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June 9, 2009
Posted: 734 GMT

I try very hard not to become a geek about phones. Really I do. Unfortunately I am failing big time. Whether it’s the new Palm Pre or the new 3rd gen iPhone 3GS (S for speed as we keep being told!) I am taking an unhealthy interest in how we all keep in touch. And I am not sure why.

The fact is a phone is a gadget pure and simple. It serves a useful purpose. So why do we all have this love hate relationship with our phones? Why do we swear we can’t live without our favourite model and yet claim we would never touch That One with a 10-foot pole?

Our phones have become our cameras, our photo albums our diaries and our mailboxes. They have wormed themselves into our lives in a way only seen perhaps by the landline and motor car.

Now the smart phone lines are being drawn – Palm’s new Pre, Apple with a new iPhone (and yes all other manufacturers inbetween.)

Of course, Unfortunately while many of the latest models are only available in the United States, the rest of us will have to beg and borrow to try out these new machines for some time yet. This always seems somewhat ironic since the U.S. is probably the slowest of developed nations in its mobile telephony! Features that have been available for years elsewhere are only just now becoming "the norm."

The rest of the world isn't worthy yet of Palms largesse. Palm won't even tell me when they will launch the GSM version in Europe – very odd!

Sometimes I wonder if all this technology isn’t a touch too far. Teenagers who live for their phones? workers who caress their blackberries? Have we become so dependant that we have forgotten what the purpose is – to keep in touch!

Admit it. You love your phone! Now you join in!

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Filed under: Profitable Moment •Quest Means Business

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Fawad Ali   June 9th, 2009 7:57 am ET

Yes and technology should carry on emerging. Unlike old times, nothing is required to serve only a simple purpose because nothing is simple anymore.

To do your job effectively, you got to rely on these gadgets – even though one may consider them as overwhelming, useless, etc.

To do more, you need more and mobile phones provide all...

Vic Benedicto   June 9th, 2009 8:17 am ET

i don't think it's the mobile phone. it's the users who become "addicts".

Jairo Martinez   June 9th, 2009 8:47 am ET

Hi Richard,

Nice blog and i totally agree with you. But isn't this what we all wanted a phone that would do almost everything? It started with adding a camera to the gsm and look where we are now. I hated it, a phone with a cam and now I own a blackberry. (addictive as hell i tell you) After this all hell broke lose.

Would you be able to stay away from your smartphone for a week? I admit i do love my bb! 🙂

Nourhan N. Beyrouti   June 9th, 2009 9:22 am ET


All this talk about the iPhone 3GS, and Palm Pre. Nokia has just started shipping its flag ship mobile phone the N97. It is by far way advanced and light years ahead of the iPhone and Palm. Those phones made it fancy to touch but primarily dysfunctional as a mobile device. Nokia is truly the base platform for high tech mobile communications. Being 3G means standard things like video calling, using your mobile device to connect your laptop to the internet at 3.5G speed, MMS, Push to Talk, VOIP ,and many other standard features not found in the iPhone. As a heavy, in fact really heavy mobile technology user, the iPhone rendered me loss of time , which eventually over shoot deadlines, consequently lose some great deals 'i.e – Money'.

I have pre-ordered my Nokia N97 Since May for a price tag of 730$ US. I bought an iPhone 3G 7months ago, just to use it, and see what this craze was all about, I actually paid 1000$ for an Unlocked one ... I gave it away for a merely 20$ , That shows how useless the iPhone was to me. I currently hold the best phone ever made by Nokia, the N82. It's been with me since December of 2007. Truly a mobile device I can rely on.

Thanks 😉

Craig Eyles   June 9th, 2009 9:59 am ET

Amazing when 9/10 of the "tweets" at times scream job scurity problmes when the subject comes up, & yet some are prepared to pay AUD$1100 for the new iPhone.
Have just the one 3G phone I scored for nothing becasue my wife's friend had 4 phones & I used the old"do you really nedd that phone?" line.
Finally worked out how to use the camera on it last week.

Jairo Martinez   June 9th, 2009 10:02 am ET

I'd reckon you'd be a palm user... Dont know why, i just thought so.

Bunmi   June 9th, 2009 10:24 am ET

Well we asked for a more simpler life now we have it – mobile Technology.
Users should be careful not to become addicts. Stay with a phone that would do want you need regularly ......

Glen Up North (well, over in Canada)   June 9th, 2009 3:03 pm ET

The funny thing with all of this is, no matter how sleek and sophisticated current models get (What, you'll actually _cook_ me a pizza and make excellent suggestions on lesser-known Chardonnays?), I am doing everything I can to keep my Motorola e815... and succeeding! You can't get the e815 (or its fraternal twin, the "Hollywood" e816) anymore... Outboard chargers, extra batteries, anything and everything to help ensure this phone, who has by far outperformed any other I've seen in its ability to obtain and maintain service (even in places where service was supposedly _completely_ unavailable!), as well as resist damage and seemingly come back from what should have been the dead!

In fact, I'm not the only one: many e815 owners expressed regret at having to lose it/trade out, as the charging port seemed to be the issue. (Or perhaps Motorola discontinued it as it was _too_ good.) So far, through water contact, dropping onto concrete, and having the charger port nearly pulled out, it's stayed with me for over three years now. With the standalone charger in my possession (also made by Motorola) found on eBay, here's to hoping it stays with me for years to come!

yutomama0307   June 10th, 2009 4:11 am ET

Hello Richard.

I am rare fan of you and your program QMB. I always looking forward to watch it. I am sorry for my poor English writting , but I want to write

"while many of the latest models are only available in the United tates"
"This always seems somewhat ironic since the U.S. is probably the slowest of developed nations in its mobile telephony! "
I agree with you, otherwise I think Japan is the same as US.
we (living in Japan) can have a lot of varitety of cell phone made of Japan. we can through automatic train or subway ticket gate by use cell phone in Tokyo, and can payment at store or taxi or bus.( we can use it for domestic airplane automatic ticket gate, you know)
so we can use cell phone just like credit card!
but we can NOT use this system aboad.
it is very strange I think. Just like you think Japanese will not go aboad? of couse it is not working in Japan for your US or another country style cell phone.

Wilfrid Jean-Louis   June 10th, 2009 4:44 am ET

Hi Richard!

I will admit this openly, i love my smartphone. I'm a teenager yes, and i find it highly useful to me, whether it's taking photos or getting class notes from the lecturer via e-mail. I Would be stuck in a rut if i didn't have one, and i quite agree that mobile telephony is part of our lives. Pretending to say that 'we can live without it' is quite a lie, most of us can't. These devices capture moments never to be seen again, they help you when you least expect it.

We live in a connected global village, so why not connect and keep in touch? 🙂

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