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Suffering from techbarrassment

BIGGER!

Better! Faster! Shinier! I want it! I want it! There's a madness to the world of mobiles that sucks us all in. Phone shops recognise this and play up to it. You only went in to pick up a catalogue, but there's that voice again – "Hello sir. Aren't you due an upgrade?" – and before you know it you're salivating over the new Samsung with a screen so large it has its own heated swimming pool.

There's a growing snobbery over perceptions of cool now, with people beginning to suffer from what you might call "techbarrassment". They want to keep their technology hidden in case they are laughed at. This has been highlighted with the launch of the new BlackBerry, a device that looks fabulous (there, colours nailed to mast), but a brand which, to read some comment boards, is akin to having the word "'Sad" printed on your forehead (actually, owing a BlackBerry Playbook is akin to this. Worse, it's like having one of those 1920s record players with the giant horn speaker strapped to your head. Only difference is, Playbook works rather well. More colours to mast there. Any more and it will sink. And besides, those vintage record players are cool now. Just a tad impractical in Costa, perhaps).

But there is undeniably this pressure to own the latest gizmo, to keep up with the Jobses. It's as if your pad without an iPad is a sad pad. It's not, of course, but you can begin to feel this. Analysts talk about mobiles being the "first screen", the first place we receive news and information. The pace of research is ferocious. Many of us saw that clip of chimps remembering numbers on screen. How long before they have smartphones as well? Ha. You thought that was a banana.

One admires those defiantly Luddite folk who acquired a Nokia in 2000 and simply won't part with it. The tiny screen long ago became unreadable, but they're quite happy, thank you very much.

The phrase "Keep moving" for the new BlackBerry's advertising campaign is genius – but also laughable.

The idea is that we're all so busy, so cool, we don't have time to close an app and open a mail – we have to be able to move seamlessly between the two because, well, I'm BUSY, don't you know who I AM?

Laughable, yet tempting. Wonder if I'm due an upgrade?

Contextual targeting label: 
Consumer electronics

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