Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What is the Color of Your iPhone?

Every morning when I put the watch on my left arm, I ask myself the same question: Do I need to continue wearing a watch when I always look at my blackberry to check the time?

I have tried not to wear a watch to go to work but the next day before I leave my bedroom I put it back. Why? One answer is because of a habit of wearing a watch which of course is true, but the other answer is because I like my watch. My watch has a personal meaning.

The same is happening with mobile phones. For many of people the mobile device is a symbol of personal freedom and accessibility to value-added services. And, when I think about the time my daughter and I spent selecting the color and the style of our blackberries I go as far as saying that the mobile device has become a Personal Statement.

Technical innovations are transforming consumer behaviors, with the mobile phone being by far the most ubiquitous personal technology. The mass adoption of a mobile phone has far outpaced the adoption of the PCs. And, while there are parallels between adapting to the rise of the mobile channel and the advent of the Internet channel, this time the changes in consumer use and adoption are happening faster pushing innovation forward.

Coincidentally, the other technology that I can think about it that has achieved this astronomical level of consumer adoption is the watch. A watch is very easy to use, serves an important purpose, and it is a personal statement. A good watch is also a “statement of luxury”, just ask this question to people who pay substantial amount of money for a Rolex or Patek Philippe.

The mass adoption of mobile devices is connected the 2X2 matrix of four human-need drivers of Consumerization of Emerging Technologies: Social, Personal, Mobility & Convenience, and Security.

For example, let’s talk about Security and the mobile phone. First, many of the security protection solutions for strong authentication use out band authentication. In other words, the mobile phone is used as an alternative channel for consumers to get a secret PIN. But also think about how do you feel when your children are away from home or driving a car if they just got their driver license and you know they carry a phone? What a sense of security!

In the world of personal mobile devices, carrying an iPhone is personal statement about style and usability. Personally, I like the look of the iPhone and the same day when the iPhone first became available one of our developers had my approval to get one so we could play with it. Or in other words, so we could “test the functionality of the new device.” And how many different apps you can add now to your iPhone - it 's amazing!

The usability and integration with the native applications represent the future of convergence between PC and mobile browsers and the practicality of the touch screen. But regardless of how much I like the iPhone, I continue to use a blackberry for three main reasons:

1) I can’t access my corporate email through the iPhone
2) I have problems using the touchtone screen, maybe my fingers are too wide
3) I can’t choose a color that goes with my personality

Black or Silver? Both are very elegant colors but think about it, if the mobile device is a Personal Statement people want to be able to choose a color for their iPhone according to their personality.

Wait until Steve Jobs realizes that iPhone sales could increase even more if the devices come in different colors. Hope someone from Apple is reading my blog…

So what is next? How about being able to buy a watch with your phone--and no, I’m not talking about trading your phone for a watch; I’m talking about mobile payments like you can do in Japan!

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Ilie...Interesting post. Couple things came to mind:

1) My daughter recently moved from her teenage pink phone to a more mature celadon green. This is presumably a signpost of maturity on her way to the corporate silver or black.

2) There is currently a TV commercial that undermined the security factor with a cell phone; they demonstrated that in a crash, the thing flew into the back, unreachable by the injured. Why had it never occurred to me that it wouldn't stay sitting in my console when I run into something? Duh.