The utility of the device is incredible:
If anything we should work to get smart phones in the hands of the poor. It would be a great way to improve their lives for a somewhat modest cost. I am not sure it is all for looks. Maybe we could quibble about whether they should have an iPhone or some cheaper smartphone. I am just saying, it could be more for utility than image.
If you have an iPhone and then become poor, sure. You probably won't get ahead much by getting rid of your iPhone. If you're already poor, then an iPhone (not a smartphone) is definitely a luxury.
There are capable smartphones for much cheaper then an iPhone that could get the job done. That's what GP was likely getting at.
>If anything we should work to get smart phones in the hands of the poor.
I am not aware of a socialized plan to put phone in the hands of poor people, but they are getting increasingly cheaper. You can get Samsung Galaxy line (not the flagship model) phones from cheap, prepaid carriers. Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly available, which makes the limited data plans not that bad of a drawback.
It's not wrong, nor necessarily economically irresponsible, for "poor" people to have a few nice things.
Assuming a lifespan of 3 years, the cost difference between a $600 phone and a $300 phone is barely more than $0.25 per day - and probably even less, considering that iPhones have a higher resale value.
Maybe that "poor person" carrying an iPhone just forgoes $0.25 or $0.50 of other niceties per day so they can afford that iPhone and those $100 shoes - or maybe they just work in a city, because you can literally find that much money on the ground every day if you keep your eyes peeled.
If a person routinely made such purchases, to the detriment of their well-being, certainly that could be a problem. But unless we know somebody's full financial picture we should not presume to make such a judgement.
This link : http://whatever.scalzi.com/2005/09/03/being-poor/
Seems quite appropriate and - I hope - illuminating.
I do not understand the fact that you seem to have posted it as a rebuttal to my post.
My post was meant as a criticism of another indignity that the poor often face: other peoples' (often baseless, and always condescending) criticisms of their financial decisions.
Their criticisms often carry the subtext that poor people are poor because they are wearing a $100 item of clothing or because they own a smartphone - in essence, those criticisms say that these people deserve to be poor and/or poor people don't deserve nice things.
I find such criticisms of poor people to be incredibly classist and devoid of empathy and my post was intended to address that. I don't know how my words could have been read otherwise.
Assuming a lifespan of 3 years, the cost difference between a $600 phone and a $300 phone is barely more than $0.25 per day
What really riles me up is that a lot of people have no clue how expensive it actually is to be poor and how hard is it to break the vicious circle. That's in addition that a lot of poor people work equally hard as the rest of us.
That is an excellent, excellent link. And this:
> What really riles me up is that a lot of people have no clue how expensive it actually is to be poor
Yes! This is the one thing I wish everybody could understand about being poor. Not only do you have less money, almost everything is more expensive.
"Simple" things like buying food when it's on sale and freezing it for later aren't possible if you don't have a second freezer, or even a first freezer, or if you're in danger of having your power turned off, or if you live in a terrible apartment where the power goes off for reasons not even in your control.
Heck, a lot of people can't even clip supermarket coupons because they don't have access to a supermarket. (For anybody scratching their heads at this, Google "food desert")
Or another great example:
Cost of a $150,000 home if you're rich and don't need a mortgage: $150,000 (or $0 in the long run, because you can get that money back when you sell it)
Cost of a $150,000 home if you need a mortgage: $500,000+
(Not that the truly poor can even obtain mortgages, but it's a good illustration of how much cheaper things can get as you go further and further up the income scale)
I do recall, however, a friend who was raising two kids on her own. With some horrible history of migration etc. She did indeed know the cost of everything. And budgeted carefully, down to the penny.
I really like his blog (sorry John, I guess I'm one of your freeloaders; that's because I'm just not that much into SF)
He seems to be a really decent guy and shows an ability, which is sorely missed nowadays:
I try not to make judgments about anyone's spending habits unless it's affecting me.
