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‘Does your phone do numbers?’

I am out amongst the Great Unwashed today. Fascinating. It’s always good to get out in the provinces and check out the reality of mobile use in today’s society.

I just sat down next to an old Australian couple surrounded by luggage bearing the LHR tags. They’d obviously just arrived into the country.

They were trying to text their son to tell them what train they were on.

As i arrived in the carriage, the wife turned to her husband asking, ‘Does your phone do numbers?’

‘Nope!’ he replied, staring with some effort at his Nokia 3330, willing it to make sense.

‘Mine has never done numbers,’ she said, sticking her handset back in her handbag whilst she watched her husband struggle.

In the end, after about 15 minutes, he completed the text by writing out ‘twelve fifty five’ in long words.

‘We’ll have got there before you send that!’ exclaimed the wife.

Ah dear. I smiled.

Just when you think that the mobile industry is moving forward, you come across an experience like this. Granted, the couple were old. But until the industry gets simpler, better and quicker at adapting to users’ needs (rather than them having to bend around it), there’s going to be a constant revenue cap. This couple could well afford to spend a good amount of cash on mobile communications. Indeed, they were most probably roaming as I think their Nokia was a Vodafone Australia or NZ branded one. They clearly weren’t thinking twice about the cost of sending an international text message. Make it simple and they’d have paid more and their ARPU would have crept up even more….

Ah well…

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

11 replies on “‘Does your phone do numbers?’”

Er, I hope you used some of your charm and showed them how to 'do numbers' – it's too painful to think they were having to write out the numbers…

I read this round about the same time I read this bonkers rubbish http://venturebeat.com/2008/07/02/google-talk-c…. It really demonstrates the disconnect between the geeks and the normobs. As you say, the difficulty of sending and the price wasn't an issue because of the value they placed on that message getting to the recipient.

Normobs out there and they outnumber us greatly. We ignore that fact at our peril.

I read this round about the same time I read this bonkers rubbish http://venturebeat.com/2008/07/02/google-talk-c…. It really demonstrates the disconnect between the geeks and the normobs. As you say, the difficulty of sending and the price wasn't an issue because of the value they placed on that message getting to the recipient.

Normobs out there and they outnumber us greatly. We ignore that fact at our peril.

Er, I hope you used some of your charm and showed them how to 'do numbers' – it's too painful to think they were having to write out the numbers…

I read this round about the same time I read this bonkers rubbish http://venturebeat.com/2008/07/02/google-talk-c…. It really demonstrates the disconnect between the geeks and the normobs. As you say, the difficulty of sending and the price wasn't an issue because of the value they placed on that message getting to the recipient.

Normobs out there and they outnumber us greatly. We ignore that fact at our peril.

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