Ewan from SMSTextNews about the problems enterpreneurs face when approaching the mobile market
…don’t bother… …your concept is good but the market is shite.
Pick any one person of the street and theyâ€™ll tell you they phone people and they text people. If youâ€™re really lucky, youâ€™ll pick someone whoâ€™s actually â€˜used Googleâ€™ on their mobile. Or, if youâ€™re exceptionally lucky, youâ€™ll find a teenager whoâ€™s used Facebook Mobile.
There are some shining lights. Appleâ€™s iPhone Application Store is leading the way there. Finally thereâ€™s an outlet for Graham and his Gardening idea. He can easily develop, deploy and monetise his offerings. Whatâ€™s more, his audience can, thanks to Appleâ€™s end-to-end deep thought, probably learn to use Grahamâ€™s service in a few moments.
But what of the LG users? The Samsung users? The Orange usersâ€¦
I want to buy this man a drink.
This is why I’m excited about the iPhone and the App Store. It’s not about whether the N95 has better features, the experience is still shite. It’s not about whether you’ve got the latest HTC Touch Diamond, it’s about whether you can do anything other than what is provided. Sure – the feature phones can view Youtube and live TV and get you the weather and WinMo phones can get a huge range of software (and all with individually crap UIs) but how many people buying the HTC Touch Diamond are going to get them. It’s part smartphone and part fashion accessory.
The iPhone did well because it was the first time I’d ever seen a browsing experience which acuurately reflected browsing. My previous phones were rubbish at this because they pushed their mobile-optimised and totally standardised mobile portals at me. I didn’t want to see Sport, News or Flirt online so their portals were pretty much useless to me. And getting off their portal was an absolute pain.
I see a goodly amount of traffic on blogs and twitter from people with N95s asking their friends whether they’re going to ‘upgrade’ to an iPhone and then backslapping each other when they agree not to. Well done, guys, you’ve just placed yourself as the Windows-using Beige Box owners.
It’s fine for the techno-literate to struggle their way through Symbian but it’s just not right for other people who end up thinking that their phone can’t do more. I consider myself to be pretty geeky but only ever downloaded one app to my SonyEricsson K800i and then, once downloaded, I never ran it properly or paid for it because the UI was so awful I just deleted it minutes later. My SO has never downloaded anything to her phone (but if she goes ahead with the Touch Diamond, then she’ll expect it to be as easy as her iPhone).
Consider the experience. Looking for an application? Let’s say two apps. One being a game and the other a personal accounts manager. Where does the novice user go? Let’s look at this as a novice.
On the iPhone, you just click the AppStore button and look.
Nice and easy…
On my SonyEricsson, I have to know to go to somewhere like Handango. I have to know what OS I have. I have to know what device I have, which brings a click-through to see all devices if it’s not recent. And the K800i isn’t listed on Handango. Turns out it’s not Symbian. But it has games and email…gahhhhh
The experience for ‘more modern’ phones is not much different. You have to know too much!