Cell phone stories – Part 3 of 3: Buying a cell phone

15 02 2006

These days there are so many different models of cell phones available in the market that it has become very difficult to decide which to buy and which not to buy. Handsets that were in the range of INR 25000 to 35000 a year ago are now available for just 10000 bucks. And chances are that the price will fall further in the next 2 months. This trend goes on and on. A Nokia 6600 used to be a rage in late 2004 but it has now become so common that even a college kid flaunts it. It has now been replaced by N90, N6680/6681 and other models. And the ultimate handset to buy now is the Blackberry.

It was one fine evening that I went with a friend to a Nokia showroom. He was particularly impressed by my Nokia 6101 but was vary of the little memory available in it. My friend is a simple guy. He prefers to keep everything simple in his life. And he wanted a simple colour screen mobile handset. So we walked into a Nokia showroom and were greeted by an over enthusiastic salesman. My friend told him that his budget for the phone was 10000 and he wanted a hand set that could last him at least 2 years. Simple!

Out come a few big and small boxes. We see Nokia 6600, 6610, 6101, 3650 and a few other models that I don’t remember now. My friend started examining a phone. It was the Nokia N-GageQD. As soon as my friend picked it up, the salesman started speaking about its features as if it was all on his fingertips:

Salesman: Dekhiye sir, isme alarm clock hai, calendar hai, games hai, infrared hai, Bluetooth hai.

My friend: Ek minute sir! Kya main is phone se baat kar sakta hoon?

Salesman: Kya sir?

My friend: Kya main is phone se sms bhej sakta hoon?

Salesman: Of course sir yeh saare functions to har phone mein hote hain.

My friend: Thik hai, ab aage boliye.

I understood what my friend was asking for. He wanted a simple phone for his talking and messaging needs. That’s all. I later pointed it out to him that he quoted his budget as too high for such a simple phone. He ultimately went for Nokia 3120, which was a very cheap phone at just 4800 and it served all his needs.

The point is that why do we use a phone? Okay, let me talk about just India. A cell phone here in our country is just for talking and basic messaging needs. A typical phone user does not use GPRS or browse the internet on his/her phone. So why should we go for such expensive models? And it actually makes sense too because most of the discounts that are offered by the cell phone companies are mostly on the talk-time consumed or messages sent within the stipulated time frame. The more the phone is expensive, the more are its maintenance costs. Let’s leave aside a few individuals who can be regarded as bade baap ki bigdi aulad but for most of us, the cell phone is just a cell phone, a device that keeps us in touch while on the move. That’s it!


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