Comment of the Week

Just a new idea I’m trying out. Once a week, I’ll take a comment I make from elsewhere on the web, and turn it into a blog entry. Nothing will change (not even to refine it)… except I will go out of the way to linkify it completely. The idea here is that it will spark discussion in new ways, as new context is built (from both the links, and from having it be the kick-off of discussion… rather than a response buried on some thread).

Please, let me know what you think, comments are appreciated… especially since, well, I don’t think this has been done before…

I think AT&T has some very good plans for iPhone… but you do have to search hard to find them. For example, we just posted in the forums how to get a data-only plan via GoPhone (by rolling over your balance, and then cashing out the balance in the form of a check after a year… check the AT&T forum for details since you have to do it properly). That brings the cost of iPhone as a data-centric device to only $20/month.

Does Sprint offer a data-only plan (with prepaid minutes and SMS) for $20/month? No, but they do offer SERO, which is probably just as attractive (if not more so). But, you have to understand market forces… AT&T is the largest wireless carrier customer-wise in the nation. They don’t need to price as aggressively as Sprint does.

With the ringtones… Apple intentionally left the iPhone easy-to-hack in this regard. Anyone reading this site can find iFuntastic (we’re hosting the latest stable version in the Software section of this site). Seen Apple blocking that in the latest iTunes update? No, they didn’t from all external appearances, though some apps will need a simple update. While I don’t know what the future holds for iPhone firmware, I doubt Apple will aggressively attack users who want to upload their own ringtones free of charge… they just need a few Google searches to find out how.

iPhone’s inferiority/superiority is in the eye of the beholder. Clearly there are areas that iPhone advanced… that the phone industry hasn’t stepped up to the plate to yet. Considering iPhone’s features have been in-the-wild for six months or more, that’s a pox on the phone manufacturer’s houses. Most phone buyers don’t know the difference between 2.5G and 3G… sorry, but they really don’t. If they did, Apple probably would have put 3G in it. iPhone continues to garner positive reviews despite the lack of 3G… it just is a turn-off the most to phone addicts. I never thought I would be fine with an EDGE device in perfect HSDPA coverage… but I still take an iPhone over the bevy of 3G devices I get sent every month.

If you go back and watch the Macworld video, you’ll hear one or two loud booings when Steve announced iPhone was EDGE. One of those was me. Guess what? iPhone’s Safari covers the spread… at least until Apple comes out with a 3G iPhone. Granted, it won’t cover the spread for everyone, but then again, I point to the fact that the rest of the industry hasn’t come through with compelling answers to iPhone as a complete offering.

As to Sprint’s advertising, I agree completely… we’ve posted editorial after editorial criticizing Sprint’s terrible history with advertising new, compelling offerings. Unfortunately, as the Sprint Ahead/SprintSpeed ad campaign has shown, Sprint’s new ad agency can’t seem to get a grip either. While there was huge promise with the UpStage ads, Sprint hasn’t followed through with similar counterparts for the Mogul or RAZR2.

Probably worst of all, the same people that made the UpStage ads, are responsible for the awful Sprint Ahead/SprintSpeed ads… it makes no sense why they made such a stark change of course, but I suspect the ad account changed from one leader to another, and away went the compelling ads.

2 Responses

  1. Leif Hansen
    Leif Hansen September 12, 2007 at 11:00 am |

    Thanks for the great article, as well as the article on how to get money back from at&t after you reach the $500 balance from prepaid (though it does seem a little risky, will they really do it?)

    One thing I wanted to correct though, from the former article, is that you mentioned how one benefit was getting the “1000 free wknd and eve minutes” and yet when I checked the iphone hybrid plan it states:

    Nights and Weekends Minutes* NA
    * Night Minutes are 9pm – 6am. Weekends are 9pm Friday – 6am Monday.

    (PS please email me at if I am wrong about this)

  2. admin
    admin September 12, 2007 at 3:33 pm |

    The GoPhone $39.99 plan offers 1,000 N&W minutes. The GoPhone plans for iPhone are different from the standard iPhone plans, which offer unlimited N&W minutes.

    I haven’t checked iTunes activation lately (hard to do with iPhone already activated), but you can switch GoPhone plans by calling AT&T customer service. The iPhone data plan stays on the account when you switch around voice minutes.


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