Remember When All Phones Were ‘Dumb?’

Winter Morning Sunrise Tunnel View Yosemite Valley - Yosemite Na

Winter Morning Sunrise Tunnel View Yosemite Valley

Some pictures are worth more than a thousand words but I have yet to see a cellphone I considered to be worth a thousand dollars.

I’d like to say that is tongue-in-cheek but I have been a part of several recent discussions in which people said they put down a grand to pick up a new phone.

Can’t say it was limited to iPhones or Android phones because both were a part of these discussions but it doesn’t matter because that number jumped out and bit me on the lip.

Part of me wonders if I should be surprised by that number because it is all relative and our perspective drives that. I know people who would never spend more than $10,000 on a car and others who can’t imagine finding a decent one for less than $60,000.

Why should phones be any different.

What Should A Phone Cost?

It is a question I pondered while stuck in traffic. What should a phone cost? What do I consider a reasonable price to be and where would I cut things off.

When I got home I had a few minutes to kill so I decided to do some research and headed over to Verizon to see what the most current pricing for their phones was.

I didn’t want to confuse things by looking at subsidized pricing so I looked at the ‘No contract required phones‘ and this is what I saw:

iPhone 6 Full retail: $649.99

iPhone 6 Plus Full retail: $749.99

Moto X™ (2nd Gen.) Full retail: $499.99

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Full retail: $599.99

You should note the price on the iPhone 6 Plus is for the 16GB version. It increases as you add memory. I didn’t take the time to figure out if the $1,000 I heard was accurate because the $749 was close enough.

But I did consider that for the majority of the past 8 years I have worked from a remote office and my cellphone served as my office line.

It meant that my cell was of paramount importance. It enabled me not to be chained to a desk but to do that it had to do more than just serve as a device that carried conversation between people.

If you really want to dig in you can start playing with the numbers. There are 52 weeks in a year. If you work a 40 hour week that means in concept you’ll put in 2,080 hours of work per year.

Crunch and massage those numbers a bit and you’ll figure out that even if you spent $1000 on a phone it cost you less than a $1 buck a day to make sure you were covered.

Of course you can play with the numbers some more and find a way to justify the expenditure because you earn much more than a $1000 per year and if you didn’t have that phone to take care of work you’d potentially be less productive, less effective and might even lose your job.

Suddenly $1,000 sounds cheap.

That is assuming you think there is no substitute for that $1,000 phone.

A Pile of Dead Cell Phones

There is a drawer in my room that is filled with a pile of dead cell phones. Palms, BlackBerrys, Droids and a couple old Motorolas have been laid to rest there.

Some of them have been used for play by my children and others have been offered and rejected by trade-in programs.

Whenever my current phone gives a little hiccup and I think perhaps it is giving the first indication that it is thinking about heading off to electronic dreamland I think about the phones in the drawer and wonder if one of them might be in good enough condition to be called back to service.

My best guess is one of the dumb phones is the most likely suspect. Those suckers lived and worked forever.

Did I mention every time I look at them now I think of them as being a burner? Maybe I have watched too much television. Blame it on Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad.

There is a certain amount of attraction in the dumb phones too. They weren’t tiny, portable computers that could do all that our laptops can do. Sometimes I miss that.

Remember When All Phones Were ‘Dumb?’

It is really not that long ago that you had virtually one choice–a dumb phone.

We didn’t worry about apps, battery life or spend time telling the kids to hold still while we took a picture. Hell it is not that long ago that being able to say you had a camera phone meant you had cutting edge technology.

If I am being honest it is just long enough for me to look at pictures and see a guy who had a full head of hair. But if I am really being honest that guy didn’t have the same amount of worries about and concerns about life as I do.

Hell, since I am being so honest let me thank my father for making sure I was born into a family where I have to work for a living. Would it have been so hard to let your poor son grow up to be a rich man.

Couldn’t you have left me an empire.

Did I mention dear reader that if you ask my dad to account for this terrible injustice he’ll blame my grandfather and my grandfather will blame his father.

Come to think about it none of those three men had jobs were they got to work with smartphones. Maybe that is the trick.

Maybe my smartphone will enable me to break the cycle and my son won’t sing the same song as we have.

Sorry sonny boy, I still can’t see spending a grand on a phone. Keep studying, you are going to have to work for a living. 🙂

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