Psst, Did You Hear The One About…

“There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.” Never have the words of Winston Churchill rung more true. For the past 11 months I have been trying to come up with a good justification for replacing my cell phone. I have a Motorola Razr that I have had since they first came on the market. My service provider is Verizon and despite what that squirrelly guy on the commercial thinks, I really can’t hear him. For as long as I can remember I have had poor cellular service especially at our house. It is not as though I live on a remote mountain somewhere in Tibet. I am pretty much in the middle of a city of over 100,000 and yet from a cell tower perspective I may as well be on the planet Neptune. Neptune is still a planet isn’t it? Ever since the whole Pluto fiasco I just don’t know any more.

With each passing day and each dropped call I find myself getting closer and closer to taking up skeet shooting with my phone. It’s not just the bad service though. It is the fact that my phone is just that, a phone. While the Razr is capable of doing more than just allowing me to make and receive calls; my service plan is not set up to take advantage of that. I am at a quandary here. I am old enough that I can still remember a time when there were no cell phones. I lived through the dark ages of numeric pagers and felt empowered when I was able to carry a phone that was nearly small enough to fit in your briefcase. The phones weighed the equivalent of what a small laptop now weighs. So for me to begin to complain that my phone is only capable of placing and receiving calls seems almost comical to me. My kids on the other hand cannot imagine life without a personal phone capable of unlimited text messaging, picture mail, and mobile Internet. My son who is in the fifth grade believes he is the most picked on kid in the universe because his parents do not believe a child his age should have a cell phone. The point I am trying to make is that we have a large discrepancy in our family between what features and functions are important in a cell phone.
Over the past 11 months I have evaluated the various technologies in my life and I have collected requirements of what I use and how. I realized that first of all I have way too much crap and I need to consolidate some of these devices. Either that or I am going to need a Batman utility belt to be able to carry all of these gadgets. I have pagers, a phone, a PDA, a laptop, a camera, and an iPod. Each of these devices has their own set of accessories that must be carried to make them usable. It is to the point that I almost need a Sherpa to help me carry all of these things when I travel. So in an effort to simplify my life I have decided that I needed to try to minimize my technological clutter by consolidating these various gadgets. The trend appears to be for the cell phone to become the primary personal communication device. The emergence of the smart phone has been readily accepted by society and allowed the market to flourish. Given this assessment I decided that I would embark on a path that would lead me into the world of the intelligent multitasking phone. Having made that decision I thought my choice would become crystal clear. That was of course not the case and I continue to try and grasp which device would best meet my needs. At first my research led me to the Blackberry. It is widely used, has good technical support, and seems to be readily available. The problem was that the user interface was in no way elegant. Each time I attempted to use a Blackberry regardless of the model I came away frustrated. No I needed something that would appeal not only to my techno-geek side but also would allow my creative side to feel nurtured. This thought frightened me slightly that I was under the delusion that a device could somehow nurture me but hey I have bigger problems than that to solve in my life. After countless research sessions and some hands-on evaluations I finally decided that the device that would best meet my needs would be the Apple iPhone.
I’ll admit that I have been an Apple fan before. I was around during the Apple II days and developed on the original Macintosh. For many years I was a Mac bigot but slowly my needs changed and I moved away from Apple products to the more mainstream Windows environment. Now though my frustration level with Microsoft, their software and operating systems are leading me to revisit whether I should reverse my allegiance and go back towards Apple’s product offerings. From a smart phone perspective it seems like the logical choice. I have now fully talked myself into an iPhone and I am even willing to accept the fact that in typical Apple fashion my decision would paint me into a monopolistic corner by taking away my choices of which carrier I would be able to use for service. Since I hate Verizon anyway, how bad can AT&T be right? So I am now prepared to buy an iPhone and begin down the enlightened path of phone intelligence. You would think I would be excited. Unfortunately my timing seems to be extremely poor. Nowhere on the planet can I find an iPhone. And here is where Winston Churchill comes in. It seems that there are rampant rumors circulating that Apple is on the verge of introducing a new iPhone. I have no idea whether the new phone will at all resemble the existing iPhone that I have determined will meet my needs. If you visit 10 iPhone web sites you will get 10 different answers as to what features and capabilities will be included or even when the new phone will be available. Apple of course thrives on this mentality and seeks to create a media buzz that they can ride all the way to the bank. In my case what they have done is stopped all decisions until I can find clarity which as near as I can figure will not occur until around June 9 at 10 AM Pacific Time; at least that is the rumor.

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