Just give me a simple phone

Just give me a simple phone

According to this story, all consumers really want is a simple cell phone: no camera, no MP3s, no TV. I could not agree more. Everywhere you look, in every ad, the cell phone companies and wireless providers are trumpeting phones with so much junk when all I want is a phone that makes reliable calls and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg—to buy the phone or to make calls. Oh, and could they make it durable, too?

Nathan Bales represents a troubling trend for cellular phone carriers. The Kansas City-area countertop installer recently traded in a number of feature-laden phones for a stripped-down model. He said he didn’t like using them to surf the internet, rarely took pictures with them and couldn’t stand scrolling through seemingly endless menus to get the functions to work.

I’ve been saying this forever. My ideal phone would synchronize its address book with my computer, would have Bluetooth so that it could do so wirelessly, and it could act as a wireless modem for my laptop on occasion. I know that sometimes I occasionally take photos with it, but they’re too dark and too fuzzy (it’s impossible to keep the lens clean). I don’t surf the net with it, I don’t want to watch TV on it (who wants to watch TV on a 2” screen? This is progress?), and I don’t want to listen to music on it. I have an iPod for that. The problem with putting too much stuff into one gadget is that when that gadget runs out of power or breaks, you’re down a phone, a camera, a PDA, and an MP3 player. Plus, as they’ve added features, the controls become ever more complicated to use. Turning off the volume on my phone is a four-step process, for crying out loud.

Waiting for Appleto design the iPhone

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
6 comments
  • The best part of my cell phone is the off button.

    And while I agree with you on the camera (so called) feature, a lot of folk don’t.

    A few weeks ago, an usher spotted a visitor calmly opening his during in church and, intent on ordering the man to cease and desist, found out that the phone holder was only intending to take a picture of a statue.

    Befuddled, the hapless usher was heard to mutter: “What’s wrong with a normal camera?” wink

  • I don’t mind them offering phones that do everything but open cans PROVIDED they offer a phone that is a simple phone.

    Our daughter is 5 months old. We are researching video cameras so as to be able to record her first Christmas, first Birthday, etc. We are running into the same problem there. We have a digital camera. We don’t need a video camera with 5 pixels to take pictures but it seems to get the better memory with a video camera we are supposed to pay extra for one that also takes great pictures. It almost makes me miss the VHS video cameras.

    Technology has become so complicated by all this and anyone who doesn’t understand it all often can’t trust the salesperson not to impose unwanted stuff on what he wants to purchase. My dad has been known to throw his cell phone when he can’t get to do the simple things…like check voice messages.

  • This is funny because just last week I was in the Sprint/Nextel store to see if I could do a trade on my ‘high tech’ phone for one that just makes and receives calls. The owner looked at me like I was nuts.

  • I don’t have a cell phone and have become annoyed with the phone culture. I have been in meetings were the other person repeatedly accepted calls on his cell phone during our conversation.  It told me that our meeting was not important and my business was not desired.

    Changing topics here…“A few weeks ago, an usher spotted a visitor calmly opening his during in church…”

    Have anyone else noticed the trend from phones ringing during church to folks actually accepting the call during Mass?  I’ve seen this happen four times in our parish since Spring.  One man accepted a call while going up to receive communion: “I’m in church now, I will call you in a litte while.”

    uggghhhh…

  • Right beside my Desktop is my trusty Bell System (Western Electric) black rotary phone that I bought from Ma Bell in 1984 when she was dismantled. It’s HEAVY bakelite and could be dangerous if dropped or thrown. I have a red rotary as well. I love those darn things.

    I love their simplicity, although I admit to using it generally for incoming calls. I rarely DIAL out, but do so occassionally. Our household cordless phone has been our main workhorse for the last 10 years or so.

    Our houshold only has a seven year old Ericson cell phone that lives in the glove compartment of my car…for emergencies and when traveling only.

    I still prefer to “be out of touch” while I’m away from a “land” line. If someone really needs to reach me, they’ll call when I’m home or at work. I was convinced over seven years ago that the increased mobility of communications gives us little or no “space” for peace and quiet in cluding overbearing employers.

    What broke the camels back for me occurred in 1999, when I started hearing phone conversations take place in Men’s Rooms (in the stall)!! Is the impulse to take a call that important?!!

  • “Just give me a simple phone…  My ideal phone would synchronize its address book with my computer, would have Bluetooth so that it could do so wirelessly, and it could act as a wireless modem for my laptop on occasion.”

    Perhaps “simplicity is in the phone of the beholder…”  grin

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