Believe It Or Not, People Still Use Mobile Phones For Phone Calls

from the again-and-again-and-again dept

Every year for the past four or five years, we've seen someone (usually whose job depends on it) declare that "this year will be the year of mobile data." There's this big expectation that there are all these people out there who want to use data services on their mobile phones. But, they keep forgetting one important thing: people still view mobile phones as phones first. Even as more smartphones are selling in the market, an awful lot of them are still used exclusively as phones, with the owner never bothering to make use of any of the data services. There are a bunch of reasons for this, including ridiculous pricing plans, walled gardens and confusing data services. However, even fixing all of those things, it's important to remember that most people are buying a mobile phone to act as a phone -- and as nice as data services are, it's the phone part that is the key selling point.


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  1.  
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    G.Duncan, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 5:37pm

    Phone is a Phone

    I recently had to replace my ~3 year old phone. It was a basic phone, greyscale screen, no camera, no bluetooth... just made and recieved calls. So when I went looking for a replacement, of course even the cheapest phone has a color screen, camera, BT and a bunch of other useless 'crap' I really don't need on a phone. And thanks to the color screen, my battery life is shorter and the display it a lot harder to see in direct sunlight. Awesome.

    I'm only 26 years old. Not like I'm "Grandpa" complaining about new technology. But c'mon, I don't need a f'n camera or color screen on my phone. At least give me the OPTION of having a basic phone handset and charge me $10 for it. Oh wait, that doesn't make the cell companies any money like pushing the new models with the useless tech does...

     

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    EdB, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Phone is a Phone

    Ditto. I hate all the stupid crap they jam into a phone. All I want is for the speaker to be at my ear and the microphone to be at my mouth, but even that is like asking for a miracle because not only do they have to jam useless crap in, they have to make it so damnably small you'd have to be 2 foot four to have it fit the human head.

    I think when the current phone gives up on me I'll go back to a landline.

     

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    Maybe I'm stupid but ..., Dec 29th, 2006 @ 6:09pm

    Wouldn't it just be easier to sell a PDA with telephony services than sell a phone with data services?

    It is the same thing, more or less, isn't it?

    I mean, when people think of PDA's and the like, they tend to think of this mini-computer in your hand, which is basically what it is, but when it's called a phone ... people have been in contact with phones for many decades already and they've all done one single important duty - to call someone many, possibly thousands of miles away. That's it. Nothing else having to do with text input or a 1.3mp camera that barely works well and video and music capability that you have to pay extra over their stupid media store etc.


    But i digress.

    So yeah, stop calling it a phone, call it a PDA. or something else completely off topic.

    Like. Pear. or Blueberry or something.

     

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    SFGary, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 6:37pm

    when a phone is just a ohone

    I agree fully with yr. post. I love PALM products so I tried a treo 600 for a couple of years. A piece of crap. It was always a finicky phone but after I dropped it once - goodbye, the signal would come in and out at random with a few extraneous sounds thrown in for free. It would take me ages to run the browser and try to get some useful info out of the dang thing.

    Like you said the data plans are an expensive joke, the providers can't market their way out of a wet paper bag. I moved back to my reliable old Nokia 6200 and the signal reception and quality came back. Now just so people don't look at my phone and call me "pops" I upgraded to a newer Nokia.

     

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    TonyM, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re: Phone is a Phone

    I fully support your statements about the phone companies not offering the phones that we would like, but rather the phones that the PHONE companies would like us to like! They make more money on things other than talking.
    I also strongly believe that our cell phone market segment activity in the range of types/features is way too small.
    Where is the basic phone that is waterproof and shockproof with long life batteries? The few I know of are either tied to a Push to Talk plan, or have a bunch of features in addition to the toughness. And the candy bar ones, if you carry in your pocket like I do, will dial 911 even with the keylock on. "Safety feature". So that phone went back.
    Where are the phones for seniors and handicapped, with big buttons, simple intuitive interface with very limited options, and long life battery? I tried to get a decent mobile for my dad and he couldn't read the numbers/push the keys on most models that well due to stroke.
    Someone should be tapping those new markets. I Hope for a little more breadth and a little less depth in the phone market.
    There seems to be a lot of feature chase.. one phone gets a features, others chase to get it. Even if we wish they had stayed the same, and even got cheaper due to being the old model, and the costs paid for.

     

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    Snarl, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 6:57pm

    I gave up my cell phone long ago - the moment it became a general annoyance and embodied a generation of unimportant people making unimportant calls in public places or in the vehicle when they should be paying attention to the road - instead of yakking to their friends about what little they did with their lives today.

     

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    Ramon, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 7:24pm

    You can't Text and Surf while driving.

