Living without an iPhone – a social and business experiment – Day 4

I’m starting to quite like this. I am definitely spending less time with emails and more time actually doing work. For me this is a huge progression. But firstly a few confessions.

1. The phone I bought was crap – I had a few people complaining that they couldn’t hear me. It may be that they were trying to prove a point and were taking the mickey, but I suspect you get what you pay for and as a casual user it would be a fie phone, but for a business user, it is a little weedy. If yu know of any kids or deserving causes that want it, let me know and i’ll donate it.

I have now had my much older Nokia 6300 unlocked and taped the micro sim in place as the adapter still hasn’t arrived. The iPhone still functions as a wifi device, but no longer as a phone. I have to confess to feeling a little more comfortable with it as a piece of technology. A phone that works as a phone is a good start.

2. I have used the iPhone a bit – Mainly to make outgoing calls as I burnt the credit on my £10 sim in about ten minutes flat. That is now over as I am back on my normal number.

3. I have even accessed an email – I know, I know. I was in the car (parked) and trying to get the number of a supplier. The easiest way was to look at an old email and ring them from that. It was a quick in and out. Honest. But I did immediately go and look at Sky Sports App ad a few others.

It made me feel slightly dirty and not in the spirit of my experiment. Sorry.

And now onto the positives

1. I am working in a more linear way – Dealing with requests once and getting tasks completed and filed.

2. I have more time – I am definitely spending less time worrying about emails and more time doing actual work.

3. I am a safer driver – I have not even touched my phone, checked an email or read a text whilst i’m driving. Car kit or no car kit.

An early conclusion?

I am not wanting to cut my nose off to spite my face, but I do feel it is making me change my (dirty) iPhone habits. I may go back to the iPhone at some point in the future, but I am pretty sure the default position will be to have the email push switched off. If this has only taught me that much, it’s been worth it.

My worry of living without it, is already overpaying for Christmas.

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Living without an iPhone – a social and business experiment

We all have too much stuff in our life. Too many possessions, too many media choices and too many ways of accessing any piece of available information from anywhere in the world.

And I’ve had enough, so i’m making a change to the way I run my life and the first stand will be against my beloved iPhone.

I am on 24/7. always checking mail, checking share prices, checking scores and checking things I don’t really need to know.

A book I read many years ago by Isaac Asimov called Azazel, stuck in my mind. I’ve blogged about it here before.

By being so on all the time, i’ve lost my downtime, my time to think, my time to learn and understand. People expect an instant response, but instant isn’t always best, it’s often quite glib, so I want to change.

For an initial one week, my iPhone is staying at home, switched off. I’ll check my emails when I am in front of my computer and i’ll try and deal with them first time.

I’m going to spend tomorrow getting rid of all the emails in my inbox. Currently 70 in number – Most of which need some sort of action. On Sunday, i’ll be into the new regime.

I’ve been a bought a new phone today. The simplest and cheapest they had in the shop. A Samsung GT-E2121b at only £9.45. A bargain from Phones 4U. Sold to me by a young lady called Adele, who thought I was a bit simple when I told her my plan.

Adele from Phones 4U Nottingham Victoria branch - Complete with perfect sign above her head
Adele from Phones 4U Nottingham Victoria branch - Complete with perfect sign above her head - That's the bloody point - I don't want emails on the go!

I’ll try and update the blog every day to let you know how I get on with it.

iPhone vs. Blackberry – the professionals choice?

iPhone 4 is here and is in every professional's pocket
iPhone 4 is here and is in every professional's pocket

It may be a small straw poll but I have heard of two more professional services firms who have switched all of their phones to the rather excellent iPhone platform.

We did it ourselves last year with a great deal from 02 who gave us seven of them free as part of our contract – which in truth is not that massive at around £200 per month. I had a Backberry Pearl for a few weeks on demo but hated it.

But one firm – Innes England – have just had 40 of them and replaced all sorts of handsets for the switch.

The other is a specialist law firm who have had 30+ iPhone handsets too.

Now I haven’t heard of anyone switching lock stock and barrel to Blackberry. Have you? But I did buy one for my daughter for her birthday as her and all her mates have them and love the instant messaging function. (like Apple’s ‘face time’ in text – but actually usable)

So for me, this means that the markets are diverging. Blackberry is going after the PAYG market and Apple are trying to own the corporate market. As an app developer, this makes life much easier as you are only working on one platform, but it will push Apple into an almost monopolistic position in supplying this market.

Good. iPhone is just better, and better should win shouldn’t it.

Sony are claiming they’re going to do an ‘Apple’

I know I’m going on about Apple at the moment, but they do seem to be in my life a lot for all sorts of reasons.

I read today on Brand Channel that Sony are trying to become a ‘lifestyle’ brand alongside Apple. In the article Sony’s Executive VP Kazuo Hirai said that if they can offer movie downloads, game downloads and other entertainment, this would be a point of difference that is not available anywhere else.

What?

Sony are officially a Kevin Roberts Lovemark. One of those brands that we love over and above all reason. But this is evidence to me that they have totally lost the plot and are not just following the (Apple) market leaders, but they are a mile or two behind. Sony, when they launched the Walkman, created and defined a sector from scratch with the world’s smallest cassette player.

Apple’s iPod then came and took the whole sector from them, when they redefined the portable media player sector.

Sony have 33 million PlayStation users across the world, all of them plugged in to a wired or wifi’d world. It would seem a far stronger bet to build on this as a point of differentiation than trying to do it through their Bravia TV, Cyber shot cameras and e-readers, which are all a bit ‘me-too’ at best.

If they created a rental or fractional ownership system for games, entertainment, movies and music via the PS3, they would be onto a far more differentiatable (if there is such a word) product and one that has 33 million headstarts.

Otherwise for me, its Apple all the way.

I can imagine Apple launching a wifi TV – they already have a device that slings your picture from your mac to your TV, a wifi camera (that will be the iPhone 3gs then) and you can already read books on the iPod Touch/iPhone.

Sony have become a follower. They used to be radical. Lovemarks do radical things. Sony need to do something radical again, or they are in danger of us falling out of love with them little by little.