Smart phones, silly people

Smart phones, silly peopleIt’s easy to forget that we smartphone-loving geeks are very much in the minority. Oh how we sniggered when the iPhone 5 failed to materialise last October, and instead Apple launched the iPhone 4S – a slightly enhanced iPhone 4 in an identical shell. But, as evidenced by ludicrous sales figures, Joe and Jane Average didn’t care. A new iPhone is a new iPhone.

I’ve had several conversations recently that have reinforced the notion that most people don’t have a freakin’ clue when it comes to phones. It’s really quite worrying.

Let’s take my mum, for starters. For my mum, composing or reading a text message is a military operation that necessitates sitting down, putting on her reading glasses and holding her phone at arm’s length. It’s truly a sight to behold.

In an effort to feign an interest in my work (bless), my mum once asked: “What’s a BlackBerry? Is that a type of iPhone?” Tremendous.

She also recently asked how much an iPad was, as it’s my dad’s birthday soon and he’d expressed an interest. ‘That’s quite an extravagant gift,’ I thought, but when I told my mum she should expect to pay around £400, she laughed and said: “Maybe I’ll just get him a Glen Campbell CD.” Yeah, I reckon you’d be hard pushed to find an iPad for £14.99.

One particular trend I’ve come across recently is people who don’t know what phone they have. Seriously. For us nerds, choosing a new phone is a colossal decision with a number of factors that must be considered at length. For example, should I buy the HTC Sensation XE when the dual-core HTC Edge is expected at MWC next month? Will Sense 4.0 ravage my battery?

For Joe and Jane average, on the other hand, it seems like it’s often a case of simply “asking the guy in the shop”. That’s really quite worrying. I encountered one young lady recently with “a Samsung”, and I quickly identified it as a Samsung Galaxy Wave. Normally that would’ve gained 500 Respect Points in my view, but it’s not like she spent hours contemplating if bada was really the right option.

At a gathering last weekend, one girl whipped out her iPhone 4, smartly dressed in a giant rubber case that made it resemble an iPhone 3GS on steroids. “Is that an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 4S?” I asked, genuinely interested. “I… don’t know,” she replied, looking utterly bewildered. The absence of Siri indicated that it was the former.

At the same gathering, another girl revealed her “Samsung Galaxy”. Now I know what you’re thinking: was it a Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Galaxy Fit, Samsung Galaxy Mini, Samsung Galaxy Gio, Samsung Galaxy Apollo, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Y…?

Turns out it was none other than a Samsung Galaxy S II. Thankfully, her boyfriend had taken charge of Operation: New Phone. Cripes, if she’d walked into a shop and simply “asked the guy”, she could’ve walked out with a Nokia Lumia 800.

No offense, Nokia Lumia 800. I love you really.

I feel like I’m being a tad sexist here, so I’ll throw in a remark from my chum – who’s actually quite a technical chap. Following the release of the Motorola Xoom last year, he asked: “Didn’t Android release a tablet?” Er, kinda.

Well, now that I’ve alienated myself from my friends and family, does anyone else have any similar stories?

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21 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 27, 2012 at 14:09

The widely acknowledged trend of deskilling and "dumbing down" coincide with the introduction and proliferation of PCs. Go figure.

Furthermore, the interwebz give people the feeling that humanity's collective knowledge is available 24/7 - always just a bitly away...so, why bother actually with actually acquiring and digesting any knowledge?
and let's not forget: ...

Treab  Jan. 27, 2012 at 14:12

None we would ever admit to ... your on your own here Lewis ... just be careful important sure i saw Jan walking around with the lumia 800 and a chainsaw looking for you ;-)

Treab  Jan. 27, 2012 at 14:14

The widely acknowledged trend of deskilling and "dumbing down" coincide with the introduction and proliferation of PCs. Go figure.

Furthermore, the interwebz give people the feeling that humanity's collective knowledge is available 24/7 - always just a bitly away...so, why bother actually with actually acquiring and digesting any knowledge?
and let's not forget: ...


ahh the tranquilisers kicked in...

hicks12  Jan. 27, 2012 at 14:16

Haha, interesting thought and yeah i experience it every day... people i know get a new phone dont know its name or much else! Alot have iphones now though, going the way of the BB a good few years ago... I dont know how people can just pay so much for a phone, id rather spend that £35 a month on something useful like contact lenses, gym, petrol! Its also funny when they complain they have no money... lol

blizzard7  Jan. 27, 2012 at 15:17

"Is that an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 4S?"

