Today at around 2 p.m. the SIM card on my cellphone was cut-off from the rest of the world as I’ll be changing from Telenor to Ludo Mobil cellphone subscription. The latter use the former’s cell network (except in densely populated areas) but is a LOT cheaper so I’ll be getting the best of both worlds. I pay 200 NOK/mo if I keep under 500GB of data. If you’re interested in phone prices in Norway, I suggest you check out telepriser.no provided by the Norwegian Post and Telecommunication Authority (NPT).
The reason for the switch is that I’ve gone and bought myself a Samsung Google Nexus S cellphone, an Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) phone, that is more data hungry than its predecessors in the Nokia line of products. The news about Nokia’s merge with Windows Mobile was sad news to me, as Nokia has been a great contributor to the open source community, at least with regards to Public Relations. And since their latest gadgets either flopped (the N900 could have been your father, Luke) or use the Symbian OS that Nokia themselves has now renounced (the E61 was on my wish list) I looked around the rest of the market: BlackBerry, iPhones and Windows phones.
I’ve worked with Windows Mobile both on phones as well as PDAs and it always sucked like a vacuum cleaner. It’s a better OS than the desktop editions (at least up to Windows 7) but it still crashes if you look at it funny. And you will. It’s the freak of the class. BlackBerrys on the other hand are not as pervasive in Norway as in the US, and its primary target are business execs or business exec-wannabes. I am neither, but I respect what they have done in that market segment. iPhones haven’t changed since they were invented and here’s why The iPhone is a piece of shit just like your face (by Maddox).
I bought my first Nokia N95 around January 2008. It was stolen August 28th 2008 and when I got to choose a replacement I got a new N95 which I used up until lunch today. So I’ve been using the same phone model for 3,5 years, which is quite long in the life of a cellphone. Now I’m packing away the old life of GSM and buttons for a ride on the Google Android bandwagon.
Then you rightly ask: Why Go Google?
And it’s a good and proper question. I have no definite reason to go this way, except that from reading up on what’s happening in the global cellphone markets, touch phones are here to stay. And while Apple brought iPhone to the elite, Google brought their Android phones to the people. They’re already market leaders in the smartphone segment, much thanks to GNU/Linux and the open source communities that make everything possible as well as Google’s strong brand.
Now it is true that Android’s kernel parted way from the Linux kernel some time back already, but that doesn’t make it less of a Linux kernel. It’s just that patches from Google aren’t automatically accepted into the kernel the way they had hoped to. Android being free means that competition is flourishing, and you’ll find that more and more apps are developed for the Android platform, and also at open source friendly licenses. If not, that’s fine, we’ll create an alternative.
Which means that in theory someone could make a better operating system for the hardware I have bought; and we would be able to see a dramatic change in the way people (nerds) communicate. Everything phone-related for example, can be taken care of by Asterisk and a SIP account and soon your telephone is not in need of a cellphone SIM card, you can go completely underground and fully encrypted. Which is great in times of war or zombie infestation.
I’ll be getting back to you on how the switch to the Nexus S goes. After so many years with Nokia and Symbia, I feel as though I’m on the verge of going where no man has gone before. So wish me good luck! And vote in the polls, you rascals!