My Experiences Buying Another Cell Phone

by James R. Stoup Feb 15, 2009

I just bought a new cell phone for my wife and in the process got a free phone  (ya for free!) for myself courtesy of Verizon. This was an interesting experience and I'm simply astounded at how much things have changed in the 2 1/2 years since I last purchased a cell phone. Apple has definately had an impact on the industry with the iPhone. No surprise there, right? Well, the shockwaves haven't died out yet apparently. Even though the iPhone is the only cell phone Apple produces, it has caused Verizon to drastically change its lineup. Here are some of the things I noticed this past weekend during my shopping trip.

Candybar phones are out. Well, at least at Verizon they are. Maybe some of the other carriers still prominently display them but I didn't see one at the Verizon store I visited. This is a shame too, because I really like candybar style phones. Personally, I enjoy the simplicity of design, small form factor and durability of such phones. However, it appears that I am in the minority. I hope Nokia is doing well at other carriers because Verizon clearly isn't buying what they are selling.

Clamshell phones are on the way out. There wasn't very many clamshell phones this time around, a stark contrast to two years ago. There was perhaps two cheap, low end clamshells (one of which I got free), two midrange phones and one high end phone. That was it. And the high end phone was Verizon's touch-to-talk walkie-talkie knock off of service Nextel perfected. Over, I was quite disappointed in their selection and amazed that such low quality phones were being offered. There are a couple more phones on their website (which may be online exclusives) but the in-store selection was disappointing.

Blackberry must be desperate. Verizon had a promotion that if you buy any Blackberry you got one free. (or something like that, maybe it was buy a specific Blackberry and then get anyone of a couple of Blackberries free) And of course they had all types and ranges of Blackberries. From the small pink ones to the massive PDA/camera/computer/dayplanner/gene-sequencer ultra phone. I hated all of them, but apparently there are quite a few people who love them.

IPhone knockoffs are definately in. While there were a couple of phones that looked like candybar or clamshell phones, but had a full keyboard that slid out, most of the remaining phones were iPhone wannabes. Verizon is pushing the Storm really hard. It may suck, but its all they got. None of their phones even began to approach the iPhone as far as style and polish goes. It wasn't even close.

And yet, in spite of all of this I expect Verizon to do quite well in the coming years. That this success will come in spite of their wireless division is amusing but irrelevant. Verizon will continue to do well because currently they can bundle your landline, your internet connection, your satelite TV and your cellphone all into one package. All into one bill. And the more services you have, the bigger a discount they give you. So for those of us who don't need an iPhone, sticking with Verizon can both save you money and make your life easier. It is for this reason alone that I think Verizion will be able to withstand the iPhone mania. As for AT&T, I would highly recommend that you think of something really slick in the near future, because once that five year exclusive contract is up, you might be in trouble.

And for those of you who were wondering why I don't want an iPhone the simple answer is that I work in an environment in which cell phones are not allowed. And I find the notion that I would pay that much money for a phone that would sit in my, car 40 hours a week absurd.


  • The iPhone may be great (it is) but it’s no use to me because of the size. I’m still using an old Sony Ericsson candybar phone for the same reason as you… it’s a small, neat form factor. Heavy enough to know when it falls out of my pocket, but small enough to fit in any pocket. The iPhone is too big for me, and I tried using one to make a call… it’s like holding a DVD case against your ear! If they make one the size of the iPod Nano, I’ll buy one.

    evilcat had this to say on Feb 17, 2009 Posts: 66
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