These two BBC stories are a pretty interesting read, especially in tandem:

Smartphones drive mobile markets
“There is no doubt that 2008 was the year of the smartphone… The last 12 months has seen the launch of iconic devices such as the iPhone 3G, Google G1, Blackberry Storm and Nokia N97. ”

New phone features ‘baffle users’
“The complexity of modern mobile phones is leaving users frustrated and angry, research suggests… Some 61% of those interviewed in the UK and US said setting up a new handset is as challenging as moving bank accounts… Compiled by mobile firm Mformation, the survey found 85% of users reporting they were frustrated by the difficulty of getting a new phone up and working. “

These stories show again the gap between what consumers want and what tech is delivering. More is not always better — simpler is king.

It reminds me of the difference of setting up an email account in (Mac Mail) or Microsoft’s Outlook. In both apps you can manually add all your smtp, pop settings etc. to set up your email account and if you’re even a little tech savvy you should have no problem. however, makes it that little bit easier for the majority of users. With you can just supply your email provider (e.g. gmail, yahoo, etc.) and password and if it is a known email address, it will automatically set that up for you. Mac users can test how easy this is for themselves by going to preferences, adding an account and then adding a gmail account. Much simpler for people that don’t want to spend hours figuring out what their smtp port is or whether or not they have to use SSL.

I know a lot of people use Apple as an example. I usually don’t, but this is definitely an area that we can all emulate.

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