My second mobile phone

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I will never forget my first mobile phone. I was a pretty early adopter in 1995. I had to buy a larger purse just to fit it, and while I don’t remember how much it cost, I do know I had a smaller wallet after the purchase. I remember it was a big deal, with an up front investment, a long contract and per minute charges that kept me from talking on it for very long.

Over the weekend, I bought my first second mobile phone… Not a phone to replace that first brick, but one to supplement my current mobile phone. I’ve known people over the years who have carried two phones, usually because they want to have a personal phone separate from their business phone. While I get that, that’s not for me as I lost track of that separation years ago.

So why did I need a second cell phone, you ask? Because my first one doesn’t really work as a … Ahem, phone. Yes, I’m a dedicated Apple user and I’ve finally accepted that the phone part of the iPhone just doesn’t work much of the time, especially in my temporary living conditions. I paid hundreds of dollars for the phone and I continue to pay AT&T $170 a month for unlimited voice and data connectivity and it doesn’t work as a phone. Yes, I probably could have paid some astronomical charges to move to Verizon, but there was a more economical, speedier option for now…

Do you know how cheap cell phones are today? I went into Cricket and procured a perfectly useful teeny tiny $19 phone in about 7 minutes flat. I can pay $1/day without long distance coverage or $2/day with unlimited long distance and ONLY on the days I use it. I figure my iPhone doesn’t work about half of the working days in a month, so I’m out a maximum $20/month for this little insurance. This seems to be a perfectly fine solution and I’m quite pleased with it for now. Once I move, I may install a home line or look into other options, but I’m not in a contract so I can figure that out later.

But how ironic is this, really? If you had told my 1995 self that I would be perfectly pleased to pay hundreds of dollars up front and a couple hundred dollars a month for a phone that doesn’t even work as a phone … My jaw would have hit the floor. If you’d gone on to explain to my 1995 self that I really used the phone more for emailing, texting (what’s that?), scanning and ordering products on Amazon, checking the weather, buying movie tickets, tweeting, facebooking, reading the news, reading books, finding cheap gas stations, showing off wedding pictures, listening to music, checking house prices, tracking what I eat, getting health tips every day, checking into my flights, taking pictures and videos, accessing all our company files, setting an alarm clock, finding nearby anything or far away facts…. Well, I might have thought I’d pay 10x what I do today!

It is quite a testament to Apple’s customer lock in and how far mobility in general has come. It sure made me pause for a minute to consider the irony…

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