How Smartphones Have Personalities

Today, I stopped by my local Verizon Wireless store to check out the Motorola Droid.  I will tell you that it looks better on paper and in pictures than it does in real life. 

I then looked at the Blackberry Storm2 for comparison.  While it looks really cool, it sings to a different tune that many people may not like.

Then I realized that the three major Smartphone players really have personalities all their own.  Here they are in no particular order:

Droid – A 1980's Apple user that just can't let go of classic boxy styling and clunky interfaces.

When you pick it up and look at it looks pretty cool.  The square edges are a little different, but cool.  The plastic is matte finish and looks cheap. Then you slide the keyboard (with actual keys) down and see phillips head screws holding everything together.  After clicking, sliding and keying you are left with the impression that this thing is stuck in the 1980's.  Boxy, clunky and keys are so 1980's.

Storm2 – Like an Bon Jovi impersonator that really likes to sing the Opera.  One genre trying to look like another.

Made by Blackberry.  Looks like an iPhone. The Blackberry OS is very sophisticated and admired by corporate professionals that I will say stereotypically enjoy the Opera. I might be dating myself here, but the iPhone likes to let loose a bit to the tune of something like Bon Jovi.  Add in the strange touch screen technology and it just doesn't come together as a seemless package.  It just feels like Bon Jovi is singing Opera.

iPhone – The king of the hill whose personality does it all well. It is not perfect, but well enough that no one comes close to shaking the throne.

The iPhone has been around for a few years and is growing in popularity.  It does everything well enough that no one else can come close to it in execution.

This was a rather unexpected pattern that I came across.  The concept of each phone having its own personality is nothing new.  Manufacturer's design their products around buyer personas all the time. 

However, I really can't help but wonder what Verizon and Motorola were thinking when they designed a 1980's clunky PDA and threw a clunky OS it it.  I am sure it will appeal to those that wouldn't mind being caught driving a Volvo 240… after all it is about features and functionality more than coolness and refinement.

Is there a Droid in your future?  What do you all think? 

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