One of my biggest issues online is forgetting that subtext is easily missed. In cases where it is missed, it can be minutes or hours before you have a chance to rectify it. Sorry about that, and thanks for the criticism.
I guess that is relevant here since Apple is a company that makes products for first world only.
But having seen the other side of the coin in the not-so-developed world, I'm sure the author could (and should) add the words "in America" to that essay's title. Being poor elsewhere is far far worse than what he describes here.
I strongly agree with this, but if someone does choose to buy an iPhone they should know it's a luxury. It bothers me that Apple doesn't acknowledge this.
But generally I feel it's appropriate for companies to tell us how awesome their products are; it's up to us to recognize which things are necessities and which are luxuries.
In fact, I feel a bit silly having paid "only" $300 for my Samsung phone, having read your economic breakdown. I was imagining myself having an extra $200 for stuff... but I go through a lot of wasted time having "only" 16GB.. continuously moving stuff off of it... missed photos and videos I could have taken. Perhaps the pix didn't have economic value worth $200 over 3 years, but the time is probably worth it.
I've also heard the perspective on the poor that if they have to be poor, it helps to have at least one nice thing. the nice thing of choice is the phone.
The real question is, imho, how to leverage these choices to get what helps an individual. e.g. use the phone to get jobs, to shop around for the best price, to buy used things on craigslist to save money, to watch inspiring and encouraging videos, to learn new skills to get better jobs, etc.
Yeah, sometimes (not always) the more expensive option is actually cheaper in the long run, or is at least a justifiable cost. Looking at the $/day or $/hour cost over the lifespan of a product is one way to get a better understanding of the "real" cost.
The danger is that it can be easy to justify too many of those "well, it's only $0.10 a day!" purchases because they can really add up.
(In fact, car salesmen will often try to sell you upgrades in a similar way. "Well, upgrading to the leather seats will only add $25 to your monthly payments...")
These things have incredible lifetimes and also keep their resale value very well. So in terms of value, I'm not convinced that iPhones are a frivolous luxury. In my experience they're a reliable long term investment.
Is that relevant to low wage earners? I think so. If iPhones stopped getting software updates 12 months (or less) after launch and ended up in a junk drawer soon after, I don't think they'd sell nearly so well in any demographic range.
I can go up or down a model at any given time, as the hardware behaves as a commodity, and there is little penalty for trading, both price-wise, and restoring the settings and contents of the device. It is a good store of value, with the only cost of ownership the steady depreciation. And if you can buy below market and sell above market, extracting value from folks who are not as thrifty as you are, you can drive the cost even lower, or possibly even make a profit.
I have bought a "4" in spring 2011 (£350, sold for £40; 1 × battery replacement £10, 1 × screen & button replacement for free from a friend's junker), and a "5S" last year (£230, current re-sale value £170+). The actual cost over the five years has been £1.50/week, £79/year).
So if you had gotten an iPad 2 on day 1, I feel like you would have had a reasonably long life on the device.
Your case with the iPad 3 is a little unique. It was the first device with a retina screen and was arguably underpowered for that task. This is why apple replaced the iPad 3 with the iPad 4 just 6 months later in the same year.
The iPad 1 and the iPad 3 are both underpowered for their typical workloads. The other iPads however have stood the test of time fairly well. My iPad Mini 1 (which is essentially an iPad 2) is a little slow, but serviceable and my wife's iPad 4 still works great.
I'm not sure how that situation changes in the US, where there doesn't seem to be the same market for pay-as-you-go sims that is found in the rest of the world.
The original iPad was launched in mid 2010. In September 2012 Apple released iOS 6, which didn't run on the original iPad. Shortly afterward, the apps we used all required a forced update to their iOS6 version (which of course didn't work) and it became a doorstop. YouTube lasted a little longer than most, but eventually it stopped working too.
