With the year drawing to a close I thought I’d check in with my 14 year old son, George and ask him what he’s looking for from the mobile industry in 2009. George is more than a Normob and takes a keen interest in technology and what it can do for him. His contract with 3 (well, my contract!) is due to expire early in the New Year so he’ll be in the market for something new and shiny.
George currently has a Nokia 6120 which has served him well but his next phone needs to do more. If money was no object it would be an iPhone but on a cheapish contract that’s a non-starter. So it will be the best phone he can find on a £15(ish) a month contract with a bundle of 200(ish) minutes and 600(ish) SMS. His next handset will need to deliver improved usability; maybe a touch screen user interface and a slider form factor. It will also need to be robust because his handsets take a bit of a battering; his 6120 has done well to survive the last 15 months! He’s also looking for a better camera because the 2MP camera on the 6120 is a bit limited for videoing his skateboarding antics. Windows Live Messenger is a must because it’s a key part of a teenager’s contact strategy. I was interested to know how important brand is and George is certainly not driven by a desire to have a handset from a particular manufacturer. So, next time Nokia will be competing with Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG and the rest!
George’s current music device of choice is his iPod Touch. He’s intrigued by the ability to use it as a phone via Truphone; however, ever practical, he pointed out that if he already has a mobile with a decent minutes bundle, does it really add much value and if he’s at home he can just use the home phone!
I was also interested to understand if George felt a particular loyalty to 3 but in fact it’s quite the contrary. 3’s flaky in-building coverage here means that there’s a high probability he will switch networks. My advice to him will be that if he can get a good deal on price then Vodafone is his best choice for coverage here.
So come February, George will be out there checking the market and looking for a deal. Having witnessed him hunting down the right BMX bike, the best skateboard, a deal on an Xbox 360 and many others; he will be giving every operator a very thorough analysis!
Jonathan’s also at Sevendotzero.