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Device complexity is killing normob upgrades

For the technological “geeks” out there, using a mobile is as simple as opening the front door. There’s no thought, no confusion, and for the most part complete understanding of what it is that you’re doing.

Some people, as I very well know, are not blessed with this kindred ability to use anything that has buttons. I have my Grandparents, a perfect example of the “older less inclined”, my Mum, the “not so old inclined”, and then sadly, even people who are about my age of seventeen or slightly older or younger, who are completely bamboozled by their mobile phone.

Now, it’s not surprising; in recent years or months, we’ve become inundated with technological advances, or a numerous collection of applications and abilities that our mobiles can now perform. Long gone are the days of playing “Snake” on your 3310, and thinking you were the bee’s-knees… We have the internet now!

But, what is the point in all of this, if what I read this week is in by any means shape or form, even remotely true.

Apparently, a survey conducted in both the UK and the USA has found that out of those questioned, some 45% prevented themselves from upgrading their phones due to “set-up issues”.

Following that, more surprising is that 61% of those questioned, had given up using Applications altogether because it was too complicated, and problems couldn’t be solved.

This is a very important aspect of any technological industry to bear in mind. On MIR we often to refer to people as “normobs”, in fact, I fall under that category. For the vast majority of people who fall under that category, who like those questioned have become completely perplexed at that ringing device that they haul around with them? How many of them are actually aware of the features that said mobile has, or doesn’t have?

More importantly, how is the industry going to change this? How are those like my Mum, the Grannies, or even my friends (who I try to educate in the ways of the Mobile Phone as much as possible), and the rest of them; what is going to happen to them?

To look at this logically, what is the point in having any technological advances when figures, which are pretty high, suggest that even in this booming age of computers, internet, socialising, gadgetry, and creativity, there’s an actual fear or distaste to moving forward because they simple cannot comprehend their phone.

Now as much as I would like to think we could “educate the masses” by introducing “how to use your mobile” into the curriculum, or even have someone standing in the Carphone Warehouse or Phones4U, who will happily guide through every detail of your beloved new buy… I just don’t see this happening.

Even so, whatever plan that tries to fix this obviously quite crucial problem in the market, I hope that it works!

Samantha.
samantha@mobileindustryreview.com

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