Buttons Are Boring

I went to a launch of Samsung’s new series of mobile phones yesterday, which threw up some interesting new technologies, which I’ve mentioned here.

Outside of the units themselves, a comment made during the briefing caught my eye. According to Samsung, up to 15 percent of mobile phone users saw little or no use for a touchscreen on a telephone. And this intrigued me.

All technologies evolve, and while some people are not as fast on the uptake as others, most people generally get there in the end. Somebody was the last person to get a colour telly, or a VCR, and there are plenty of people out there who still don’t have a DVD player. Yet, to actually unequivocally say that there is no need for a touchscreen doesn’t make sense.

A touchscreen on a mobile is one of the most fundamental must-haves. It makes life so much more easier than having to use buttons. Think of how much easier it is to navigate your mobile Internet function? Or dragging the map on your mobile GPS? What about how most good smartphones turn your touchscreen Qwerty keyboard to landscape without having to utilise a clunky slider keyboard or normal numerical keypad? Or, how about the screen size – if you do away with the button keyboard suddenly you can increase the screen size to be almost the same as the surface area of the mobile.

So who is this 15 percent? People who don’t understand the technology, or are being contrary, or genuinely believe that touchscreen technology is of absolute no use? I don’t know, but I say, get with the programme – this technology is not only here to stay, but I predict within five years button mobiles will be going the way of the Dodo.