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Navigating the smartphone wars

Let’s say you’re not an early adopter of new technology, but you’re getting ready to take the smartphone plunge. How should flip phone holdouts make the switch? iPhones are uber cool, but nearly everyone complains about AT&T’s service. Android-based phones are now outselling iPhones and their open source apps are as democratic as apple pie. But are they safe? Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates is so irritated with the BlackBerry’s airtight encryption, they’re planning to ban data service. Does that imply other phones are less secure? How on earth does one pick a smartphone without feeling dumb?