a telephone named desire
May 17, 2010
So, the second week of my holidays and another pleasant distraction. This time I’m working on joining the smartphone revolution. I’m still carrying an old Nokia 5-series, since none of the 3G phones have really done much for me. The basic problem is screen realestate – Google maps or GPS navigation on a postage-stamp sized display never seemed a lot of use because you couldn’t see enough context with your location. And the killer app for me is mobile web browsing; not being a chatty teenager I don’t actually make that many outgoing calls.
Plus I’m becoming increasingly annoyed about gadget overload. A phone, a camera, a GPS, an MP3 player… They’re all just microcomputers with displays and sensors. Where is Sauron to forge the one gadget to rule them all?
Well in fact he’s in Cupertino, California. And so you may well ask “but Zardoz, why not just buy an iProduct?” This is why not. Apple have produced the goods, sure, and they have the first-mover advantage, but we’ve seen this movie before. The original Mac was the be-all-and-end-all, but most people went with DOS and the odd how-to book from the local techie bookshop and got by just fine.
And inspiration has struck. I’ve decided on this one – the HTC Desire.
There really should be some sort of consumer protection law that stops companies naming sleek and sexy gadgets desire. Or, just call it lust and be done with it. Just writing this post is making me think of taking a cold shower.
However, as is the way with these things, the path to the fulfilment of my desire is narrow and winding. From another point of view, we know lust is one of the seven deadly sins. And sins do seem to travel in packs.
In this case, the other one in the mix is avarice.
The Desire is on sale in Australia, but through Telstra, Australia’s national “phone company”. Although it still majority owned by the guv’mint has the government as a shareholder, Telstra is the sort of rapacious dollar-per-bit carrier that my US readers probably know only too well. It makes ol’ Ma Bell look like your favourite grandmother. No thanks.
But there is another solution, which I discovered thanks to Whirlpool, that wonderful online resource for Australian internet and gadget lovers. Order the phone from the UK and ship it out, FedEx, for £30 and a seven-day-more-or-less-delivery (barring the odd Icelandic volcano). The British phones are on the correct UMTS frequencies for the Australian networks that compete with Telstra. And over a hundred Oz dollars cheaper. The smart money seems to be ordering them from here or here. I think I’ll be joining them in a few days.
Hopefully I’ll be able to make my first ever mobile blog post in the next couple of weeks. Oh I love living in the future!