Saturday, December 6, 2008

Phones like watches - Why have just one ?

For years the phone companies have been trying to "lock" people into their cell network by every trick in the book. Subsidies, carrier specific plans, phones "locked" to carriers, proprietary hardware, proprietary software and services. Everything they can think of to make you that once you buy their phone you cant use it on another carrier.

In the process of locking phones to carriers they phone companies are also locking you to only one phone. The entire business practice is aimed at "one phone per user" like that's a good thing. They are thinking "So 1999" ...

The carriers want everyone to have a phone so they built up this complex business and technical infrastructure that makes it inconvenient to share phones either to other people or carriers.

You know,so they can make more money. Sure. make money.

But today I just realized that has backfired ! I have multiple phones from work (because I have to write software on different models). Its gotten to the point where I sometimes have to choose which phone to take with me and its annoying because even though I have multiple plans,

the phones have are all distinct identifying services (based on the business model that I shouldn't be sharing phones !). All this time I thought I was unique ...I mean who has 6 cell phones but a nerd working for a PDA software company ?

Until I saw this ...
( )

I Want one of those !!!!!

I like my iPhone and I love my ATT Tilt, and even the treo is nice to have around sometimes.

But this ICE phone is COOL. But maybe not for every event. Maybe just when I'm out horseback riding (or stalking evil laser equipped sharks). But its really impractical to switch phones ! Thanks to telco's. Their antiquated oh-so-10-year-old business model is aimed at getting everyone a phone and neglected encouraging people to have MULTIPLE phones !

My thought for today is ... Phones are like watches. Like jewelry, like cars or shoes. People want different ones for different occasions. No way I'm taking my iPhone with me skiing or to the beach, even horseback riding I'm concerned I'd fall off and break it. Same with my watches. I have a Swiss Army watch for "sports" trips, and pretty one for dress.

Attention Telcos worldwide. Get your head out of the sand and start selling us on multiple phones not one ! Triple your revenue per customer. You've already saturated the market so quit with the zero-sum game of trying to get people to switch carriers ... you wont win that way. Instead encourage people to share phones, switch carriers, use multiple carriers and mostly use more phones! Dont lock your accounts to single SIM cards, let accounts access multiple SIM cards (maybe with a push of a button switch the "active" phone") Encourage us to buy as many phones as possible!. Don't fall for the trap of the "One Phone That Does It All", sure there' s a niche for that but instead sell a "Dress Model", a "Sports Model", "Basics" , "Business" model and encourage us to get them all, instead of having to choose only one that fits our square peg.

Software Companies get on the wagon ! Cross port your apps and let the licenses work across all a persons phone. Write smarter sync software that syncs across phones, not just Desktop to Phone.

Turn your phone collection into the analogy of your watch collection (or for the women, their Jewelry box). Going out for the night on a hot date ? Bike riding ? The Beach ? or the Office ?

Pick the right phone for the occasion.

Sell to us oh phone companies we have money to burn !


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed and especially since my wife hates her phone. If this were easy, I'd start bring home phones for her to try until she found one she liked. Kind of like her current practice of bringing clothes home to try on with other outfits until she finds the right combination. Women, clothes, phones...........all end up as fashion decisions

C Fralick

Unknown said...

This can be done today by swaping SIM cards. As long as the phones are from the same carrier and not locked.

But thats not a tenable solution for the masses. SIM cards are fragil and usually difficult to take out and put in, I dont recommend swaping them frequently. Plus the whole "locked" issue is a big problem.