Mobile phones – does size matter?

26Apr06

Mobile phones. At first large and comfortable, brick-like. Then suddenly as in everything else, small was beautiful – mobile phones got smaller and slicker. And now, I find mobile phones, especially higher end versions becoming large again. People want to pay for a phone that looks ugly and is unwiedly to carry around – and I wonder if most such mobile phone owners even know of or use other than basic applications on their phone…?

This interesting article from informationweek says – people are turning to mobile phones for Internet use more quickly than they’re adopting laptops for the same purpose in many parts of the world – large for a phone but very small and compact for a personal computer. [link through putting people first]

Welcome to mobile-phones-meet-personal-computers…

But coming back to my initial thought, do people actually use the enhanced features or applications that they pay a premium for? I was reading about the “paradox of enhancement” in a paper titled The Upgraded Digital Divide: Are We Developing New Technologies Faster than Consumers Can Use Them?When people are considering buying next-generation products, they find the bells and whistles attractive and decide to make the purchase, but when they acquire the products, they find the complexity of the new features overwhelming and end up using only the products’ basic features.

In other words, people may buy a higher end version of a product, fascinated by the “add-ons” – they may actually serve as a status symbol (the class diferentiator, so to say), but with the product in their hands, may not aware of all these extras, or find them relevant at all. And this sometimes leads to what has been called ‘technology dissonance’ – what did I pay for? I wonder if this is happening with mobile phones too…

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