by Mike Masnick

People Just Aren't Interested In Phones With Too Many Functions

from the calm-down,-industry-execs dept

The iTunes phone may finally be coming this week, and with the rumored limitations of either 25 or 100 songs total, it won't be that surprising if the phone is a huge disappointment. However, it's not really clear if the phone would have been all that successful no matter what, as mobile phone users are still trying to get across the message to industry execs that they're really not all that interested in multi-function phones. They'd much prefer a cheap, simple phone that works. Imagine that. This doesn't mean there isn't a place for more advanced phones -- but the industry needs to stop rushing these things. Solve a few of the problems that people face now with their mobile phones, and then focus on the more advanced features. If people really believed that the phones would work, maybe they'd be a lot more interested in buying these fancier, multi-purpose devices.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    fuzzmanmatt, Sep 6th, 2005 @ 3:08am

    No Subject Given

    I would like Japan's market. They have awesome phones, and my friend who is stationed in Korea says even the cheap phones over there blow the hell out of the crap that we pay top-dollar for over here in the states. American cell phone companies suck, plain and simple. A lot of it rests on the FCC, and almost as much on the consumer. Stupid Americans and their love of Wal*Mart. You will be the death of yourselves, and you'll be dragging me along with you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Sean, Sep 6th, 2005 @ 6:00am

    Re: No Subject Given

    That's true. I've been stationed in Japan and S. Korea, and they always have the cool stuff LONG before we do (in the states).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2005 @ 6:51am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Absolutely. I spent the summer in Japan and it was obvious that their technology is generations ahead of ours. Not only did the phones have every feature known to man, they worked everywhere, even in the subway tunnels. The sad thing is that American companies who develop a lot of this technology don't market it in their home country. I guess that is mostly a result of the market though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    alex, Sep 6th, 2005 @ 8:14am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Are you kidding?!?! Thank the infinite wisdom of the mighty cellphone gods that the cellies don't work in the subway tunnels. Can you imagine the LOUD inane conversation we would have to be subjected to if they did work down there. I believe in Japan you're only allowed to text msg in the subway and not subject your fellow riders with obnoxious conversation about what you had for dinner last night. You can definitely bet your life we won't have that kind of courtesy in the States.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Chris, Sep 6th, 2005 @ 8:21am

    No Subject Given

    I'd rather have better coverage, longer battery life, and better sound quality - than more craptastic features I never use.

    My current phone is an *archaic* Motorola V400. I'd still have my black dot matrix style V60 if it weren't for the fact that I broke the antenna off and the flip stopped working.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Pete Austin, Sep 6th, 2005 @ 8:34am

    It's a Generation Thing

    Personally I'm with Mike. I want a cheap, simple 'phone that "just works".

    But here's a true story. Last Christmas I was travelling by train at the same time as a load of schoolkids were going home. The train got stuck in a tunnel and the lights went out. And you know what, it didn't get dark. Almost every kid had a cellphone out - not talking because we were in a tunnel, but using so-called "advanced features" - and there was literally enough light from all the glowing screens that I could have read a book.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2005 @ 10:07am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Exactly. Old women will give you dirty looks if you are acting inappropriately, and, decreasingly, kids listen. Amazing that a thousands-year-old culture and massive population density actually fosters a greater sense of community.

    Of course, thanks to the brash behaviour of kids in our craptastic sitcoms, Eastern kids are learning to follow up inappropriate behaviour with just plain rudeness. Yay for America's Culture!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Jonathan Grubb, Sep 6th, 2005 @ 11:21am

    People want *good* features

    I think you are making an extreme conclusion based on this survey. You say people are "really not all that interested in multi-function phones," but the article says people are not interested in a few half-baked multimedia features. Once these features work well of course people will use them. If the features suck (e.g. 25 song limit, lame headphones, etc) people will not use them.

    Surveys often say people aren't interested in non-voice features, but the same people use advanced features without thinking about it. Before phones had clocks built in, people taking a survey would have responded that they didn't need a clock since a wristwatch does a fine job.

    Right now people carry a phone and an ipod; when a combined device works just as well nobody will choose to carry both.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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