Well then, just buy a phone that makes & receives calls.
I am very happy to have a phone that with a free (or 99 cents) app last week helped me fix the compressed air system in my factory, finding 5 otherwise inaudible leaks, so now my compressor runs half the time it used to.
Phone helps me find where I want to go, lets me enjoy such stimulating discussions & video as TED.com, helps me find stars, Subway sandwiches and much much more. Lets me watch if the taxi driver is taking me for a ride (literally), takes pictures, lets me record conversations for later reminders, ect ect.,
I am not trying to be confrontational, but I really do not care if my phone does all of that stuff. Price is not a real issue. All I want is a phone that makes and receives calls. I despise spread sheets as tools of the devil made to confuse those who disagree. I prefer reading magazines in print form and the only conversions I ever need involve 25.4 coming or going. But I am happy for you that you found what you want for free.
However, Charles and Tool maker, you don't need an expensive iPhone to reap the true efficiencies of a smart phone. Case-in-point: You can get an HTC Radar from T-mobile for $0 with 2 year plan. It has 95% of everything the latest iPhone has and in some cases, a bit more. A 200 MB data plan is $10/month and that is plenty for most of us who don't surf the internet all day. Having unlimited text is unnecessary, so forget that extra $20.
Okay, why is this phone efficient? Because it sycs perfectly to Outlook, so you can receive meeting notices or important email messages while you're out on the floor. And those Excel spreadsheets that you use all the time? They are right there at your fingertips - no laptop or tablet required.
Do you ever need to do conversions? There are lots of conversion apps and yes, even for Windows phones, which come from the factory with Word, Excel, and Powerpoint to go with Outlook. Some other handy apps include:
Pocket translator: very handy for traveling where English is not spoken.
Flashlight: I use this every time I enter a room where the ligh switches are not near the door.
Pocket level: Very handy when setting up some fixtures out on the floor.
Maps: I use this feature almost every day to see where a company, store or person's address is. (includes turn by turn voice instructions)
Do you read any trade magazine articles? Bing's built in scanner will send you right to a video and full-blown article in the blink of an eye. So no, you don't need an expensive iPhone with $35 data plan. There are many alternatives with Microsoft phones representing the best value out there at this time. After all, how can you beat free?
Charles: I do not have an I-Phone either and I am really a Neanderthal because I do not want one. Not only that, but I resent the intrusions smart phones have made in my life. For example: I have been engaged in a conversation with someone when their phone sounded the text signal. Without a thought, the text is responded to and I am standing there feeling invisible. I just turn and walk away. Or someone thinks those little postage stamp images are a substitute for a regular photograph.
I have even had other engineers try to show or explain problems while pointing to one of those stupid little devices. "See that?" "Well maybe if I was looking straight on, had my glasses on and saw something else to get a size perspective." My kids tell me I need to learn how to text and I tell them if it is important, call me. That's another thing that gripes my psyche. How is it okay to carry on a conversation that excludes everyone you are with? Text, text, text. Read and laugh. Text,text text. Read and exclaim, "Oh no!" Text, text, text- I am gone, come find me when you finish.
I have a cell phone. It makes and receives calls, displays last calls dialed and received, fits in my pocket, and has storage for other numbers. That is all I need and all I want. To those who need internet connection 24/7 and feel the need to take your library and music collection with you where ever you go, I am sure there is a crying need to own the latest and greatest so celebrate the innovation. I just do not get it.
Interesting post, gsmith120. I don't have an iPhone, either, and have often felt that I'm stuck in the 1990s. I would love to see a survey asking engineers if they own an iPhone. I suspect the percentages would be fairly low. iPhones are seldom a necessity and engineers tend to be very pragmatic people.
The purchase price for the iphone is around $600-$700. In the US the difference between how much the buyer pays and how much the phone actually costs initially is made up by the cell carrier, i.e ATT, T-Mobile etc. They get it back from the end user by charging way more for monthly cell service than the service actually costs the provider, and locking the customer in for a 2-year contract to ensure they recoup the initial expense. Here the initial cost is easier to handle so buyers are sucked into the 2-year commitment, but the monthly cost is heftier. In other countries they charge upfront for the full retail cost of the phone but monthly cell service is cheaper. In any case, somebody (the consumer) is paying in full for the phone.
In the future, we know the screen and the battery will go away. (There is "projection holograms" and induced energy on the way.) Input will be voice, touch, and thought. The tiny "phone" (personal DoBox) disappears into a pocket someplace.
People will talk, gesture, type, and stare into their personal middle distance that no else can see.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
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