Guest post: The bright future of phones


This guest post is by John Stepp, President of Free Tech Consultants. It’s typed entirely on his Nexus One. Just kidding (but he could’ve).

I know that many are saying that the phone is dead, at least the desktop and landline phone.  If that is the case then why is the mobile world so utterly controlled by the phone?  First people were going crazy to get their hands on the iPhone 4, now many are incensed to find that it has a flaw.  Nobody seems to care much about the revelation that every single iPhone ever shipped has been exaggerating the signal strength of the carrier, AT&T.  No, it is all about the phone.  It is all about the user interface and the user experience.  I understand.  I feel the same way.

When my Nexus One was not perfect and needed to be repaired because of a hardware issue, I had the option of returning it.  Although having calls dropped and having slow data speed was frustrating, I finally decided to just get it fixed.  Just like the Apple iPhone users, I was too enamored with the phone to give it up.  Now that it has the Android 2.2 software on it, the phone is better.  Sure, there is still a dropped call from time to time, but the user interface is great and the data speeds are fast.  Even as the Nexus One is discontinued, CNET tests show that the Nexus One on T-Mobile has data speeds equal or superior to the newer phones.  Whoopi Goldberg was so disgusted with her iPhone 4, she ran over it with her car, but then she went and bought an Apple 3G instead of going to a competitor. The similarity between the Android and Apple infatuation is the great application suites that come with these phones.  From the stunning displays, to the audio/optical communications tools to the immediate access to information, there is much to like.

Gartner recently said that smartphone sales were up almost 50% year over year. And the latest information from ChangeWave Research shows that the next ninety days will have the most explosive growth in smart phones ever with Apple and HTC (Android) leading the way.  However, Research in Motion, the BlackBerry maker favored by most businesses will see its’ market share erode further.  Why are phones that businesses favor in a funk while consumer phones are in such demand that there are now four week backlogs for all the favorites?  The user interface, the phone itself is driving demand and driving change.  E-mail delivery and simple conversations are not enough anymore.  We want pictures, video, social media and immediate access to information.

Businesses will be adapting to this changing landscape on mobility and on the desktop.  Productivity in the workplace will accelerate when the devices employees use in business match that of the devices used in people’s personal lives.  The business telephone and video manufacturers are providing easy to use high value applications for their user interfaces be they computers, netbooks, display phones or video portals.  The future is bright for the companies that decide that the phone (user interface) is everything.  The businesses involved in bringing these “smart” business communications devices to market will grow quickly and sooner than many predict.  And the improved productivity will help businesses grow faster as well, just like the digital revolution did in the nineties.  The phone may morph into many different types of devices, but the future of the phone is as bright as the new displays on the smartphones.

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