Yesterday, I had a conversation with Daron Jenkins, a fellow technologist, and one of the founders of SCENEPR, an agency devoted to helping other agencies understand and leverage new media and technology.
Daron and I were talking about their upcoming SoLoMo starters+start ups event, and as we talked about the various potential topics for future sessions, somehow our discussion turned to the soon-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy Note LTE phone, which Daron described as a potential “game-changer.”
You must know that Daron and I are both Apple disciples.
So, needless to say, I was immediately incredulous upon hearing Daron’s statement.
A game-changer, to me, is something that makes all other competitors cringe with fear.
It’s something so totally left-of-center, that most are taken unaware, and left speechless.
A game-changer makes others in the space think, “why didn’t we think of that?”
It leaves them at a loss precisely because it creates or carves out a space for that new product, service, application, or what-have-you, that everyone/thing else seems obsolete in comparison.
Now, if you’re like me, the term “game-changer” evokes thoughts of the killer devices that permanently changed the landscape of the spaces they occupied.
In my humble opinion, there have been a few undeniable game-changers in the mobile space.
The first was the Palm Treo.
It was the first phone that effectively combined a phone with a PDA, offering the ability to make phone calls and keep your calendar, contacts and notes organized in one handy, handheld device.
The iPhone was the next.
Although other handset manufacturers offered their own version of the smartphone, Apple created a device that was simultaneously powerful, functional and elegant.
The last was the iPad.
Again, while there are other tablets in the market, none have achieved the recognition or stature of Apple’s offering.
Which brings me back to Daron’s statement.
It was with much consternation that I even continued the conversation, in light of what I felt was an obvious flaw in his statement.
We all know that NOTHING competes with Apple.
Sure, Apple’s mobile devices don’t support Flash natively.
And marketers have responded by advising clients that sites be built without Flash.
Sure, Apple releases a new product every other day.
And people routinely line up outside of Apple stores days in advance of every new product release.
Sure, Apple’s products are tres cher.
And people regularly shell out the king’s ransom required to own it’s devices.
So whatever Samsung is coming with, has to be so spectacular, so innovative, so feature rich, so ‘that ish’, that one’s initial visceral response is “I must have it!”
To their credit, their latest commercial, poking fun a Apple-ophiles, does point out Apple’s many shortcomings.
But that doesn’t necessarily equate to changing the game.
At the end of our call, we agreed that deploying the Galaxy Note LTE with AT&T was a major faux pas, with AT&T’s spotty service and network bandwidth.
We also agreed that “game-changer” was an extremely generous characterization for Samsung’s latest entry into the mobile/tablet space.
But we’ll just have to wait and see.
I, for one, am not holding my breath.