Smartphones are the hottest electronic item as of the last year or so. With the iPhone and the storm of Android devices in the market, it’s almost impossible to ignore. Retailers are loving the traffic, and as long as the manufacturers keep pumping out new handsets people will be handing over their money. Advertisement is directed towards all demographics and encourage you to trade that flip-phone in for something more advanced and cutting edge. Don’t have a lot of money? No problem here are some low-end smartphones that will cost you little to no money (with a 2 year contract). Can not or do not want to sign a 2 year contract, well we have some prepaid smartphones for you as well! Either way, smartphones cost more to have than the average phone in the long run. Whether it’s with the cost for the phone plus the 2 years you will be paying for service with a more expensive data plan and perhaps insurance just in case you crack the screen or it’s stolen, add the potential purchase of applications from the App Store or Market, the carriers definitely want everyone to have a smartphone. The question is not whether you need a smartphone, because we all know the answer to that. The question is: Why do you think you need a smartphone?
A middle aged man, we will call Arnold, had a basic cellphone for many years and had no desire for anything different. As days, weeks and years went by, he began to hear more and more about the iPhone being such a wonderful device. Finally one of his friends purchased an iPhone and Arnold had a chance to fiddle with it for a while. It was a fun experience and he thought that it was a great little toy, but not for him. Suddenly he began seeing advertisements for something called the Droid, yet he had no idea it was a phone until much later. Another year or so went by, and he began to feel his basic phone was dated and he started to feel embarrassed whenever he had to use it in public because of all the smartphones and their large glowing 3-4 inch screens being poked and prodded all around him. So one day he decided he wanted to get a smartphone. He went online to see what was all the rage. He was quickly overwhelmed with all the choices and complicated explanations. There seemed to be hundreds of Android phones to choose from, but only one iPhone. He decided he wanted the iPhone, having already played around with it and it seemed like less of a hassle.
After talking with some of his friends about his interest in the iPhone, his friends had Android phones and discouraged him from going to the “locked down” iPhone. He had no idea what they were talking about. But he trusted their judgement and went with the Motorola Droid instead. Initially he felt good about his purchase decision. “No more dumb-phone for me”, he thought. But after the first few days of trying to use it, he wouldn’t admit it, but he was way out of his league and comfort zone. Making phone calls was easy enough and youtube seemed to work fine, but where are those apps that his friends were talking about? How do you erase all the icons on the home screen? How do you import contacts, and so on. Slowly, day after day, Arnold’s phone came less and less out of his pocket. It had become a basic phone to him. Not because it was basic phone, but because Arnold had no idea what a smartphone really was.
I’m sure most of you know at least one person who bought a smartphone, but use it like a basic phone. Carriers love it. Thats what they want. No one uses their smartphone the same way everyday, but if you have Android, do you know what version you are running? Arnold did not. He still doesn’t know to this day. He doesn’t even know how to check to see which version of Android he is running. Same thing with a young lady who has a HTC EVO, she doesn’t even know how to turn the 4G on! I am in no way saying that just because you bought a high-end smartphone, you should know everything about it. No. Because I have a car, and I can’t tell you much about a lot of things under the hood. But, I do know how to pump the gas, adjust the mirrors and work the wipers and headlights! You know what I mean?
Shouldn’t you know something about what you are getting into before you get into it. I’m sure if Arnold could go back, he would have kept his simple phone. Now, he’s under a 2 year contract, with the most expensive Verizon with a powerful phone that he barely uses.
What about you? Are You a Poser?