Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A New iPhone, Not!

My cell phone has been problematic for the past few months, mainly not holding a charge. So I thought I should investigate getting a new one. With the huge range of cell phones out there these days, it should not have been a problem. Or so I thought.

I am one of those whom the cell phone companies hate. A Pay as you Go customer. For the princely sum of $10 plus GSTax, my cell phone account is topped up every month with extra credit and because I use the phone so seldom, I never exhaust each month's allowance and it accumulates. My current balance is $504, which is a large number of phone calls and/or text messages. No I don't have the internet on my phone although I could if I wanted to pay an extra charge and I don't take photos with it. A very simple cellular phone.

The phone companies like the customers who sign up for the expensive monthly plans which start at $30 per month and require a three year contract, plus have all kinds of hidden extra costs, like a $7 monthly connection fee. Huh? To connect? I don't have to pay that. These places just nickle and dime you to death and people accept it all.

Despite all the choice in cell phones out there, including the new 3G iPhone, my service provider makes only two or three available to Pay as you Go Customers. So it was pretty much a no brainer as to which one I chose. Since I always have my camera with me, I chose the one without the camera and luckily it was cheaper since I had to buy a new car charger, even though it is a Motorala, exactly the same brand as my old phone. They carefully change some little thing every time so that you cannot use the old one with the new phone. Not only that, it costs 40% of the cost of the new phone which is totally absurd.

Now despite the great advances in technology, there is one feature which has deteriorated progressively over the three phones I have owned. That's the address book. In my first you could quickly find someone by using a little search area and typing in their name, sort of like google search. The next "improved" phone did not have this feature, nor does the latest. Mmm. The second phone had a symbol against each name indicating cell phone or home phone. So if you had both the cell phone number and the home phone number of the same person, you could choose one quickly and away you went. Luckily my old phone did have a SIM card so I was able to transfer my address book over to the new phone without typing in the long list all over again. But it just shows the same name twice without indicating which is a cell or a landline number. Now you have to view each to see which is the one you want. How is it that we are losing these good features while adding all kinds of others I don't give a hoot about? Mutter, mutter, grumble, grumble. And no voice activated dialling either. I did like that on my old phone. Home I would say and it would dial it. It even recognized my accent!

You know how I love the "techie toys". Yes I would love to have an iPhone to play with. But frankly I just can't justify the horrific monthly bill that would entail. After all I don't use all of $10 per month now, how could I justify paying five to ten times that, depending on the options.

Oops, it's crooked. Lucky I don't earn my living from this
photography malarky

So I will have to console myself with my iPod Touch. Almost the same, but without the camera and the telephone bits. I have it loaded with some neat Applications, the same ones that you can load onto either the iPhone or the iPod Touch. Of course you have to find a WiFi connection but that is becoming more common now. As if I don't spend enough time connected to the internet!

But I am sure it will be fine, fine, fine.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I hate having to change any techie things as it takes so long to get used to them. I love my "smart phone" now though I still haven't worked out all its features.

Chervil said...

I got a pre-paid card for the last mobile phone I had (a very ancient Nokia I got through freecycle). In the end the contract got cancelled and I lost all my credit when I didn't use it often enough. I then decided that I was not going to have another mobile phone even though I have always been interested in all sorts of new technology. I quite like not being "reachable" 24 hours a day!

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

JMB, As you know I too have an iTouch. I love my iTouch. ^_^

You can get a microphone+headphones for it. There is as skype app you can dowload. with the new mike, the app and WiFi you can turn it into a phone that can talk free acccross the world. I did not do it because of the mic was expensive.

I got a great app for free that mimics a zippo lighter. I used that at a concert I want to ^_^ and waved it in the air like a real lighter.

About PAYG phones. For some years I had a PAYG phone and chip, when a family memeber upgraded their phone they would give me their old one and I would move the chip, sometimes you had to do something else to it as well if it was a different provider. So as I didn't mind having a slightly older model I generally got free upgrades anyway.

I bet you could just buy a better model than they offer and transfer the chip if you wanted.

I am with Welshcakes on new phones tho. I hate having to learn new features, it is such a nuisance.

jams o donnell said...

I'm with Welshcakes and Moggs too. I hate learing new features but then all I want from a mobile is to make and occasionally receive calls. For me it is first and foremost a way to contact others. When I want to take a photo, I will use a proper camera, when I want to listen to music I will use my ipod.

Carver said...

When my last cell phone died and I got a new one, I chose the one with a camera because it was free since I agreed to extend my contract with the service. I tried the camera a few times since it was a new toy but the quality isn't good enough for me to want to use it so it's a waste. Good thing I didn't pay extra for the camera or I would be annoyed.

jmb said...

I don't think my qualifies as a smart phone Welshcakes. As I said, not a good as the old one.

Chervil I use this phone mostly to keep in touch with my walking group as we scatter about in different directions sometimes but need to meet at the end.

Yes Miss Moggs, we both love our iTouches and that sounds interesting about the mic and Skype. I have no idea about the phones if you can make any of them available for paygo service.

Jams, I don't really want too many fancy features either since I don't use it much, but this going backwards is a bit of a pain.

Carver how have all the cell phones turned into cameras as well. Granted that can be useful at times -- supposing you wanted to photograph damage to your car after an accident and had no camera with you.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting.

Rositta said...

We have a three year contract for both our phones but my sweetie needs it for business. We've used the same company since 1988 and they supply us with free phones every couple of years. I won't get an iPhone though, I think it's a waste of money for us. Europe now has a new law that all cellphones must have standard interchangeable chargers....ciao