My Mobile Device History

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

My Mobile Device History

JM blog old mobile devices picture.jpg

As some of you readers know, I have been an avid Blackberry user for some time. That time has now past.  I am an equal opportunity device person, and have used Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry devices.  It was time for a new one.

I am now an iPhone user. I have an iPad and don’t really like it, because I don’t like typing on it.   But I got an iPhone anyway. Why?  Because with the touch screen now a standard, all the smartphones now are the same with respect to typing.   There is no keyboard and they have the keys that pop up as part of the screen.  With that in mind, the differentiator to me was my iTunes. Now, I can just use my iTunes via my iPhone instead of carrying around my iPod.  I didn’t want to do it, but I did.  Now my iPod has a permanent place in my car.

Here is a picture of my mobile devices from the past 20 years.  I found them the other day when I was putting my Blackberry away. Maybe I was thinking at my funeral they’d take out these old devices and put them on the table for people to laugh at.  It’s interesting seeing them all together.

The first thing I noticed was there aren’t that many of them. I tend to use them for many years and definitely get my money’s worth.  My first one was a Motorola.  Back then, it was kind of a status symbol.  I used it quite a bit in the U.S., as I was travelling to California quite a bit.  But I spent quite some time saying, “Hello, hello can you hear me?”   Still, it saved me time, especially when in airports, so it was worth it.

The next device is the Nokia, from their glory years.  The trend was for devices to get small, small, small.   Small enough to fit into your pocket.  Look how small that one is!  The devices still offered no video back then, just talking and texting.  This was the eve of true value-added services.  During this era, texting was a key money-making value added service.  And remember “welcome messages?” When I landed in Europe I’d get “To Dial the US hit +1,” since us moronic Americans didn’t understand the concept of a country code and those European operators figured that out pretty quickly.  Grab those roaming charges, so tell the Americans how to call home!

I noticed that the screens started to get bigger, too. They need to be larger to fit all those text messages in.  And, oh yeah, as 3G enters the picture, we start to see the devices getting bigger, too.  We need bigger screens, but also need better batteries!  My Blackberry and the “Zoom” feature was cool, since I could actually READ the url page with it.  Now, tablets have relatively gigantic screens.  I see people in airports now, holding the tablets up to their ears as they Skype back home going, “Hello, hello can you hear me?” It’s bizarre and kind of full circle.

What is your mobile device history? Is there a device you wish you never discarded? One you wish you never bought?

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