#740 – Sim

It sometimes seems so ridiculous how small mobile phones are now. I remember when I was a kid and some friends down the street had giant walkie talkies that could reach almost a full mile. “A mile! That’s impossible!” I wonder if we will ever reach the point where the entire phone fits in your ear and is 100% voice controlled. It seems like a lot of them have actually been getting larger lately. But I guess not everyone needs a little window into the internet in their pocket, so the earbud phone may still have a market.

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41 thoughts on “#740 – Sim”

  1. Cianan says:

    Wow…just wow… Steam powered, to match his slippers, no doubt

  2. the man that ends with gift says:

    that phone reminds me of my first cell-phone. i never used because it looked like a big, gray brick and i thought it would microwave my mind.

  3. Michael says:

    I think they’ve been getting bigger because mobile phone makers kind of hit the limit for button driven phones. We need screen space, and we need pressable buttons. So now the craze isn’t about a small phone, but more about the features – the quality of the camera, maybe touch screen, video playback and so forth. Personally, I wouldn’t want to use the internet on anything so small, and the prices in Australia are horrendous anyway. I do have an affection for the chunky monstrosities people were so proud of in the 80s though. Born in 88, I grew up watching America’s old 80s shows, and Australia’s crappy 90s shows, so big mobile phones were a staple of my childhood.

  4. Linzleh says:

    Someday those first phones will be collectors’ items… really though, who doesn’t feel a twinge when you replace your old phone with the upgrade? It a bit like parting with a familiar friend…

  5. MaskedMan says:

    This takes the “brick phone” into a whole new dimension: The mansonry phone!

  6. dartigen says:

    @Michael: Also, there is still a limit as to how small you can make the battery and other components.

    I’ve been through several phones, and my only gripe with new phones is that they have the worst battery life. I have a Nokia N1 Navigator, and it can barely last three days without being recharged. My old 3315 could go for nearly three months. I guess a colour screen and lots of apps drains the battery.

    Still, I would like an earbud phone. It would only be good for calls, though. What I would truly love would be a way of sending SMS from a computer…wait, that’s already been done.

  7. Space Butler says:

    Biff often confuses his cell phone with a phone booth.

  8. jahg says:

    Hmm, Biff seems to bend awkwardly. And… is it me, or has his mouth slipped a little off in both directions today?

    Regards,

    James

  9. LazerWulf says:

    Steampunk Biff Week!

  10. Opie says:

    If you painted it green, it would remind me of those old army field telephones that you’d occasionally see in old movies. The ones that were bigger than bricks and had like three feet of antenna to them. Those things were awesome.

  11. I had one of those!!! …worked better than my iPhone for sure.

  12. Eltharrion says:

    …it has a starting key?
    I want one too!

  13. Alex says:

    I’ve been working in wireless retail for 2 years now, so I have a bit of experience. See, for a long time, the trend was getting smaller and smaller, because that was the status symbol for advanced technology. They had tiny everything. This came to a conclusion with phones with the Pantech C300, the tiniest phone ever- http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://gizmodo.com/images/2006/06/pantec_c300_1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/cellphones/pantech-c300-available-through-cingular-177697.php&usg=__S93zklV6oebxVOA3NhPn2U3Zdao=&h=400&w=400&sz=119&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=AzvwT9IfX3x_FM:&tbnh=124&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpantech%2Btiny%2Bphone%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1G1GGLQ_ENUS322%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1

    Now, though, people don’t want to pay to get a tiny phone because people want things that are larger and more legible. Practicality has been making a comeback over the past few months, with less morons buying iPhones and Blackberries and more people buying Shines.

  14. Monkeyman says:

    Nothing like something with vacuum tubes to “light up” your day, right Biff? Haha
    Great comic.

  15. A-Code says:

    wow… I thought my first cellphone was big…

  16. Kit-Kun says:

    I always laugh when I think of the first cellphones. They were huge! right now, I have a little razor, so it’s all good.

  17. Paul says:

    My first cell phone was a Motorola brick that stayed in my truck at all times. No one ever called it but my mom (from her brick). It had a total battery life of 50 minutes and an unheard of (at the time) 90 minute voice plan for $80 a month. I was the coolest kid on the farm.

