Why Do You Care What Smartphone Someone Chooses?

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Have you ever been at a bar or dinner with your friends and someone sees you with a BlackBerry and says something like “you have a BLACKBERRY?!” like you just pulled out a KKK membership card? It goes both ways too. BlackBerry and Android users are just as annoying when it comes to mocking or questioning someone’s smartphone choice. People have started to internalize their smartphone choice and its become something they have to vehemently defend to their friends and colleagues. How did we get here? Do you question any other consumer product choice? You never hear “I can’t believe you bought a GILLETTE razor?!” .

iphone versus blackberry versus android
This is how people are starting to see the smartphone debate.

There’s a wide variety of reasons why someone may choose an iPhone over a BlackBerry over an Android device. I would hazard to guess that the vast majority of people who are buying smartphones aren’t like the people who are reading this blog or any other tech blog. They’re buying smartphones for very pragmatic reasons rather than high level ideologies about the platform or particular features unique to one platform over the other.

Here are some reasons why your average person would buy a smartphone (majority of population):

The price point was within budget.
Their company is paying for it.
They’re on a family plan that allows for this smartphone.
Their wife/husband/family/friend bought it for them.
They like the color/shape/keyboard.

Here is why a tech-informed person may buy a smartphone (minority of population):

It has a unified platform and/or specific apps they enjoy.
The hardware specs are powerful.
They write applications for it or their business is involved with it.
They support the company’s vision.

From a tech blog perspective, it’s fun to have well-rounded debates about the various smatphone platforms because we’re all pretty well informed about what’s going on in the tech industry. If you’re reading about tech companies online, you have at least some reasonable perspective on the debate and should be encouraged to participate. The point is that everyone has a pretty good idea of why they bought a particular smartphone so you can stop prying at their decision like it has some relevance to your life.

The reason someone chose a particular smartphone is most likely for reasons that don’t make for interesting conversation. So next time someone starts a smartphone debate on a negative note, just ask to change the topic.

Also, TechCrunch, could you please stop posting boring articles like this?

  • Anonymous

    I wish we one day SOON would not have to worry about which smartphone someone purchase.

    As it is now, we many times need to know which phone they use in order to communicate with them… Facetime / VideoChat’s / BBM / Messages etc… ALL those apps should have been platform independent so that we could communicate between ALL brands – including Windows and OSx

  • http://twitter.com/Informatician Umar Ruhi

    Great article – love the graphic!.
    In Information Systems, we talk about factors that affect IT adoption, and one that’s been shown to be very important in mobile technology adoption is “Image” which is defined as “the degree to which use of the technology is perceived to enhance one’s status”. That’s one reason consumers are very enthusiastic about their choices as they see these devices as a reflection of themselves (as you’ve pointed out in your graphic). This is unlike many other technologies that get adopted primarily due to their usefulness.

  • http://twitter.com/Informatician Umar Ruhi

    Great article – love the graphic!.
    In Information Systems, we talk about factors that affect IT adoption, and one that’s been shown to be very important in mobile technology adoption is “Image” which is defined as “the degree to which use of the technology is perceived to enhance one’s status”. That’s one reason consumers are very enthusiastic about their choices as they see these devices as a reflection of themselves (as you’ve pointed out in your graphic). This is unlike many other technologies that get adopted primarily due to their usefulness.

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    Nice Post!!

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    The point is that everyone has a pretty good idea of why they bought a
    particular smartphone so you can stop prying at their decision like it
    has some relevance to your life.