Convince Me

Palm Centro (Sprint) and Palm Treo 680 (Copper)I had a conversation the other day about the Palm Pre. Even two (or is it three) years since it was announced, it is one of the few mobile devices and platforms that makes me smile. I can look at the device and be reminded of the Treo models that I used to own (and liked a ton), and see also attention to thinking and moving towards a certain type of mobile-service future. Even when I got to play with the Palm Pixi (via Brighthand), I was impressed – though not convinced enough to move from where I was residing with mobile.

And yet, I’m thinking, experimenting, and wondering. I’m fairly certain that at some point that I’ll need to move to another primary mobile device. My Nokia N97 is nearly two years old, and I can’t imagine the last time that I had a mobile that long. Maybe it was my SE T616 – that was a nice mobile, and I looked not for an update of something different, but for the same model just refreshed. I’m trying to avoid that with the N97, but am finding it very hard to be convinced that there’s better out there.

For example, last Summer I was in San Diego at the Qualcomm Uplinq event (with WIP) and got a chance to get some face-to-face time with the esteemed Ewan MacLeod of Mobile Industry Review (MIR). Suffice to say, everything that you read from and about him doesn’t measure up to the person. He’s really a solid guy, and his handle on business, technology, and people is pretty impressive.

One of the evenings of Uplinq, he and I (and another guy who’s name I am apologetically forgetting) sat in the hotel’s dining area talking mobiles. Ewan ran me over the coals for carrying (a) a Nokia and (b) the N97 – this is considered the worst of all things to do at a mobile conference sporting Verizon, Brew, and Android amongst other learnings.

But there I was, not only using the N97, but swapping out for the X6 when batteries were done. And man, it was really a fun and enlightening discussion. I relented that I needed to get my hands on newer Android devices, but wouldn’t concede that they were effectively better than Symbian (or even iOS and PalmOS devices). If anything, all I saw was feature and device iteration that was in effect like Windows Mobile, just Google powered. It worked for others, but I don’t concede features and functionality of any kind without a clear benefit, and Android wasn’t it.

For the months after that exchange, I’ve carefully thought about the mobile devices and platforms which I use. Sometimes, I’m happy with my Symbian/Nokia and iOS/Apple world. Its both flexible and keeps me productive. There are hiccups around both, and I’ve learned to accept some and noted to not get a new device/service there because of others.

And so I remain in this state – unconvinced of anything that’s out there – or the rumors of what’s to come.

So I put it out there to any readers, can you convince me why your mobile platform should get my time of day. Because as it stands right now, I’ll remained impressed at bits and pieces, but until there’s something definitely better than the mashup that I’m using now, I’ll likely stay here until I’m honestly forced to choose something else – and the last time that happened, the platform I moved to eventually faded into Microsoft’s hands.