“Turn your downtime into banking time” encouraged a radio ad for a large bank that was promoting the availability of its latest banking app. As a flip phone consumer, at least for the week, I wanted to ignore the ad completely, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how this simple sentence highlights everyday use of smartphones. Downtime is considered a bad thing, a waste, when we could be doing more productive activities.
I made my cousin speechless this past week. Literally, mid-sentence, she stopped talking and she stared incredulously at my phone before exclaiming “what the heck is that?” In all the years of carrying the latest and greatest devices I’ve never had such a reaction. Of course, these days pretty much all phones look the same and it’s really hard to carry a device that is so clearly different from the pack. The last such phone was the original iPhone. Before that, it was the RAZR that I’m now carrying.
My name is Eddie Hold, and I’m a smartphone addict. On average, I look at my smartphone more than 100 times a day with activities ranging from checking the time, to email, games, music, and more. It’s the first thing I do in the morning and pretty much the last thing I do before going to bed. One hundred or more “touches” per day is roughly once every 10 to 11 minutes while I’m awake.
Microsoft is buying Nokia’s Devices and Services business for roughly $7 billion. The deal signals the end of an era in the mobile space, with Nokia effectively now pulling out of the mobile phone business. But beyond this era-ending component, Microsoft’s acquisition signals a bold move by the software giant to accelerate its plans in the mobile space by owning, for the first time, both the software and hardware required to grow the Windows Phone operating system, which currently accounts for less than 3% of the smartphone installed base in the US.
This week Verizon and Motorola introduced their new family of Droid phones – the Mini, Ultra, and Maxx. This generation of Droid phones includes the kind of spec upgrades expected in a high-end smartphones. For the most part, all phones in the series have the same hardware such as 2GB of RAM and a 10 mega-pixel camera. Notably different, though, is the 4.3-inch screen in the Mini, the thin form factor of the Ultra (which excludes the wireless charging to reduce the thickness), and the mammoth 3,500 mAh, 48-hour battery in the Maxx.