    A major reason we don't use more mobile data features on our cell phones here in the United States is our transit system. Most people drive to work. You can talk while driving much more easily than you can tap in an SMS text message or surf around the web on a 2 or 3 inch screen. In Europe and S.E. Asia, a larger fraction of the population commutes using public transit. While sitting on trains and buses, they use more mobile data features than U.S. customers. Wireless providers in Europe get twice as much in data revenue per subscriber than here in the U.S. (cited in a NYTimes article I couldn't find). So, the market for phones is global, and other people in the world do use these features more than us. I'm sure it's also true that we would be more excited about using mobile data were it not for the many sorts of lameness exhibited by the carriers, as outlined in the posting, that hamstring the spiffy features on the newfangled fancy phones. The excessive price tacked onto my already expensive cell phone bill isn't helping either.

     

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    krum, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Phone is a Phone

    I work for a wireless company and I couldn't agree more. It seems that the companies have forgotten that the most important aspect of a mobile phone is you can call people from it. Our company recently changed their business strategy to supposedly embrace this but by the new equipment we're offering, you'd think otherwise. Even the most basic handset we offer still has an FM radio embedded into it.
    But to answer TonyM's question about phones for the elderly and/or disabled, check out http://www.jitterbugphones.com/
    This isn't the company I work for but I thought about getting one for my grandpa who just turned 82. The phones even have a "dial-tone" when you open them to make them feel more like a landline and one model has only 3 keys; YES, NO, and OPERATOR. The operator service is included with the plan and works just like the "old days."
    "Operator? Can you connect me to...."

     

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    Dan, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 8:12pm

    I'm refusing to upgrade my shitty phone until the MOTOFONE comes out. Looks really promising, B&W e-ink display, sick battery life, dual antennas, AND ALL IT DOES IS FUCKING CALL PEOPLE. I have a 30 gig video mp3 player and a 6 megapix digital camera, why do i need crappier versions in a phone anyway? http://direct.motorola.com/hellomoto/motofone/

     

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    Jagergeek, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 8:25pm

    Nail on the head

    I've been frustrated with this exact situation for a few years now. Recently I helped my wife find a new Verizon phone, only to find every offering was full of ear and eye candy features - but none did the phone thing very well. The calling features seemed only an afterthought. Phones in the showroom were playing MP3s, games, videos. Verizon seems to forget there are better devices out there for ALL those activities. They even forced every phone manufacturer to use a standard interface that is clunky. Luckily, I got hold of a Nokia 6236i before they did this and love it. It is a great phone for making / receiving voice CALLS. Of course - it's no longer carried.
    Stop trying to force features down our throats and get your marketing heads out of the sands of pure greed.

     

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    TonyM, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 8:55pm

    how about

    How about a cell phone that actually fits your flipping hand?
    and is comfortable, soft grippy rubber?
    I want a phone that I can hold in right or left hand, and use the thumb to dial without using my OTHER hand to dial or hold. All the flipping time I have something in one hand, and need to call someone.. what a juggling act. I have a phone I like, but it is too slippery and my palm not wide enough to grip it from the back.. if the phone had a flip out handle or something, would be great. or a twist you could make happen with a thumb. Something ergofrigginnomic. or maybe just a little twisted phone with a belt clip,or something connecting mike and ear piece with flexible tube, maybe hold the mike, and the ear piece has the numbers to dial on its side. Some creativity please!

    I had heard about the simple phones that only have a few buttons, for kids/seniors etc., but the issue with that is charge. My dad had that one cell phone we thought he could use, but it would die, and he would not use it enough to check on. He never used it, was just for emergencies.. but those might come with much time between. After hearing about him falling off the mower, and since he left his quad cane (needs since stroke) back at the house, he had to crawl hundreds of feet, well, I got him that one. What we really need are phones that have big numbers for easy bad eyesighted arthritic fingered (or handicapped in some other way) folks, easy systems AND an emergency power supply.. maybe a strip you pull to activate a Zinc Air battery, or some other shelf stable battery.

     

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    Blitze, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 9:26pm

    Sorry and all but the only reason people don't use their cell phones correctly can be summed up in just a few words. By correctly i mean to their full potential and all of their features. The summing of this reason is something along the lines of "people are stupid." Short simple and to the point the only reason is that the general person in this world is stupid and scared of technology.
    ~blitze

     

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    Katie, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 9:36pm

    Scared? Stupid?

    Blitze? Maybe people don't WANT all those features. Most of what I'm seeing is the **phone** part being downgraded. Not being properly implemented and being made as a phone. Those things make sense, emergency power, big numbers for people who need it, and just making it easy to use. Thats not being afraid of technology.

     

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    G.Duncan, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Scared? Stupid?

    Blitze is just a moron. Completely overlooked the reason for this discussion and came in with his 'tard opinion. Way to prove your room-temperature IQ, Blitze.

    Hmm, am I 'scurred' of technology? No, I have everything these cell phones try to do poorly, in separate devices that do the job GREAT. You hear that? ZOMG!

    That's right, instead of choosing an all-in-one device (which has a great history of failure in all categories) I choose separate devices that do the same thing only a billion times better. Call me crazy. But I call you a simpleton.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Phone is a Phone

    Same here. I bought a motorola c139 and unlocked it to work with our family tmobile account. The phone is simple with a basic screen and whatnot, phonebook, and thats bout it. Battery life is a little over a week with a couple short calls.

