Into how many categories could we segment mobile devices?

I posed this question at forumoxfordInto how many categories could we segment phones?

And my initial guess was:

a). Business – ex blackberry

b). Low end phones – emerging markets

c) Low end phones – advanced markets

d) Top end smart phones (advanced markets)

e) Smart phones (emerging markets)

f) Phones in Japan and Korea (different beasts!)

g) Social network phones (inq1)

h). Sim only connections and Dual Sim

i) phones for specific demographics (ex Hispanic)

Brendan Dunphy added

Indeed Nokia spent a fortune on one of the biggest market segmentation exercises I have seen but wit seemingly poor results. Why? Maybe this approach cannot work in a rapidly evolving sector where consumer needs are changing so quickly (we do not know what we want or is possible) or maybe they failed to segment by the right criteria, which should have been ‘needs based’.

Other categories were as follows(with people who suggested the names)

David Doherty

Senior Phones (Emporia, Doro, Samsung Jitterbug)

Health phones

Seb Haigh

Wearable phones -

Machine-2-Machine phones

Eg Phones in vending machines that asks for a resupply

Werner Egipsy Souza

Sports phones: Samsung Marine and Nokia 5210

Fashion Phones: Nokia 8800 and iPhone

Romi Parmar outlines the seven key themes that consumers used to describe “what my mobile means to me…”.

“Expression of who I am”: the technology I use says something about me Mobile as an extension of who you are, not defining who you are. Key factors: Style, Design, Identity, Fashion, Self Expression.

“A life balancer”: I think its going the other way, more spiritual” Mobile helping you to balance pressures in your life to make living better. Key factors: Simplicity, Natural, Spirituality, Well-being, Balance.

Link me to new worlds: I am able to wander around, go to the places I like, thus broadening my thoughts Mobile gives you access to new worlds of experience & creativity . Key factors: Subcultures, Experience, Fun, Play, Creativity.

A close friend: I want something that looks beautiful My computer is my life line A humanised mobile with its own design and functional / personality identity that the owner connects with on an emotional level. Key factors: Humanised, Adopt/adapt, Feminisation, Emotion, Intuitive.

My social passport: This get together in the bar was possible because we all have a cell phone Mobile that is the rites of passage to freedom and social group membership. Key factors: Communities, Bonding, Relationships, Friends & Family, Sharing.

The perfect P.A.: Technology totally simplifies daily activities so we can live as easily as possible Mobile that puts you in control and makes a busy life productive, simple and hassle free. Key factors: Empowerment, Technical, Productivity, Performance, Seamless.

“A basic tool”: It needs to be easy there are too many other things to worry about Mobile is an easy to understand, simple and functional tool. Key factors: Reliability, Reassurance, Familiarity, Simplicity, Intuitive.

My biggest insight is from Brendan i.e. the market and ecosystem are becoming too complex to segment mobile phones in a traditional way!