  18. whitekatsu says:

    My mom hates bluetooth headsets. She says they remind her of some sci-fi movie she saw were a bunch of bald men with headsets like a bluetooth headset were all “assimilated” and it was creepy. When we go to Staples, I always take a bluetooth headset and chase her around the store going “YOU MUST ASSIMILATE.” (The whole “mother must embarrass daughter” stereotype? It works the opposite with us. XD)

  19. billy says:

    When ever I hear someone talking on a bluetooth type phone I always always assume they’re a crazy person talking to themselves. They really do look pretty stupid.

  20. Grug says:

    Steampunk biff week.

    I just upgraded my old cell phone to a shiny new PDA. the kind with the keyboard. Of course, I do have some gripes. The auto shut-off is a real pain, and it’s hard to dial. I’m so used to pressing the END key to close programs I keep accidentally shutting off my phone.

  21. starseedjenny says:

    Oh, I do so hope it’s steampunk week.

  22. no name says:

    Wow, Chris, I always pictured you as an older guy. No offense. Comics are still as great as usual.

  23. dave says:

    Ah yes I had a gray brick when i worked for the county. I was told by friends it would microwave my brain. My mother worked for AT&T/BellSouth for 30+ years, so she’s seen just about everything.

  24. reynard61 says:

    Opie: “If you painted it green, it would remind me of those old army field telephones that you’d occasionally see in old movies. The ones that were bigger than bricks and had like three feet of antenna to them. Those things were awesome.”

    You mean this? My grandfather had one (that I wanted) that he used to tinker with, but he got rid of it at some point. They’re apparently collector’s items now.

  25. Kaeajath says:

    I agree with Lazer Wulf! Steampunk biff week! I wonder how steam powered robot hands would work….

  26. Reg says:

    Biff may be grown up again, but he’s still acting like a kid…
    And maybe this week’s theme is “Obsolete”.

  27. -2! says:

    I had a job at the place that made that phone!

    Okay, I am going to ask this until i get an answer from Chris, so everyone else please bar with me:

    Chris do you mind if i make myself a Biff poster, the current design is an array of 6*7 Biff comics, including the by chris halbeck and thebookofbiff.com so it is not like I am not giving you credit for using your comics. I would buy your poster if you made one, but you don’t.

  28. Chris says:

    -2! – Fine with me. You would only get in trouble if you tried to sell it.

  29. Jackson says:

    If this is going to be Steampunk Week, my brother is in heaven.

  30. -2! says:

    @ Chris

    Sweet!! As of this weekend you were the first website ever to pry my home page away from the all powerful Google, keep up the awesome work!

  31. Dracos125 says:

    Old fashion modern week. Old fasion versions of modern tech.

  32. Shorty says:

    I think that “warmth and presence” is the massive amount of heat/exhaust that phone would give off.

  33. geminitwin says:

    I think that it is funny that you mention a little window into the internet, in our pocket. I am reading the comic, and writing this post from my fully internet capable phone.

  34. Megamaxmax says:

    they dont have phones that small but you can get a wireless headset for your phone that is 100% voice controlled and fits in your ear

  35. YukiSnowflake says:

    @Michael – we DONT need pressable buttons (*apparently*) because my touch screen phone has none.
    Which sucks when your phone has a dent in the screen and theres no buttons for backup.

  36. Valdrec says:

    You can get phones that are just headsets, and there have been microscopic phones made for novelty purposes

  37. DaemonThanatos says:

    WOW that is old!

  38. Pyro says:

    that reminds me, the other day on the bus I was sitting next to someone speaking into one of those earphones. Of course the phone was in her other ear so she looked like a lunatic talking to herself. Ironically enough, for easy comparison, sitting directly accross from was a real lunatic, wearing a hat full of pins and also talking to himself. Of course I just sat there glancing between the two and giggling uncontrollably so everyone else must have thought we were all nuts.

  39. Tech says:

    this reminds me of a newspaper cartoon where everyone has switched back to those cellphones the size and shape of a boot. Everyone loves them because they didn’t look like they were talking to thyemselves.

  40. infrapinklizzard says:

    I recently tried to search for this comic and had a hard time finding it. I tried “tube”, “cell phone”, “cell”, “warmth”, and various combinations. After questioning my sanity, (did I just imagine it?), I finally found it by just searching for “phone”.

    All those search terms only show up in the gag text, which isn’t text. Even the description only says “mobile” rather than “cell”. Chris, you need to add your gag text to the pages as text (even if invisible) so the search will work better.

    1. Chris says:

      Ah, this was back before I had a tagging system. Good point though!

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