The cellphone industry is broken

I need a new work cell phone (or “sellephone”, as the kids say). My carrier at work (Telus) doesn’t have any of the phones I want (Nokia Series 60), and I can’t find any useful information from sites that review cellphones on any of the phones it carries. That is a marketplace in need of some serious simplification. I won’t even go into the acronyms, incompatible standards, locale-restricted capabilities, etc.

I’ll almost certainly end up going cheap (thereby depriving someone of more margin) because I can’t trust the recommendations of peers, journalists etc. towards a particular phone, because phones have a shelf-life of 2 weeks, so reviews are obsolete before they’re published.

We don’t need twelve thousand models of phones. We really don’t.

Lazyweb, any suggestions? (For a phone, I mean — the “obvious” suggestion for fixing the industry is to combine VOIP, WLANs and a manufacturer with their head screwed on straight and provide Saturn/ING Direct type “simple” plans. Maybe can’t happen for regulatory reasons, but it should.).

3 Comments

  1. I don’t get why it is so popular in US/Canada to have phones with an ugly antenna sticking out. You can’t find any phones like that here in Norway.

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  2. The issue with Wifi is power consumption. Until that can be brought way down, it’ll be a non-starter. Hell, Bluetooth is bad enough – if I forget to turn off Bluetooth on my Nokia, the battery will be drained overnight.

    A useful step for you is to sit down and work out what features you want in a phone. Select from the list:

    Camera?
    GSM/CDMA?
    How much PDA functionality?
    Expandable Memory?
    OS? (from the sounds of your post, you want a Series 60 Nokia to run Python)
    Any other constraints? (Form factor? Screen size? Keyboard?)

    Then go browse the vendor websites (e.g. Nokia, SonyEricsson, …) for your country to have a look at some of the models – in the Nokia space, you’re probably looking at something in the 5xxx or 6xxx range). Finally, go to a local phone shop and play with the phones. I can’t emphasise this last point enough – a previous phone I had seemed fine on paper, but I found the keys on it were intensely annoying. I’m reasonably happy with the current phone I have (a nokia 6230).

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