How important is it, as a CIO, to have a fashion-accessory phone? What about if said phone is sexy – unlike some of the more boring models?
Windows Mobile is boring. According to Mikael Nerde, head of the accessory and developer program for Sony Ericsson, “Win Mobile has so many great functions, but it just looks really, really boring.”
Efficient and well-known, but boring nonetheless. Just look at how Apple represents Windows in the Mac commercials – pocket-protector clad, bumbling, nervous Windows up against a younger, more confident Mac.
What is the Apple appeal? Apple showed the world it’s entirely possible to be smart and sexy with their “sexed up smartphone”—the iPhone. What makes the iPhone such a hit? A Handango Inc.- sponsored panel discussion decided it’s a “mixture of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ marketing ‘mojo,’ the success of its App Store, integrated functionality and more.”
Smart, sexy and functional? Sounds great. But is sexiness necessary for those using their phone primarily for business purposes?
Well, for the mobile competitors, sexiness is necessary. That is, if they want to compete with the “one to beat” iPhone in the mobile world.
Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) introduced a new member to the BlackBerry family – the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220. Available later in the year, the “not just for business users” model is smaller, more stylish and still retains the features you would expect in a BlackBerry.
Sprint Nextel Corp. is also releasing new phones later this year. Three of the five new consumer phones will have a new user interface called Sprint One Click. One Click is similar to Apple’s carousel functionality; it allows users to drop the icons of commonly-used applications on their home screen for one-click access.
OK so Win Mobile is boring and Apple is sexy – but do CIOs really care about how sexy their mobile device is? I don’t know, you tell me.
All in all, it seems mobile phones are bringing sexy back – and using the iPhone as a benchmark.