I am a big fan of the fact (I'm not even going to call it a principle, concept or idea: It's a fact) that usage determines need.
I'm talking about mobile phones here, but any technology will do.
I, for example, am extremely unlikely to ever buy an iPhone, because recent usage of my N95 has shown that I need a better camera, stereo speakers, a hardware keyboard, the ability to use it wearing gloves, and a better application finding system than scrolling through multiple screens. Oh, and multi-tasking.
I would also dearly love a QWERTY keyboard, and so when Nokia announced that the E71s replacement, the E72, would have a 5MP camera, I thought Yes!
I have recently got my hands on a BlueAnt Interphone, a bluetooth hands-free phone and intercom system for motorbikes.
I have been using this to play MP3s on the road, thanks to the N95, a power socket newly attached to the bike, and a car charger.
This is where life gets more complicated.
You see, the N95 introduced a "dual-slider" design, which simply means that as well as the screen sliding up to reveal the number pad, it slides down (and the screen flips to landscape) to reveal four media control buttons: back, play/pause, stop, and forwards.
The thing is, if I put my phone in the map pocket of my tank bag, I have it in front of me, visible through the plastic map window, and, more importantly, I can press the media buttons through the plastic, provided I'm wearing light-weight gloves (which I don't, these days, it being winter here in sunny Queensland, and the morning temperatures getting perilously close to the freezing point of water at sea level).
I am almost certain that I couldn't do the same thing, accurately, with the E72s oh-so-very-compact and optical D-pad.
Which puts me in a bit of a bind. On the one hand, the natural next phone for me is therefore the N86, which is extremely nice and an improvement over the N95 in every way.
On the other hand, I would so very much like a QWERTY!
Damn it, my largely academic desires have become complicated again.