Despite all my preaching and praising, I have yet to convince anyone to get a Windows Phone device. It’s not that I can’t be convincing – or that Windows Phone isn’t great – it’s just that once people get used to a specific device and operating system, they tend to stick with it, for better or worse.
Nobody knows this better than Ben Rudolph, Director of Windows Phone Evangelism. Ben gave a great interview to VentureBeat not too long ago, where he addressed this very topic. Here is an excerpt that pretty much sums it up:
VentureBeat: So a phone is probably the most personal device, right, of all the electronics that you’ve got. Is it hard to get people to switch to a new type of phone?
Rudolph: I don’t think it’s hard to switch. Like anything else, when you try something new, you got to learn it, explore it, find all the settings. But what’s interesting, I find, is that people who are switching, or even getting a smartphone for the first time … because it’s built around the stuff that you want to do and the stuff you care about, it’s very intuitive.
I don’t need all of Facebook all the time; I just want to be able to see what my wife and my best friends are up to. So I pin my wife to my Start screen. I pin a group of my best friends, and I just get those chunks of Facebook.
So once you break out of that paradigm model of using apps for absolutely everything, once you understand that that’s not the only way you have to do something, the tile starts to make a lot of sense, and you start pinning and unpinning, and you’re off and running.
VentureBeat: So who’s the most resistant? Is it someone who’s maybe a feature phone owner or an iPhone owner who’s been an Apple user their entire life, or is it an Android owner?
Rudolph: It’s funny. Feature phone users are actually very receptive. If they’re ready to buy a smartphone, they’re ready to buy our smartphone.
There are a lot of people who have a very heavy emotional attachment to their phones, but it’s not specifically to the phone, it’s what the phone does, and the things that you accomplish with it.
I do find it interesting (and totally logical) that feature phone users would be open to Windows Phone, or any phone for that matter, as they have no real point of reference. But as Rudolph said, once people choose a smartphone (and the apps that come with it) they tend to have an emotional attachment to it. And that – your emotional attachment – is why you will probably never switch smartphones.