August 08, 2003, 9:57 AM — Choosing a personal wireless device may not be the most critical decision of your life, but it can sure seem that way. I've watched people agonize over this decision for hours, and even days. Thinking about all the other things one might do with one's time, such drawn-out decisions will probably seem like a waste to most people. For a hard-core gadget freak, however, it can be delicious.
Regardless, our objective must be to finish deciding and start communicating. As one who has bought countless cell phones, PDAs, and wireless attachments and devices of all forms and types over the years, I've developed a strategy for selecting my next wireless device that allows the decision to be made quickly and effectively. Here's what I suggest.
Start with the network, not the device: This is a little counterintuitive, but I really think you need to pick your wireless carrier first. This is usually a function of price, but, for many of us, it's essentially a function of coverage. I live about 30 miles west of Boston, not far from a major highway, and, believe it or not, I have precisely one carrier that provides coverage at my house, and rather weak coverage at that. So, my decision is easy