Archive for June, 2011

June 21, 2011

iPhone3GS has a new owner

From the day I landed in the US a couple of years ago, there has been a constant craze for iPhone with many people. to me the iPhone was just another phone and it was unusual for me to see so many people going crazy over a piece of gadget. I was not even impressed with the iPhone. Why? Let me take you back to India and explain how the cellular world works there.
Its heaven. The network service providers and the Cell phone providers are two separate worlds. There are no ‘buy a connection with us and stick to us for the next 2 years and keep the phone with you’ deals. Assuming you are in India and you are thinking of taking a mobile connection, you will first think of your needs.
1) Student – stay in same city as friends,
SMS – primary mode of communication
Network Coverage – not a big deal
in this class you would find atleast 3 service providers to choose from. One will have 1000 sms free per day, another will add some money as talktime to each sms you send, another will make texting and calling free within a group of friends.
I myself have taken a connection which let me talk to my girlfriend for 1paise a minute. That means, it works out to 1 rupee for around 1.5hrs of talking or 1 USD for 70hrs of talktime. BEAT THAT!!!

On top of that, I can recharge for any denomination I choose. As a student funds are limited. What if you have just 20 rupees? No problem. Recharge for 20 and you can pull along for atleast the next 10 days.

2) Corporate/Executive – probably wont be texting. Will be calling more
Would Like better roaming charges
Maybe a Dataplan
Again, the market is huge with each competitor trying to attract customers in their own way.

3) Hiker – Want to send SMS from top of Mt.Everst after scaling it?
Call for help when lost in the jungle or trapped between rocks for 127 hours

You got the service providers that aim for connectivity.

You get the idea. with such a competitive market, there is a plethora of service providers each with his own bag of treats. And these treats are extremely tasty.

So now that you have decided your service provider, you will now need a cell phone. Oh Boy! In my recent visit to India, I was shocked to see the number of models available. I am not kidding. I went into a store and said the following:
– price range = 3000 Rupees or 60 USD, Large keypads, Backlit keypads, No Touch, Good Voice Recording Feature, 1MP Camera, Preferably a sliding model, Large Color Screen, Basically a phone that my mom would be happy to use. In the next 10 minutes I had seen 13 different models, ALL meeting this criteria.

After looking around I realized that for every slab of 2000 rupees, there were atleast 30 different models I could choose from between 8 to 10 cell phone manufacturers, all in the same shop.

And the best part in all this is that I can choose the fanciest of phones with Internet capability just cos I like its looks and then take a student network connection and not pay for the data plan. Or, I could take the most basic phone cos I like big buttons and then choose a dataplan connection. The permutations and combinations are limitless.

And now I come to US and see a craze for this iPhone. its been 2 yrs with At&T and I am eligible for an upgrade. so why not go look at the iPhone and other models?

I walk into the AT&T store and see iPhone 3Gs, iPhone4 32GB and iPhone4 16GB standing proud in the center of the store. Somewhere close by are the other Android Smart phones. I counted 3 of them. I then look at the other basic models and see about 6 other models placed at farther corners of the store. It’s almost as if they want you to buy the iPhones. I walked up to the ATT rep and asked them for phones without dataplans as I am not interested in paying that extra 25$ a month. I see that the choice of basic phones that I have are so pathetic that I am forced to look for the Smart phones. I then see the cost on these phones. iPhone4 is way over the top for me. No way I am paying $200 for that. iPhone3GS is 50. All other smart phones are more expensive. So, if I am looking at the cheapest Smartphone it is the iPhone 3GS 8GB. if I am looking at the costliest smart phone, it is the iPhone 4G 32Gb. its iPhone all the way. The only reason I could see in buying an android phone was my hatred towards an iPhone. But then, my girlfriend and me bought her a HTC Aria for that same reason just a few months ago.
I walk up to the counter and ask the lady to show me the iPhone3GS. She picks one up saying how it is only $50 while I am thinking to myself this phone will actually cost me $650($50 for the phone and $25 for the dataplan for the next 24months when I don’t want it). I change my mind and choose the $20 Dataplan and thereby getting the cost down from $650 to $530. Even the dataplan is structured so that you end up taking the $25 plan. the $20 has a 200MB limit a month while the $25 has a 2GB limit.

I walkout of the store with an iPhone3GS in my hand and feeling miserable for having bought it. The only reason I bought it was I wanted a new phone. I should have bought one from India when I was there a week earlier. I was foolish to not have done so. So that’s how I am the not-so-proud-owner of an iPhone3GS. So, now that I do have it, I intend to explore it as much as I can and learn to put the phone to use to what it can be worth for. Not just play Angry birds on it.