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Thursday, September 11, 2008

How many people use PC in conjunction with their phones?

A few seemingly-unrelated things have occurred over the last few days, but have a common theme:

- I've uploaded some new pictures from my personal voice handset, to email to friends & put on the web
- I've been trying out Vodafone's FaceBook SMS plug-in
- I've had an update from NewBay about its operator-centric phone backup and social network platform
- I've topped up my 3 UK prepay SIM and paid for 2 months' flatrate mobile Internet access

What links them? They all involve using a PC together with a phone. Either locally connected via USB / Bluetooth, or by using a browser to access some sort of operator portal linked to your account.

It's made me wonder what proportion of users ever actually do something similar?

I remember several years ago talking to the guys at Palm, and they reckoned that most of their users synced via the handset cradle, but that that was unusual amongst even smartphone users at the time.

Today, I'd guess the situation is even more polarised with iPhone users linking to iTunes , but a long long tail of low-end handset users never even contemplating using both devices together. I suspect far more people "connect" by swapping out memory cards for sideloading, rather than installing PC-connection software or using operator portals.

Personally, I've stopped putting client software for phones on my PCs, as I switch phones fairly regularly and don't want loads of flaky OEM apps cluttering up my computer and maybe conflicting. I haven't even hooked up the new Palm Treo Pro which I'm playing with at the moment.

But on the other hand, I am using more web-type interfaces to get a window into my "mobile world". But I perceive that being inside the industry, I'm probably unusual in this - I'm not aware that friends or family do the same.

If anyone's got any hard stats on this phenomenon, I'd be fascinated, as done well, I think it adds a lot to both mobile & PC/Internet experience.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Hi Dean,

As an avid cell phone collector, I’ve had lots of chances to play with handsets of all sorts. Most of them being multimedia phones or smartphones. I would always load songs or movies on my phone to keep me entertained on the train ride to and from work. In most cases, I would perform the transfers directly with my USB cable. But I’ve found that this is often a deathly slow process. To give you more perspective, I have specific examples. I remember playing around with my buddy’s Samsung Instinct and LG Dare phones. Transferring the Incredible Hulk took 40 mins and 20 mins respectively. I would hate to wait that long! I’ll miss my train… twice! Anyway, everyone around me these days seem to have Blackberry’s so I got curious and tried to do the same test with my co-workers new Blackberry Bold. Same movie, downloaded in 2 minutes. I was shocked. How is that possible?? That is a significant difference if you ask me. It must be something with the Blackberry’s internal architecture. I’m curious as to what this might be. But anyway, just thought I’d give you some of my experiences as I do use my cell phone in conjunction with my PC a lot.