While smart phones like iPhone and Blackberry get the popular headlines, most Americans still use a basic cell phone – but that is changing. There are several reasons many users have stayed with the basic phone; no reason to change, price (devices and plans), and no desire to learn a new device that looks a lot more complex. But, as competition for the next best phone increases at a feverish pace, the devices and the plans are also becoming more cost effective, which is great news for the customer. Together with growing apps markets that add fun and useful features to these smart devices, basic cell phones are fast becoming a memory.
Smart phones are basically an integration of a mobile phone and a handheld computer. When some of the first PDA (personal digital assistant) devices came out over a decade ago, some of them had applications which allowed them to be used as cell phones. These units have developed over time and have now morphed into the current day smart devices.
Apple currently leads the market with the iPhone and apps (iTunes) by a large margin. The number of apps available for download in iTunes is about 300,000, compared to somewhere around 7,000 for RIM’s BlackBerry. The most popular app downloads are games at 61%, followed by weather at 55%. Even if you don’t want to play a game, most smart phones come with standard software that provides instant access to maps, internet search engines, clocks, cameras, calculators, and email connection, hence more reasons to see why smart phones are eclipsing the basic phone.
If you want a phone that does more than make a call you are in luck. Scroll through the search button on your phone and you’ll get a long list of categories to fulfill your every app wish; Social, Business, News, Utilities, Entertainment, Music, Games, Family, Shopping and Travel, to name a few. Within each category are hundreds of apps available for free or for a very small fee. Keep in mind however, that many of these apps may not, or will not, be compatible with future smart phone models or operating systems. If it’s a free app, it isn’t a big deal, but for those apps that cost up to $25.00 it could add up fast.
lg store So, do you really need a smart phone? Perhaps the question is better phrased as ‘Do you really want a smart phone?’ If the prices and the plans come down into line with your basic cell phone, the answer could well be clear, and by the looks of it, that is the way we are headed. Herald competition and watch out for all the extra costs. You could end up with a useful pocket tool and make calls at the same time!