Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cell Phone Plumage

This little blurb on the Freakonomics blog about men sporting cell phones to attract mates may explain, in part, why luxury phones are such a rage all over the world, including SE Asia. People tell me that Nokia's Vertu phones enjoy a healthy market there.

Moving overseas means a new phone for me (because I'm not on a GSM system here), and a bit of sticker shock when browsing handset prices. I was quoted figures of $350 to start, with a "nice" phone, like a Nokia 8800 at a cool $1k. Whoa.

The prices are a bit high because, unlike the States, Vietnam (and most everywhere else in the world) sells "unlocked" phones. No contracts, no two year committments, no early termination fees. Pop in a prepaid SIM card and go. I've even read that it's illegal to sell locked cells in Belgium, due to issues about coupled sales and lack of consumer freedom. I wonder how Microsoft does in Belgium?

Anyhow, my top choices right now are the Nokia E61 or something from HTC. Or perhaps I'll wait for the next-gen Nokia E61i. Too many choices out there really. However hot or humid Vietnam gets, at least I'll have a cool phone.

4 comments:

Kevin said...

Back in July, 2005, I paid $400 in Bangkok for my Motorola e680i. Of course, it runs on Linux. My second phone, the Motorola ROKR E2 runs Linux as well but I am not really happy with it. I want to sell it and possibly pick up one of the new Linux Nokia phones :-)

O2s are worth looking at and I really love that Nokia N93 video phone...

Pao said...

Somehow, a Nokia doesn't appeal as much to me anymore... The new line of Sony Ericsson mobile phones is neat interesting. That of course depends on what you *really* need from a phone. I'm still happy with my SE w900i Walkman phone. 2mpx + 4GB memory + a fantastic camera come in handy for me here in Vietnam. Heck, I was able to video Bush's entry into Le Loi Street! Hahhaha

Preya said...

I know...I used to be a cell phone junkie when I lived in Hanoi. People seem much less cell phone crazed here, perhaps because of the package deals. My first was a dinky little Erikson; then I moved on to the Nokia banana (all the rage in Hanoi circa 1998) and on and on it was. I now have something that somewhat resembles a toy car and I don't know or care what make.

D. said...

I'm probably looking for something staid and boring, but with good text entry abilities. That may just limit the field to full QWERTY phones unfortunately.