     

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    Chillin, Dec 29th, 2006 @ 10:41pm

    Why would the carriers sell phones that only a tin

    lol, if you want a simple phone buy a simple phone. If you are on GSM you have thousands of phones to choose from, not just what your carrier offers. If you are on CDMA well then that is your problem right there, not the phone, the carrier.

    Most people want phones that do more. The carriers make money off phones that do more. Is it really difficult to understand why the carriers offer the phones that people want that also happen to be the ones that make them the most money?

    Simple economics people.

     

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    Kunal, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 12:09am

    Why not???

    I fail to understand all this. Taking key points from the various posts above, i'll pen my two cents :

    I am an executive, in south asia, i drive to work in my car (not a public transport) and i own a xda (phone + pda) - O2.

    i also own a 6MP cam, an awesome mp3 player, a handheld tape recorder and have a desktop at home, 1 in office and a laptop.

    BUT BUT BUT.... 95% of the times i am not carrying all these devices.... walking down the road if i see a scenery i wanna click .. i can't run home to get my digi cam. if i want to listen to a particular song at the oddest of teh places. i can't wait to go back home an listen on my mp3 player... if i want to check my appontments, b'days/aniv's and otehr events ... i can't hope to get to office or home and check on my comp.

    the bottom line is that for an avg day to day working having an all in one device really helps. plus it helps me make calls, remain connected and i don't have to carry 10 different items to do all that.

    when i really want to take awesome snaps or listen to non stop music or browse teh net for hours... well i know those times and i carry / use the specific device.. till then...
    i love my O2.

    K.

     

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    Andy, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 2:24am

    All this proves is...

    that different people have different requirements. Actually Kunal's needs or wants are in a PDA device and not a simple 'phone, so he is really echoing the 3rd comment above. But the important point is that while his type of user and, in particular, the chat, text, camera, MP3 obsessed teens are well catered for, those with simpler needs, the older population, the disabled and those who are NOT obsessed with having every damn tech. idea crammed into a single unit are, these days, relatively poorly catered to. Yes, great that companies can make hi-tech gizmos full of electronic goodness, but it's high time they realised that much of the market neither needs or wants so much "stuff".

     

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    duh, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 5:16am

    It's like Vista

    Andy,

    You are dead on. This reminds me of Microsoft Vista coming out. It has all this added stuff, including DRM, that nobody wants. Of course there you still have a couple of choices. If ANY of the big cell carriers would offer just good reliable cell phones in addition to their other line-up, they would make millions. I'm a software developer and have been around tech for years. I believe in having the right tool for the right job. For me, snappy a photo of scenery with a crappy camera makes no sense. The scenery will be there later, I'll take it with my good camera, and why would I want to surf the web on such a small screen, but I digess.

    It's all about choices. Somebody somewhere will wise up, and when they do, they'll take in the money.

     

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    gumby, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 5:27am

    multi-function phones

    LEt's face it !!!!WE all[guy'&gals]want to be more "in touch"with our worlds.friends ,familyand of course work[sorry for the BAD word].HOWever ,WE[all of us] are not going to fit in the DOC SAVAGE or WONDERWOMAN class- -SORRY but it is TRUE.SO having to wear a survival vest[not to compimentary for women]or a "VELCRO BODY SUIT",the options ,are really pretty limited!!!!you either ;use a multi-function phone- - - or you buy a VEST!!!I was the owner of a new "BLACKBERRY",AND HAD MYSELF "WIRED"INTO ALL the OPTIONAL servers,systems[music,pics,news]BLAGH BLAGH BLAGH.reality set in when one day last wk,it slipped from it's holster,and was RUNDOWN,by an OLD LADY in a honda coupe!!!!!!there lied all my informed-self-in pieces in a McDONALD'S parking lot[not only "crushing-but depressing",luckily I had "back-uppes"my unit that morning before leaving the house[thank GOD-non sectarian].the point is =once this happened ,I was reduced to a DAMN PAYPHONE,and since the advent of cell phones-the large corps are REMOVING them from corners and buildings,SO WHERE are you when disaster strikes in a "MIKE_D'S parking lot="HEY buddy can I use your PDA" thanks gumby

     

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    joe pagliaro, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 6:49am

    pda

    im an avid pda user and a rare cell user im kinda actualy annoyed at the companies that are turning out convergebnt devices ie palm...they really dont seem to care about the people who jsut seem to want a nonconverged phone.....look i like being connected thats why i use hotspots to check my mail or ims...but beyond that i just don want a pda/phone....there nice....just too darn finicky....wake up palm go back to making decent quality pdas...that the everyday joe can and will use....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 7:27am

    I love my Cingular 8125. I use my bluetooth headset to make calls and I can surf the net and read emails

    what's not to like about that? Don't knock it until you try it

     

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    Ken Thompson, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 7:29am

    "Instruction" manuals

    Maybe more features would be used in the new phones if the instruction manuals that come with them were better written. The salesman I bought my Samsung 900 from said they all were awful, and he could not figure out how to turn the vibrate feature on or off, a feature not even mentioned in the manual.

