My Uncle Short ‘ s Cell Phone
That's my uncle Short. He lives on a farm near Colo, IA. His cell phone from Emporia is shown in the picture just below. Font size on the phone must be a 36. It is monochrome.
I had my iPhone with me. We compared what his phone does with what my phone does. I asked him how he uses his cell phone. In our categorization, he would fall on the low end of our "Talker" segment. This translates to little opportunity for consumer products and services to reach him on his cell phone. Unlike my grandmother who wears a "lifeline" from the local telephone company (great service), he carries around a cell phone that he doesn't use. For those of you out there who wonder who these "Talkers" are, here's an interview with my uncle Short that provides a description.
Julie: "So, do you make a lot of calls on your cell phone."
Short: "Nah, I just carry it around. Sometimes I call my daughter in Hawai'i at night when it's free."
Julie: "Don't you pay for minutes each month?"
Short: "Don't know. Had it six years."
Julie: "Let's see that thing. I've never seen anything like it."
(He hands over the phone, and I flip through the menus. There is a red emergency button on the back.)
Julie: "Your emergency button is turned off."
Short: "Yep, otherwise, I might press it."
Julie: "It isn't programmed either. Want me to set it to call one of your kids?"
Short: "Sure. Good idea."
Julie: "Sure you don't want me to turn it on?"
Short: "Yeah, might press it."
Julie: "Yeah, that'd be the idea. Why else are you carrying it around?"
Short: "In case of an emergency."
Julie: "Right, so you might need that red button."
Short: "I'll just call my son."
Julie: "I'm going to change your ring tone to a dog barking."
Short: "Sure." (Then he listens.) "Nah, change it back."
Short: "Yes, change it back."
Julie: "Okay. Want me to show you how to send a text message?"
Julie: "But you'll be able to communicate with your grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
Short: "Nah, that'll cost money."
My grandmother is almost 89 years old and uses her cell phone more than he does. Short is her younger brother. She gets that she has "100 use-them-or-lose-them" long distance minutes. She said "no" to text messaging, too.
I showed him a little of what the iPhone can do. I suggested email might even be easier on a cell phone than his computer. Not interested –