Handset Choice: Ease of Use Rules!

A lot of iPhones later, the industry now also has it black on white: Ease of use is the primary reason influencing the choice of a handset for users. Or so we are being told. It is not that surprising, is it? Here's the top answers users gave on what they look at when buying a new phone. It is taken from 1,500 interviews that were conducted for Nuance, a top sponsor of MEX (which is, you guessed it, a conference on Mobile User Experience).

So any vested interests aside, here's the top results:
  1. Ease of use (69.0%)
  2. Screen Size (61.4%)
  3. Coolness Factor (61.1%)
  4. Camera (60.8%)
  5. Range of Accessories (58.4%)
  6. Keyboard (58.1%)
  7. Battery Life (56.6%)
  8. Music Playback (50.9%)

Qualcomm slowly admitting defeat?

I know this is a contentious headline but one could interpret the news that Qualcomm is opening its very own app store (which is probably the oldest one!) to any device on any platform on any carrier this way. The provider will open its Plaza service to non-BREW devices (BREW is proprietary to Qualcomm). This could be seen as an admission of defeat in the platform war, which it appears to be losing against GSM platforms.

However, I plead to see the bright side of this: it is a remarkable move to highlight and capitalize on a piece in its arsenal that has long been industry-leading: Qualcomm has long been offering merchandising solutions that do not have to shy away of the cutting-edge app stores of today. The new Plaza Retail will now bring to Java, BREW, Blackberry and Flash (Android , Windows Mobile, Palm, Symbian and Linux Mobile are apparently to follow) what BREW users have had for a while: a storefront, great device integration and flexible billing (micro-billing, subscriptions, etc). It also allows personalization and a recommendation engine (courtesy of last year's acquisition of Xiam Technologies). And it is a very proven platform that has showed its worth on many a bill to developers (the content-lock is much better than Apples; which may anger some users but will be welcomed by developers) This is quite cool!