So I lost my iPhone the other day. And it was picked up by someone, who then took off with it. So I guess it was stolen as well as lost.
Yeah, I had Find My Phone installed and set up and I was indeed able to see the phone’s approximiate location on a map for a few hours. But in the end I could not pinpoint the culprit, nor did they respond to my offers of reward or to my threats. Ultimately, I locked and wiped the phone. Done. It’s gone.
It’s been really odd without it. I went to bed that night and realized I didn’t own an alarm clock. Today I found myself walking to a meeting and realizing I didn’t have a watch on to see if I was late. But I think I’ll survive it.
Which is a good thing, in the light of the Faustian bargain I reached with AT&T for a replacement.
It seems my iPhone is eligible for a subsidized replacement on June 25 for the low, low price of $199. I called them up to see if they would help a brother out and give me that price today. Nope. Today it would cost me $550, sixty days from now it would cost $199. And they wouldn’t budge, not even when I threatened to get a $199 iPhone from Verizon.
Ultimately we reached an agreement that was at least tolerable. They’d sell me a $40 cheap-o phone to use for the next sixty days, and I’d get my $199 iPhone in June. I wouldn’t lose continuity in my data plan, either, which is nice because I’m grandfathered in to the old unlimited plan.
So. I’m going from the pinacle of iPhone 4 smartphone nirvana to slumming it in a Samsung A197. For the next. Sixty days.
I keep waiting for Morgan Spurlock to walk in and start narating my experience.
There will be a Verizon iPhone next Tuesday.
We all know darned well that a substantial number of Android users chose it because the iPhone wasn’t available on their carrier. Let’s see what happens to the Andriod/iOS market share numbers now.
I’m Apple’s bitch. Yes, I’ll be standing in line outside the Apple store like a complete tool tomorrow morning–and at 5 AM no less. I wasn’t going to, but now I am: I’m getting the new iPhone 4.
At first I said, nah, I’ll just wait another year. Upgrading my phone every two years, timed to coincide with the expiration of my AT&T contract and thus their discount on a new phone, seemed sensible. No matter how cool the new phone is, I’d wait.
Then AT&T announced they were giving everyone the subsidized price as long as your contract is up any time in calendar 2010. I didn’t think my contract was up until next summer, but I wasn’t sure. So I went to the AT&T web site and, what do you know, I qualified for a new iPhone for $199.
Still, I was waffling. It wasn’t until I realized Gazelle.com will give me over $150 for my existing iPhone 3GS that I caved. New iPhone for a net cost of $50? I’m there.
And that brings us to tomorrow morning. It’ll be like a strange reenactment of the original iPhone launch day three years ago when I stood in a similar line for a similar purpose. (See photo.)
And that, I guess, brings us to the new iPhone 4 itself. How cool is it? According to Engadget, “iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market.” Is anyone surprised?
After AT&T announced its new data plans for 3G iPads, iPhones and all other smartphones, I wasn’t too upset about it. It’s true that they’ve removed the “unlimited” data plan from their offerings, but I figured I’d come out ahead anyway. I don’t use nearly 2 gigs of data on my iPhone–the amount of bandwidth you now get on their top data plan–and it costs $5 less than my current plan.
But then I looked at the overage charges for those on the small, 200 MB, data plan: $15 for another 200MB if they exceed that cap. That’s way too much to charge for another 200 MB. The pro plan with it’s 2 GB limit only charges you $10 for an additional 1 GB.
But it gets worse. While it’s good that they finally will allow “tethering” (the ability to share the iPhone’s data connection with your laptop) they will charging an extra $20 for the privilege. Here’s why that makes no sense. Purchasing the tethering option doesn’t give me any more data to use. I’m still limited to my 2 GB cap. I’m not using more data; I’m just using it in a different way. Tethering under these conditions should be free. Charging me extra money to use the same data I’m already paying for is just fucking greedy.