     

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    Rabbit, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 8:47am

    I can see both sides

    When I got my phone two years ago I was excited to have a camera and a color screen and etc..... But the fun wore off really quick and now I pretty much only use it as a phone. I can understand why people want these features, but I grew tired of them. Now I just want a slim, tough PHONE that gets killer reception and has a long battery life. I'll use my laptop for PC purposes...

     

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    Obvious Bully, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 9:18am

    Anonymous...
    Say, aren't you that ignorant asshole I see everywhere with the Lt. Uhura thing crammed in your ear 24/7, talking loudly to the air?

    Some advice for you mate:
    You look like a pratt, and sound as if you're ready for the loony bin. Take that sheit out of your ear, and try not being externally stimulated every damn hour of the day. You might start to notice there are other people on this planet, and perhaps take measures to not be so annoying.

     

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    Jean, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 9:43am

    Agreed newer phones have way too much junk

    I have an MDA that I'm crazy about, but I kept my Verizon cell phone (4 years old). I don't want people calling me on my MDA, because I use the wireless internet for work. It doesn't matter to me that I have to carry around two separate devices. I am also not an old geezer afraid of technology. I just don't need a cell phone that does everything.

     

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    PhysicsGuy, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 10:49am

    i'm as tech savvy as they come and i take pride in the fact that i do not own even a simple cell phone. most of the people who absolutely have to have their new all inclusive device are but simple sheep flocking to the new hyped product. sure, i have an mp3 player or two, laptop, a couple desktops, a computer in a cardboard box (my ghetto computer pwns anything you have), cameras, etc... somehow, though, for some amazing freak occurrence, i'm able to function in society and maintain a social life without a cell phone. zomg nohzzzzz!!!! saying such a thing is blasphemy to some people... to those people i say "bahhhhh" (or whatever a sheep sound would phonetically compile to)

     

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    virgin, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 10:50am

    i recently purchased a cell "nokia shorty"from virgin mobile its 18 cents a min and you can have it automatically "top up" from your bank/paypal/debit its like 20$ every 3 months i disliked cell phone and used a pager for years and years.
    the point to my story is simple i rarely talk on my phone its got caller id so for me its just like my old pager but i always can make a call in an emergency or call when im out of town when the pay-phones costs 50cents ...thats if you can even find a pay phone and its vary basic but i love the flashlight feature ive used many times

    KISS=Keep It Simple Stupid .......is how i live my life

     

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  29.  
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    Noalear, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 11:23am

    I like gizmos. Sometimes at work ill go to the bathroom, and while im pooping I like to text a friend or play some bomberman on my phone. Or if I have a really massive turd I will take a picture of it and upload it to my computer later to send to all my friends. If I really wanted to I could put a couple songs on my phone and listen to them while I work, or poop. It's nifty gizmos that help me get through my day. If you can pack them all down into a small product, so much the better.

    Since I mentioned work in this someone is going to say "lost productivity".. to this I say
    Everyone above me is what I refer to as a "grey-haired". a grey-haired is a person that has been doing the same thing soo long in a certain way they can't think about how they could be using new technology to get things done faster and more accurately. One of my grey-haired co-workers still uses a swedish calculator (i think thats what its called, it doesnt have an = key) to calculate the volume of our silos, the only thing he doesnt realize is that it only calculated to the 3rd or 4th place, where as the computer takes about 1/10th the amount of time an d is infinitely accurate. But I am not allowed to use the accurate, time saving way. Anyway- enough rambling.

    I like gizmos and gadgets.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 11:31am

    not as bad as you think

    not all data plans are complex. i have a sprint ppc-6700 with an unlimited data plan for $15 a month. It is a great phone, but it does get annoying when i just want to make a call on it.

     

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    PhysicsGuy, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Noalear

    computers are infinitely accurate? since all computations inherently take place over a certain amount of time, unless you have infinite time you cannot have infinite calculations and therefore you cannot have infinite accuracy. since infinite is an abstract concept there is no way to tangibly have infinite time, and due to the nature of the concept of infinite there would be no way to ever reach the end of an infinitely accurate computation (yea yea, i'm talking specifically about irrational numbers here). granted, i'll agree precision is necessary when performing any calculations, so 3 or 4 decimal places would not be preferable. "grey-haired" or not, depending on what these calculations are actually needed for, lack of precision is inarguably a major flaw.

     

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    Brad Eleven, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Phone is a Phone

    > I fully support your statements about the phone
    > companies not offering the phones that we would like,
    > but rather the phones that the PHONE companies
    > would like us to like! They make more money on
    > things other than talking.

    Now why does this remind of the television broadcasting industry? Oh, yeah, because I'm not the customer; the advertisers are the customers of "free" television.

