Do Regular Phones Need So Many Features?

An interesting editorial from InfoSync wondering whether or not all this feature creep in mobile phones is really necessary. Larry Garfield points to cameras, color screens and “e-wallet” capabilities and asks why they’re needed… At first this seemed odd, as the case can be made for any of these — but the argument is a little more interesting. At the end of the article he points out that these are fine for smartphones or communicators that have a platform that is built for handling all of these functions. So, it’s not that these features are bad, just that regular (“non-smart”) phones aren’t able to really take advantage of them, and for the most part, they’re simply add-ins “because they can.” That’s a much more interesting argument. At the same time, though, I doubt many people really distinguish between a “mobile phone” and a “smart phone.” While the industry may talk about it, your average consumer just looks around and sees a mobile phone. In that context, they’re going to start comparing features, no matter how well implemented they may be. As long as the features aren’t destructive in implementation, than the simpler versions on non-smart-phones will help introduce users to those features, and should open up possibilities for future generations of phone systems.

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