My wife and I were shopping for phones recently. We wanted to change phone services and Sprint would not unlock our phones, they flat out refused. We fully paid for the phones, but apparently we are not allowed to use them with anyone else’s service — ever. So we shopped and we researched and I eventually came to realize that the whole approach to phones is misguided.
Today’s phones can be divided into three distinct functions and I think they should come in three separate devices. These three parts can be represented by:
If each of these could be purchased separately we could build our own phones to suit our own individual needs.
The audio could be a bluetooth headset, or earbuds with a microphone. Sound is of tantamount importance for some people and not so much for others. Most cell phones I have used have inferior audio quality and I would prefer to get this audio tailored to suit me quite apart from the rest of the apparatus, perhaps something I could use for other audio purposes with or without my phone. This, at least, you can do but you pay for the speaker and microphone that is built into current phones whether you like it or not.
The radio unit could always be kept in pocket or purse and never be touched. It should have a miniplug for audio, bluetooth for wireless, and various carrier capabilities as options. One can keep their audio gear at the ready instead of the all-in-one traditional smartphone.
The tactile/visual interface should be a third swappable component. Your radio and audio components could be perfect but you might only want a new keypad or touch tablet.
Why have to buy an entire phone when you only want a better screen, or a better audio set, or a better radio? They make you buy all three in a single unit and charge you a ton of money when there might be no all-in-one that pleases you and individually there could be many of each component that excites you. The current state of affairs is wrong and completely unnecessary.
It is ridiculous to hold a touchscreen to your face where it is all too easy to brush your chin or cheek and activate an unwanted control, such as hanging up after being on hold for 45 minutes. I’ve seen it happen.
It is ridiculous to have a weak radio hardwired to an inferior screen and tinny audio system when you could instead have the premium components that matter to you. It should be possible to be at home with the radio working through your home computer or TV set or tablet. Tablets don’t need a separate phone service, your radio unit should serve all your needs on all your devices home and away.
Certainly there is room for low-end all-in-one no-nonsense phones for those who don’t see communication as anything more than a bother or utility, but there are those of us who are audiophiles that love retina-grade touch-screen toys. So much time and money is wasted buying all-in-one devices when components make more obvious sense for so many.