It's quite possible that the iPad 2 you mention has had a longer life than the original iPad, but this in no way diminishes the fact that the original iPad, a not inexpensive piece of hardware was useless for most purposes after a little more than 2 years (assuming you bought it on release, which I did not).
I could have told you that before you bought it.
It still streams Netflix great though, but the browser is starting to show its age - I can't load all webpages anymore. :(
Looks like I might need to pick up a new iPad..
That is insane. I can load all webpages on any laptop from 5 years ago. A browser doesn't become "slower". Even with bigger pages, they are still web pages, not 3D games.
It means the ipad itself is, for some reason, rendering itself slow. And you can't do anything about it because you can't hack it.
And your idea of the solution to the problem is to buy a new one ?
My god, somebody sell you a self-destructing product in order to force you to buy a new one, and you oblige ?
Anyway, plenty of machines sold then and even today are junk, so maybe replacing them is not such a terrible idea. However, I think replacing the software matters more. Linux is an excellent option for these systems in the long term. If Apple made Mac OS X available for them, it would be too.
In fact the wisely received wisdom was that Android devices would have longer useful lifespans because open source leads to higher quality software that's maintained and updated for longer, which can be customized by users so it meets their needs better. The reality that many Android devices never see a single software update and are junked up with carrier crapware and poor device drivers hidden in binary blobs still hasn't sunk home for everyone yet.
Even now when I buy a new device I think about how useful it will be and what it's support will be like for 2 to 4 years. Beyond that, there's no way to tell. When my kid's original iPad Minis get replaced, if they still work I'll probably just use them as family photo and video galleries.
True enough. And yet, if you yourself are not actually poor, you may not realize the value that a marginal luxury like an iPhone or Air Jordans or a top brand purse (sorry, I don't know what the hot brand of purses is atm) can bring to someone in that situation. Spending a few hundred dollars will not get them a better place to live or a better job or out of debt, but it can get them something that helps them appear less poor to the people around them, who can't see their bank balance or their house, but they can see what phone they are carrying around.
They rarely have a person in their life who models delayed gratification and saving behavior, let alone strategic investing, so they never see the benefit of doing that.
The singular defining quality of the poor is that they lack capital.
This makes everything about being poor more expensive.
It is amazing how much money one has when one exercises restraint when spending it.
A lot of the problems of poverty is that once you get below a certain level, even if you are the most thrifty person around, you lose predictability in ways that end up costing you a lot of extra money.
Suddenly your employer pays you a day late and your carefully arranged bill payment schedule goes out the window and you get charged extra fees, or your car that you depend on to keep your job breaks down and you're forced into ridiculously high interest credit.
I have been applying such things to my parents' budget. Just the other day I heard from my mother that she no longer worries when unexpected medical expenses come up because she has found that the savings that my suggestions made more than paid for it. She gets TV for free OTA, replaced her expensive landline with free VoIP through Google Voice using an Obihai ATA, has lower electrical consumption (from various things, but the simplest being putting a lid on the frying pan to reduce evaporative heat loss, which is an efficiency improvement that allows food to cook faster), has a promotional rate for the newspaper she insists on having, has cell phone service that has no monthly fee (through ring plus), obtains heating oil at COD pricing, etcetera. Such things add to a four figure amount each year.
In both cases, I know people are sending money to help them. That is especially true in the case of that household in a poor village where the father is a disabled craftsman while the mother is completely uneducated. Enabling the children to study will give them the opportunity to work for a better life, which is an opportunity that their parents will never have.
Anyone who has a paycheck has the opportunity to obtain financial advice from sites like YNAB. Not all such people live as they would like, but being able to imagine something better puts them in a whole different category than actual poor people. They are able to make financial decisions and save for the purpose of making their lives better in the future. The truly poor lack such luxury.
I'm not really sure this is correct. If you have a source please do share it.
From what I've read, the reason they have difficulty saving isn't because they weren't taught to do so but because when you constantly have to no to things you want, you use up a lot of energy, or more specifically, glucose. This in turn makes you more impulsive and less rational.
