by Sumaa Tekur
My mobile handset has served me well for over a year now. But when a nagging software issue prevented me from downloading new apps and the phone protested by hanging up each time I pushed it to perform, I was forced to walk into a service centre. There, my phone was whisked away into a back room resembling a hospital operation theatre. Half an hour later, they told me I need to back up my data, and that they had no provision to do that. Two more trips to the service centre and three hours later, the phone came back to me, still not in complete top-notch working condition.
The tiresome service experience set me thinking: Do I really need such a smart phone? How smart is it, really, if it can’t repair itself? A friend laughed at my misadventure and said: “I’ve been thinking of getting a jazzy phone. But I don’t need it, you know. I can do calls, music and Facebook on this basic phone — serves the purpose.”
He might just be airing the popular sentiment — slow and guarded — when it comes to adopting new technology, if we go by a recent Nielsen study. The study says only one in five mobile-phone users in urban India will adopt 3G in the short term. It will take at least 8 to 10 years before a majority of mobile users are on the 3G plan. Though awareness of 3G is high, consumers display an inherent cautiousness toward embracing the technology. Only the creation of a truly compelling user experience through service and handset upgrades can lure the consumer. They need to get past the question, Do I really need this?