I last wrote about what companies could do to make large-screen Mobile Internet Devices (regardless of producer or actual name) more attractive to consumers. To spare you having to read the epic piece, in summary my analysis is that everything comes down to the out-of-the-box experience. Average users do not want to configure or code– at the most they want to install and go, with a ready path to any available installations.
When I say “large screen” note that I’m thinking 3 to maybe 6 inches diagonal. Any less and it might as well be an MP3 player, any more and it might as well be a netbook or even touchscreen notebook.
I am constantly seeing a demand for such devices, particularly with uses such as ebook readers, portable internet, GPS, et al. There are typically no complaints about the device size while it’s in use– the gripes come when transport between uses is the issue.
What hit home for me very recently, though, was that the MID transport issue is a problem for only one demographic:
Women, you see, carry purses. Within the confines of these usually-soft monstrosities one can find entire medicine chests, photo albums and food dispensers. So why not a MID? Well, by and large the devotion to this device class seems to come from the other camp. The one complaining about portability.
So maybe the solution is not so much logistical as it is behavioral. Either find a way to sell more women on these toys, or encourage male users to pair up with a purse-toting partner more often. Granted that some men have already overcome the testosterone-driven resistance to purses (the first step is to rename them, i.e., “utility bag”) and so this isn’t an issue.
Of course it’s easy to talk. Apparently adding another pound to my wife’s typical hernia-inducing load is a problem. And suggesting she simply remove a pound of unnecessary items beforehand is met with a stoney glare. She’s not getting any use from the burden.
The heck with it. It’s time to get serious about roll-up devices…