    I've noticed lately that when I find a mass-produced product that I like, it tends to go away and be replaced by some inferior imitation. I'm talking gum, breath mints, soda pop--nothing serious, but all on that make-a-penny-from-everyone scale.

    OMG. Could it possibly be that it's all about money, with consumer preference as a coincidence? In these United States?????

    Colour me disillusioned.

     

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    Umapathy, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Phone is a Phone

    Yeah I too totally agree with your comment. I am from Sri Lanka. More features is equal to more nuisance. Why should some one should pay for feature that's not required. If you need more feature, there are cheap computers run on Linux systems are widely available why should someone pay for nuisance. Mobile itself doesn't do well even the mobile phone voice quality is very bad also often get disconnected while talking these things need to be sorted before improving the features.

     

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    August West, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 6:29pm

    Never the 2 shall meet

    I have to have a cell phone for work. I troubleshoot computer networks for a living. So I have a phone, and a computer, and never the 2 shall meet. I have the work network set up so we can all securely access it from almost anywhere anyway. And its getting really hard to find a phone that is just a phone. Mine is terrible, the buttons seemed to be designed to piss off the consumer that insists on a simple cell phone instead of the slicer-dicer-do your banking and wash your car models they push so hard at the store. So I appreciate the leads on simple phones from this discussion. Thanks, folks

     

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    Bill102M, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 7:00pm

    Noalear

    Technology is incredible. There are phones and combinations of devices ie: cameras, PDA's, text messaging devices sufficient to satisfy most peoples need and desires. I do think most of them are far too small. Fitting only the hand of a small child whose best use of the technology is to hide in the washroom from his grey haired superiors taking pictures of his fecal matter. The truly great thing is, technology will advance, you will not. You will age and become one of the stuck in the mud grey hairs you seem to take such pleasure in ridiculing now.

     

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    Nukem, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 9:58pm

    The Targe Audience

    Kids I tell you, it's those freek'n kids. Deep pocket daddy buys his kid a cell phone that pukes out email like a wino alley drunk. It's know wonder kids have trouble in school, they know more about punching buttons than they do about Read'n, Writ'n & Arithmatic. They sure as hell know how to send a text message but don't know how to take a test in school. Their english and math skills suck but their dexterity is miraculous. One mother told me her daughter had a $500 phone bill with over 5000 text messages in one billing cycle. Yep that's what the new tech cell phones do and what cell phone companies are targeting... Tomorrows push button Junkies..

     

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    Pda user, Dec 30th, 2006 @ 10:01pm

    had a palm IIIc, tungsten t, now a treo ( a pda that has a phone app on it). Fits in my pocket perfectly.

     

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    James Sale, Dec 31st, 2006 @ 1:42am

    Phone is a phone

    The biggest obstacle to all our mobile technology is powersource, we still have'nt found a light-wieght longevity solution in batteries . Mobile data is still in its infancy, packeting and usability will come sure enough.

     

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  39.  
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    John Hunt, Dec 31st, 2006 @ 5:30am

    my .02

    I'm currently running a Motorola SLVR L7 that, believe it or not, I won off from a snickers candy bar. I entered the code in to the web site and this thing showed up in the mail. I was blown away.

    Here is what I would like to see. If they could just produce a basic phone that has strong signal reception in weak signal places, and then simply make it plenty loud so that you can actually hear it when you are in public places. How about trying to make it just as loud as a good quality standard home telephone. I'll take 2.

     

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  40.  
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    Ellen, Dec 31st, 2006 @ 6:43am

    Gray haired huh?

    We have a cell phone for one reason only, and that's because of our daughter, who's disabled and requires special transport. The rides are always late and I was always running to find a pay phone when we were stuck out some place, having to leave her alone while I called to find out where her ride was. Half the time the stupid pay phones wouldn't work, so we got our first cell phone more than 10 years ago.

    None of my friends have my cell number. They don't need it. If anyone wants to talk to me, they can call me at home or they can email me, and I'll get it on my MDA when I'm at work. If that makes me gray-haired, well then call me granny.

     

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  41.  
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    Troy, Dec 31st, 2006 @ 9:07am

    All I hear is cry, cry, cry...

    Aside from a few on this long list, such as ellen, I would like to nominate the entire group for the geriatrics club. This article is about data use, not people who hate cell phones. Not a single major cell carrier fails to offer a phone that lacks a camera or bluetooth. To me all this complaining sounds like a combination of generations who are too lazy to join the learning curve. All the time I hear how my generation (right now 16-25) is worthless when it comes to working. HAHA! It's laughable! At least we know how to use a cell phone and not complain about it. And as for the 26yo in the first post, get a life. If you were really 26 you should not touch a computer...EVER. Now, I suggest everyone here who has complained about cellphones read the article again and realize its not an anti-cell article. Second, learn to read. Third, get with the program and learn to use new technology...its never going to go back folks so get used to it.

     

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  42.  
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    TJ, Dec 31st, 2006 @ 10:18am

    Phone first!

