The tectonic plates of the technology world shifted in recent weeks with three big new smartphones shaking the world in quick succession.
In the wake of such seismic events, many among us may be considering acquiring a new smartphone. But be warned: the way ahead is tumultuous.
Prepare for the six stages you’ll traverse with this handy guide.
Stage 1: Incurably Curious
There’s an easy way to tell if you’re in the curious zone. Over a drink, a friend casually mentions they have a new phone and reaches into their pocket or bag to show you.
If you don’t close your eyes and will yourself to die on the spot, you’re in the curious phase.
Stage 2: Restless Explorer
In this phase, your new purchase is still some time off and you become excited about phones whose features are mere rumour.
Such phones are a distant mirage – a desert oasis of ripe dates and cold pools – while you’re stuck in the burning heat of the dunes and all you can smell is the camel you’re riding. (In this analogy, the malodorous dromedary is played by a perfectly functioning but slightly out of date smartphone.)
By the time the mirage resolves into reality – inevitably it becomes a smartphone with a slightly bigger screen and an annoying new connector – the internet rumour mills are alive with the promise of some new splendiferousness to be released in a few short months. Your eyes sparkle with anticipation.
Stage 3: Captain Of The Good Ship Decisiveness
Suddenly your old phone fails.
Maybe it mocks the forces of gravity once too often and the screen shatters. Perhaps the battery does an imitation of Australia’s cricket team and for no apparent reason starts to flounder.
Whatever the reason – it is now purchase time. You’re tempted to change from iPhone to Android, or vice-versa.
Most often, all that research goes up in a conflagration of urgency and you buy a phone of a kind you know little about, because it’s there. Deciding is liberating and you bubble with optimism.
Stage 4: Summitting The Peak Of Excitement
The day it arrives home. You open the box. Visions swirl of a bright future that will never arrive. This is where the promise of your new product meets reality, often with great force. The truth of materialism is that hope is the product they’re selling.
Stage 5: O! Why Have You Foresaken Me?
• “SIM not detected! Why not?”
• “But where are all my contacts?”
And anyone who has switched from Apple to Android, or vice versa, may recognise this conversation:
“Well, this SmartSoftware specifically designed to move music from an Apple device to an Android device seems quite inappropriately named.”
“I know, I’ll spend a few hours online with Apple support, or make an appointment at the Samsung store.”
Then they send your shiny new $900 phone back to South Korea for repairs “one week maximum, I promise” while offering you a temporary replacement in the form of a Samsung smartwatch.
“Now, I know it’s not a phone but you can see your text messages right there on the screen! No, you can’t actually reply.”
Stage 6: Post-Purchase Procession
Relief. You’ve spent eight hours manually adding your contacts, re-bought all your old apps, mourned the loss of the text messages and photos you’ll never see again. You broker a truce with this devil of a new device.
Then, after a while, you find a feature on it that’s pleasing or novel. When you meet up with a friend you decide to show it off to them.
Watch closely. Are they paying attention or do they have their eyes clenched as though they’re willing themselves to die on the spot?
If the former, proceed as though getting a new phone was nothing but a breeze.