iPhone -> abcPhone

By Paul Simpkins

First the joke

I had a friend who played in a band. When he got his new smart phone he put all his gigs for the next 12 months into his calendar with an alert set for the day before so he knew when he was needed and he could plan the rest of his life.

A few days later his fellow band members rang him from a venue saying “Where are you, we’re on stage in 3 hours…”.

He looked at his phone and found that almost all the dates except 8 that he’d typed in hadn’t gone into his calendar. Only 8 were listed. The rest had disappeared. He dashed down to the phone shop and asked why to which the teenage assistant replied ”Sorry mate you’ve only got an 8 gig phone” [groan…]

But do you really need a phone with massive capacity and hundreds of apps? Do you need two level security or thumbprint login or many of the fancy apps that make your life so complicated efficient?

Is there a market for a simpler smartphone (maybe a dumbphone) that just has 8 key apps built in and no possibility of adding any more. We could call it the 8 app phone to remind us of the old joke. There would only be one home screen so we could call it… the screen.

Many old people don’t use 99% of the functionality of a smartphone. Yes youngsters are in constant contact with every social media platform that exists and are forever uploading and viewing videos of their friends eating junk food in branded outlets while streaming Spotify tunes but do we need all this connectivity?

This revolutionary concept crossed my mind this morning. I’d installed an update on my i-phone and instead of getting on with being my faithful companion my phone reverted to Hello Hola mode. All I had to do was set it up again and all my data would mysteriously flow back through the air to fill it up again. The problem was that I couldn’t remember my i-Cloud code as I’d bravely migrated to (see I can speak the lingo) two level authentication a few days ago. The phone wasn’t playing until it had the code. (I know I should have written it down on a yellow post it note but most of my reminders are in Notes on my phone). I also know that apple groupies will now be screaming “you stupid old git” at their screens and I acknowledge that I don’t know the front end of a universal serial bus from the back end but I’m happy in my own way. I just don’t see the point of unasked for updates that add on features I don’t think I’ll ever use. I’m often quite a few updates late and I still don’t know why I accepted this one so readily.

I went on the web and signed in with my Apple ID and it said no problem we’ll send a 6 letter code to your trusted device and you can type it in and you’ll be fine. Unfortunately my trusted device was the phone that the update had turned into a small door stop so the code I needed to unlock it was stopping at the door and not going in.

I rang Apple support and pointed out the problem and they ummed and ahhhed for 30 minutes before deciding that I had to take the SIM out of the phone, put it into another phone, set it up as a clone of my small doorstop, look in the text inbox, retrieve the code I’d been sent, take the SIM out, return it to my small doorstop and type in the code which would make my door stop suddenly metamorphose into a beautiful smartphone and fly off into the sunset.

The local phone shop refused to do it as it might lock the donor phone so I went home to find an old i phone. Soon I had no i-cloud code and 2 locked phones.

Fortunately I also had a macbook and an IT literate partner and for 3 hours we trawled the web, switched off this, switched on that, reset the donor phone and through trying every possible route through the Hello Hola roadblock finally made it work. Then we saw 9 texts each containing a 6 letter unlock code.

With feverish glee we put the SIM back where it belonged and tried to replicate the process. We did at one stage receive an email message saying that someone in Middlesbrough had tried to sign into my account but ignored as it was so obviously a ruse de guerre. (Heckmondwike yes but Middlesbrough no way…). An hour later we’d made it. It involved changing an apple ID password and several cups of coffee and a few cookies but we made it. By now darkness had fallen and we were both too tired to actually use the phone.

Back to the brilliant idea. The next development for Apple after the i-phone should (obviously) be the j-phone. The J stands for ‘just a few things on the” phone. Essentials are phone, text, web, calendar, maps, settings, camera, contacts and nothing else. (There will be a focus group later to decide which 8 are essential). {We’ll make them big icons while we’re at it}. But lets make even simpler and to save a law suit, just call it the abc-phone. Being as there’s no video or music or social media this can be produced cheaply and only sold to anyone who can produce a bus pass or a senior rail card (with photo ID  – we’re not letting any spotty youngsters in on the secret). There’ll be no real security on the phone – if someone pinches it there will be no value to sell on and the user can just buy another.

Over to you Apple…


A grumpy old man.


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image credits: http://www.techradar.com/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/iphone-6-1264565/review

Author: actnowtraining

Act Now Training is Europe's leading provider of information governance training, serving government agencies, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and corporate law firms. Our associates have decades of information governance experience. We pride ourselves on delivering high quality training that is practical and makes the complex simple. Our extensive programme ranges from short webinars and one day workshops through to higher level practitioner certificate courses delivered online or in the classroom.

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