefit the end user. Of course, there are monumental devices that have been coming out over the last few years. Take the T-Mobile Sidekick, RIM’s Blackberry, and even Motorola’s RAZR. All revolutionary devices in as far as hardware goes. The problem is, you are confined to each companies proprietary operating system. The Sidekick has added some hardware features and become more stylish, but the desktop is essentially the same as it was 3 years ago. Motorola’s RAZR had almost exact version of the buggy software used on its V300 series when it launched. There’s only been a few slight tweaks and modifications along the way. I’m going to go on record and say that hardware is not what gets me excited.
You can get a 1.3MP camera, memory card slot, Bluetooth, speakerphone, and email client on almost any mid tier phone on the market. What I want to see is new ways to use my phone. Google understands this. They will be giving SDK’s to people months before the phones are launched. Rather than focus on hardware, they are putting the spotlight on software and what you can do with your phone. I have no doubts that web and email will be the hot topics. Any phone can get you online. How would you have yours look? What would you add or change? Rest assured, there are people listening to you and fast at work on developing the best phones and applications you’ve never seen.