    I totally agree! I want a cell phone that really works well as a phone. Please take the cameras out and make the phones work again.
    My 5 year old Nokia outperformed my new smartphone and every other phone I have used. I used to make calls when noone else had service. The Nokia is no longer supported (TDMA from the old AT&T).
    Now with Cingular and the new phones, I drop calls and the voice quality is not as good. Please focus on what is important in a device - for a phone it is the phone call!

     

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  43.  
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    judy, Dec 31st, 2006 @ 1:08pm

    cell phones

    Would just like to say .. a lot of you should of had a mother that smacked your ass once in a while !! and.. I want a phone I can hear out of.. if it has to have pictures, make them legible...and ez to send.. I'm 55 and I did learn to respect others opinions, even if I don't like them,I have a laptop, desktop,pda, i want a "phone" for conversations.... Thank you,

     

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  44.  
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    Meek, Dec 31st, 2006 @ 2:21pm

    Re: All I hear is cry, cry, cry...

    How about you learn to commit suicide. It would do us all a lot more good than listening to what you feel you have to say.

     

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  45.  
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    matt, Dec 31st, 2006 @ 3:00pm

    tough to agree or disagree but

    I have to say that...phones do have functionality which some people use, but tech is in the eye of the beholder just like anything else, and in addition, not all phones are "Walled gardens"....motorola phones like razr and k1m are very open to any and all firmware flashing, hacking, heck motorola puts out a development kit to do whatever you want to do, to the phone.

    However, like high tech anything, it takes a long time for the general public to understand capability and/or not get scammed by extraneous walled gardens.

    I see nothing wrong with mobile phones as mobile phones

     

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  46.  
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    morley winograd, Dec 31st, 2006 @ 3:34pm

    Wireless data

    And there is lots of data from user surveys to show this attitude exists in most markets around the world. Go to marshall.usc.edu/ctm and search for WMIS research.

     

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  47.  
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    wmplpi, Jan 1st, 2007 @ 5:35am

    Just give me a phone with good service

    I have to travel 10 states in the south east united states. Service with a good signal is my selling point for a cell phone. Who can afford the data service? You are charged by the minute just to surf the web. It can eat your minutes up and run your phone bill into the hundreds of dollars. Give me a camera with enough pixel that when I make a picture it is worth keeping. I havent seen any camera on any phone that works as good or has the clarity of a simple digital camera.

     

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  48.  
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    chris (profile), Jan 1st, 2007 @ 10:01am

    if you want just a phone, get a jitterbug

    http://www.gojitterbug.com

    it's a simplified phone made for retar... i mean old people.

    all it does is make phone calls. sure you're going to have to bend over and grab your ankles when it comes to plan pricing... but it's a gigantic phone with gigantic buttons.

    it looks like it was made by fisher-price for peewee herman, but i digress.

     

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  49.  
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    TonyM, Jan 1st, 2007 @ 10:58am

    Re: All I hear is cry, cry, cry...

    Troy, this article is NOT about data, it is about Cell phones just being a phone to call people with, doing that well, easily, and toughly (long battery, water/shock proof, what have you).
    Your intellect is not deep, you offer knee jerk unconsidered comments, and you really are irrelevant. Please move on.
    I have no interest in email, or cameras, or any surfing on my phone. I have perfectly good computers and cameras at hand.
    The internet is younger than you, but you act like it matters? Not to many of us, .. and we are not just old folks with Grey hair.. sometimes people just want a toaster to be a toaster. you are a nit however. not a toaster.

     

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  50.  
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    TonyM, Jan 1st, 2007 @ 11:12am

    Re: if you want just a phone, get a jitterbug

    Again, we are not retarded, merely want something suitable. The jitterbug is not suitable for most, too dumbed down.
    You might be retarded since your world view is one that cannot envision that there are people who are fully capable of surfing the web, checking email, taking pictures, AND who are not INTERESTED!
    I am a rocket scientist for gods sake, not a retard, and I just want a phone that lasts a long time per charge, is drop/shock proof, and is easy to use/read/use the buttons.
    Why does that make me retarded?
    I think the folks who buy in to all the hype that phone companies WANT you to buy into, and don't EVEN realize it, are the retards. You are like flipping lemmings that don't seem to have a unique thought in your head, merely one of the herd who don't even know that they are ignorant.
    The folks on this forum/blog comment list who have pertinent things to say are those that have the perspective to step back, ask themselves not just what is out there, not what they are told to want, but to actually figure out what THEY want independent of advertising and fads.
    I have seen claims that more money can be made, and that most people want, data plans. And that phones need that (and cameras and MP3s etc.) However, that does add complexity and cost to the phones, and many heritage designs (predating bells and whistles) that could have been kept alive and improved for minimal cost (tooling and fab already amortized, essentially any new phones are made nearly for free, with huge profits available due to low fab costs).
    Rather than adding cameras, data, big screens and all that, which makes the PHONE companies money due to lemmings spending lost of money to get emails that they couldn't wait 10 minutes for, why don't we see the multiple patch antennas which improve reception hugely? or larger batteries that are lighter, last longer etc? I want a phone that will last 2 weeks without a charge more than I want a camera, and many folks I know also want that.
    Instead the phone companies all make "different" phones all the same.. very little product range.

