Carl Jokl wrote:It seems like the driving force behind this is a level of distrust towards the missionaries (I could be wrong as maybe it is about ease of use but am not convinced of that). I was a missionary about 10 years ago. Owning a PDA was against mission rules. Having a mobile was against mission rules. There was a general paranoia that missionaries having technology would mean that the technology would distract them from their missionary service. Missionaries now have mobile phones but it seems that the paranoia of technology in the hands of missionaries still exists.
It very well could be that the "driving force" as you say is that the Priesthood department (and ultimately the Brethren) are/were afraid that shiny new technology could distract missionaries from doing the Work more than help them. However, there is also a possibility that this was only a secondary concern. Someone shared with me their idea of another possible explanation for the hesitancy, which I share here just to show that there really is no one and only one assumption that can be made without having intimate knowledge and being directly involved in the decision making (and inspiration receiving since ultimately the Brethren made these calls).
It is possible that there is a certain stereotype invoked with men in nice business clothes holding fancy electronic gadgets. It could be that we don't want to give potential investigators or passer-byers the impression that young missionaries are really wealthy, busy business men. Perhaps it's a stretch of an argument, but it has just as much merit (or rather lack of evidence) as your assertion does.