As the cell phone industry continues to make gargantuan strides in technology, a struggle for the cell phone providers and high tech companies emerges: how to market these smart phones to every day consumers.
It's never been a problem appealing to the gadgeteers, CEOs, business executives and high-tech junkies. As a matter of fact, these users make up as much as 15% of the entire cell phone user population. However, any product that appeals to only 15% of a population is seriously lacking in the mass appeal that companies rely upon to make up some serious revenue.
So why are consumers turned off by these smart phones? These high tech phones allow the user to check e-mail, IM, work on spreadsheets, develop slideshows, locate places via GPS, watch movies, TV shows and music videos. Additionally, smart phones also have all the conventional appeals of a cell phone, including placing and receiving calls, allowing for personalization via ring tones, and text messaging. With all these additional features, why wouldn't this appeal to the masses?
One reason is the possibility of too many features. Unless the consumer is into the workings of a gadget, or a workaholic, most people prefer not to be working on spreadsheets and slideshow presentations outside of the office. As such, there is no need to pay scores extra for these features.
Another possibility is the inability to use the features. For every one individual who considers Excel or Powerpoint or SMS chat to be mainstream and everyday, there are potentionally dozens of others who have no idea what these features are, nevertheless how to use them. These are the same consumers who prefer to keep their phones strictly s phones: a device for placing and receiving phone calls.
Ultimately, it is the burden of the companies who are trying to sell the cells to convince the mainstream that smart phones are the wave of the future. While this is no small task, with the backing of millions of marketing dollars, it's important to remember that these are the same companies that convinced the masses that cell phones (which were also approached with the same non-necessary disdain 20 years ago) were absolutely important, and now has 180 million users owning a cell phone.