What do you look for in a mobile?


When Sam Pitroda came to India in 1980 there were around 2 million phones for 700 million people. Having a phone connection is a privilege reserved only for the rich. His friendship with Rajiv Gandhi helped bring a fundamental change in the way people communicate. It paved way for a STD-PCO revolution to connect rural India with urban India. That was 30 years ago. That revolution he started came to fruition only today.

Indian mobile phone users

India now has 320 million phone connection for 1.2 billion people. It is adding at least 8 million subscribers per month. The mobile connections has took over land line connection by a very very wide margin. In fact land line connection is almost redundant unless you are using it for Internet also.

Phone is almost synonymous with a mobile phone. Mobile came from being ‘that thing’ to a luxury and finally to a necessity. Now, not having a mobile phone is a sin. Since it became a commodity asking what kind of things are you looking for in a mobile is more apt now than it was 10 or 15 years ago.

Amit Agarwal of Labnol has a post on the survey for the things you look for in a mobile. The details of the survey were not published but the major things one might look for in a phone are listed. The factors are  : Software, brand, cost, functionality and features, music and storage, ease of use, camera quality, looks and latest model. Of these factors it turns out Brand is the most important factor.

I really don’t care what kind of Software it runs. Geeks might still look for the software and I am no geek. I really don’t care about the looks either. Coming to camera, I used a Sony Ericsson K750i earlier and though it boasts a 2 MP camera it never gave me quality pictures. May be it is my photography skills which need a hone up but camera really doesn’t go with me.

Coming to the other factors like music, storage and ease of use – these are hygiene factors in a decent phone which costs 5K. My main criteria would be cost and brand. I gave up my k750i which had some joy stick problems and bought a Samsung SGH-J150 instead. I had to pay 2K rupees for the exchange. I am happy with what have. Most of the things most of the people look for in a  mobile are the things which they almost never use.

Samsung has launched Innov8 in the 40K range with 8MP camera as the USP. I wonder how its sales were. We all know about the success, or the lack of it, of iPhone with its touch screen.

Following iPhone several high-end mobiles were launched by Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. They are yet to make waves. My guess is – a mobile loaded with features selling in the 20K range is the best bet for India. I also think the market for high-end mobiles is very slim.

What are the things you look for in your mobile?

  1. anjan says

    That’s exactly the experience I had a couple of years back. I purchased an HP Ipaq thinking that now that I am a proud owner of a latest mobile phone, all my problems are solved. On the contrary, the problems increased as its basic function (that of enabling me to talk and listen) didn’t work well. All the other Hi-Fi features were never used by me. I dumped it for a Nokia with simple features. I am happier since then. :)

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