How many phones is too many?

July 23, 2009

Most people have one phone or handheld device for work, and maybe another one for play. But how about 14?

That’s how many devices Google’s vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra has. They make it “very hard to get through the airport,” he joked.

We asked him and other executives in the mobile advertising industry what devices they use, after about an hour of a panel discussion on where mobile advertising is going at the Fortune Brainstorm: TECH conference.

Gundotra said he had only a few of his 14 devices with him.

“I have an Android, a BlackBerry and an iPhone with me and another device that I can’t talk about,” he said, adding his company wants to make sure that consumers have a good Google experience with any device that they choose. His email and calendar are synced on all devices, but he has pictures only on the Android. “If you call Google Voice, all 14 phones ring,” he joked.

It’s an Apple iPhone and a Blackberry for Omar Hamoui, chief executive of AdMob, one of the largest marketplaces for mobile advertisers. “I carry two because I use them quite differently,” he said. The iPhone is for anything involved with data and applications and the Blackberry, for email and calendar.

Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Corp’s Ultra Mobility Group, said he uses a notebook, Blackberry for work-related applications and an iPhone for more personal use like Internet browsing.

“I don’t have a phone,” deadpanned Marty Beard, president of Sybase 365, a unit of business software maker Sybase Inc. Beard was the only executive on the panel who used only one device: an iPhone, which he chose for heavy Web usage, its text and multimedia capabilities and to get familiar with applications.

— Laura Isensee also contributed to this post

(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)


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14 devices to carry around? I am usually not able to answer on time the only one I have in my bag ;-). 14 cell phones is definitely scary…

Posted by 0845 numbers | Report as abusive

Vic made it sound like he uses 3 phones for personal use and the other 11 more for R&D. That’s what I took from the article.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Now I don’t get it, when one of those devices can do pretty much the same as the rest of them. It far to gluttonous for me. I rarely use my laptop now that I have an iPhone.

Posted by Rae | Report as abusive

I feel its a little excesive to use so many phones. My wife struggles to get my attention with the one phone I have ringing all the time. I think I’d be on a rocky road to seperation with 14! :)

Posted by BusinessCalls1 | Report as abusive

Imagine if they were all on vibrate!

I can understand the reasoning behind it though.

Posted by ConferenceCall | Report as abusive

The whole thought of carrying 14 phones is bit scary. Leaves us a lot to imagine about. Thanks for the post.

Posted by cheers | Report as abusive