For example see: https://www.psychologicalscience.org/media/releases/2010/wan...
That being the case, I don't really like the idea of labeling poor people as being poor because of their inability to save or their own foolishness. There have also been studies that show that living in poverty actually changes your brain and makes you less intelligent.
It's a self perpetuating cycle as far as I can tell
(As a chap who grew up poor.)
I think it works the opposite -- if I see someone who I think is maybe poor, and they whip out the latest and greatest iPhone or are wearing $200 shoes or overpriced brand-name sunglasses, now I know they're poor. Because it's an obvious status symbol that's not in line with the rest of their lifestyle. Other poor people aren't stupid; they see right through it as well.
Whereas if I see someone who looks poor and they whip out an old Moto X and are wearing shoes from Payless, I assume they're comfortable with whatever economic/social status they have and don't need to try to signal. I view them as immediately more trustworthy and am more willing to cut them a deal, because I assume they're capable of long-term planning rather than impulsive spending.
This might not be 100% accurate, but I find it's a generally effective rule of thumb, and I think a lot of people use it to evaluate.
Now do you think it's a waste of money? The function is very similar: an item that visually identifies you as part of some socioeconomic group.
You never hear people criticizing some middle-class guy for spending $27,000 on a Honda Accord instead of paying for a year of his kid's college education.
But when it comes to criticism of strangers, I just never hear it directed at the middle-class stranger in his Honda Accord. It's always directed at the lower-economic-class stranger and his $100 sneakers.
"Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers... The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands."
Depends where you get it. I've known some teens who have managed to pick up iPhones on the second hand market really cheap. There are enough people always wanting the shiniest new thing that more enterprising individuals can pick up a generation old iPhone for less than many cheaper Androids.
The luxury is being able to pay full price for a brand new device.
There is no reason there shouldnt be a 3G, 4, 4S capable of owrking and in the hands of "the poor"
Why not a turn-in system where older yet still functioning phones are given to anyone who wants them.
I personally am guilty of not properly handling my old phones. I've had every single generation of the iPhone since the initial launch. I've broken 17 of them to date. I have no clue where the other 16 are now, aside from one.
I'd happily have contributed my old phones to some program where either poor or kids can have them freely.
I asked a Roman Catholic priest I know to give my household's old iPhones to the poor during his trip to India last year. I had originally planned to sell them when I had a chance after upgrading myself and my parents, but I changed my mind when I heard he was going to visit his village in India where there are many poor people.
You could ask your local Roman Catholic parish if any of the priests plan to travel to poor places. They tend to be from all over the world, many are from poor places and they tend to visit family every year or so. They would definitely be able to give your phones to the poor.
Just make sure that the phones are unlocked, supports GSM internationally (if it is a US phone) and have a charging cable. In my case, I neglected to realize that the NEMA outlets used in the US are not typically used in India and included the US chargers. Compatible AC to USB chargers are cheap enough that it was not a big deal.
Also, models like the Virgin Mobile iPhone 4S whose baseband is programmed to only connect to US CDMA networks would only be useful for parts in many other countries. Phones that are locked to CDMA in the US, but support GSM when unlocked for international use, like the Sprint iPhone 5 will work fine, provided that they are unlocked before they are sent.
If it is a CDMA only phone that is not locked to the US, you could check to see if the country where the priest is going has a network compatible with it, although it is hard to find coverage maps for CDMA outside the US to know if those networks would actually be relevant:
The end result though is that your entire digital life will be on some Google server. Preventing this requires significant effort and technical expertise.
We got windows phones at work: the activation process is a comical list of "turn off this", "deactivate that", "say no to so and so" data sync policy. But, I guess you can in the end disable the thing.
iOS is probably the least bad in this respect. I won't say it's good or anything, but at least they show some respect towards customers.
