I was just in a Verizon store looking at one of those PC cards that lets you get wireless broadband in most major cities in the U.S. and I overheard a conversation between a customer and a sales person talking about the differences between the Blackberry 7750 and the Treo 650.
Now, I wasn’t just blatantly eavesdropping as the customer, who I was standing less than 5 feet from, saw that I had a BlackBerry on my hip and asked me how I liked it. Of course I told him that I loved it and that it was the best PDA that I ever had. He said, “Really, I was kind of leaning towards the Treo.” I asked him why and he said, “Well, I have been standing here for the last 15 minutes typing on the BlackBerry and the Treo and using the keyboard on both of them kind of sucks. The Treo does have a stylus though, which is not too bad.”
The sales person, who clearly doesn’t care which unit the customer buys as they both cost over $500 dollars, said, “You must be an old PDA user that got used to the stylus.” The customer said, “Not really. It just feels like I am using a calculator when I try to type anything out and takes too long.” As the customer is talking, he demonstrates what he means by it feels like a calculator. (Look at the picture to the top-right)
I told the customer that if he used his thumbs on either device, he could probably type 5 times as fast. He said, “Ah hell, now I am going to have to spend another 15 minutes using these things the right way to see which one I like.” I smiled and said,” It’s all about the thumbs,” as I walked away.