Making the leap: From dumbphone to smartphone

Five years ago, if you told me the future of computing was a mobile device, I would’ve politely disagreed, pointed out that a phone could never combine the functionality and ease of use of my trusty Windows desktop, and gone back to downloading cool extensions for Firefox.  I might’ve also resisted the urge to laugh in your face.

By most accounts, I should now be laughing at myself.  Earlier this year, based on at least one scientific study, the number of smartphone users surpassed dumbphone users in the United States.  In 2011, smartphone manufacturers shipped over 470 million units, which itself was a 58% increase over shipments in 2010.  It’s no mystery that the popularity of mobile devices has been skyrocketing in the past several years, and it’s likely we’re still only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

So, although some 41% of adult Americans are still clinging to their flip phones and clamshells, the dumbphone, like the dodo, shall pass.  Thinking about jumping ship and casting your lot with we enlightened smartphone users?  If so, this post is for you.

Upgrading to a smartphone is worth it

First things first.  If you have any lingering doubt as to whether investing in a smartphone is worth it, let me quickly decimate disspell that doubt.  A smartphone is essentially a miniature computer that you can carry around in your pocket, that also happens to make phone calls.  A smartphone’s full feature list is almost too extensive to list in one place.  Suffice it to say, with a smartphone you can, among other things:

  • Look-up directions, reviews, and recommendations for a local sushi restaurant, and get GPS-directed turn-by-turn walking, driving, transit, or biking directions to it.
  • If you take the bus, you can watch Netflix movies while you wait at the bus stop, or on the bus.
  • If you’re a social media maven, you can post a status update to your Facebook page, check-into the restaurant, and share your sushi-discovering prowess with your friends.
  • If your a sports fanatic, you can check scores, view a press conference, and switch up your fantasy lineup.
  • If you decide to go see a movie after your meal, you can check movie times, reviews.  If you’re having trouble deciding what movie to watch, you can watch trailers.
  • You can create, edit, and share documents.
  • You can create to-do lists, save recipes, and send pictures of your cute poodle to your out-of-town finance.
  • And more.

I don’t think I need to belabor this point.  Features-wise, there is no comparison between a smartphone and dumbphone.

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