Today I spent a good time of an otherwise fine Saturday – roaming the markets of
Armed with a basic shortlist of 4-5 models: Nokia 5300, Nokia 5200, Sony Ericsson 700i, Sony Ericsson W550i/Z550i, Motorola Rizr Z3, LG Chocolate, Samsung Ultra X820, I went around hopping from one showroom/dealer to another – looking for the right bargain. But the hop-a-shop exercise turned out to be a rather interesting one – leaving a confused, undecided and rather introspecting me head back home without a new handset.
Having used my old Nokia 3530 to death and then the current Samsung one to its live-a-day battery state now, I must confess that I am not the current to the trend type of a person. I am not the one to buy a new model or the latest in-thing just because it’s cool and it’s in – unless I need it. Old school… I guess.
And somehow I did convince myself that the need of having to recharge my cell phone every night – is reason enough to get a new one.
But it didn’t seem so easy after all – at least for the old school person I am. Hey, but I am still on the right side of age and right side of the yuppie generation. But it didn’t help me when the sales guy would try to edge me towards a pricier model – for obvious reason – by just highlighting the additional features it had. “Sir, this has a 1.3 megapixel camera, this even has a flash, this even has a memory slot extendable to 2GB. You can carry all your music”… and I kept thinking of a Nokia ad which tried to tell us that “phone sirf baat karne ke liye nahi hota hai”. Nokia did well for them selves – but did the customer really need all that. I am not so sure anymore.
Why are we so obsessed with getting everything into and onto a single device? First it was getting your watch and alarm clock merged into the cell phone, then it added your personal organizer, then your money manager, then it some video games, then it also replaced your camera, and then the FM radio, and walkman music player, then email and the works. All in one single device.
What next do we need in our cell phone – a mini-refrigerator? Or a cell phone on which I can actually sit and go to work.
Some of the sales pitch the sales guys wanted me to buy into just turned me off – and I was left counting the existing devices which I barely used. I have a Canon Powershot A590 5MP digital camera – a great camera which I barely use. I have a 1GB Creative Zen MP3 Player which again is lying somewhere around… My wife hasn’t used the camera or the music player on her Motorola V3i much either. If I am not the customer who is really using so many of the existing products or features they have – why am I even looking at a cell phone which has more of the same stuff?
Maybe one reason is that somewhere inside me I am trying to silently fit into the crowd – a society where upgrades every quarter have become a norm. Its not that I couldn’t entirely afford some of those models – but I wasn’t convinced at the end of the touch and feel exercise that spending 15k of my good hard earned money on something – of which I was going to use only 5k worth of features was a good bargain. If I am not the tech savvy gizmo freak kind of nerd – or the ‘cool hang out in the right gang’ kind of kid around the block – nor the image conscious techie who needs to make a point about the designation he has arrived – then why do I need the N and E or the P or Q series of the latest gadget. But the market will still ensure that you are told what you ought to buy… what is the right thing you should be seen with? The sales agents were probably second guessing my salary and thereby what budget they should make me raise the bar to.
Maybe I am asking a blasephemous question at a time when there is all the new buzz about the iPhone - and even more blasephemous given that my own bread and butter depends on people adopting newer technology...
At the end of Nokia 5300, 6270, N72, N83, SE 880, SE 770, Moto Ming, Ping ting, Pebble, RAZR, RIZR, KRZR… Krazy kiya re!!!