    Those of you who say we are 'grey haired' or retards or whatever are the ones those terms most apply to. You are the individuals who believe what your told, want what you are told to want, and don't even know it.

    Learn some perspective.

    For instance.., did you know, that will all the advertising for Plasma TVs (use HUGE power), LCD tvs (slow refresh), that the BEST picture is STILL CRT (old fashioned Tube) HD TV? It is. Check out some of the screens at any decent stores, whatever you want to do, and use real life (not dark, back lighting) moving pictures.

    Issue with CRT's are they are bulky and max out at 36" (sony did have a 40" 400 lb one briefly).

    But.. I bet those of you who believe the hype on phones don't even know that CRT's rule.

    Just wait until the SES comes out, will blow Plasma and LCD away, AND will be big screen.

    Or...you can be little lemmings and have your bells and whistle phones and $3000 LCD, whatever.

     

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  51.  
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    Awula, Jan 1st, 2007 @ 3:00pm

    Argh they putting all these feature in the phone, making it more expensive so we have to pay. $200? hell no

    The life battery REALLY REALLY need a improvement. My brother charges his EVERYDAY, a day take 2/3 of the power. I charge my every 3 days. I'm ok but my brother phone is ANNOYING.

     

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  52.  
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    Joe Baker, Jan 1st, 2007 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Phone is a Phone

    I agree completely with you. In my case, I'm especially rough on this generation of "delicate" phones, seemingly destructing if struck by a raindrop or dropped from over a foot. (Exaggerating, yea, but not much.)
    At any rate, I shopped for a "no frills" phone, one that, among other things, would be AFFORDABLE to buy mid-conract....straight out, without strings attached extending your contract etc. What I found were 2 phones carried by WalMart. They are the Sony Ericson, a "bar" phone, and a Motorola V-173, a flip phone and my personal favorite.. They sell for approximately $50 and $60, respectively. Although both have color displays, neither have cameras, and surprisingly enough, both seem to stand up to abuse much better than thieir fancy relatives. I have used Ciingular for several years, and not only can these phones can be used exactly as any other Cingular phone, they can also be used as a pre-paid, per-minute phone.
    Though imperfect (they still have the text messaging features, etc.), they come closest to meeting my criteria of a "basic" and (relatively) affordable phone.
    Hope this helps.

     

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  53.  
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    Terri, Jan 1st, 2007 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Phone is a Phone

    I have also been looking for a cell phone for an elderly person, and a friend told me about a company called Jitterbug, and they actually do make a cell phone that has big buttons, a decent screen view, and no bells and whistles! THE THING JUST MAKES AND RECEIVES CALLS !!! whoa.....
    hope this helps

     

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  54.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Jan 1st, 2007 @ 6:22pm

    Teh Motofone sounds like a real winner. About a year ago the biggest sellling 'phone in Aus was an old Nokia which had no fancy features, but did calls and sms, and had decent batteries and B&W screen.Nokia stopped making it because it was obsolete, but evenafter it went of the market ppl still bought them second hand. A lot of businesses and the govt want phones like that, so that they aren't securtiy rosks, and they do all that most ppl want, especially if you have a good camera and a iPod.

     

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  55.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Jan 2nd, 2007 @ 3:57am

    Susceptible Kids

    Funny thing is my kid lives with his mom and wants a new phone
    He was actually in the back of the car the other day and asked whether I thought a phone with xGb storage and a yMpx camera was better than another similar one

    My answer "which one works best as a phone?" seemed to confuse him

    I've had mates who have to have the latest phone. A few years ago my buddy got a 3G phone - great if you knew someone else with one, pointless if not (3G wasn't big at the time). The best bit was watching him trying to get reception - standing on a stool, leaning towards the window with one hand on a radiator seemed favourite

    My other mates have similar stories of woe, battery life and breakages as others in this topic

    All I want is a phone (texting would also be useful) camera is a no, as is MP3 as is calendar etc etc

    Just calls, texts, reception and a battery life measurable in decades (serious - if you improve batteries to the point where the add-ons are feasible I will STILL want a basic phone with EVEN MORE life)

    I currently have a Nokia 6310 and even that has more crap than I need

    PS - I manage IT systems globally for a major multinational so don't be putting me in no 'techno-baffled grumpy old git' bracket (although I would much rather share a train with one of them than some uber-kid who insists on playing games and listening to MP3s too loud whilst ‘talking’ (shouting) hands free to his annoying girlfriend - tossers)

     

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  56.  
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    UI Bri, Jan 2nd, 2007 @ 8:59am

    this is so typical

    I'm willing to put money on the fact that everyone leaving a comment along the lines of "just give me a damn telephone" is an American.

