Thinking about buying a new smartphone, think again

Owning a smartphone is becoming a norm for an information professional (or for that matter a lot of us). Buying a smartphone is not the end of the expense but rather a beginning. With more and more smartphones arriving in the market and people wanting to try new gadgets, switching smartphones running on different platforms is going to become increasingly expensive.

The three major platforms are Android, iOS and Symbian that Nokia uses and the up and coming Microsoft Windows Phone 7. All these platforms have their own marketplaces where application developers can sell their apps.

When we buy a smartphone, we primarily pay for:
  • the phone itself (outright or through the contract)
  • data and phone call usage
  • applications and subscriptions that run on the smartphone
  • accessories
People are spending more and more time on their smartphones doing productive things apart from calling and responding to calls. And they are doing so by using applications that run on their smartphones. A lot of these applications cost money. The challenge is that these applications like any desktop application is platform specific. So an application developed for an iOS device is not going to work on an Android based device or a Windows Phone 7 device and vice versa. So when people have spent 100’s of dollars on their smartphone apps to make themselves most productive while on the run, buying a new smartphone on a different platform will become an expensive affair for them as they will have to spend money again to buy apps so they can play same games, use productivity and utilities apps again on the new smartphone.

I have idesk at home [iPhone, iPad, iPod and Macbook] and don’t intend to buy a smartphone on a different platform anytime soon, but if I decide to buy a smartphone on Android based platform, it will easily set me back by few hundred dollars just on getting similar applications.

Switching from iOS to Android is not going to get any easier if I have subscribed to newspaper subscriptions or to magazines like Project which at the moment only work on iPads.

If you have switched between smartphone platforms, what was your experience?

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