This time last year Tina crossed into the 21st century Â when she decided to get a Samsung Wave smartphone. For the first few weeks she seemed happy with her new purchase, able to use Twitter and Facebook, play games and read the occasional e-mail she received. But frustration started to set in when the phone started acting strangely, not allowing her to get into certain applications and giving false text alerts.
I did a firmware update which seemed to sort out the false messages but I could never seem to be able to resolve the Facebook access issue. In fact it got to the stage where I actually deleted the built-in application and installed another, which seemed to improve things but it wasn’t as good as the native version.
I did some research on line and the Samsung forums, but couldn’t really see anyone one else experiencing similar problems so I just put it down to some sort of software glitch (Tina didn’t want me to do a hard reset as she would lose all her contacts etc). Tina persevered with the new version of Facebook, but occasionally I would see her phone hurling through the air, in a fit of frustration, swearing that it wasn’t working properly.
As the contract Tina signed up for didn’t expire until 2012, it was not viable to swap it out and as the problems with the applications was so intermittent, we couldn’t see the point of sending it back for them to look at. The phone itself was OK, it had a good display, the battery life was acceptable and Tina was able to text proficiently with it. So she accepted that she was stuck with it until next year.
That was until the weekend!
On Sunday morning, we were enjoying our breakfast when Tina’s brother turned up. I remained at the table preparing my toast with some jam, continuing to read the local free paper that had arrived that morning. After spreading the strawberry preserve, I went to put the jam jar down but dropped it onto the newspaper by mistake. There was a thud and when I lifted the paper realised Tina’s phone was underneath, but on inspection it seemed fine. With no visible damage to the phone, I didn’t think to mention it to Tina.
Half an hour later, and I could hear Tina and her brother discussing a problem with her phone and when she showed me I immediately realised why she couldn’t see the display. The pot of jam had cracked the screen, to a point where the display was unreadable. I, of course, confessed straight away and got a big hug from Tina, pleased that I had done what she had been trying to do for months and months.
We checked our insurance and whilst the phone was covered, the excess would have been Â£30 and on researching the value we realised it was only worth Â£50 trade-in (and that was in a working condition).
As it happened Tina has been speaking to one of her work colleagues on Friday, and she had recently bought an iPhone and was raving about it. And so the seed had been planted.
We did some online research and then drove into Kettering to see what deals could be had. Eventually we ended up in Phones4U and were served by James, who sold Tina a shiny, new 16GB iPhone 4 and even gave her Â£40 cash for her broken phone. Unfortunately the downside was that we couldn’t get out of the old contract and will have to settle the remaining payments with Orange, but Tina seemed pleased with the deal.
And so once again, Tina is having to learn to work a new phone, but as I explained to her, the reason why Apple products are so popular is that they are intuitive to use and reliable.
I will shortly be buying a new phone myself; my existing iPhone 3GS is out of contract, but I am waiting for the iPhone 4GS or 5 when it launches next month, and incredibly the value of my old phone is still worth around Â£150 if I sold it on.
The Apple domination of the Wright household is nearly complete!