Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Future-proof phones

How do you choose a future-proof smartphone ? There are a literally thousands of choices. You have to choose what you need. For me, critical criteria are;

  • The ability to send and receive MMS and participate in video calling (babies do cute shit at random times)

  • The ability to send and receive business cards

  • A battery life measured in days, not minutes or hours

  • The ability to run multiple applications at once

  • Activesync support


  • Bluetooth tethering

  • Use of the phone with one hand (and in a car)

  • No beach balls or equivalents to cover up rubbish code

I am not interested in camera support (I have several real cameras), multimedia (I have an iPod and enough storage to run a small country) or the ability to use my phone as a light-sabre and/or spirit level. I don't think these criteria are unique.

This rules out the jesus phone (iPhone) and all Windows-mobile phones (not even going to bother explaining) for me. The iPhone is a target for much of my wrath, because relatively intelligent people turn into blithering, sycophantic dimwits when someone presents them with functional technology that is at least 10 years behind the rest of the industry (remember, this is a device American's love, case in point).

But am I alone in this view ? Apparently, because even Nokia is launching of touch-screen phones, along with everyone else. Think Nokia 5800 & N97, Samsung Omnia, etc. All touch-screen, all featuring innovative design, all copying the iPhone. And the jesus phone itself is addressing most of these issues above. So would I consider an iPhone ?

As long as it had a keyboard or even the pretense of one (think Haptics technology), yes. I could live with all the above failings, because

  1. the intuitive nature of the interface is unparalleled
  2. the application variety and store framework mean supported applications that won't crash the phone
  3. the user base is strong, vocal and active
  4. the phone is putting smartphone features in the hands of consumers

The iPhone has pioneered a new revolutionary stage in the mobile phone space; it presents a rich, easy-to-develop against platform that means eventually people will buy their device for what it can run, not what it comes with or does out of the box. And that is truly future-proof.