One of the most surprising problems facing customers is the relative lack of basic handsets compared to, -you guessed it, smartphones. The handset company, perhaps not unsurprisingly, generally has a lack of interest in making basic feature phones. You remember the feature phone, right? You parents or grandparents may carry one. Perhaps a flip phone like this Samsung Chrono 2. No one wants to make them anymore. No money in it. Sad.
So, I propose a touch screen phone that, at first, simply displays a very basic feature set. The Galaxy S III is the right design, and has the lack of confusing buttons and lights I am looking for… The screen would display ONLY a dialer, contact information (more on that later) and a send/end key. No data plan would be needed. Yet. When the customer enters contact information, a helpful drop-down list would appear, saying “Is “Tim” your friend/co-worker/son/daughter?” This would also ask, on a separate screen with no other questions on that screen, -do they have an email address and what, exactly, is it?
As the customer became more comfortable with the phone, more features could be offered via an automatic software prompt, in a careful, non-intimidating way. A pop-up window could appear, asking “would you like to see your daughter’s latest Facebook photos?” The phone already has an email address tagged as his daughter. A pricing menu could also be offered at this time. I might turn down $50/month for a data plan, but I might accept $3 for checking those photos TODAY. Then, the software could be downloaded and installed to remind me I always have that option. The occasional prompt based on an email social media search? That’s good, too. All sorts of potential sales occur to me.
Think about it. A phone that scales capacity based on your wants or needs.