Posted by: @spdlm | 05 Oct 11

Resisting Change – Smartphones

After the extensive coverage of the latest iPhone, I reassessed my options. Instead of going through the usual “X reasons why you should upgrade”, I want to discuss the predetermined preference that makes me stick with iPhone, even though I know that the phone I am likely to buy, the iPhone 4G, is not that much better than iPhone 4, or its other alternatives.

Whatever you buy, make sure it has the logo!

The Apple Brand

As they say, it is the most celebrated brand at the moment. I have been an apple user since 2000 and never considered a non-Apple product as my personal computer of choice. Originally, it was cool to be an Apple user. Nothing about their design was half baked and most times, it was quite awkward to be an Apple user because nobody wrote any decent software for Apple, let alone manufacture any compatible hardware. Could this dedication be the cause for my resistance to change? Most likely. I would like to, however, make an argument that it is more than this irrational behaviour.

Good Change vs Bad Change

As I’d like to call myself an innovator, changes are an important part of my career and personal life. Although it is not always guaranteed, I try to introduce Good Change. For example, I would consider introducing Google Apps to a small business would be a Good Change, if the existing system is a Microsoft Exchange Server and some file servers. On the other hand, a change away from iPhone at the moment, for me, would be a Bad Change. My household and work is all Apple based. I am, however, prepared for the day when I have to move away from Apple as my phone manufacturer of choice.

I used to work for a start-up Enterprise Social Network company, which is mostly about bringing huge changes to enterprises in the way they communicate internally. Most of my colleagues (then and now) preach this Good Change these companies must embrace. The name of the game was Battle Against Resistance to Change.

Resisting Change

What are the common reasons for resisting change? Obviously, measurable effects such as costs (explicit and implied) are important factors. Before smartphones, the choices were simple. Compare some basic parameters such as price, battery life, screen size, camera resolution, supported countries etc and you would happily sign up to a 12mth contract, knowing you can have the latest phone next year. Now, the costs are higher, with longer commitment asked of us. With it, comes a sense of loyalty and importantly, a greater dependancy on our smartphones. It’s the small things like synchronised address books, photo libraries, bookmarks and contacts. You can easily re-configure these to your new phone’s OS, but do we want to?

For now, I am happy resisting changes with respect to my choice of smartphone. The potential advantages gained from having a non-iPhone is quite a bit smaller compared to staying with an iPhone. So, not all Resistance to Change is illogical. When someone asked me recently, “how could you pass judgement on the new Samsung Nexus Prime before seeing it?”, the response was simple. Samsung could come out with a phone with better spec than iPhone 4S in every respect and I still wouldn’t consider the change. Why? Because it is not about the phone. It’s the ecosystem and the seamlessness that saves a few minutes of my life each day that I want. The days of comparing a phone on it’s own is long over.


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