Ok, one more complaint. People who bought the iPad 3G intending to actually purchase and use the “unlimited” data package are now limited to a 2 gig plan with overage charges. It’s hard to use more than 2 gigs on an iPhone, but probably very easy to do on an iPad. Being able to use the internet everywhere you go was undoubtedly a big selling point. Now, just weeks after they bought the devices, those people are getting screwed by AT&T.
Speaking of Apple, I’m going to repeat myself: The iPhone is not only too good for AT&Ts network, it’s too good for any US carrier’s network.
You have to kind of read between the lines on this one. AT&Ts network is swamped because of iPhone users. But there are lots of other smartphones out there, why is iPhone so special? It’s because it’s users use more data. iPhone owners use their data features more than owners of other phones do. Why? Because they’re better.
Hate on AT&T all you want–I’ll join in–but please don’t kid yourself that this would have been different on another carrier. All US carriers stink and none of them was prepared for a smartphone that people actually use.
The iPhone is finally getting MMS at the end of September. Reactions to this news is mixed.
Some say it’s outrageous that Apple/AT&T didn’t include this functionality before.
Others say: Yay, we’re getting MMS!
Here’s what I say. AT&T stinks–although probably not a lot more than every other wireless carriers in the US. Be that as it may, one can at least understand why they have been dragging their feet on rolling out these new iPhone features.
The iPhone is simply too good for any of the shitty wireless networks one finds in the US. People who own this phone actually use features like web-browsing and other media-intense, network-saturating functionality. Owners of other phones don’t use these features nearly as much. Email, maybe. That’s pretty much it. Because either these features were too hard to discover and use, or because the results were less than satisfactory.
Am I just making excuses for the evil empire? Or am I engaging in simple Mac fanboyism? No. The numbers bear me out on this. Check these two graphs. The first one shows the iPhone’s market share among other smartphones in the US. Pretty respectable, but clearly not dominating.
This next one shows the traffic from mobile web browsers. Notice how Mobile Safari is punching well above it’s market share weight.
Why is this? It’s just what I said. iPhone owners use these data-intense features more than other smartphone users. Why? Because iPhone sucks less than other smartphones.
UPDATE: Apparently I’m not the only one who sees it this way.
I promise to shut up about the iPhone… like by the middle of next week, maybe. Meanwhile, I’m worried.
The 3G S model was announced on Monday, June 8th. After several failed attempts to pre-order one from Apple’s web site, I finally pre-ordered it from AT&Ts web site on Tuesday, the following morning. That would be June 9th. Because I placed the order before noon on the 17th, I was told that it would ship “with overnight priority and will be processed to arrive as early as June 19.”
I peed a little when by Saturday, June 13th I received an email from AT&T telling me that my order “is being processed and will be shipped overnight to arrive as early as June 19.” It even had a URL where I could check to see if it had been shipped and, if so, see a tracking number. Logging in to that site with my order number only told me that my phone was “in process” but hasn’t shipped yet.
And I’ve checked it five times a day since then–with no change.
It’s now June 18th. It’s supposed to arrive tomorrow but it still hasn’t shipped. I’m aware that AT&T eventually sold out of pre-order iPhones, indicating that anyone who ordered on Saturday the 13th or later might have to wait a week or two before receiving their phone. But I ordered my way back on the 9th–less than 24 hours after it was announced. Surely my order isn’t part of the back log…is it?
Sure, I get that “overnight priority” means that it could ship at some time today and still arrive tomorrow. But how much do you trust good ol’ American Telephone and Telegraph? Me, not so much. Here’s hoping.
Update, 10:24 AM. My order status is still “In progress” instead of “shipped” but there is now a ship date (today!) and a carrier listed: “FDE.” Which I guess is FedEx?
Why is AT&T dragging its feet rolling out MMS and tethering for the iPhone? Because the iPhone is too good, that’s why.
So good, in fact, that people who own them actually use features like web browsing, Google maps, Youtube, downloading mobile games and various other data-intense applications. Other phones, not as much. They’re harder to use and/or the results are less rewarding.
