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iPhone notwithstanding, variety rules mobile phone choices

If you went by recent headlines, you might think everyone owns or covets Apple's iPhone — except, maybe, you. CEO Steve Jobs' star power aside, his phone captures just a quarter of the smart phone market — forget the millions and millions of "dumb" phones. And its share actually dropped slightly from February to May, along with all the top platforms, except Google's. We chatted with visitors at Channelside and the Florida Aquarium about how they chose a device as essential as a wallet and car keys. Folks staked out their choices for simple or supercharged, and new iPhone or no, all said they'd make the same choice again.

Ereka Passarella, 20

Tampa, student at University of South Florida, works for Hooters

Phone: BlackBerry Curve with Verizon

"I love the keyboard! I hate touchscreen phones, and I love that it has the full keyboard. It's still a small phone, so I can still carry it in my pocket. … I'm a big Facebook fan. And I use it for Twitter and checking everything on the Internet. It's great to check movie times, you can get directions places, Google the places you're going. "

Kevin Heffern, 40

Leesburg, Va., facilities manager

Phone: iPhone 3GS with AT&T

"I'm an old-fashioned guy. I just like nine buttons and an on-and-off. But (my company) gave me this, I guess, because it has the e-mail capability, so they can contact me all the time. … I would pick an iPhone, just because it's high on versatility. ... The fact that the battery doesn't last all day? Sometimes I just don't recharge it, so I can get a break. … It's a good out."

Matt Morey, 32

Seminole, business owner

Phone: Motorola Droid with Verizon (runs Google's Android platform)

Morey and his wife, Meredith, 26, both own the Droid. "I like the touch screen idea. … I use it kind of like a business card. I show a lot of people video and photos. I'm a photographer, and I do videography as well. I do websites and marketing, so it's easy to walk into a new customer and just show them some different things on the phone, and get them excited. "

Robert Miller, 44

Tampa, Army Airborne veteran

Phone: Kyocera Qualcom 3G Coma with MetroPCS

"Cost. Actually, when I got it there was a special being run. It was $50, and you got the phone and one month free. . … Calls are obviously the big thing for me. But what I use the most is the texting, because my daughter up north lives on texting, like any 16-year-old girl does. ... I text her every night. I don't know why, 'cause she'll write a whole page in a minute, and it takes me five minutes to say, 'Yeah.' "

Tia Logan, 30

Waldorf, Md., school principal's secretary

Phone: Cricket phone with Cricket Wireless

Logan and her husband, Antonio, 34, both own Cricket phones. "It's cheap. I had AT&T. We had Sprint. This is a flat rate, unlimited texting, long-distance. You don't have to wait till 9 o'clock in the evening or 7 o'clock in the evening to use your cell phone. You just use it anytime. And it's always $40 a month. It's cheap. And they have really nice phones."

iPhone notwithstanding, variety rules mobile phone choices 07/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 22, 2010 2:53pm]

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