Thursday, April 07, 2022

Last Haredi Without Smartphone Actually Just Non-Haredi Living On Budget (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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NokiaJerusalem, April 6 - Israel's market for the previous generation of cellular devices now mainly features clientele who for religious and community-standards reasons use the older models, but figures aggregated from the various mobile communications companies indicate that the only such customer who does not also own a more advanced device for videos, web-surfing, and general greater convenience, appears to be not a member of one of those more-insular groups, but a non-"yeshivish," non-Hasidic man who has retained his 2007 Nokia because of the savings it offers.

Demographic and other statistical data from Cellcom, Pelephone, Partner, and other cellular service providers in Israel point to robust sales for the use and maintenance of non-smart devices in the Haredi sector, given the taboo against internet-enabled devices among that community - but that smartphones enjoy similarly robust sales, indicating the realization that modern life without a smart device has become untenable for the vast majority. Experts understand the numbers to mean that many Haredim will not publicly acknowledge violation of the taboo, and will continue to use smartphones only furtively, as they take their "dumb" phones out in public - and also that the last remaining user of a the latter type of device who does not also use a smartphone has no membership in the Haredi community, sticking to his older phone because he spends all day in front of a computer screen anyway and doesn't need the additional hassle or expense of upgrading his mobile.

"Actually, I know the guy," acknowledged one analyst. "Lives in my neighborhood. His older kids got smartphones years ago, so it's not an ideological decision - he works mainly through the internet, also, so that's not it. But it's significantly cheaper not to have a smartphone service subscription, and that household is cost-conscious - at least the parents are, that is. I'm sure he'll bite the bullet eventually - international standards are set to shift over the next few years and that'll render his Nokia useless. And some activities, such as many common methods of online or virtual payment, are impossible or next-to-impossible without a smartphone. In the meantime, though, nothing doing."

Another expert observed that the same family also owns no television, but not because of philosophical objection to mass media content. "They stream movies on their computers," she noted. "It's not like some friends of his who grew up Haredi and had a 'microwave oven' in multiple rooms at home."

A call to the customer in question prompted an irritated reaction. "Is another stupid survey?" he demanded. "I hate phone surveys. Take me off your list."



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