While I wait for answers I need for my next post, I’m focused somewhat on getting myself a new cell phone, something that wasn’t supposed to happen for a while. And when I say cell phone, I use the accepted term, but I rarely if ever talk on it; I use it as an all-purpose internet access machine, just as I have since I originally discovered that I never, ever have to be away from the web. This one is 2.5 years old and while I know it is sadly out of date, the phone I really want is financially out of my reach, so I just stick with it. Until this weekend when I knocked it off the night table and cracked its screen. Oops. But I have a list of things I need and I won’t bore you with them, the only bit of information you need to know here being that the phone that fulfills all of these requirements doesn’t actually exist. But I almost bought a phone today anyway!
I went to the T-Mobile store, just to play with the phones to maybe get used to the idea of simply replacing my BlackBerry with a newer, better, faster BlackBerry. Not to buy one. But the guy talked me into it! Really! And maybe in my heart of hearts I really did want it. Then something went wrong and as they were ringing me up, the credit card literally in my hand, the transaction couldn’t be completed because of my cheap and ancient plan. I felt disappointed, but, whatever, I could just phone up T-Mo and get it done. But that’s the thing: I haven’t. And I doubt I will. I probably will just keep on waiting for the Perfect Phone to come along and in the meantime use my sad Curve with the cracked screen. I have worked in retail sales, although never on commission, so I have a vague idea of the psychology of this. But a big purchase like this one is something I never imagined letting myself be manipulated into making. Weird!
The other thing it made me realize is why the Nexus One, the phone I covet (although it doesn’t fulfill all the requirements either) has less than 2% of the market. Because it’s only sold on the Internet! I can’t go into a store and play with it and feel like I can’t leave without it and have the slick salesguy convince me that this promotion will end TODAY and I need to get it NOW. I think Google, which does so many things right, has done this thing wrong. When it appears in the store next to the lesser Blackberry or G1 or whatever, then people will want it. Now, it doesn’t work this way for Apple, but people didn’t run out to buy the original iPod either. Apple had to build that “I’ll buy this sight unseen” fanboy clientele and Google hasn’t accomplished that. Not to mention, I also coveted an iPad and happened to have a
torture session dentist appointment this week which put me next to the Apple Store. All through the drilling, I kept saying to myself, “survive this and get to go see an iPad!” Well, I did survive and I did go to the Apple Store and guess what? I didn’t like the iPad. It didn’t feel comfortable in my hand and there wasn’t multi-tasking, at least as I’m used to. So now I don’t feel bad that I can’t afford one because I wouldn’t buy one. But I had to try one to figure that out. And I had to be in a physical store to do that.
Zappo’s comes closest to replicating that, by sending shoes overnight and allowing you to send them back free with no repercussions. But if you’ve seen even one episode of Sex and the City, you know people can be talked into shoes like a tech nut can be talked into a 3G BlackBerry. But not by websites… yet.
There is a story to this post title. When I started the baking business, while I was still at the record label, I told a co-worker about it and he said, “Good idea! You know, you can’t download a cupcake.” There are some things that the Internet still cannot provide.