The mobile phone business sure has changed

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 10:54 PM | comments: 0

My phone is going on three years-old now. My Lumia 920 has served me extremely well, but these days the battery can be a little inconsistent. Yes, I still have a Windows Phone. Microsoft has totally failed to make a replacement I wanted, and I really like the camera. I'm not an app person, so as long as I can send and receive messages, look at a few web pages, and post photos to Facebook, I'm good. I know I'm not characteristic of most people (but especially gadget loving nerdy people).

An interesting thing has happened since I bought that phone three years ago. Subsidized phones are a thing of the past. Now, you can buy them outright or get on a payment plan that's above the cost of the service, which is a step in the right direction. This works to the advantage of a lot of people who aren't interested in being stuck in a two-year contract. It makes a lot of sense.

Earlier this year, I started to think about jumping ship to something new, just out of curiosity, and partly because I want to experiment with developing software on the other platforms. I hate the fact that everyone wants things to be an app instead of the open web, but I've gotta think about new things from a career standpoint. While I love my live tiles, I'm not above having more than one phone. I know a lot of friends who already roll that way.

Apple still makes nice phones, though iOS still isn't what I wish it was, specifically something other than an icon grid when I turn it on. But now that we're no longer in the world of contract pricing, what really gets me is the starting price for an iPhone. It's $649 for the lowly 16 gig model, and that's insane. They want another $100 for the 32 gigs, which is a minimum. Sorry, but there are too many decent phones that cost way less. Heck, Diana's Lumia 640 was $80, and while it feels a little light, it's a really solid phone. She loves it. (And by the way, it has 72 gigs of storage, because it has an SD card slot.)

I have been intrigued by the range of Android phones out there, because there is a ton of nice hardware. The fragmentation of the operating system versions annoys me to no end, but I guess there isn't much one can do about that. I have resolved, however, that I kind of want one to play with. If I do pull the trigger, it won't likely be a super cheap one, since if I'm going to carry one, I want a decent camera.

Next week, Microsoft will formally announce the Lumia 950 and 950XL, the worst kept secrets ever. That will be my primary phone, I'm sure. Like I said, I love my live tiles. As long as they go at a decent price point, I'll be sure to order as soon as possible.


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