Oh WiFi-Enabled Devices, How Do I Love Thee...

from the they-make-us-emotional dept

While WiFi may not be the best technology for wide-area deployments, that doesn't mean it's not a fantastic solution for local area networks, that has created a number of unintended benefits for those who use it. A new study is suggesting just one more issue brought out by WiFi-enabled devices: people have a much more emotional and intimate connection with WiFi-enabled devices. And, if the childish thoughts in the back of your mind weren't already making you snicker, the article includes a quote to support this, from someone who claims: "It's now something I'll relax with in bed at the end of the day," in describing her WiFi-enabled laptop. And, no, I won't even touch the sentence that discusses "dipping in and out" of devices. As for cellular devices? Sorry mobile operators, but the general dissatisfaction with cellular service and devices seemed to throw some cold water on any budding love in that direction. It would seem that any emotional connection for cell phones goes in the opposite direction.


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  1.  
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    Ram, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 3:30am

    Amen!

    As the CEO of a stealth mode startup that builds some wifi and dual mode handsets all I would say is Amen.... And the dissatisfaction with the operators is something many of us share! Ram

     

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  2.  
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    THE Man, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 5:24am

    Laptops > Cell phones

    1st Post!

    Cell phone web browsing blows. They could make it free and I still would never use it. I'm suprise they charge for such a horrible service. The great thing about a laptop is depending on the mood your in, and how much time you spend looking for the perfect picture, you can sleep next to any supermodel every night!

     

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  3.  
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    Howard, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 6:05am

    Cell phone attachment

    "It would seem that any emotional connection for cell phones goes in the opposite direction."

    It's interesting that nobody seems to really like their cellphone providers. I often hear than someone chose (or switched to) some particular cellphone company because it doesn't suck quite as bad as some other cellphone company, not because they found one that they really liked. That's about the strongest praise you get regarding a celluar provider.

    I wonder if it has something to do with the prevalence of multi-year contracts, and the feeling that you are "stuck" with an inflexible arrangement. Even though I have better service (and phone) than I had last year, I feel a little irritation that I can't upgrade again for another year, and I'm already finding irritating limitations in my current phone, and things that don't work quite the way I want.

    Despite that irritation (I have felt that same minor irritation ever since I started using a cell phone 7 years ago!), I have stuck with the same provider simply because it appears that they don't suck as bad as the alternatives :)
    --
    Howard Lee Harkness
    The Celtic Fidder Violins and accessories

     

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  4.  
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    rjv, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 6:11am

    "wifi devices"

    Is the attachment to the wifi devices or to the content? Would the lady go to bed (so to speak) so eagerly with a wifi-enabled UMPC as she does with a laptop? Not sure if the attraction is correlated to the wifi-device (considerations regarding cellphone experience sucking notwithstanding)

     

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  5.  
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    Jason Wolfe, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 6:39am

    Re: Cell phone attachment

    Howard,
    I must be one of those rare people who actually love my cell phone. Not that I don't get frustrated by dropped service, but the whole thing is so miraculous to begin with, I can't complain. Imagine, making a call from your car, while walking along the street, sitting in a park. I sometimes call people at their front door when they don't respond to my knock, or the bell isn't working. (No, I don't work for the industry).
    Now, you are not really tied to a multi-year contract. And you can upfrade anytime you want. All you have to do is to pay full price for the phone, or buy a used one over the internet. The only reason you are limited is becuase you chose to accept an offer for a free or highly discounted phone.
    BTW, I appreciated the picture of you in your blazer playing the violin. It definitely enhances my image of Texas. Plano, no less.

     

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  6.  
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    Chuckd, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 8:08am

    ReRe: Cell phone attachment

    Jason,

    If you upgrade your phone (even if you pay full price), it will be another 2 years before you could get a discounted one. Your service contract is tied to the phone, not the service. I fi ound this out the hard way when my girlfriend and I tried to re-up our contract. We were at the end of our 2 years and wanted to re-up and get new phones. They wouldn't give us the discount that any new customer would get because we had gotten new phones (at full price) during the 2 year contract.

    It doesn't mtter if you pay full price or buy a used one or get one from a friend. Once you activate the new phone, you can kiss your discount when you re-up goodbye. I had to go all the way thru their sytem to the cancellation dept before anyone would treat us like a new customer would have been treated. They finally gave us rebates and "retention" phones after 4 hours in their customer service hell.

