Monday, November 19, 2012

Mobile device purchasing recommendations

Hello Everyone,

The technicians here at Union Tech Coop have been monitoring the many mobile device offerings since the first modern smartphones became available in 2007 and the first modern tablets became available in 2010.

We have deliberately avoided making purchasing recommendations for mobile devices until we've been able to determine the sustainability of the available options. In the years since 2007 we've had the opportunity to work with all of the major brands of mobile devices and we've gained experience configuring them all. The two dominant platforms are Apple 'iOS' and Google 'Android'.

We've recently become aware that the latest software update for Apple iOS has serious bugs which cause wireless connectivity problems:

In addition to the recent reliability issues with Apple mobile devices, we've also noticed a pattern of planned obsolescence with Apple mobile devices. Apple is discontinuing software updates as quickly as 2 years after the mobile device hardware is released. In addition to discontinuing software updates in an unreasonably short period of time, Apple mobile devices have a trend of being difficult to repair:

Due to these reliability and sustainability issues, our consensus is that we're unable to recommend Apple mobile devices to our clients.

Google Android mobile devices have had some sustailbility issues with lack of software updates as well, but these issues resulted from the cellular service provider partners refusing to approve and allow the updates that Google was providing. In response, Google is offering their 'Nexus' branded Android devices, which receive software updates directly from Google as a solution.

Based on our years of experience supporting modern mobile devices, we're making the following purchasing recommendations this holiday season...

Tablet - Google Nexus 7 - $199:

E-book reader - Amazon Kindle Fire HD - $199:

Smartphones - Recommendations for each cellular service provider are available on our website at:

However, if you're looking for an affordable and sustainable mobile device for accessing the Internet, we're recommending the Google Chromebook over all of the mobile devices listed above. The Google Chromebook provides a much higher level of functionality (nearly equivalent to a traditional computer), while being very close to a mobile device in price at $249:

Please feel free to give us a call at (608) 616-9925 if you have any questions.


The Union Tech Coop Technical Committee