I’ll admit it, while I have most aspects of my life under control and normalized, there is one, tiny section that seems to have complete control over me: my obsessive, compulsive need to switch mobile devices. In the grand scheme of things that I could project this obsessive tendency on, I suppose phones are fairly benign. So ladies and gentlemen, the reason I’m not switching to a Verizon iPhone? The thought of not having a SIM card gives me the shakes.
Even as I type, my micro-SIM, tucked into its black, plastic, full-SIM adapter happily sits in my BlackBerry Torch (subject to change at any moment). I use this adapter so much that I’ve gone as far as to name the little thing; I lovingly refer to him as Bob. While you may think it odd for a grown man in his late twenties to name a small, inanimate plastic object, it does occasionally come in handy. “Honey, have you seen Bob?” — “You left him in your pants pocket again; I put him on top of the washing machine.” Last month, I had to liberate Bob from the bowels of our Roomba. See? Now when I say “Bob” you know exactly what I’m talking about, no geek speak required. It’s a solid system.
So, back to Verizon and the iPhone. I don’t have any objections to CDMA as a technology. I don’t mind that making a phone call locks the data channel — making non-Wi-Fi Web browsing while on conference calls impossible. I don’t mind that the data speeds are, generally speaking, slower. I just don’t care about those things. The only thing that really, really makes my stomach turn is the inability to move from one device to another — often manically — whenever I choose without the help of customer support or even an online portal.
Even with Bob and my SIM securely nestled in a BlackBerry, I’m still thinking about the iPhone 4, ATRIX 4G, Optimus 2X and Xperia Arc. After all, they look like they would make a nice home for Bob and my nameless SIM. Last month I used a Nexus One, N8, and Samsung Focus for a sum total of 48 hours. I’m not sure I would use any of them as my full-time device, but I enjoyed being able to pair them against the rigors of my day-to-day routine. It’s just what I like to do and, thanks to my full-time gig here at BGR, I have access to tons of phones — supply often exceeds demand. The thought of giving that up just seems a little sad (which may, in and of itself, also be a little sad).
The SIM card also affords me the ability to travel abroad and still use my U.S.-based device of choice; a feature I like to utilize every so often.
It is true, the thing that has kept — and will keep — me glued to AT&T is not a $500 handset, but rather a $0.49 piece of plastic. A piece of plastic that — with the help of Bob — can go into any GSM phone I choose. In the wake of last week’s CES conference, one thing is certain: there are going to be plenty of new choices to be made by Bob and myself.