[FoRK] So much for the iPhone?

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Fri Jun 1 09:08:46 PDT 2007

Russell Turpin wrote:
> The latest news seems to be that AT&T will require customers to commit to
> a data plan with the iPhone. This makes sense from AT&T's perspective,
> since it wants to find some way to start monetizing its investment in its
> data network. And for customers who want to use the iPhone in a fashion
> similar to Blackberries, it makes sense.
> But -- the iPhone has wireless built into it. I suspect that hotpoints
> will satisfy many customers' needs to connect to the internet with their
> phone. Personally, I might bite on $500 for a cell phone that also is a
> great PDA, and that also lets me browse the web over wireless. But not if
> it means my monthly phone bill gets more expensive.
> Of course, I might be the only geek in America who thinks this way. I was
> one of the last to acquire a cell phone. ;-)

Outside of home and work, cellular Internet data access is available to me at
least 50 times the availability of usable WiFi.  Maybe for people in downtown
San Francisco all the time this isn't the case, but picking random spots on a
highway or a restaurant throughout the US is unlikely to lead to usable WiFi access.

On the other hand, when I do have WiFi, I want to use it over cellular, usually.
 WiFi is often flaky in hotels, with bad or worn out access points constantly
cycling or crashing.  Not good for SSH tunnels.

The biggest problem with the iPhone, IMHO, is that it is on the Cingular / AT&T
data and phone service.  Cingular's data is nothing compared to Sprint/Verizon
EVDO Rev. A, unless something changed drastically.  Additionally, I've dealt
with Cingular customer service twice, once in December for myself and once
several years ago with my son, and both times I have put them in the category of
"banned for life" because of their policies (i.e. trying to rip you off at every
step), poor customer service, and general attitude of "that's our policy, deal
with it".  Previously, only MCI and Sears catalog tools had been fully banned
for life.

In dozens of interactions with Sprint PCS, they have never once offended me or
not made things right.


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