    Myself included, Americans have had the luxury of a cheap and reliable POTS (plain old telephone service) for generations now, and are mostly ignorant that this is not the case in most other countries around the world.

    The main reason you can't find a cellular phone that acts like the rotary phone your mother grew up with is pretty simple: CELLPHONES AREN'T TELEPHONES they're two-way radios - they're pocket computers (and always have been) - and they happen to have a back office connection to the telephone service.

    Case in point: every poster on this article blindly accepts that you don't get a dial-tone when you use your cell phone. Yet I see no one griping about "why don't they just put in a dial-tone? I hate using the Send button."

    I'm not denying that there's an under served market segment here: handicapped people with poor motor skills or bad eyesight are definitely ignored by the manufacturers. But all the bellyaching on this thread is just the small percentage of the population resistant to change and uninterested in new modes of communication.

    If you hate modern mobile phones so much, America, you have an option: let your dollars cast your vote and don't buy one. Companies will eventually get the message and figure out how to sell you the thing you're asking for.

     

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  57.  
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    Witty Nickname, Jan 2nd, 2007 @ 11:21am

    I think you are all missing a very important point.

    If you dont get a cell phone with a camera, how can the CIA get live pictures of you?

     

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  58.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 2:59am

    Re: this is so typical

    Er no - firstly I'm English (hi)

    Second - I love having a mobile and have no problems with mobile technology or technology in general

    HOWEVER - I really, really (insert a lot of reallys) hate the fact that I cannot seem to get hold of a mobile phone which just does the phone thing

    I'm not disabled, old aged, visually impared, or technology scared. I, like most of the other posters on this thread realise that I pay a lot more for a phone with loads of crap attached that I will never use, and which reduce the function of the thing I want in the first place (i.e. a PHONE)

    I don't want to stop having to buy mobiles - they are useful. I just want the next phone I buy to work at least as well as and be as useful as the one I currently have, which when I check out the stores does not seem possible

     

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  59.  
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    UI Bri, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: this is so typical

    I guess I missed the mark on guessing your nationality, Enrico, sorry. No offense intended ;)

    Aside from the fact that carriers are pretty interested in advancing their over-the-air technology so they can serve more customers (and presumably serve their existing ones better), I don't see that much has changed.

    Responsible consumers should do little homework and compare reviews about the reception and battery life on the model phone they're buying, and should know what to expect from their equipment. In the US, the free phone (with 2yr. contract) is going to pretty much be junk - it always has been, and always will be whether it comes with a weak excuse for a camera attached or not.

    But all the griping about the hardware I hear on this thread is like everyone saying "I don't want a car that's an air conditioner, or a car that's got Anti-Lock breaks. Just give me a car that's a car. Regular breaks are fine. You don't need to make it a carnival ride that's full of balloons if it gets hit by another car. Just make it a car." This is what I hear, and it just seems ridiculous to me.

    Others in this thread have mentioned that there are a couple models out there that are fairly stripped down. I'm sure they're not at the local Orange store, but there are ways of finding them. Why haven't you sought one out? If you started singing the praises of your new "Model T", more people/carriers might listen.

     

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  60.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: this is so typical

    No probs - no offence taken

    My issue and I believe other peoples issue is simply that the carriers are all but force feeding phones with built in everything to everyone and its annoying

    Yes we understand why they do it (for money) and yes we understand that we will have to shop around to get what we want rather than what they want us to want, but it is still annoying

    Sorry but the Model T thing simply isn't true - an airbag or ABS aren't gimmicks they are genuine safety enhancements likly to save my life in the event of a crash. A low grade camera which unwantedly drains battery isn't an enhancement and is more likly to CAUSE a crash

    The phones I have witnessed some of my less technologically competant friends buying are not cheap nasty free phones - these are very expensive items which have consistently failed to have basic things like

    The ability to receive a phone signal
    A ring tone which is actually audible
    The durability to withstand everyday use
    Battery life over a day
    The ability to make a phone call quickly without having to navigate a menu

    These are the apparently very hard to deliver things I want from a phone, why should I not be able to get these on a contract phone? Why should I have to pay a premium just to get a basic phone that works?

    Oh and we are singing the praises of our model Ts - thats what the last 50 or so people did and what several of my more techno saavy friends do all the time when they buy new phones

    I don't see the operators paying any attention...

    and thats ANNOYING

     

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  61.  
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    Jeanie, Mar 24th, 2007 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Phone is a Phone

    Did you ever find a phone for a senior? That's exactly what I'm looking for and have not been successful yet. Any comments?

     

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  62.  
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    Mr. Spootaramus, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 10:33pm

    Re: working & pooping

    I really like how you worked the words "Work" & "poop" into the same sentence. Quite masterful, I must say.

    Neeways, I once had a place where I could see the TV real good from the crapper if I left the door open. I would often take the remote in there with me so I could adjust the volume just right.
    Those were the best times ever.
    Now, if only I could poop & watch TV at work..........

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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