And I got myself a new phone.
Thank you, thank you, thank you very much. It is worth celebrating, isn’t it? Well not yet.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I have a phone, actually three phones. You say what? Yeah, three phones. One is a Nokia C3 or something, used to be one of the reigning Nokia phones of 2010, the screen is damaged so you can’t see a thing on it. It is a blind phone, that is not supposed to be a problem except that the phone was made for those who can see, and I am one of that category of people.
The second phone was bought second-hand known popularly as “UK used”, a blackberry 9810 popularly known as blackberry torch 2. What is the problem with this one? Nothing I can’t handle. It has survived serious assaults of many kinds and it is a proud little beast that will show it’s ugly scars chest out. Does it do what it was made for? Very well. That was before Blackberry got injured. You didn’t get the memo? It is not something unusual for businesses to get liquidated, which is not exactly what happened to BB, it is just that it lost it’s market share to “smarter” devices. How is that my business? It is not. It is just that telecomunications companies in Nigeria , where I am resident, decided against providing internet services for blackberry devices except for the newer blackberry 10 devices (airtel still does, someone should collect money for this mention on my behalf). This is not a problem per se, except that the original game plan of BB is that which restricts internet access to their devices through a special package known as BIS, without which the smartphone will not be as smart. In summary, my problem with the blackberry is that it lost a bit of its smartness.
The third phone does not need much talking about. It is a dumb phone. When a phone is not smart, what does that make the phone? Yeah you got it, that is why the phone is dumb. Well, the manufacturers think differently, they call that kind of phone ‘feature phone’ not dumb phone (even though we all know they aren’t smart especially when it comes to entertainment, the smarter a phone the better the pleasure it gives.). Does it do the basic things a phone should do? Not very well, it has a brain injury. It struggles to stay awake. Since the phone is not doing the basic thing a phone is meant for, not because it cannot but because it won’t stay awake long enough to get connected after dialing, then there is a need for another phone.
This is where I am going, but before we continue there, let’s quickly pick some extra things at the phone market.
Phone makers are fighting one another tooth and nail to outdo themselves by providing features in their phones that make them, if in the least a little smarter and most importantly, more acceptable in the market. As the makers fight themselves, I have this internal fight about what my next phone will look like and what features it must have and to what degree. I was thinking about the size of the RAM it must have, the number of the pixels the camera on it must bear; and you know we measure this in tens of millions these days.
Not to bore you with the details of the arguments in the courtroom of my mind, let’s go to the verdict: I disappointed myself but with good reasons. One of such reasons is that the streets aren’t smiling. If you don’t understand, befriend a Nigerian, especially one who lives in the Western region. That is of course if you don’t already have one as a friend.
Back to where I was going. When the manufacturers are competing, we say it is good for business and good for the consumers too, but when the consumers are competing, who does it help? Did you say the manufacturers? I knew it! I have smart audience. But come to think of it, are you sure you are enjoying the kind of help you provide the phone makers?
Here is the bottomline and it may not be as heavy as a street poet’s punchline but I swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth: Nothing satisfies, only godliness with contentment. Put in another way, nothing ephemeral or mundane satisfies the emptiness of a man’s heart, only God eternal does.
P.S.: Someone will always have something you are aiming for, but someone is hoping for the little in your hands too. No matter what you do and no matter how rich you are, somebody’s phone will always be smarter than yours. Inspired by the title of the book “my mercedes is bigger than yours” by Nkem Nwankwo.