Yesterday, on Twitter, I quoted something that was said by an anonymous individual. That quote generated a response that triggered this blogpost. Here is the quote from Tamedun (in Yoruba language, Tamedun or Lagbaja are names used to refer to anonymous persons):
“I have both the One X and the S3 and use the One X far more. It is just so much nicer to want to look and play with”
The response I got to that quote was this:
Advantage of the S3; Expandable memory slot! QED.
While that response would be appropriate in another context, the particular context of the discussion makes it a different case altogether. The context here is that of the high-end smartphone segment. The Galaxy S3 and One X are playmates with the iPhone 4S in terms of price range. If there is anything that the iPhone has proven over the years, it is that the high-end segment plays by a different set of rules from the rest of the market.
Things that matter at the bottom of the pyramid do not necesarilly matter at the top. One particular thing that doesn’t matter at the top of the pyramid is expandable memory – microSD cards and the like.
People who can afford these sort of devices often have access to multiple PCs at home, at work, everywhere. As such, syncing or copying files via PC isn’t an issue. The microSD card isn’t missed.
At the top of the pyramid, syncing and storing files via Cloud storage also isn’t a big issue. People who can afford an HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III or iPhone 4S are not limited by the cost of mobile internet access. They also often have access to WiFi at their places of work or even at home.
I have owned and used the iPhone 3GS, Nokia E7 and now HTC One X. None of these support microSD cards. Yet, I haven’t missed anything using any of them. The case of 3GS was terrible in my experience though because of the lack of USB mass storage, as I like to manually copy and arrange my files in certain ways. That was me. Besides the iPhone 3GS, I have been able to put all my files – documents, audio and video – on the E7 and One X without issues.
Individual mileage may vary, as you can see that I had issues with the 3GS because of the lack of USB mass storage (it wasn’t the lack of microSD card that was the issue), but it is pretty clear that the top of the pyramid isn’t limited by the lack of something as basic as a microSD card slot. Phones in that segment sell in droves without it.