I spent yesterday afternoon immersed in a modern-day vacation custom — serving to my mother and father store for his or her first smartphones. Three hours after we arrived on the mall, they every walked away with an iPhone 4. But probably the most fascinating half, to me, was my unsuccessful try and persuade my mom to purchase a Windows Phone as a substitute.
Right here’s the story: My mom was the important thing individual driving this buying choice. At 73 years previous, she has turn into an avid texter, but she has been texting within the fashion of an adolescent circa 2006, utilizing the numerical keypad on her standard-issue mobile phone. Not supreme, to say the least. Initially our plan had been to make a extra modest improve, getting her a easy telephone with a slide-out keyboard for texting.
But as we had been speaking it over the evening earlier than, she determined she wished a smartphone as a substitute. My mom listens to our GeekWire podcast, so she just lately heard our 97-year-old Geek of the Week Invoice Sleeper pitch the benefits of smartphones for seniors, and that appeared to affect her pondering.
So long as my mom was taking the leap, my dad determined that he would, too.
As first-time smartphone consumers with Windows 7 PCs at house, they had been in some ways Microsoft’s excellent goal prospects. Additionally, I admit, there was a little bit of an ulterior motive behind my Windows Phone pitch. I envisioned doing a sequence about my mom and her Windows Phone, just like the Surface Diary wherein I persuaded my spouse to spend our iPad funds on certainly one of Microsoft’s new tablets.
So after we walked into the primary retailer and put our names in to speak with a gross sales rep, I went over to the Windows Phone show and confirmed my mom the brand new HTC 8X Windows Phone, which is my favourite of the brand new Windows Phone 8 units. It’s modern and light-weight with a colourful, curved bottom and a vivid display. I actually suppose it is a good telephone, so it wasn’t robust for me to make the pitch. I confirmed her the Windows Phone dwell tiles vs. the comparably boring and static display on my iPhone.
But because it turned out, it wasn’t a lot of a pitch, as a result of my mom wasn’t actually involved in listening. Her first objection was predictable: She was involved that it wouldn’t have the apps she would need. (She has been listening to our podcast extra intently than I spotted.)
Have been her issues about apps legitimate? I defined that every one the fundamentals are there on Windows Phone, after which some. We didn’t focus on this till later, but a superb instance for my mom is the Kindle app for Windows Phone, letting her entry her books if she occurred to go away her Kindle at house. Alternatively, I additionally advised that my mom use Stitcher to stream her favourite podcasts, quite than obtain them manually, and that app isn’t out there for Windows Phone but.
But as we talked about it extra, the larger challenge for my mom was the familiarity of the iPhone to the individuals round her. If she wants assist figuring one thing out, she will flip to certainly one of her associates or certainly one of my sister’s youngsters, who dwell within the subsequent city over and all use iPhones and Apple units.
“It’s a recognized amount,” she stated.
At that time I gave up. As I informed my dad, it’s a brand new spin on the previous saying about IBM: No person ever acquired in bother for letting their mother and father purchase an iPhone. In fact, all of this speaks to the bigger problem that Microsoft faces on the planet of smartphones and tablets.
The opposite hurdle was that the HTC 8X was on sale for $99, but my mother and father had been every capable of get an iPhone 4 at no cost, though they nonetheless needed to pay gross sales tax, which added as much as about $60 complete.
(Aspect notes for anybody else who does this along with your mother and father: If certainly one of them is a veteran, test with their wi-fi provider to see if they can get a discount on their monthly bill. Additionally, the best way the gross sales reps clarify information limits, storage capability, month-to-month plans, and so forth., remains to be approach too sophisticated, to the purpose that I felt like I used to be translating a overseas language. Big want for enchancment right here.)
Again at house, this morning, my mom had me present her learn how to arrange her contacts and textual content along with her associates. Because it’s the gadget I take advantage of daily, it was fast and simple for me to stroll her by way of the fundamentals. She has already despatched 5 textual content messages this morning, and counting.
“I’m so glad we acquired this!” she stated, saying it’s one thing she’s grateful for as we speak.
Joyful Thanksgiving, all people — regardless of which telephone you occur to decide on.