Thus it’s one thing for AT&T to turn users of these other phones loose on its network–what are they going to do anyway?–but it’s quite another to green light iPhone users. These guys could swamp the network.
Supposedly AT&T is rolling out these features for iPhone users in the near future. One imagines that they are reinforcing their network infrastructure (more tin cans, more string!) beforehand.
As an iPhone owner for two years, I’ve often heard “oh, I hate AT&T!” As if it weren’t for the exclusivity of the iPhone on their network, they surely would have bought one.
And, given recent events, I’m inclined to agree that AT&T sucks. But at the same time I can’t help feeling that this is missing a larger point: All United States wireless carriers are deserving of our hatred. Singling out one carrier or another seems about as meaningful as choosing one’s own execution method. Take a step back and look around: You’re getting screwed everywhere you turn. None of these guys deserve your loyalty.
I mean, do you really think iPhone owners would be that much happier if Apple had partnered with, say, Verizon? C’mon. Verizon doesn’t even offer any handsets that utilize WiFi. None. I’m sure you know the reason: WiFi provides a way for a handset owner to bypass the Verizon network and its associated costs for some functions. You think these guys are more open or more progressive than AT&T? Please. All American wireless carriers are backward, price-gouging stick-in-the-muds.
I’m not an expert, but it seems to me that other developed nations around the world have better services at lower prices than we do. Every Japanese fifteen-year-old is watching Lost on their cell phone on their way to school every morning. Meanwhile, you and I are sweating over whether our current 3G network is adequate for basic web browsing in our area–and paying $80 a month for the privilege.
I hope that Apple and their iPhone will be able to crack open the American wireless industry in the way that their iTunes service did to the music industry. If that happens, we’ll all be glad–whether we have an iPhone or not.
Yeah, I did it. I pre-ordered the new iPhone 3GS that was announced yesterday at Apple’s WWDC keynote presentation. Why did I choose to upgrade my original two year old iPhone? Well, first because I could. Here at the conclusion of my two year AT&T contract, I get to upgrade at the “discounted” price of $199 (for the 16 gig iPhone 3GS; prices vary). But also because I’m ready for some new features and technologies.
Compared to my original iPhone, the model announced yesterday represents a big leap forward. I’ll get to use the much faster 3G network for cellular internet connectivity. I’ll get better battery life. I’ll get a 3 megapixel camera that takes stills and video. I’ll be able to edit that video. I’ll get GPS. I’ll be launching, running and switching between apps about twice as fast as before. There’s even a gorgeous, rather steampunk-looking compass. Nice touch.
And of course that’s not even getting into the new software-based capabilities that all iPhone users are getting next Wednesday for free with the new iPhone OS 3.0 update.
Some owners are complaining about their upgrade options, though, and I am having a hard time understanding them. I bought an iPhone–let’s call it “first generation”–two years ago. I signed a two year contract with AT&T at that time. My contract is now up, therefore I get to replace my phone at a subsidized price. A year ago the second generation iPhone appeared: the iPhone 3G. Since my contract was not up at that time, I was not eligible for that discount. With me so far? Good. I think everyone who has ever owned a mobile phone in the US should understand how this works.
Let’s say someone else bought their iPhone only a year ago. They got the iPhone 3G, the second generation phone. They naturally signed a two year contract, just as I did. Now that the 3GS model is out a year later–and their contract is not up–why would they expect to get a subsidized price for upgrading?
These people are just whiners. I didn’t complain last year when I couldn’t get a second gen 3G at a discount.
I’ve noticed that Apple gets a lot of this kind of negative buzz on the internet, especially in techier online communities. You’d think from reading this stuff that Apple makes terribly unpopular moves every other week. What’s really going on is that these are the prime outlets for the the unreasonable and the loud. Neither Apple nor AT&T is doing anything unusual with the upgrade pricing.
Anyway, my new phone is being delivered next week.