Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Glossy Screens and Shiny Cases

I need a new cell phone.

So I've been doing a little research online, visiting stores, listening to sales persons and talking with friends and family. I've checked out T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, iPhone, Blackberry, Pre, myTouch, Vu, Faves, Roll-Overs, the Network and who knows what else.

I've been intoxicated by glossy screens, shiny cases, apps, tools, features, cards, calendars, games, email, You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, ring tones, GPS and of course that all important new electronic smell.

In the midst of the excitement and sensory overload, I nearly forgot about what should be the number one criteria -- service!

When I say "service", I'm rolling the whole package together: call quality, connectivity, speed and price.

All of the major manufacturers are pushing their smartphones, all the while our country's data network can't live up to the phones' true capabilities. Did you know that in Japan data speeds for cell phones are up to 21.6 MBps? In the U.S. the highest possible speed is 7.2 MBps but none of the carriers even support it yet!

In the Netherlands, the average citizen pays $131.44 per year for cell phone service. Americans pay an average of $635.85!

Other modern countries are using their phone as a credit card, TV and internet service, but I have to walk outside just to make sure that I have a good signal when my mom calls.

We're supposed to live in the most advanced country in the world, but I'm afraid the glossy screen and shiny case of America is hiding inner-workings that are due for a major upgrade.