Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Paradox of Cell Phone Choice

My black RAZR is almost 2 years old and holds maybe 5 minutes of battery life right off the charger. With the contract almost up and needing a replacement for this ephemeral energy-keeping beast, I travel to cingular.com to begin my search. So far so good…At the homepage I clicked SHOP…Then I clicked Phones & Devices…And…Uh-oh. I’m frozen dead in my tracks. Yet another wonderful example for Barry Schwartz’s book The Paradox of Choice. I saw Barry’s speech at UI11 where he discussed the impetus for the book. He needed to buy a pair of jeans and hadn't done so in years. The salesperson at the clothes store put him in choice-shock when he was offered the myriad of jean selections. We can all relate.

So here I am staring at the cingular website which has 6 main categories that house 211 different phone choices. I just want a phone that is a good phone with long battery life. I have a Blackberry for work email, iPod for music and Canon SD630 for pictures. I just want a phone as Barry just wanted a pair of jeans or a jar of jelly.

I’m not sure what I am going to do. So far I’ve been in this frozen state for 2 months with my crappy old phone not knowing what to choose, knowing I will probably immediately have choosers-remorse. To make it worse the iPhone is coming out so very soon. Sigh.

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