Mobile phones today have become so much more than just tools that let us call other people. This is probably the reason why a Dutch man named John Doe Amsterdam came full-circle with the design of the John's Phone
. The concept will make you blast to the past - a phone that can only make and receive phone calls; no text messaging, no ringtones. Due to a pager-like (or beeper, as the Americans call them) single-line monochrome display, it is obvious not to expect features like a camera or mobile Internet, that are termed as "basic" in cell phones these days. Although the concept might make sense for people who just want phone calls (or aren't at all comfortable with technology invented beyond the year 1876), you've got to consider this - there are many a basic things that we're so used to doing on cell phones that you'll sorely miss if you get a John's Phone. Here are the Top 4:
1) An Alarm Clock - I don't remember seeing anybody using a dedicated alarm clock since half a decade to wake up. So, while you're buying a John's Phone, might as well pick up an alarm clock too.
2) Searching for a contact
- The John's Phone actually has a regular pen-and-paper phone-book slot at the back. So, other than the hundreds of numbers you could store even in an el cheapo phone, there's no quick way to look up a contact as well. Also, you better be good at remembering phone numbers if you're going to buy one; the display won't show the name of your contact when he or she calls.
3) Flash-light - Many inexpensive phones come with a handy LED Flashlight option that to me at least has proved useful quite a few times.
4) Calendar and Reminders - Even on a Rs. 1,000 phone, you are guaranteed to get these basic things - a calendar with a month-view and a reminder function for events. I believe they come in handy to all of us at some point of time.
Now, while the target audience of the John's Phone may not care for any of these things, what they ought to know is this - the damn thing sells for Rs. 4,200 (Euro 70). You get a decent phone
with music playback, a big screen and web-browsing for that much in India. So, we feel the John's Phone nothing more than a well-executed marketing pitch to make good dough for the company.