The conclusion is that the poor will get abused either way, be it through price gouging or in more difficult to recognise ways.
>Some of that is disguised as perfectly innocent and helpful features: contacts syncing, back-ups, connecting more easily to WiFis, etc.
Disguised? Um... That's how those features work.
Your personal information is a currency that you have to budget. Want timely weather information in your location? Guess what? You have to spend a little location currency to get that.
Edit to add:
> The conclusion is that the poor will get abused either way, be it through price gouging or in more difficult to recognise ways.
Why are you picking on the poor here? What are you trying to generalize about?
I don't have anything against these features per se, but I can't help but notice when it's almost imposssible to turn them off and dark patterns are used to guide customers onto certain paths where more data is shared.
Then one starts to wonder for whose benefits are the features developed.
You are commiting an error when thinking that it's solely the responsibility of customers to take care of their privacy. There needs to be a strong legal framework and incentives should be set in such a way as to encourage respectful handling of customer data.
Because otherwise we end up in a situation where powerful corporations do as they wish as long as they stay within the too weak legal requirements (which they lobbied for) and it's the responsibility of the customer to:
* protect their privacy when everyone is trying to screw them and grab their data. Now they're a tech expert.
* protect their health because corps want to produce cheap goods and some ingredients cause e.g. birth defects or impotence. Now they're a chemistry expert.
* be careful what food they buy, because food nowadays is mass produced with bleach, antibiotics and hormones, pesticides & other nice stuff. Now they're an agricultural expert.
* and so on and so forth.
I hope it's clear that this doesn't work and the average citizen needs someone to have their back. In the USA they don't, so every corporation is trying its best to gather and mine private data.
And I am not picking on the poor at all, check your reading comprehension please. In fact I seem to be one of the few that is concerned about how the non-technical, and yes the poor too get screwed over by people recommending them that they use cheap products. If you want to recommend Android, take the time to educate people on what they are trading away for that affordable phone and tell them how to maintain their privacy.
I in no way said privacy was solely in the hands of the customer. I said your personal data is a currency that the customer must budget. That is not the same thing.
I don't think they want to for that reason; the reason they can gain access to such data is that if it's entirely in the user's hands (and passwords) then there's no way to recover the data for the user if they forget the password.
As for the grandparent comment: I trust Apple with my data more than Google because Apple doesn't want to use it, has no financial incentive to do so, and has no track record of subverting my privacy unlike Google (https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2012/08/googl...).
The problem with those cheap phones is that your private information
will be mercilessly sucked into the Google cloud. Some of that is
disguised as perfectly innocent and helpful features: contacts
syncing, back-ups, connecting more easily to WiFis, etc.
of course it's extra work, but it's not rocket science. so if you really
care about privacy, it's trivial to do. but as pointed out: most people
don't, no matter if they have a cheap phone or not.
the parent claimed that you pay for these cheap phones with your private data, which is not true. if you care about that (which > 99.8% of the population don't do) you are able to use those phones with those features without handing over your data to google.
The problem is: Access to the App Store. Not sure, if you can work around this.
That would be a phone on a budget. iphones are absolutely just for prestige, the same way Macbooks in universities are.
I've been there (before smart phones). Watching people wait for payday so they can go drinking. Everyone had a nicer car than necessary. Clothes or shoes to look like the situation is improving instead actually improving their situation.
Yes there is a marginal improvement in lifestyle. But there is always a marginal improvement available so that you can be in the bottom of that next group of Joneses.
I'm 45 and this is now making me remember some of the conversations I had with people who lived through the great depression. That generation was stamped with a frugality and practicality that just isn't being passed along anymore.
When I'm getting buyer on something cheaper than an iPhone, why should I help someone else get a full price iPhone? If they want to put the work in finding a second hand one at a cheap price, good for them. But why should I help them pay for shinier equipment than I even get for myself?
Can you offer an alternative? I can't see anything else being workable and not insanely expensive.
