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.).


  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.


  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:

    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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