Tuesday, March 09, 2010
The segmentation of touch
One of the exciting sub-trends going on in mobile handset is the searching of new dominant forms. We have the balanced middle of the road iPhone which has pushed the device width to 61mm. Now SonyEricsson is pushing wider and longer, a move I like. With larger formfactor the functional utility grows. I think it is possible to grow bigger yet, the key is to try to solve good one-hand use. It is and will be fundamental for many mobile task. The SE started to design for left and right handed use, look at the un-lock feature for example. SonyEricsson is also segmenting smaller. This direction is particularely excited as I am not sure that Apple is willing and short term able to split the platform into three segmented sizes. They went for Pad size and this will fragment the platform, they already said that it made sense to re-write the apps for the iPad as they become an order of magnitude better. Same applies to going smaller. The addressable control areas get too small for a 20% reduction, what I think is needed for true segmentation. This is why I think Apple has made their bet, it is the Pad. They will instead segment using features like style, camera, memory and maybe keyboard. This provides enough space to grow market share significantly. Atleast this is what I would do if I would be Steve.