What must happen to the smartphone in your pocket?
Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Apple, Microsoft (the old Nokia brand) and others are battling it out in what they see as a single market. Not, of course, geographically but technologically. I think they are getting it wrong. Why? Because the smartphone is increasing its versatility for those who want rather primitive communications and cartloads of entertainment and not addressing the huge market that wants a pocket computer for its business and personal use.
Moreover, smartphones are becoming incomprehensible to the point where even quite young people are seeking older versions of them because they are easier to use. As the Financial Times reported “There is a small but busy market for phones that are simple and cheap at a time when smartphones are becoming ever more complex and expensive.” Updated every time you turn them on, they are also turning into ‘adpacks’ – bundles of advertisements for things you don’t want. Sneeze twice and you’ll have the world’s cold remedies at your fingertips. Very smart, very boring.
The criteria for a truly smart phone for today’s up-and-comings is one that connects seamlessly with the laptop or desktop. Neither of these last two devices is going away. More and more people are running their own businesses by portfolio working. Ageing demographics mean that many will continue working into their 70s and 80s, even though their sight and hearing may start to get a little dulled. They want a smartphone for them.
So here are my suggestions for making better use of the incredible smartphone technology we already have. Keep a MENU button permanently on the screen when at rest. Make it the user’s access to the smartphone world.  When the MENU button is pressed display a series of KEYWORDS and KEY PHRASES. We all know what we want but we all use different words to express it. Give us a clue.  Provide longer-lasting batteries or better, less plug-dependent ways to recharge.  Make it possible for us to work on the files on our smartphone direct from our laptop or desktop when connected by line or Bluetooth. Transferring and synching files must be simple, fast and reliable.  Give printed, readable, instructions on the use of the smartphone that are step-by-step and devoid of hyperbole. We’ve bought the damned thing, we don’t need selling again – we just need to know how to make it work. If the instructions are on the phone we either have to print them or keep switching back and forth like a hunted chameleon.  Make access to the SIM card(s) and expansion card(s) external and easy. Failing the easy access described in  above, quick and safe removal of the expansion card allows for simple swopping between smartphone and computer. Flick technology rather than pin technology is recommended.  Under the MENU button give us a hyperlinked number that connects us to a person who knows what they are talking about. We often don’t know all your technology or terms. You are supposed to.
Odd that in a world of commitment to the consumer being king we actually find that the techie is king and the consumer is defeated.