I am the last holdout. A few months ago, I explained why I’ve remained loyal to my old, outdated flip phone. Although more than half of all cell phones in use in the U.S. are smartphones – representing 110 million American adults – I’ve never seriously considered buying one… until now.
So What Changed?
Apple released the iPhone 5 – that’s what has potentially put me over the edge when it comes to buying a smartphone… well, that and a major issue with my existing phone.
A few weeks ago, I let my 16-month-old son play with my old LG enV3 while we waited in a long checkout line at the grocery store. I’m pretty sure he didn’t make any calls to China, and I know he didn’t accidentally text our pediatrician (like he did the last time I let him play with my phone); but somehow, during the 0.4 seconds it took me to blink, he managed to disable the speaker. What’s worse, I haven’t been able to fix it, even with the (less than enthusiastic) help of the customer service representatives at my wireless carrier. These days, I can only talk on my phone using the speaker phone or my Bluetooth in my car – neither of which affords me all that much privacy.
Let’s Go Shopping!
That’s led me to search for a new phone and, unfortunately, when it comes to new cell phones, there aren’t a lot of non-smartphone options available. Scratch that – there aren’t a lot of non-smartphone options that don’t look like a phone my grandmother would use. In fact, a June 2012 article in the Wall Street Journal mentioned the possibility of getting rid of talk-and-text cell phone plans altogether:
Phone calls simply are no longer the primary reason people buy mobile phones. The shift is so pronounced that AT&T Inc. Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said at an investor conference Friday that he wouldn’t be surprised if some carrier pops up in the next two years with cellphone plans that cover only data, no voice.
If there’s a potential that my carrier could be eliminating talk-and-text plans in favor of data-only plans, I might as well have a phone that’s designed to take advantage of all that data… whatever that means.
Android vs iPhone
As I started doing my research into new smartphones, I realized that the tech world is squarely divided into two camps: those who love the Android platform and phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and those who love Apple’s iPhones. The Droid-lovers rarely stray into the Apple camp, and vice verse. When I posted on my Facebook status that I was thinking of finally taking the smartphone leap, I got reactions like this:
Awesome! I love my Droid!!!
what? droids suck. get the new iphone!
I love my iPhone! Just preordered the 5. Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
I think my Galaxy is better than my husbands iPhone. Jus sayin.
How’s a former Luddite like me to decide? (For one, stop taking informal polls on Facebook…)
I’m tempted to go with the iPhone 5 simply because it’s the newest thing on the market and, quite frankly, when it comes to technology I’ve never been on the front lines of innovation. I think it would be cool to have the newest, coolest gadget for once. And since my contract with my wireless carrier expired in July, I’m free to shop around for a carrier who could give me the best promotional deal to win my business. Another plus: Since I don’t already own an iPhone – or any Apple gadgets, for that matter – it won’t be a problem for me to buy the new Lightning connector, since I don’t have any older accessories that would require an adapter as well.
I’ve almost talked myself into it… almost. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, and likely won’t until I get to AT&T or the Apple Store to play around with the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3 on my own.
Reader, are you an Apple or a Droid person? What do you see as the big difference between the two?