My husbands latest smartphone came with a download of the movie Avatar to show off it's screen quality and HD capabilities. When I upgrade my phone in a few weeks, the 4G handset I plan to get will have Inception preloaded. The phone is billed as having fast streaming for YouTube, Slacker Radio, etc. etc. Including a new TV app from the carrier with HD streaming from ABC, FOXNews, and other channels. The one that finally excited me? PBS Kids.
While most moms I meet at Kindergarten pickup, birthday parties, and church functions all have smartphones, cell phone carriers still build and market these things, it seems, to young men who love catching web videos before they make Tosh.0 and also feel the need to have blockbuster CG HD action movies in their pocket at all times.
Smartphones used to be marketed for "productivity," so working folks could stay connected to email, news headlines, calendars, and business contacts. Now it seems all about entertainment and social media.
But what would I love in a phone? Should it matter? Well, I do know that I am part of the largest target demographic for most TV advertisers, because women like me spend most of the shopping dollars in our household. They question focus groups of us for our preferences in minivans and SUVs. They definitely stage new homes with throw pillows and vanilla candles and spacious closets to draw home-buying women in.So how about packaging and marketing a phone that dazzles us?
Some suggestions that would make me a $ucker:
1. Instead of grown-up blockbusters that I will never spend 2 hours watching on a 3.5 inch screen, preload a kid blockbuster like Toy Story 3. So my 3- and 5-year old can watch while we sit through an older sibling's taekwondo/ballet/basketball practice.
2. Showcase a mom-customizable calendar with profile sounds and colors for each kids' events and schedule.
3. I'll admit I am looking forward to my 4G phone for fast access to news feeds, because I'm a news junkie and I can only read in brief nuggets of time anyway. But dangle some more tempting streaming apps, like FoodNetwork, HGTV, Nick Jr., and oh! Oh! Oprah's OWN TV channel! SOLD!
4. This one is a no-brainer. Give it extra headphone jacks. I know it would be ridiculous to have enough for my whole crew, but it can't be hard to add a second hole for another listener's headphones.
5. Lie-detector app. I've seen rate-your-kiss apps, and other stupid useless functions. Also some handy ones, like one that can take your temperature (an obvious one to put on a momphone). But demonstrate a lie-detector app and moms will flock. "You say you finished your homework in school? Here, say it into my phone." "Oh, none of you are responsible for this orange juice on the floor? Then tell it to the phone." The TV commercials alone would have kids sweating with anxiety, and moms will love it. It'd go facebook viral faster than that Darth Vader kid.
6. Why hasn't anyone maximized the teaching potential of smartphones? Show off flashcard apps, letter tracing for preschoolers, homework research, spelling quizzes, etc. Yes, by the time kids would want SAT practice, they'll have their own smartphone, but drills for gradeschool kids would draw in ALL moms, not just the Your-Baby-Can-Read crowd.
I am looking forward to getting my new Android phone in a few weeks, and I know I can find and add most everything on this list (excepting the Lie-Detector). I'm especially looking forward to that barcode scanner shopping app. But why don't carriers market a phone this way? Moms have big wallets, and there must be many who don't yet have smartphones. Who are not interested in Avatar or YouTube.
What do you think, moms? What would do you want in a smartphone?