Here’s something I learned last week from a small discussion we had right before a conference call: there are no more “features” when it comes to mobile phones anymore – there are only “applications”.
Call it the new web, call it web3.0, call it just apps; there’s just no more need for features in smartphones.
How did we get to that in our chat? One of the people in the room asked “You’ve got an HTC EVO? What can it do? Does it support navigation?”. The result – people looked at him incredulously, saying “Hey, that’s not a feature – there’s an app for that!”.
And it continued.
One of my colleagues with an iPhone stood next to the HTC EVO guy, exchanging apps. Showing one another more cool stuff. The HTC guy bragged about a GPS app that shows where all the satellites are, how you are connected to them, finding the “true north” as opposed to the magnetic north. The iPhone guy searched the app store and installed a similar app. Then the iPhone guy went to show the apps he uses for his guitar sessions with his band – lo and behold, the HTC EVO dude had similar apps already.
We ended up comparing services, but we are actually showing off apps: Google Navigation in the US versus our own Waze service in Israel (both available on most smartphones these days).
So you see, when it comes to smartphones, there’s no need features any more – just solid hardware from a company that is aggressive with its OS version updates. The rest will follow.