Cell phone strategies

As a measure of how much things have changed – I almost left the ‘cell’ off the title of this post. The lowly land line is that invisible/insignificant. My daughter, who is off on her own, has never – as far as I know – had an old style hard wired phone connection. Enough of that – on to the subject I really wanted to discuss…

Curse you, Steve Jobs! I’ve been thinking about upgrading my cell phone – looking at smartphones like the Motorola Q and the Samsung Blackjack. As I read reviews, it became clear that these phones have a fatal flaw – they lock up and crash. It comes with the territory – with more complexity and with a general purpose OS, Murphy has bigger opportunities for fun and chaos. So, after thinking about it a bit (and admitting that really, what I need a cell phone for is making phone calls) I’d settled on what I’m callling the unix approach – loosely coupled devices, each good at the thing they are supposed to do. A cell, with 3G capabilities for data, to make phone calls on; maybe a Nokia N800 for data/web connectivity; a headset; and so on – all tied together with Bluetooth. Sounds like a plan. Then comes the announcement of of Apple’s jPhone and I’m overwhelmed by techno-covetousness. It’s still very early – I’ll be very interested to see the reviews – but mein Gott, what eye-candy. It is, for sure, pricey, but if it performs as advertised reliably it will be a contender and may knock my plan all to hell. Sounds like Apple is trying to ensure reliability – they may be using what I’ll call the PS/2 software model. Developers will have to get software blessed by Cupertino before it’ll be available (through the iTunes store?) – maybe, again, not a lot of details – it’s pretty clear, though, that the iPhone won’t be an open platform. Time will tell and the cell decision delay is for the best – with the boy going off to college in the fall on one of the 2 US coasts (TBD), there are likely to be more important cell plan considerations – like coverage and minutes.

Later – the Colbert Report on the iPhone – I love the fact that he hits the multiple device v. integrated platform thing: