I'm a cell phone luddite


It was pointed out to me in a recent email exchange that it's a little odd that I don't have a cell phone.

There. I said it. I don't have a cell phone.

My wife has one, for work, but I don't have one. Never have.

Why?

The cell telcos in Canada basically suck. By design. Every transaction with the phone is intended, designed, counted on, to suck cash from my pockets into theirs.

Samsung CellphoneTake the new family (i.e., her) cell phone. It's a relatively uncrappy Samsung. Has a decent-ish built in camera. Actually takes pictures that don't make me cringe. And I can take lots of pictures with it. But, if I actually want to KEEP any of those photos, they cost me 50 cents each, because the only way to get them off the phone is via Rogers' email service. I can't use the bluetooth functions of the phone. And the phone ships without a USB cable.

Hitting the "menu" button is another example of who actually owns the phone. What's the most common action I'd want to do with the menu system? Probably look up a phone number in the contacts list. What's the default-selected menu item when activating the Menu? Rogers Store. Yeah. By default, they expect me to shop for crap on the Rogers Store. When I'm done with that, maybe I'll remember to look up that phone number...

Want to change the ringtone? SURE! Enter the Rogers Store. They're only a couple of bucks. Never mind that you've got a computer capable of processing audio files, and should be able to add your own sound clips as audio files (I have the absolutely perfect ringtone sitting on my hard drive, but no way to push it to the phone).

Want to check email or view a web page? Sure! First, it's painfully slow. Second, it's even more painfully expensive. I'll pass.

So, when a Canadian cell telco gets hit with a clue, and decides to make the phone work for me, instead of for them, I might have an incentive to get a phone.

On top of that, I hate phones in the first place. They're all about "stop what you're doing! someone else has something they need, right frakking now!" synchronous communication. Maybe I'm spoiled with email and IM, but there is very little of my communication with anyone that demands RIGHT FRAKKING NOW responses. I don't really look forward to bringing that level of intrusiveness with me in my pocket...

Maybe an iPhone with the ringer turned off most of the time? Except I have very little faith in Canadian cell telcos to not completely screw up the iPhone by locking stuff down in order to maximize revenue generation. In the meantime, this is my ideal phone:

Wainright lobby phone