How too much choice is a problem

Too much hardware choice

From my Verizon iPhone post:

Even the gadget blogs have a hard time feigning enthusiasm for this week’s hot Android phone because they still haven’t taken the shrinkwrap off of last week’s.

Not enough Nick’s response:

Wait, the stream of high-quality, constantly improving hardware with options to fit different desires is a problem for Android?

Yes, it is, for a few major reasons.

Most people don’t read gadget blogs or even know what Android is. They generally hear about individual phones, without distinguishing much based on operating system. (They don’t know what those are, either.)

The highest-profile Android launch that seemed to meaningfully reach the masses was the Motorola Droid, primarily because it was boosted by a massive Verizon television and in-store ad campaign.

But since then, very few non-geeks know about individual Android handsets. They change so frequently, and are so numerous, that there’s never much of an opportunity for a meaningful buzz to generate around any of them. Nobody’s lining up to buy them. CNN’s not covering their launches. Consumer Reports isn’t vigorously testing their antennas. The Daily Show isn’t making jokes about them. So the mass market doesn’t really respond to individual devices. Even if Uncle Joe brings his fancy Android Something to Thanksgiving and your mother is impressed by it and wants to buy one, by the time her contract expires in two months and she goes to the Verizon store, it’s gone.


When I go into a new restaurant for the first time, I usually see two types of menus. One where there are a choice of 3-5 entrees under a couple headings on two pages or ones where there are pages and pages of items under a multitude of headings. I hate the latter.

Too many choices when all I want is something to eat. And it is likely that only a few of those are really good. Maybe only a few are worthwhile but it is so hard to find them.

But the one with fewer choices makes it much easier to choose.

More possibilities does not make it easier.

One thought on “How too much choice is a problem

  1. As an old lady, one of the greatest blessings of my life has been having a son who threatened to disown me if I didn’t buy a Mac instead of a cheaper PC!! Since the beginning of owning a Mac, I have been an Evangelist for Apple. LOVE my Apple “gadgets”. Life is so much simpler.

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