Apps and Numbers

I read, with interest, this article from Mashable yesterday and couldn’t help but wonder how a new-comer to the portable phone business could ever get traction.

It was an interesting take on the big numbers. I’ve never really considered the size of the numbers as a determination as to whether or not I prefer a platform. The truth is that I may use a dozen or so apps regularly and the rest are there as a result of curiosity.  I’m certainly nowhere near exhausting the 100,000 applications that are available for my current Android phone.  (which I really like, by the way)

I did look at a Windows phone the other day at the mall and I also really liked what I saw. it was a Samsung Focus.  It felt nice in the hand and had a really nice usable screen.  I especially liked the  Windows 7 interface a great deal as I took it for a spin while my daughter was doing her business.  The problem with this area of technology, though, is that it’s the cellular vendors that lock you into contracts with your existing device. It’s punitive to change even if a better product comes along.

How is a new device to get the traction then?  When you’re late to the party, you can make your grand entrance, but then everyone else goes back to doing what they were doing.

It seems to me that Microsoft or Samsung would get better traction if they would buy out existing contracts so that we could move to their platform. Otherwise, it’s just too financially painful to do. And, after two or three years learning the ins and outs of your current iPhone or Android device, you’ll be a customer that’s proficient with your platform. Why would you even consider changing?

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