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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

When what you Really need is Just a Phone

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you know that Apple recently released the new iPhone 5 with iOS 6. As usual, the media and Apple iSheep went crazy over the new release (as if the same group didn't make such a big hoot the last time that Apple released a new version of its iPhone or iPad).

When you think about it, Apple, with its iPhone, was what brought the appeal of a smartphone to the consumer. Previously, the world of smartphones was mostly made up of professionals and computer scientists. Apple took the smartphone and turned it into a fashion statement.

Unfortunately, in the process, Apple also created a situation where people are more inclined to buy a phone which might have more than what they need. In the mass appeal of the smartphone, I feel that we have forgotten about the most important part of a phone..the phone. I would wager that, especially with older people than with young people, what most people need is just a phone who's only function is being able to make phone calls (+ voicemail).

If your contract is up and you are eligible for an upgrade, there is nothing wrong with getting a new smartphone as long as it meets your needs. However, what I have seen is people who, when shopping for a new phone, are pressured by salesmen which may or may not give a customer the full range of choices or who may or may not have a preemptive bias towards a certain phone or maker of phones and end up getting a smartphone that is more than what they can handle (in order to make a sale). Here, I blame salesmen for either pushing a customer towards a phone without making known to the customer the given carrier's full offerings or overlooking/ignoring the customer's needs, or not being (fully) knowledgabe of the overall phone environment. Through work with Microsoft, I work with Windows Phone a lot. Over the summer when I was looking at possibly switching carriers, I would ask about the carrier's windows phone offerings and ask whether it was a good idea to go with windows phone (and why). I have gotten mixed results, with some being fully knowledgable about windows phone and phone hardware/network information in genal and others, not knowing. A good salesman for a cell phone carrier should have knowledge of phone hardware and cell network information (such as cell phone radio bands like GSM and CDMA). Of course, some blame for a bad choice of phone can fall back on the person buying. You should ALWAYS do your homework and research possible offerings which meet your needs before you buy.

Every time Apple releases a new iPhone, there always seems to be the mindset which says that your old iPhone, which is perfectly usuable (after all, it CAN make phone calls), is instantly obsolete and you should immediately go out and buy/preorder the new iPhone. While Apple has been beefing up its hardware offerings in the new iPhone, can people really tell the difference in speed between the new iPhone and the old one? I don't think most people notice a difference and only care that the phone works without problems. Rather than buying new hardware with the new version of the operating system, you might be better off, for the time being, with a software upgrade of your current iPhone instead.

The main point of this article is when looking at getting a new phone,  take some time to think of all of your needs first, do a little research on the internet on the carrier's offerings, and then you won't be totally clueless about what you want when you go to the cell carrier's store. If you end up getting a smartphone, but don't know how something in your smartphone works and need help, someone will be more than happy to help/teach you, but don't complain that the smartphone is something you can't handle. There is also the data plan requirement which comes with owning a smartphone as well, but this is a topic for another blog post.

So do you agree with my thoughts on this or do you have your own thoughts and comments? Please share those thoughts and comments in the comment box below. Also, if anyone still wants the updated rom I made for the dell axim X50(low), please request it in the comment box, and it shall be made available for download.

You and I both know how hard it is for some people to wake up in the morning without coffee. If you are going to drink coffee, why not drink it like a mystic monk? Some tasty Mystic Monk Coffee (use this link or click on the picture below to access the store and purchase) is what you really need when it comes to coffee. Trust me, it's good coffee (in most instances, much better than Starbucks coffee) and you won't regret buying some (just keep it away from your computer keyboard or laptop/tablet). For the summer (or what's left of it), they are also offering Iced Coffee as well. If you like tea more than coffee, they also offer tea. Using the link (or picture below) to buy the coffee (or tea) helps the monks out and helps me with college expenses as well. The coffee (or tea) also makes for great gifts for friends and family as well.

Feel free to try out my apps for Windows Phone: Mobile Media Manager, a media player app I made which has some features which (I feel) are missing from the system Zune player, and BSA Eagle Tracker, an app that boy scouts can use to track their progress to Eagle Scout (when the scout handbook isn't always handy). The update for the paid version of Mobile Media Manager is out, but my last submission update for the free version failed, with Microsoft taking somewhere between 1-2 weeks to get back to me and tell me that my submitted update failed. BSA Eagle Tracker will also be getting a bug fix for an obscure bug I noticed recently.

BSA Eagle Tracker download:
Mobile Media Manager (paid version) download:
Mobile Media Manager (free version) download:

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