    The carriers suck period.

     

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  7.  
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    chris (profile), Jun 20th, 2006 @ 9:27am

    cell phone affection

    "It would seem that any emotional connection for cell phones goes in the opposite direction."

    there is a magnavox handset at the bottom of lake washington, about 15 feet from the eastbound lane of the 520 bridge. i would imagine it's been there for about 4 years or so.

     

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  8.  
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    Frink, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 9:54am

    I needed that.

    No doubt about it - I gotta get me one of those "dip in and out of" things.

     

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  9.  
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    Frink, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 9:56am

    By the way....

    I tried that with my PowerMac and it REALLY hurt!!!

     

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  10.  
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    Rob Korzuch, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 10:07am

    Re: ReRe: Cell phone attachment

    That's not true. I am currently not under contract and have purchased several new phones over the past couple of years. I have paid full price for the phones but I can use anyone I like simply by swapping the sim card. Some days I might need a full featured pocket pc phone with wifi built in or other days the smallest lightest phone is the best option.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 10:30am

    Re: "wifi devices"

    I have a WiFi Pocket PC with a snap on keyboard that largely sits on my night table, and lets me browse headlines before going to sleep, and leave myself notes on my web server without having to get out of bed and trudge into the home office. Works great.

     

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  12.  
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    Tyson, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 10:34am

    Re: ReRe: Cell phone attachment

    Chuck,

    What wireless provider do you have? Contracts are tied to your account; more specifically your wireless wireless number. The phone has nothing to do with your contract; other than getting a discounted price on the phone when you sign the contract. This is why Wireless companies will just not simply let you cancel your contract if something happens to your phone.

    Did you change your rate plan when you got your new phones at full price? Some wireless providers will not let you change your plan without signing a new contract with them...

    I will agree with you though, all wireless carriers have something wrong with them. One company has great phone service but their phones and features are overpriced. Another company has resonable prices but their customer service sucks. Another company has great prices and poor coverage.... My point is that there is never going to be A "perfect" wireless company, or any company for that matter. That is why there is a thing called competition.

    As far as contracts for wireless companies go... The reason why they are asking you to sign a 2 year contract is because when they knock $250 off the price of the phone, they are selling that phone to you at a HUGE loss. They simpley want to make sure you stay around long enough to recover that money and turn a profit. If you do not want a 2 year contract, spend the extra $50-$100 for the phone and take the one year deal. The average life span for a well used cell phone seems to be about a year anyways (or at least in my experience)

     

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  13.  
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    srg, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 11:26am

    my new WiFi phone...

    Web browsing on the cell phone is not for me. But I just got mine (Cingular 8125 aka HTC 8125) with which I can use skype! (without signing up for a data plan). So as long as there is a WiFi spot I do not pay for minutes (since skypeout is free these days)! Skypein works as well.
    I love my WiFi phone!

     

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  14.  
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    Casual observer, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Cell phone attachment

    Re:"Imagine, making a call from your car, while walking along the street, sitting in a park. I sometimes call people at their front door when they don't respond to my knock, or the bell isn't working."

    Yeah, that was amazing for about the first month or so I had a cellphone (years ago). Then came the realization that I don't really want to always be reachable while walking down the street or sitting in the park. And i'd rather not chat on the phone while driving if I can avoid it. No cell phone = freedom

     

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  15.  
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    Jezebel, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 12:11pm

    I Loved My Cellphone When Nobody Else Had One

    I got my first cellphone about 10 years ago, and it was great because hardly anyone else had them. Those of us who did had the common sense not to stay on them 24/7, in restaurants or in line at the bank. I had enough free minutes that I could have stayed on the phone as long as I wanted, but I didn't. My friends still don't have my cell number, to this day. I never wanted to engage in personal conversation in public. I think the worst thing that ever happened to American society was when cell phones became affordable to the masses.

     

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  16.  
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    souljoy, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 2:25pm

    Cell phones are great for emergencies and the like. I do not understand the people who take them to Disney or Universal or on vacation. I'm on vacation to relax, not answer the phone!

     

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  17.  
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    mike-ish, Jun 23rd, 2006 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Cell phone attachment

    i actually like my cell phone provider. I'm with sprint, have never dropped a call, always have signal, and pay a fair price for what I get. now my cable company on the other hand... Cox cable. I always want to add -uckers.

     

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