Man, I wish I could come up with chat-up lines as golden as this. (_;)

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 27, 2012 at 15:41

Lewis, did you end up with your Desire HD in same way? (_;)

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 27, 2012 at 15:46

Lewis, did you end up with your Desire HD in same way? (_;)hahaha oops. I meant: "now now" :)
(he'll probably blame me)

Treab  Jan. 27, 2012 at 16:19

Tbh important surprised he still has one i would have thought Jan would have persuaded him to buy a symbian phone by now

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 27, 2012 at 16:24

Ho ho ho

Treab  Jan. 27, 2012 at 16:28

Santa its a bit early for you or are you composing your list

bex85  Jan. 28, 2012 at 12:38

I get that a lot as well. Friends on Facebook say they have a new phone and me being a phone loving geek girl (:p) I ask what and I get either idk or just the brand. Yes, that helps o.O. Alternatively tell someone what phone I have (Sensation, previously Arc and Play) and get "oh i thought you'd have an iphone". - I actually got that comment before the 4S was announced which makes it more insulting :p. My partners dad has a "nokia". If asked what model, he'd possibly say the one with maps built in (main reason he didnt move to android when we offered him the arc).

Treab  Jan. 28, 2012 at 13:25

You had an arc and call yourself a phone geek ;-)

But it is surprising why people buy such brill/ crap phones with no knowledge of what they are buying (excluding bex's dad here i respect that thought process its wrong but respectable

jaybear88  Jan. 28, 2012 at 13:40

When I sold phones in a past life we would get a few questions constantly:

"Does it have those Wiffys (ie wifi) in it?"
"Are those Blueberrys any good?"
"What's the Blacktooth like in it?"
Not forgetting the guy who came in swearing and yelling at me for selling him a knocked off arabic phone with all the foreign letters on the keyboard. This was however quickly rectified by turning the phone the right way up.... (I never tire of telling that one)

Maybe it's not even the type of phone that we should be concerned about? Maybe it's peoples absolute lack of understanding of current tech? (btw almost all the people who asked questions like that end up coming in with the ultimate line "I want an iPhone" :P )

blizzard7  Jan. 28, 2012 at 15:24

You had an arc and call yourself a phone geek ;-)

But it is surprising why people buy such brill/ crap phones with no knowledge of what they are buying (excluding bex's dad here i respect that thought process its wrong but respectable


All non-tech savvy parents should have Nokias. End of. 8)

Treab  Jan. 28, 2012 at 15:28

You had an arc and call yourself a phone geek ;-)

But it is surprising why people buy such brill/ crap phones with no knowledge of what they are buying (excluding bex's dad here i respect that thought process its wrong but respectable


All non-tech savvy parents should have Nokias. End of. 8)


did i say they shouldn't :p give them a Nokia 3310

blizzard7  Jan. 28, 2012 at 22:00

Haha :)

JoeHindy  Feb. 6, 2012 at 10:33

I've always been a big fan of people who buy crappy or outdated phones because of one cool feature.
"Oh the screen is big!" Yeah, it's also being powered by a tiny battery, 512MB RAM and a single core processor.

"Oh it has 4g!" It also has an 800MHz processor. Seriously?

"It's a sexy phone" Stop it! Stop it I say!

and my favorite
"Because it's Android" with no never mind as to brand, specs, which version of android. My friend bought a Motorola Cliq (that would be the Dext to you guys) in 2011. Unacceptable!

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 6, 2012 at 11:52

Oh, you hipster :p

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 6, 2012 at 12:36

I was watching a re-run of Dexter last week, and watching Dexter's sister Deb using the E75, I really realised how hot S60 phones still are...

krogothnx  Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:43

my missus' mother wants a new phone one with (and i quote) 'a quirky keyboard'

turns out she meant a qwerty keyboard, as opposed to the type of monstrosity found on the nokia 3650 that my own mother swears by.

SpeedyG  Apr. 7, 2012 at 13:09

Taking a back seat from my early android root running days and becoming a 'normal average joe' with wp7. I do like phones that look good rather than just good spec-wise.

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