iPhone: Guilty Pleasure

Man and the Machine

Man and the Machine: To Have Come So Far

I will confess to one guilty pleasure.

But first, the background.

I have been using a Treo 650 cellphone for as long as I can remember – okay, I used it for 4 long years.  Our story started when I saw it in the hands of my brother and fell in love with it.  I just knew we would click.  So I begged him for it (I am shameless, sometimes).  One year after, he gave it to me for free (I have very generous brothers – maybe that’s why they have credit card debts?).

We shared a blissful 4 years.

We spent days and nights together.  When I need to wake up, it is there with a marching sound.  I would confuse myself with my schedule and it would take me to the right meeting at the opportune time.  Its text message button would show me conversation trails, some important, some funny, some almost secret.  The SplashMoney download allowed me to keep track (and be guilty) of all of my expenses.  The memo notebook contains drafts of my articles, or scholarships that I need to apply to (or share) or things of interest – books, sales, websites – that for the life of me, I would never remember to have seen.    It has a phenomenal dictionary, Robert Kiyosaki’s Monopoly and e-books that would keep me company while I drive.  It would tinkle its magical sound when someone calls and I am amazed that I need only to touch it with the tip of my nails for it to respond to my touch.  I love that no one is impressed by it, so it goes by unnoticed and untaken on my desk.

But it has reached the end of its days.  One fine day, my war-torn, battle-wearly Treo froze and remained unresponsive to my touch.  When it came to, I found that all of my text messages were erased.  It was the beginning of the end.

But I was loathe to let it go.

In my time, I have seen phones come and go and some friends waive the fact of my phone’s obsolescence to my face but I remain, oddly, unmoved.  I could probably attribute this apathy to the fact that I am a creature of habit and the prospect of “new” (new buttons to learn, contacts to transfer, the theft factor) stresses me.  Well, this time (I thought), I have got to get excited at the very least.

But it still stressed me.

So I tarried while I shopped for a new phone.  I looked at Sony Ericssson’s Xperia (USD$600), and almost got seduced by its sleek design.  I held in my palm the HTC (from USD$600 to 1,000) and wondered and was impressed by its anonymity.  The hubby just bought the Acer computer phone (USD$600) and tried to convince me of its merits but after it has burned its battery for just 2 hours, he knew he probably made a mistake buying that one.  I also contacted a friend about the second-hand Palm Treo 750 she was selling for USD$250 but our schedules would not allow us to meet (and we have attempted maybe 3 times).

I then saw the iPhone 3GS (USD$600) and asked myself, “Could it be…?”  For the first time, I felt excited and sweat lined my palms.  So I grabbed the moment and signed up with Globe.  But I could not have my phone.  Apparently, there was a shortage and I was put on the waitlist.  I was almost at the end of my tether when they have not called me for 39 days.

Should I have gotten the white one?

The day came.

I felt as Abe Olandres of YugaTech must feel when he unwraps his new phones.  It was divine.  But the saleslady started her tirade and I began to eye my iPhone apprehensively: she said, this is what you need to do – turn “fetch new data” to off, turn “email account” to off, turn “3G” and “Wi Fi” to off, to conserve battery life.  Drain battery for at least once a month.  Be warned that the following default applications require internet connection when used: YouTube, Stocks, Maps & Weather, iTunes, App Store, Mail & Safari or else you will receive a bill for USD$200 for unconscious email access.  I knew she was telling the truth because it happened to a friend! (the things we conveniently forget – now why did I, again, buy this phone?).

The saleslady handed it to me and I looked at it, shimmering in its blackness in my hands.  It is beautiful.

I take my Treo from my bag and look at it surreptitiously, expecting an electronic mutiny of some sorts because of my treachery.  The iPhone has some big shoes to fill, I tell it. (but I am so excited)

Be rich,


Article by Issa. Art by D. Copyright 2009.
Website: www.YouWantToBeRich.com
Email: [email protected]

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  8. Joefer says:

    Electronic gadgets from a finance perspective have a life of 3 years. If your treo was 4 years old, you then are ok. In a way you squeezed as much value from the unit by waiting for it to go belly up before shopping for a new phone. When getting a phone then, divide the cost over 3 years. If no guilt pangs hit you with the monthly depreciation cost then go ahead and buy it. At 25k, the iphone is 694.44 a month. As a percentage of your total target expense (not income), what is this amount to you. I change phones every 12 months. I however do not sell it for this would really hit me with a large cost over the period used (salvage less original buying price). I pass it on to my kids. I have 6 so there is line of people waiting for me to surrender the unit. Generally, the phones stay with my family for about 3 years so in a way I have justified my yearly purchase ha ha ha ha. Cheers to all you phone addicts out there.

  9. Issa says:

    @Joefer Hi my FP! I take it I am absolved…? (I feel better already haha). Kidding aside, I am loving the iPhone, my daughter loves it too. The feeling of guilt is fading away, that is, maybe until I see my credit card bills – 12 monthly amortizations!

    Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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