Going Into Mobile Phone Feature Shock?

from the too-much dept

While I think there’s plenty of potential for some of the cool new mobile phones that are coming out these days, I’m still aware of the fact that I’m an early adopter type, who likes to play around with gadgets. It’s important to remember that not everyone is like that, and many folks looking at these new phones with all sorts of funky additional features are taking a step back and saying “hey, I just want to make phone calls.” All the companies pushing these new feature filled phones need to remember that there’s more than just the early adopter audience out there. While it seems that people seem to adopt new features by social osmosis (you’ve had the phone for a while, your friends are text messaging, so you try it out…), the feature set isn’t really that big of a selling point for many people, and it may be a long time before that mentality shifts.

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Comments on “Going Into Mobile Phone Feature Shock?”

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Beck says:


This article is right on. My father wanted a phone, and for him it had to be very simple with just the number buttons, “send”, and “end”, and have big buttons. The only way we could find that was to lease an old reconditioned phone.

I would think that a phone company could make a pretty good market by advertising a line of phones as high quality, yet simple and easy. It seems that with all electronics products the only way to get “simple and easy” is to go to the low end manufacturers who sell crap to people who buy solely based on price. Some people want a reduced feature set but are willing to pay more for better quality.

AMetamorphosis says:

Consumer confusion

I have a Motorol T720 without the camera and it still took me a day to read the manual, fool around with the phone & actually get used to all the so called ” features “. Last month my Dad got the same phone and I would like to smash the head in of the salesperson @ Verizon that sold it to him ! My Dad really doesn’t want or need all these features but feels compelled to use them because he paid for them. As a result, I have spent countless phone calls and hours of time trying to help him learn how to use the damn thing. My Dad would be much better served with a simple cell phone with an address book of frequently called numbers & caller ID. The same thing with my Mom. Neither of them want all the ” toys ” but just TRY and find a simple cell phone today !
Has anyone noticed that this appears to be a trend in ALL consumer appliances today ? How many times have you been over @ a friends and had a hard time trying to simply heat something up in their microwave ? Or tried to turn on their home entertainment center ( TV ) and had to ask for assistance ?
I seriously take into consideration how ” user friendly ” a device is before buying it now days. If I cannot use the BASIC features without reading the owners manual I won’t buy the item.

w.h. (user link) says:

No Subject Given

It’s not just that.

My desired feature set for a phone is basicly my aging Startac phone with a few choice new features. I am a gearhead and I do like new features, but I don’t care about some of the features features.

The annoying part is that the combination of features I want — generally having 1x-rtt 2.5g data and bluetooth — aren’t available. Maddening.

Andrew (user link) says:

Well maybe *one* feature

Count me in — I’d like that phone with an address book and Caller ID. Perfect. Well… being able to receive text messages is also good (to get CNN news alerts, you see).
And y’know, a camera would also be cool if it was easy to e-mail the pictures. And… and…
You see how this gets started. Ask 1,000 people and if each suggests just one or two it-would-be-cool features you end up with a phone with more computing power than the Apollo program and a 200-page manual. Blech.

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