Whether or not you've kept up with all the buzz about Gizmodo, the lost iPhone found, and the Silicone Valley technology guestappo going to retrieve the recovered device, you have to be wondering if it's worth upgrading your old iPhone to a new one. I've wondered the same thing. Let me tell you what I have first-- I'm an owner of an iPhone 3g 16gb phone that I first purchased in August of 2008. I have to say up front that I've never been an Apple fan, but the possibilities of what an iPhone could do for me in helping to manage my business were too tempting to pass up. I must say that the iPhone is an AWESOME PDA. It manages my appointments in incredible fashion-- snycs everything everywhere seamlessly with my desktop machine and Outlook, and my experience with that and the apps n the phone have been really good. I even play Dragon's Lair on my iPhone. I will say that I'm on my actual 3rd device, with Apple replacing 2 of them that died prematurely, despite my anality with respect to taking care of my electronic equipment. I also decided to jailbreak my iPhone about 6 months ago, which gives me the ability to tether my iPhone to my computer via wireless or bluetooth at will. Take that AT&T. I tethered prematurely and I've been doing it for a long time! Ha!
So anyways-- I was REALLY interested in upgrading my 3g to a iPhone 4. Apple has done some really cool things the past 2 years since I purchased my 3g. One of those things is giving me a couple of new operating systems for my iPhone, or as I like to call it, "early obsolescence." While these OS's have nice new features, my iPhone drags and runs slow now with the new operating systems. I generally replace my cell phone every 2 years, so it's time, and yes, technology does grow old quickly, so I get it.
But I still want to be able to tether my computer to my phone. I work in web design, so I NEED the internet all the time. So I went to the Apple store today to preorder my iPhone only to find out that AT&T shut down the preorders on the phone due to the confusion it was creating. That figures. Leave it to AT&T to be confused with a staple of its business-- SALES.
Perhaps more important to me than the phone, however, was the data plan. I heard last week that AT&T-- your friends and mine-- were "altering" the data plans to something "better." So I decieded to check it out. Right now, I'm spending $30 a month for my "unlimited" data plan. So my first question was to the nice Apple representative was, "Do I have to switch from my unlimited plan to any of the new plans that AT&T is offering?" She quickly resounded with a "No." That's cool. Then I asked if I could add tethering to that package, and I was told I would have to talk to AT&T, which I hate doing.
But since the kiosk was in the mall, I decided to man-up and do it anyways. So I went up and inquired, and told the rep that I wanted to get a new iPhone and was interested in tethering with it, so I asked if I could tether with my unlimited data plan. The kind AT&T rep seemed very excited to tell me-- he said, "no, you can't-- but you can get on this new plan that is going to be CHEAPER!" I didn't exactly take the train trip to Funkytown immediately with him, as I know better with AT&T. So I pressed further. "I heard that the data plans are as follows-- for $15 a month you get 200 mb (hardly enough to download your email a couple of times per month) or there is a 2gb plan that is $25 a month (eh... compared to unlimited)." He said, "that's correct. But you can't use tethering with your existing data plan- you'd have to go with one of these new plans and go with that if you're going to do tethering from your phone", and he finished, "-- and the resason I'm so excited about it is that your monthly data rates are actually going to go DOWN!."
By this time, I was ready to pull out the chalkboard and chalk and do a lesson in remedial math, which I started to do:
Now I'm paying-- $30 a month for unlimited service.
With the new service I'd be paying $25 for 2gb of download media (which ain't that much) PLUS I'd be paying an additional $20 PER MONTH to tether my iPhone as well which = $45.
Hmmmm... let's see.... is $45 with 2gb of data and tethering less than $30 of unlimited data (and I can already do tethering thanks to my jailbroken phone-- free). I think this guy needs to go back and take basic Consumer Math at his local middle school.
So that's the scoop-- you can't keep your existing data plan if you want to tether your iPhone. It's gone. And if you want to tether, you get less download material for the money, AND an additional $20 per month charge to tether what little data they offer you.
So what will I do? For now, the dollar value increase with the very limited data plan is enough to make me steer clear of wanting to preorder anything from Apple with respect to a phone. Apple, you shoulda gone with Verizon. For now, I'll wait and continue to use my draggy slow 3g, until something better comes along. Truth is, I haven't fallen in love with any of the Droid's or Blackberry's I've seen either. Until I'm in love again, it will be me and the 3g. Perhaps the Window 7 Phone will do it for me around Christmastime?