Since 2001 when GSM mobile services took off in Nigeria, I have owned and used more phones than I have been able to keep track

Do not follow my footsteps; Use my knowledge

Posted by

Since 2001 when GSM mobile services took off in Nigeria, I have owned and used more phones than I have been able to keep track of. I say that because there was a period that I was not keeping strict count and so do not have records of some more obscure devices. Even at that, my official records presently stand at 48. My current device is the Nokia N900. But I also have in active service a Nokia 3600 Slide, and a Sony Ericsson W302.

48 devices, from basic to mid-tier all the way to the princes of the smartphone world. What I was doing with all those devices? In one word, Playing.

To break it further, I am passionate about mobile technology. I consider it a leverager in many ways (I once ran my entire webhosting business on a Nokia 9500, and my smartphones still play a key role in my work), so I set out to try out every possible manifestation of GSM mobile technology.

I have used Siemens devices (if any of you remember those), Alcatel, Ericsson (no; not Sony Ericsson), NECs, Sagems, and long-gone brands such as TelMe. Of course, I have used piles of devices by the major brands too.

Dad Camera 019
From my archives dated 5th February 2008. Clockwise from the clamshell - Nokia 9500, Nokia E61i, Sony Ericsson P990, and Nokia E61

Okay, here is the point, I do not believe in throwing theories around. I also determined to make money from the mobile industry in some way. As such in order to become something of an authority, I decided I needed to handle as many as possible.

Understand that the mobile web and mobile data in general have been my primary area of interest. At the stage when all we had was CSD (GSM dial-up), there were myriads of possible configurations for different brands, so I set to try out as many. Then came GPRS and WAP 2.0. I set out to explore those too. On and on, as newer technologies and services showed up, the fragmentation among mobile devices meant that I needed to explore across brands and platforms.

In addition, when we started MobilityNigeria in 2008, we needed fresh content on a regular basis. Again, I made the commitment to use one stone to kill two birds. My high rate of turnover on phones would be good for an online mobile resource like MobilityNigeria.

Now, you don’t want to live like that. It is expensive and not always as convenient as people may think. For example, I had to keep transferring/syncing contacts and files again and again. It didn’t always work out right across platforms.

I burnt thousands of Naira playing with CSD back in the day. I still burn thousands on 3G/HSDPA till date, but at least now it is generating me good cash. Perhaps, I also ought to sit down and calculate the total value of all the mobile devices I have owned. Who knows?

The good thing is that my investments in mobile technology have paid off handsomely.

Talk to me
Let me do a bit of marketing here: if you run a small or medium-scale business and you are interested in how you can deploy mobile technology to give you an edge, you should be talking to me. Others – if there are any others – may throw theories at you, but I have walked the talk. I have consistently applied mobile technology to my business and have come off smiling.

Anyway, you don’t want to live out experimenting like I have done. What you want to do is piggy-back on what I have learnt and use that information to make wise decisions in purchasing the kind of mobile phones best suited to your work (and life in general), so you can get on with life. Or enhance productivity at work. Or lower your operating costs.

It will be less expensive for you, less traumatic, and you’ll get it right the first time. Give me a call.

The way forward for me
Back in March, I wrote The dilemma of a mobile enthusiast and a few associates responded that they doubted if I could use any phone for a year. Watch me. I am done with the life of high phone turnovers.

I picked the Nokia N900 that I use now because it meets my needs, and I intend to keep it. Minus a device failure or an accident, that will remain my primary device till April 2011 when I will go mobile shopping again just to stay current.

But I am done buying phones for review/test purposes. MobilityNigeria already has an agreement with one retailer for loan phones. I hope we can seal more of those kind of deals.

Another Plea for Review Phones
Here is another plea to GSM networks, phone retailers and manufacturers to make available loan phones for review. Send us a phone to use for two (2) weeks and then return to you. We can even sell it for you after the loan period and put the money in your account, if you so wish.

In return, we offer you visibility on MobilityNigeria, the largest, most vibrant and most authoritative online resource on GSM mobile phones and services in Nigeria.

Wanna play? Contact us.

PS: Did I mention that in addition to all the other practical reasons that I gave for spending so much on phones, I also do it also because I absolutely love to? I didn’t? Sheeesh.


  1. 48 phones and counting….. Keeping pace with mobile technology must have dug a very big hole in your pocket.

  2. Yomi, you did well. Even I, a great Tech enthusiast can’t claim to have made up to half of your recorded phone exploits. More kudos to your elbow.

    Continue the good work. But I beg that for a Tech Giant like you, a phone a year is poor. what will all your loyal readers say?

    Why not at least use two phones a year? And then loan the others as you stated in your write-up for other reviews. We are ready to complement you by reviewing the two to three phones that we buy in a year.

    THink about it!

  3. good thing your passion for phones is keeping us MobilityNigerians happy and rolling in money for your pocket. Thats what I call a win-win situation.

  4. At last I can see someone who is at par if not a little ahead of me in use of mobile phones. Starting from year 2001 when I first laid my hands on a sagem (i think it is Sagem MC3000 or something like that),

    I have gone through so many phones across all the platforms also and must have spent close to, if not more than, a million naira on phones. Am not kidding. Afewgoodmen can bear me witness at least from the time he knew me till date. In our circle, the doctors always expect me to come with different phones at our monthly meetings.

    But unlike Yomi that has made something out of his investments on phones, all I have is regrets for wasting so much on things like that. Its not that I am rich and mighty, but its more like an addiction. I, at a point last year after a cry out from my wife, and my 9 year old boy called me ‘phone buy… buy… daddy’ had to call myself to order and did a little psychoanalysis on myself, followed by a therapy.

    Now i buy only what I need for my work and research. Mobile tech is like the proverbal tree with fruits that cry out to nbbe plucked. Be careful to pluck only after you have had a quiet moment of reflections. There is no end to new phones coming out and the manufacturers are well aware of the allures of mobile phones. They go for our hard earned money.

    The bottom line is to buy only what we need and like Yomi, what will bring us profit and enhance our income.

  5. First of all, I am happy to see the GNU/Linux as your platform under every post now. But tell me something, did you overcome the e-mail client problem with the N900? If yes, then a post about it will be good.

  6. IG, yes; I did. I mentioned that in the comments section of the particular post I did on the subject. Perhaps I better update the post itself, so readers don’t miss it.

  7. @yomi Adegboye. Yes you did mention it. I shall be waiting for your next article. Because when Nokia N8 finally comes out, it will be difficult choosing between it and the N900.

  8. Sorry for wanting to deviate a little from the topic. I am using a windows 7 computer and internet explorer 8 to write this post now. And the site picks my browser incorrectly as I.E. 7. I think I’ve complained about this before. Although it correctly picks my Operating system platform as windows 7.

  9. Mr Yomi as a mobile guru,how do i setup my gmail account or yahoo account on my samsung jet. i need the 123setup. thankz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *