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Summary:

Dan Frommer says to hold off if you’re in the smartphone market right now. I completely understand his points: we know that Sprint is launching the Palm Pre between now and the end of June. It’s widely expected and not at all out of the question […]

palm-preDan Frommer says to hold off if you’re in the smartphone market right now. I completely understand his points: we know that Sprint is launching the Palm Pre between now and the end of June. It’s widely expected and not at all out of the question that Apple will have new handset hardware to go along with its 3.0 software. Rumors of RIM adding an updated Storm to the lineup probably have some merit as well. Plus, there’s a host of hot new phones from Nokia, Samsung and others in the pipeline that were outed at Mobile World Congress and shown again at CTIA Wireless.

I’ve had a few folks approach me recently on what smartphone they should buy right now, and I’ve tended to give Dan’s advice with one important caveat. See, if you always wait for the “next big thing,” you’ll essentially always be waiting. So when I’ve shared my opinion to hold off, I also share the best, currently available options. It’s important that folks understand what they can get today, so they can decide if those products will meet their needs now and for some time in the future.

Case-in-point: I never upgraded from the iPhone 2G to 3G. Why? Because the first-generation phone met my needs nicely. Would I have liked a slightly thinner phone with a faster 3G connection? Sure! But I made an investment in the first model and my personal decision was that the next model wasn’t worth an additional investment. Obviously, many folks felt otherwise, which is normal behavior. It’s a personal choice. It’s one that you should consider from all sides, however, before making it. So when I’m asked what smartphone folks should buy now, I don’t simply offer the “hold off” approach. I present the pros and cons to buying now vs. holding off and take into account each person’s individual needs.

Out of curiosity, are any of you putting off a smartphone purchase until mid-year when some expected hardware developments come to fruition?

  1. I’m holding out for Nvidia Tegra/APX-based devices to show up. And that half-T9 phone, half-QWERTY MID w/Windows device that was just teased piques my interest as well.

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    1. Waiting for all the obvious reasons coming up. I have no phone presently and not in much of a hurry; I am curious to see how this summer shapes up.

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  2. The Pre is a device that I will be keeping my eye on once it launches but I will wait until reviews are in before switching carriers to get it.

    I bought a Curve for VZW in December and have been really happy with the Blackberry platform. Depending on timing and cost, the upcoming Niagara/BB 9630 has my wallet showing some love if it ever gets released this year.

    Of course…this assumes I find a job in the next month or so :-)

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  3. No, just bought the new BB Curve II from TMobile. The hotspot calling (free calls over wifi for $9.99/mo) really sealed the deal.

    Awesome phone. (Tip: Don’t install the new facebook beta unless you want facebook to co-opt your calendar).

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  4. Well im waiting for the new iteration of the iphone which might be coming up.

    I can now feel the pangs of impatience clawing down on me.

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  5. I admit to being in that endless holding pattern … I keep saying I’m going to buy the iPhone when it comes out but I keep thinking that the next model is going to fix all of the flaws of the previous one. OS 3.0 should certainly be a step in the right direction, but I’d like to see a decent camera. Plus I’m waiting for Pre reviews …

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  6. I’m definitely going to pickup the Pre as soon as I can pre-order it (Ha! It’s a pun!). That said, I’m already a Sprint subscriber. If I weren’t, I’d probably be holding out for reviews.

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  7. My decision to hold off on buying a smartphone in my opinion is not due to the economic crises, but the fact that the smartphone R&D are not on the same wavelength as the conusmer. Each smartphone is getting better than the next, but when currently comparing the different smartphones, there is not always a standard in basic features. Sockets and ports differ per brand. Camera’s are 2-3-5 Mpix, some with flash, others not, some with autofocus, some not. There is also no consensus on touch screen size, even worse with the current HD phones: 3.1-3.5-3.8 inch screens. Choice and quality in touchscreens differ also: capacative or resistive, differences in pressure sensitivity. All touchscreen smartphones are also so close to improving handwriting recognition, the option is there, but no attention in review videos seems to go further than showing a notes app, without detailing the inking experience.
    Onces thumb RSI is going to be the next medical hype, we will have no choice but to focus more on inking and ink to text recognition. Let’s not wait for this to happen in 5 years (with regard, among others, to rising medical costs) but devlop it more in phones now. We have tablet pcs with good inking and ink to text recognition, but not yet on the smartphones!? This is the missing step to make the phone complete!

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  8. I’m at the end of an 18 month contract with T-mobile and currently have an MDA Vario III (HTC Kaiser). I got this phone the day it became available on T-Mobile here in the UK having had a Vario before that. In the last year I have switched from PC to Mac and am very tempted by an iPhone. I really want one now but will wait until Apple’s event in June to see what the new iPhone is like.

    I also like the look of the Palm Pre but haven’t heard anything about which carrier will have it in the UK. In the end I think I’ll go for a iPhone.

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  9. I’ve been in a holding pattern to replace my Blackjack I for almost a year now. I really like the form factor of the upcoming HTC Touch Pro 2, but I have to say that I’m thhhhiiiiiissss close to caving on the iPhone (pending June’s annoucements) now that the Sling player is almost approved.

    On the other hand, the BJ works fine and does everything I need it to. So I’m not in a rush.

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  10. I really like my G1. Right now I don’t see any phone coming down the pipeline that really interests me and would draw me away from my G1.

    What I really want to know is if the same thought holds true for the Netbook market? Obviously like all electronics there’s going to be the next biggest thing. However, I’ve really been eyeing me a piece of the Netbook bandwagon.

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