Lee: Have you noticed that technology sales people will only describe where a device or plan works well. Wouldn’t you love it if sales people said things like “this device really sucks at XYZ”? It would be much more helpful.
Bob: That’s why we’re here. This is an inverse sales pitch regarding mobile devices and plans. The key word of the column is “sucks”.
Bob: Let’s try using our technical term in a sentence: “Blackberry sucks”.
Lee: But lots of people use Blackberry. Ba-zillions have been sold.
Bob: Go to your favorite stock quote page and look up the price for Research In Motion (RIMM), the manufacturer of Blackberry. You’ll see the stock has lost 65% of its value since the bottom of the crash of 2008-9. Over the same period, Apple’s stock has risen 620%. Every Wall St. person knows Blackberry is road kill. Don’t be fooled by the sales rep advocating “special pricing”.
Lee: Not long ago Blackberry was a leader because it did a few things very well. But it wasn’t designed to allow extensions, or “Apps”. Along come Apple and Android which allow extensions in more ways than can be counted. So Blackberry is as dated as Windows 98.
Bob: Next up: cellular plans. If you’re part of a family or small business then all the cell service plans suck.
Lee: If you’re single, then the plans are okay. Combine monthly voice plan with a monthly data plan and the total is still okay. And it’s pretty darned good if you don’t have a normal telephone. But if you have a family it sucks.
Bob: The cell phone companies have plans that let you share a pool of minutes with all family members. But they don’t let you share the data plan. Data plans often cost $30 per month for each device. If your family has mom, dad and 2 kids, your shared voice plan can be less than $80, or $20 each. But the 4 data plans cost $120, giving a total near $200 or $50 each. It’s nuts. Why can’t we share a data plan too?
Lee: Cell phone company greed? Inconceivable!
Bob: There are rumors on the internet that we will be able to share data plans soon. Don’t let the sales rep tell you otherwise.
Lee: The greed goes both ways. Selling more fancy Android and Apple smart phones is more motivating to the money counters.
Bob: Share the data and voice plans and the monthly cost should be near $100, or $25 each.
Lee: Maybe we should all go to the cell phone store and ask “When can my family have a plan that shares voice and data. How ‘bout this Saturday?!”
Bob: Along the way there is a little trap to watch out for. It’s the dirty little money maker cell phone companies have been loving for many years: TXTing.
Lee: TXTing sucks like fresh zits on prom night.
Bob: TXTing is instant messaging for troglodytes.
Lee: Sigh, another trial of youth.
Bob: Key message for our readers: Don’t get stuck in a long term TXTing plan. TXTing is going the same way as the Blackberry.
Lee: Short messages between friends are here to stay. The part that’s going away is the separate charges for TXTing.
Bob: Everything you get with a TXTing plan is included in a data plan. Don’t pay for the same thing twice.
Lee: Right now smart phones are selling wildly. Mom and Dad want the new one. Junior gets the old one.
Bob: In this case, Junior isn’t giving the hand-me-down a dirty look. Those older iPhones and Android phones are still sweet.
Lee: Should we discuss the non-merits of TXTing?
Bob: Nah, make ‘em wait until the next Tech Talk. Besides, the younger set is still wondering what a troglodyte is.
Lee: Homework question: How do you stave off a troglodyte using only a keyboard?
Bob: Lastly, Lee and I are planning “Tech Talk Live” in May. We’ll take tech questions live and answer them with wisdom and humor (or so we think!)
Lee: The keyboard may receive extensive use. Look for a firm time and place announcement in the next Tech Talk.