Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Death of the 'Smart Phone'

I recently visited a wireless store to see what was available for a basic phone. Nothing special, just talk and text. What do you think I found there?

When signing up for a 3 year plan, basic phones are available for $0. The sales guy behind the counter says he doesn't sell many of those. Most spend at least $50 for a more featured phone.

Without spending hundreds of dollars for an iPhone or a Blackberry Storm, a mere $50 spent with a new plan gets a pretty good phone.

As an example, the LG Rumour 2 is a 3G network phone, with talk, text, bluetooth capability, a colour screen, a 1.3 Megapixel camera with 2x digital zoom, MMS (multimedia message) capability, a slide-out full Qwerty keyboard, an MP3 player with headphone jack, USB-to-computer sync capability, and basic clock, alarm clock, organizer and calculator functions. Oh, plus also email capability.

While not as fully featured as a more expensive phone, this phone packs a pretty good punch for the average consumer. Just a few years ago, this phone would have been considered top-of-the-line; a smart phone from 2007.

Following this trend, we can expect a basic $50 phone two years from now to look a lot like the current top offerings from Blackberry or Apple. Essentially, ALL phones will be smart phones.

The term 'Smart Phone' will wither and die, as a moniker for differentiating certain attributes on phones will no longer be required.