It’s easy to forget that we smartphone-loving geeks are very much in the minority. Oh how we sniggered when the iPhone 5 failed to materialise last October, and instead Apple launched the iPhone 4S – a slightly enhanced iPhone 4 in an identical shell. But, as evidenced by ludicrous sales figures, Joe and Jane Average didn’t care. A new iPhone is a new iPhone.
I’ve had several conversations recently that have reinforced the notion that most people don’t have a freakin’ clue when it comes to phones. It’s really quite worrying.
Let’s take my mum, for starters. For my mum, composing or reading a text message is a military operation that necessitates sitting down, putting on her reading glasses and holding her phone at arm’s length. It’s truly a sight to behold.
In an effort to feign an interest in my work (bless), my mum once asked: “What’s a BlackBerry? Is that a type of iPhone?” Tremendous.
She also recently asked how much an iPad was, as it’s my dad’s birthday soon and he’d expressed an interest. ‘That’s quite an extravagant gift,’ I thought, but when I told my mum she should expect to pay around £400, she laughed and said: “Maybe I’ll just get him a Glen Campbell CD.” Yeah, I reckon you’d be hard pushed to find an iPad for £14.99.
One particular trend I’ve come across recently is people who don’t know what phone they have. Seriously. For us nerds, choosing a new phone is a colossal decision with a number of factors that must be considered at length. For example, should I buy the HTC Sensation XE when the dual-core HTC Edge is expected at MWC next month? Will Sense 4.0 ravage my battery?
For Joe and Jane average, on the other hand, it seems like it’s often a case of simply “asking the guy in the shop”. That’s really quite worrying. I encountered one young lady recently with “a Samsung”, and I quickly identified it as a Samsung Galaxy Wave. Normally that would’ve gained 500 Respect Points in my view, but it’s not like she spent hours contemplating if bada was really the right option.
At a gathering last weekend, one girl whipped out her iPhone 4, smartly dressed in a giant rubber case that made it resemble an iPhone 3GS on steroids. “Is that an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 4S?” I asked, genuinely interested. “I… don’t know,” she replied, looking utterly bewildered. The absence of Siri indicated that it was the former.
At the same gathering, another girl revealed her “Samsung Galaxy”. Now I know what you’re thinking: was it a Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Galaxy Fit, Samsung Galaxy Mini, Samsung Galaxy Gio, Samsung Galaxy Apollo, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Y…?
Turns out it was none other than a Samsung Galaxy S II. Thankfully, her boyfriend had taken charge of Operation: New Phone. Cripes, if she’d walked into a shop and simply “asked the guy”, she could’ve walked out with a Nokia Lumia 800.
No offense, Nokia Lumia 800. I love you really.
I feel like I’m being a tad sexist here, so I’ll throw in a remark from my chum – who’s actually quite a technical chap. Following the release of the Motorola Xoom last year, he asked: “Didn’t Android release a tablet?” Er, kinda.
Well, now that I’ve alienated myself from my friends and family, does anyone else have any similar stories?