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?
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.
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.,
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.