Oct 9, 2007

First Device : Must-Read Editorial

The interesting part about RSS is that you can sometimes subscribe to sites you never knew about, just because they exist in the channel support of your reader and have a title that seems interesting. Most of the time, you don't even know what to expect so you give the feed a couple of reads then decide to dump it or keep it. When I purchased my Qtek, I was mostly annoyed by the fact that I didn't know any blogs / sites in the WM domain, yet needed to be informed and kept up-to-date, so my unique solution was RSS channels.

That's how I got to WMExperts. What I really love about this site are the very-well written editorials, one of which grabbed my attention today. It's called "The First Device". In this writing, Dieter Bohn explains the concept of the first device:
That, in a nutshell, is that the "First Device" is: your go-to gadget that you grab first when you want to "do something." That "something" is different for everybody : a quick search, YouTube, SMS, getting directions, checking your To Do list, jotting down a quick note ... these days it could be pretty much anything.

That is a very interesting concept indeed, he also continues to state that the First Device isn't about speed and immediacy, but also about how well it does execute the job we need it to do. There's also some iPhone luv 'n hate, together with a comparison with WM devices and a nice story about coffee and spoons. Definitely worth reading.

But the idea that blinked in my head was this one:
It's not enough to make a Smartphone that's able to do anything. What a Smartphone needs to do is be a compelling First Device in the category that matters to you most.

The first thing that came to my mind when I read this was the N95. The N95 is able to do anything, 'eck it's able to be a console for a Wii remote! But how does it perform when it comes to the First Device concept? I haven't had one, so I can't judge. What I do know, about the Symbian platform in general, is this:
Having an iPod, a Nokia 3250, a Qtek 9100, a Toshiba laptop, every gadget has its usage when it comes to First Devicing.
1- The 3250 is an amazing phone call / sms First Device
2- The Qtek is very handy when it comes to web surfing in WiFi zones and to reading mobibooks
3- The laptop is my one solution for web surfing for more than an hour, storing photos, chatting, creating powerpoints,...
4- The iPod stays in the car for road music.
5- The 3250 remains my first choice when it comes to taking a song with me instantly: turn BT on and send, while the iPod takes years of turning iTunes on, adding the song to the library, getting the connection cable, sync'ing, removing
6- The 3250 and the Qtek share the spots for First Device medical utility: 3250 is a good fast concise medical information, Qtek with skyscape apps is an amazing in-depth info provider
7- They also do share the spot for gaming utility because both have different games installed on.

I think that Dietler is right-on with his concept. I don't want my 3250 to do everything, because it can't. Even if it had GPS and WiFi like the N95 and QWERTY like the E61i/E90, it still won't be able to run Skyscape's medical apps, provide me with an instant way to navigate through mobipocket books, connect instantly with my laptop, give me a basic free Word/Excel editor or have room for my >40GB music collection. So it won't replace neither my iPod nor my WM. Yet I love it, like it is, for what it does, because it does it well and quickly.

What do you think? Is there any wisdom behind these words? Do you believe a device can be a top-seller just because it's a First-Device in one specific area? And do you think the iPhone falls into that category, which partly explains its huge success? And what appeals to you more: a good First-Device at only a couple of things, or a joker device able to do everything but not as well as the stand-alone gadgets it's meant to replace?

1 comment:

  1. :blush:

    I'll be honest, I try to cram as many "first device" features as I can into my phones. I wrote the article basically for the same reasons you mentioned above - sometimes you have to stop forcing a device into doing something it's just plain not good at. It's tough for a smartphone/convergence nerd like me to admit, but there it is.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.