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journal: toy · fun
An Adventure In Phone Shopping (Ode To Crackberry)
Posted courtesy of http://www.piratedthoughts.us the private blog of Jay Grider, DTgeeks.com features editor. Original article can be found At this location. This is a modified version of the article edited to better suit the content of this site.
My Curve was a gift from a friend and former boss Chip. Chip bought the phone through T-mobile probably when it first came out as the Curve 8320 was released in 2007 and it was gifted to me in 2009. Chip moved from that crackberry to another quickly, and shortly after moved to AT&T for an iPhone. When my Nokia flip phone, whose model number I am too lazy to find but we can suffice that it was a piece of crap, died after a long string a abuse (being pushed into the pool during JAWS camp, being thrown into my wall and getting stuck, being dropped out the car window on the interstate on accident [you get the idea]) I tried to seek a cheap alternative to pay for a new phone.
As someone who has task management issues I found myself craving the scheduling features that a smartphone packed. Posting around and tweeting asking if people had any old blackberry’s laying around *since i knew no one would give out a free iPhone or Droid* @ichip offered his to me. I fell in love as soon as I unlocked the T-Mobile device to work on my wireless carrier, a process that only took me 18 hours of active hacking. The phone was fast, easy to use, and feature rich. This was a whole new league of phones I had never experienced before.
Yet like all my phones during those teen years of angst and pubescent rage, the crackberry took abuse. Anger over breakups and douches with beards stealing the girls I pined for at night, the crackberry began to see some wear and tear. About a year ago the trackball went out, a combination of angst fits, clumbsyness, and using my phone while my hands were greasy. This was an easy fix, a four dollar order from overstock.com meant a new trackball for my crackberry, and another year of functionality.
Now as 2010 is drawing to a close, my crackberry cries in pain everyday, as I weep over missed calls and sms messages. Recently the sim card pins soddering has come loose, either that or my sim card is busted, which it appears to be alright, and replacing it is not an option as my wireless carrier doesn’t know I am using a smartphone (SHHHHHHHHH). Leaving me with a phone that drops service every ten minutes or so and requires a reset to get it to come back. These are dark days in my digital world.
As my crackberry began to die I felt it was time to let it rest in peace. I began examining the newer models of crackberrys available from my wireless carrier. I went to several wireless stores to play with the models of the new phones, and even called a friend who has one of them and asked if I could play around with it for an hour or so. The outcome was glum at best. Despite being a crackberry the features and apps offered were just to downbeat. The new interface was confusing and extremely complex. I quickly grew to fear that I may have to venture into a realm of a new phone manufacturer.
In my senior year of highschool I spent about $1200 on a macbook. This was the worst decision of my life. If I had saved that money I would have $1200 less in student loan debt.... ok maybe it was an ok decision, no it wasn’t. The truth is that I love PC’s, I love playing video games, I love being able to take the side off my desktop and move things around and change speeds of fans and physically manage every aspect of my computer. Beyond that In the two years I owned that macbook I had numerous failures of the hardware, and numerous issues with the customer relations team at Apple. In the few instances that they refused to repair an issue caused by poor manufacturing I found that getting angry and peeling keys off the macbook’s keyboard and tossing them at them would usually get them to fix it for free, and buy my something from Captain Ahab’s Coffee ARRRRR. However, it was only a matter of time until I got bored of wasting my time doing this and sold the piece of crap for a cold $600. That was a good decision. Anyway, thats why I hate Apple now.
So with iPhones off the table, I decided to look at windows 7 phones, since they just came out and all. These phones, although cool, and full of features, were not very customizable. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the interface, its what makes me love my Zune HD so much, but there is not much you can customize about it, and I like to customize. This only left one option, Android. My carrier, like all non Verizon carriers does not offer a stellar offering of Droid phones. However they have a few, and one that is about the size of my Curve and just as cool.
Why Droid though? Thats the real question. The market demand seems to be calling all of us to buy an iPhone, not a Google mobile OS based smartphone that is made by some Taiwanese person. The simple answer is in the quality of the hardware and the market experience. The phone that I chose to purchase is made by HTC, a mobile industry leader since the mobile industry began. This company is the big leagues of mobile devices. They created the IPAQ, the first touchscreen phone, one of the first 3G phones, and the first 4G phone. Thats quite a list of accomplishments, on top of the fact that they have a custom distro of android that features a much smoother GUI. HTC, a company that many of us never heard of till the last few years grew in silence. They didn’t start branding devices as HTC until just several years ago and the first big one that anyone can remember was the myTouch.
Lets look at Apple, more specifically their accomplishments in the mobile communications industry:
Multi-touch technology (Invented far before the iPhone was released, 1982 by the University of Toronto to be exact), a mobile phone that sync’s with itunes (first done my the motorokr), Application market (done first by RIM with blackberrys), Retina Display this is really just a combination of an LED screen with TFT and capacitive technology, in other words “they took a bunch of things and put them together"). To summarize, it is impossible to find innovation by Apple in the mobile market, it was all done before the iPhone came along, it was all done after the iPhone came along.
All in all, I find the reasoning to go with an opensource OS and a trusted hardware manufacturer more reassuring than a company that simply duplicated features and claimed they were new. Just saying.