The Agony of Smartphones and Their Plans

So there I was with my new job and I had the “joy” of going through the process of choosing a new cell phone for work. They have a cell phone plan that pays $50/month for a voice plan so we could have a work line. I’ve already got a Palm Treo 755p with Sprint as my personal line and didn’t feel like switching over. I was lucky enough to get the SERO plan which gives me 500 anytime minutes, unlimited data, unlimited texts, nights start at 7:00pm, free mobile-to-mobile, and so forth…all for $30/month. No way in hell I was going to give that up…so why not just get a new phone and then I could have a separate personal and work line?

We could choose from all the major carriers and pick any phone we wanted (we had to purchase the phones ourselves…no biggie). I finally had it broken down to the iPhone (AT&T) and the Blackberry Storm (Verizon…but not available yet). Hmmm…what to do, what to do?

If I was going to get a new phone I figured I might as well have a network that is decent. To be honest, I can’t stand AT&T or Verizon. In fact I paid the cancelation fee with Verizon to get out of their crappy contract (oh, you want texts, that’ll cost ya extra. Oh, you want to use certain bluetooth capabilities? Extra. We’ll charge you a buttload for using data too). I dropped them and did not look back. Hurray! But…despite their overpriced plans and crappy customer service, they’ve got a big network. There’s a plus for the Storm.

Now there’s the iPhone. I want one. I really want one. But alas, that comes with AT&T. Spotty service and you gotta spend a boatload of money on a plan just to use the damn thing. Really? Even with my company’s cell plan subsidy I would still be spending more (to cover what my company doesn’t pay) to use it. On a spotty coverage plan. Hmmm.

Side note: the Palm Pre coming out. Ohhhh…now that looks sweet. And on Sprint. My next personal phone. Oh yes…oh yes indeed. But I’m still infatuated with the iPhone.

So there I was…better coverage (Verizon) but not as great of a phone (Storm). Awesome phone (iPhone) with spotty and expensive plan (AT&T). I flip-flopped back and forth for a while. I finally was settling on the iPhone…if the company is helping pay I might as well check it out. Otherwise I wouldn’t spend that much on the service and the phone.

Alas…the economy sent me to the unemployment line as my company canceled the training program I was in and they let us all go. In a way I feel relieved. Even with a phone plan subsidy I was still having a hard time pulling the trigger and swallowing that AT&T pill. Apple, I love you dearly. The iPhone is an engineering marvel…but locking in with AT&T has kept me from giving you my money. I won’t be getting an iPhone until you are available on a better carrier. And who knows what the Palm Pre will do. It’s not an iPhone but if we can get some cool apps developed for it on the new WebOS I may be sticking with Sprint for a long time to come.

1 Comment

  1. Don’t you just love the American telecom system, where your device choices are constrained by the carrier you choose, and vice-versa?

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