I need a new smartphone. My Palm Treo was the victim of an office mishap and needs to be replaced. Even with my insurance, a new phone will be only $50 more, so the search is on. In posting my quandary about whether to stay with Palm (Pre), slide over to Blackberry or make the jump to an iPhone, the response from my online friends has been quite interesting.
Even though I never directly asked for opinions, one group was very vocal about expressing their affection for their mobile device. You could call it iLove.
The passion that iPhone users display for their devices is almost scary. They love their phones. I mean, really love them. If you were a lazy researcher (which I have never met, BTW), you could take the ratio of iPhone responses to everything else and predict that about 90 percent of all people with mobile phones are using the darling of the AT&T wireless family.
In truth, there are many more Blackberry users in the world, but you would never know it. How many of them would stop a stranger in the street to tell them how much they love their phone? Or offer a quick game of Mario Kart?
The obvious question here is how do we take a small share of the market and energize our base to the degree that it seems we are the industry leader? How do we create raving fans (with a nod to Ken Blanchard) and get them to spread the word?
Well, unless you have the equivalent of the coolest, sleekest phone ever created, you had probably better focus on the basics of delivering a good product and offering over-the-top customer service.
Getting even a few people talking, especially if they are the right people, will be a huge step in the right direction.
PHONE UPDATE: I ended up going with the Blackberry Tour, which just became available through Sprint last week. I absolutely love it, and it is perfect for what I need a mobile device to do.
Dave Fiore is founder and CEO of davemail.