I have an iPhone 6S (and previously an iPhone 5) on Verizon, through my employer. Personally, my wife has a Nexus 4 and my daugther a Moto G, both on T-Mobile pre-paid. Both of them tell me about crappy network coverage, poor camera image quality, and so forth.
I'm not saying these aren't perfectly acceptable alternatives when you're on a budget or are frugal or these just aren't things you care about, but the iPhone and using a better carrier are not just for prestige. For many people, they are a better product and provide a better experience.
And I'll point out: usually spending more money gets you a better product. Whether or not it's better in ways you care about is obviosly a personal decision.
edit: so you disagree? What in my argument here is wrong?
edit 2: this comment was directed only at the assertion that buying an iphone is just about prestige. I completely agree with the original article.
Also, An iPhone 6S would be more reasonably compared to a Nexus 6P, not a Nexus 4.
The iPhone doesn't have a monopoly on quality,
The network coverage part of my comment was in reference to freedompop. Not sure who freedompop contracts with, but I went with T-Mobile because at the time they were much cheaper than Verizon. Their coverage is also much worse in my area.
> The iPhone doesn't have a monopoly on quality
I didn't claimed that it does. They were examples of devices I have direct experience with. The iPhone 5 was a similar generation to the Nexus 4 and Moto G and was a better (but more expensive) device. The Sony xperia devices similarly cost more than a Moto G, do they not? And you just wrote they have a suboptimal UI, so for someone who cares about that, that might rule out those devices.
My argument is not that iPhones are the only quality devices. It's that spending more usually gets you a better product, not just a more prestigious one.
But we are not talking about luxurious features. A Moto G camera still takes better photos than almost any consumer camera from before 2003 that most people had (I'm talking the old disposable point and shoots or a a bulky film camera). If you need to take pictures, an entry level phone like the Moto G does more than enough of a good job - you can easily take photos of anything, you have flash, and they will be reasonable pictures. You will know what it is a picture of and discern light detail. It does the job.
Certainly. Again, was just addressing it's not only prestige. Look, I own a Nutribullet. It does the job. But it's a complete frustration to use on a daily basis. I'm replacing it with a Vitamix at like 3X the cost, because I'm tired of dealing with the Nutribullet's quirks. And that's just a fricken blender. :-)
But then I looked up the iPhone 4s (2013's low-range) on eBay and didn't see one for less than $70. I'm honestly surprised by that.
There is a price floor I find on any older phone. They generally won't fall below $50, and I always find the Moto G 2013 exceptional in how you can get them really cheap. A great example is that I am always watching S series phone prices on Swappa, but in my experience (pre-S7, usually this list shifts down a price tier when the new phone comes out):
S2 for $80, S3 for $100, S4 for $150, S5 for $225, S6 for $300. When the S7 comes out, the S3 will probably drop to S2 range and S4 might drop to S3 range, but I expect less of a decline than that because since the S3/4 the feature differences have diminished substantially. An S4 is still a beast phone today - 1080p 5" screen, quad core CPU, 13MP camera.
This is true. In fact I've personally used mapping tools on Sony Ericsson feature phones which are around 10 years old now. You don't need a smartphone to do any of the aforementioned, let alone a market leading one.
edit: Would the people who downvoted me please explain how I didn't use mapping tools on my feature phone? I'd be interested to know how people who have never met me remember my life better than I do ;)
Off topic, but I do think HN should have a rule that you're not allowed to downvote without leaving a counterargument. That would help kerb the abuse of negative karma to demote comments which a reader disagrees with just due to personal preferences / biases. Which we're increasingly seeing these days. Particularly in threads that have potential flamewar subjects like trendy technologies or companies.
First is: Boost (67.99), or Sprint prepaid (104$)
Second is: AT&T Go Phone only.
But, it looks like you can get a new unlocked smartphone for 60$. http://www.amazon.com/BLU-Advance-5-0-Unlocked-Smartphone/dp...
