Before there were smartphones, there were smart mobile people like Steve Elfman.
Steve and I worked together at InfoSpace. A tech guy more than a marketer, he had spent years understanding, even defining, the marketplace from his early days at AT&T Wireless.
Not one to be all over the press, Steve surprisingly has twice landed in the Seattle Times in the last week.
From his spot near the top at Sprint, where he serves as President, Network Operations and Wholesale, he told reporter Brier Dudley that we’re a bit away from realizing the potential of mobile devices and network speed.
"I think that 2012 is going to be a very big year for good consumer experiences," he told the newspaper. "Maybe 2013. ... I think that '12 you'll see some, '13 I think it will be something that the customer says, 'This is a good experience.'”
Now 56, Steve says he is too old to change out his device at the industry average of 19 months.
"You can't innovate fast enough for them," he said of younger people. "Guys my age, they say, 'I don't want another thing for two years.'”
As for my take on consumer experiences, I’ve long been on record as saying my iPhone delivers the real web and turned mobile promise into reality. I’ve also written and tweeted often about the failings of my BlackBerry Bold /jeffhasen/an-open-love-letter-to-blackberry, which does email exceedingly well and provides little to no other value.