So, how’s your new smartphone?

I said HOW’S YOUR NEW SMARTPHONE? Can you hear me? Yes, I can hear you. Oh, now I can’t. This is why the commonest word that ends a mobile phone conversation is: Hello?

Yesterday Apple launched the latest iteration of the iPhone, to the usual adulation from its congregation of black polo-necked worshippers. One novel feature is its ability to answer back when you talk to it, so you don’t even need to make a call to have a conversation. I’ve held out against acquiring an iPhone in the past because I don’t want to join the Mormons, so to speak. Viscerally, I prefer the idea of Android‘s anyone-can-play approach, but I must admit to doubts about the real-life instrument I have committed to for the next two years.

My HTC whatever-it-is may be a two-way camera, pocket torch and GPS map. It may have more computer power than Apollo 13, but in their enthusiasm, the engineers seemed to have forgotten that it’s a phone, phirst and phoremost. Call me old-fashioned, but call me on my mobile and I may not be there. It demands a strong signal before it will work properly, and sometimes playfully drops to EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY! before deciding it can find a connection to Orange after all.

Signals in places where my BlackBerry used to work fine, in the trackless wastes of the Home Counties, now seem to be intermittent, at best, to HTC’s pocket marvel. Now I come to think about it, the voice quality on the BB wasn’t as good as my old Nokia, that Kalashnikov among mobile phones. It just goes to show that Hutber’s Law is as true today as it was when coined, 40 years ago.