I've gotten cheap Android phones that have felt sluggish and super buggy after a mere 6 months (not the Nexus 5, though, that just had a crap battery life, but I also spent ~$450 on it, so it wasn't cheap), but this one still operates as slick and smooth as the day I bought it, with a battery that lasts a day and a half.
Anyone looking for a cheap phone, I highly recommend the Lumia 635 (640 is just as cheap, but it doesn't support LTE, supposedly).
Amazon lists: $131.11 and Cricket has it for 20$. Still, as long as your not locked into a contract and can buy replacements at that cost it's not a problem.
PS: Windows does seem to beat Android on low end phones.
Then I replaced it with a Motorola something-or-other that cost me $140 with a two year contract. That one lasted just under a year before the SIM card reader stopped working, and it was good for emergency calls only.
I replaced that with a Nokia Lumia something-or-other that cost $90 with no contract. After three years, it still works to this day.
However, I did feel the need for a hardware upgrade, so in November I replaced it with a Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE, which cost me $40, again with no contract.
I've been very happy with the Lumias. The UI is very fluid and responsive, and it does everything I want it to do and then some. The build quality is also an order of magnitude better than a cheap Android phone, and the battery lasts longer. The only drawback is that there aren't a hell of a lot of third party apps. That's manageable because the ones I care about are available: Web browser, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Skype, Weather, maps, navigation, a PDF reader, Kindle, a Reddit client, an SSH terminal, emulators for retro game consoles, and a guitar tuner. It also comes with a fully functional mobile version of Microsoft Office, and OneNote was a game-changer for me. I can also enable Internet sharing, so if I'm somewhere with no wifi, I can enable a hotspot on my phone and connect from my laptop (things may be different now, but on my Android phones that was only possible by using a custom ROM, e.g. Cyanogenmod).
The developer experience for Windows Phone is also great. Visual Studio beats the pants off of Xcode, and C# is a much nicer language than both Objective-C and Java (though not quite as nice as Swift, I must say).
The only thing I miss from Android is a file browser. Apps are completely sandboxed and can only access their own files, which makes a general file browser impossible on Windows Phone. But I've been living without it for over 3 years now, so it's not that big of a deal.
Despite the low price, they really are quality phones. As long as Microsoft keeps it up, I intend to stick with the Lumia indefinitely.
E.g. here's one that ships to the UK for $31.58:
Nice find on the BLU though.
And to use your watch analogy, you wouldn't expect people on tight incomes to buy a Rolex when a <£15 watch works the same.
That is the point of my analogy -- you can justify a high end phone based on more than just its "status", and the cost difference is extremely small (the opposite cases of the Rolex and a normal watch). I'm not making an argument about what poor people in general should do; nor am I saying status plays no factor. I just think the argument that they are buying the newest phone based 100% on social status seems a bit thin.
It is definitely the case, for many people (especially teens and 20 somethings) that smartphones are viewed as essentials – but more than that, mobile devices are becoming the perceived norm – if you don't have one, you're weird. There is such a stigma around "being poor" and many low-income folks are incredibly mindful of that.
Moreover, they know what "good" looks like and they want that experience – and like it or not, having a smartphone is becoming more and more essential for full access to daily life. It's not fully there but there is definitely a fast-moving trend and the evidence is everywhere – you just may not be as mindful if you're not lacking a smartphone.
Lastly, while mobile internet is more expensive, it's a false dichotomy to assume they're strict substitutes. Now consider other details – like ease of purchase – cellphone shops are common, even in inner city neighborhoods, when compared to places that sell actual computers. When you put it all together, it makes clear sense why mobile internet is booming and becoming a first-choice option in low-income communities even if you can claim it's more expense. This is not an isolated trend. Being poor is expensive – this has definitely been written about, at length, elsewhere, but I can dig up links if needed.
