Posts Tagged ‘Experience Phone’
Until the day we lay mobile phones to rest and have Internet access directly via our brains as in Geoff Ryman’s Air, we need to occasionally update our mobile device taxonomy.
Over the last several years, the mobile industry has labeled any phone with features considered advanced at the time of its release under the umbrella of “Smart Phone.” There have been many articles stating the approaching market saturation of this class of devices. Based on our own aggregate Mobile Web usage analytics, we see a 70% Smart Phone saturation in the US alone. It is becoming increasingly apparent to us that the label is becoming less and less important in a world where most new phones are “Smart Phones” or better. As we see it, there is an awkwardness with this “or better” category. It makes no sense to casually toss this new breed of devices that is redefining our relationship with entertainment, friends, and how we interact with the world around us into the same category that never mustered a fraction of the same transformative potential. We hope you agree.
At PercentMobile, we define this new breed of devices as Experience Phones.
What is an Experience Phone?
Experience Phones share several characteristics with Smart Phones: High bandwidth, WiFi capable, High quality camera, Push email, Video and music playback, and the like. The definition of a device as an Experience Phone is not intended to be rigid. Rather, we hope that by grouping features that resonate well with the majority of people in the industry, we can free ourselves to think beyond the outdated term of “Smart Phone.”
What singles out Experience Phones from Smart Phones is a set of features that lay the foundation for richer user experiences:
Intuitive Gesture Based User Interfaces.
Experience phones go beyond the first generation of touch-based interfaces that required the user to actually press the screen and support subtle finger based touch gestures to interact with user interface components. Experience Phones employ highly accurate capacitive touch screens and are powered by high speed mobile chipset’s.
Integrated Full Web Browsing Capabilities.
Mobile application discovery and delivery has moved from being a novelty to an imperative feature. Application delivery on Symbian and Windows Mobile Smart Phones was not centralized enough and was too complicated to understand for the average user. Conversely, Experience Phones make it easy to enhance your device with 3rd party applications and widgets using centralized application stores with a clear installation process, helping to make what was once a rare activity into a consumer-friendly procedure.
Experience Phones have a wide range of sensors that allow the device to determine the physical context of the user. Compasses, GPS, RFID Readers, Ambient Light Sensors, Proximity Sensors and 3-Axis Accelerometers are all commonplace.
Experience Phones need to be better than just the sum of their pieces. Hardware, software, UI and network services must integrate clearly and easily so that the user is able to focus solely on the task at hand. When any of the comprising pieces are lacking, the overall experience suffers and the user is thrown back to having to “figure things out”. An Experience Phone has to “just work right”.
What Devices are Experience Phones?
Apple disrupted the status quo in 2007 when it launched the iPhone — the first device that meets our definition of an Experience Phone. This placed intense pressure on existing mobile phone manufacturers to respond or be left behind. That response was mostly taken in the form of a new class of devices that run Google’s Android OS. In the first 3 months of 2010, we have seen Android usage increase steadily with the release of 19 new phones across several manufacturers, while other contenders have emerged or been announced such as Windows Mobile 7, MeeGo and the first bada OS device.
In 2010, we are witnessing the rise of the Experience Phone!
Experience Phone and Experience Phone Logo by PercentMobile.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.