I am trying to make the point that it is not going to help you to improve your status in the society. You can't do home budget on a phone, can't access most of Ukrainian online banking, can't do an online course. And for tasks that you can do, like email and calendar, you are more likely to spend more time on the phone while doing them. I like to think of this as a "thing" vs a "tool". I had a low-end Sempron PC since I was around 15 and it was far more useful to me than a smartphone (I had my first smartphone around the same time - shiny new Nokia Symbian, which I probably asked for the reasons you've outlined in your reply). Now I am using laptops, dual screen setups, work and personal phones, tablets etc. and it is useful, but not essential. I really like duolingo and podcasts on my phone, though.
And sorry, I wasn't clear: I am strictly opposing the utility of an iPhone or an expensive Android smartphone for poor, because almost everyone has a (relatively) affordable access to least an Android 2.3 / Windows Phone device in Ukraine now (usable for calls, SMS and basic messaging, some web browsing if you're patient and lucky).
But really, if we're talking about improving one's lot through education, the best bet would probably be a local community college, which should have their own computer rooms. I don't know much about udacity and the like, but I'm not sure there's a route there for people in my neck of the woods, at least. Any local tech jobs want a Bachelor's degree.
I actually do embedded automotive now, so master's is almost a must but you'd be surprised how many seasoned pros are utterly incompetent in basic things like automata and Boolean algebra that I went through in my first semester.
Sprint - ostensibly free phone, $120/mo for a 2-year contract: $2880 all told, and you don't have a choice but to pay all of it
Ting - $500 up front for 64G iPhone SE, avg. $27.50/mo for the same period: $1160 all told, and you can stop service any time if things get bad enough that you have to
Sure, if you can't make the initial nut, it's not an option - but you're talking about being suddenly broke or close to it, which is the situation in which I found myself last year, and which motivated me to put some thought into better options for mobile service. The more I look at it, the more it seems to me that mobile contracts, at least in the US and at least for single phones, are every bit as much for suckers as rent-to-own shops are.
That being said, you can get a motorola G lte for 100 bucks.
Soo... It does exactly the same as my LG with Android 2.2 that costed me ~$70 2.5 years ago?
Apple's latest iOS version 9.3 just dropped. And the 5 year old iPhone 4s along with every iPad except the original just got that update.
What other device would be safe to use with personal information and be just as usable after 5 years? At the original full price that comes to around $80/year. With the additional street cred of owning an iPhone?
The rule of a thumb with iPhones is that you update n+1 version your phone shipped with. Anything more kills the performance to almost a standstill. I won't go into the debate if it's intentionally or not, but as sure isn't with much added value.
If you look at it this way - all that's changed are "clients", the data displayed is the same for both. But only on one phone the system experience is enjoyable. I guess Schiller forgot about that they once had a good optimized mobile OS.
Wow. So iPhones are basically diamond engagement rings for men? At least you're being honest...
You realize those features are not unique to iPhone... right?
"Maybe we could quibble about whether they should have an iPhone or some cheaper smartphone. I am just saying, it could be more for utility than image."
The whole point is that buying an iPhone as opposed to an equally capable cheaper smartphone is done for branding and image.
Poor is when you have to dig through other peoples' trash to find food (I see this every week). I'm pretty sure you you really ended up poor you wouldn't give a damn about your iPhone except to sell it to buy food.
It sure as hell won't be iPhones we get into the hands of the poor. There are regional mvno's/prepaid carriers here who pretty much give away cheap android phones to get on their cheap plans.
All these are easily available for a fraction of iPhone's/iPad's price.
You can have internet at school on a needing basic. You don't need it in your pocket.
You can live without mapping, a dumb phone with alarm clock and be done with it.
If you live by the cent, no, the iPhone is not a priority.
I didn't have a smartphone before 4 months ago, and it was fine. And if you are at school, then it's even easier.
The biggest problem is the social isolation, since now a lot of kids interactions are going through apps.