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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Like many folks out there, I love my iPhone.  And like many of those folks who currently have iPhones, I’m wondering if I’m going to get an iPhone 4S. 

So I reflected.  I pondered.  I daydreamed.  I checked available funds.  I went back to daydreaming.  I checked available funds again.  I quickly learned that daydreaming, while completely lacking in material gain, was actually quite inexpensive on the whole and could sustain me for a good while.  But, just in case, I checked available funds again in case anything had changed in that last 45 seconds I spent daydreaming.  I then went back to daydreaming, but this time, I was daydreaming about both the iPhone 4S and a lot more available funds. 

Mmmmm…..  Available funds….

I also noticed there were a lot of complainers online.  TONS of people twittering, blogging, facebooking that Apple dropped the ball.  THEY HAVE SOME NERVE, not giving us the iPhone 5 they never once mentioned or promised.  HOW DARE THEY reuse a winning design and make millions of accessories useful for yet another year?  I CANNOT BELIEVE they will only double my total internet download speed on the AT&T Network.    I believe OMGFAILLOL was typed very near the sacred words “Apple” and “iPhone,” which amazingly isn’t against United States law yet.

Me? As a proud iPhone 4 user, I’m actually kind of glad that the iPhone 4S would probably let me re-use my expensive Otter case.  I’m just fine with the 8MP camera upgrade and the CPU speed boost.  I’d be looking forward to the supposed extended battery life.  I’d be thrilled with the revamped dual-antenna and better call connection.  I’ve not used Siri, so I don’t know yet how much I’d care that it’s an exclusive.  All of the IOS 5 and iCloud features are pretty much the same on the iPhone 4 vs 4S as far as I know, so there’s not much to discuss there. 

So there I was, convinced that I needed to convince myself to upgrade to the iPhone 4S.  I just needed to convince myself to do it. 

But I paused. 

I had to ask myself — did I have enough experience to do an upgrade?  I know that for some, experience is an over-rated characteristic, but for me, I needed to make sure I knew enough to go through with it.

Interestingly enough, it didn’t take me very long to determine that I indeed had some history upgrading phones and music devices.

Lessee… That’s one iPhone 3G, 3 iPhone 3GS’s, 2 iPhone 4’s, a Windows 7 Samsung Focus and two portable music players.  Not shown: the Cingular 8525, the 4 or 5 Blackberry 8700C’s, or the dozen or so phones and gadgets from before I started keeping my boxes.

I needed more than just experience, however.  I needed to be able to rationalize the purchase.  I needed some sort of “hook” to make the purchase a necessity, not just a luxuy.

The wife’s 3GS is acting up.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Her phone is a piece of crap!  “3gs,” I said mockingly, in my head.  Over and over again, I bullied that phone in my mind.  I can’t believe my own wife has a prehistoric bundle of copper wires and duct tape that calls itself a smartphone.  The battery dies after just 30 minutes!  The docking port doesn’t always accept every cable!  Calls disconnect all the time!  IT’S A 3GS AFTER ALL. 

But, I quickly reminded myself, if *I* were to upgrade to the iPhone 4S, then I could give my iPhone 4 to her!  I could even make it sound really really good, like so good it would be on par as a 20th wedding anniversary present or something.  Boy am I smart!

Giddy from how smart I realized I was, I re-checked available funds again and my spirit sunk like the stock market after a jobs speech.  To add insult to injury, my brain decided to remind me that with one of the three phone upgrades available on my AT&T Family Plan, I can get a FREE 3GS replacement from the Apple Store to fix my wife’s phone woes.

Oh well, back to waiting for available funds.

There are three iPhone 4S’s available, and with the upgrade, they are $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB.  I have the 16GB iPhone 4 now and am always bumping against the limit, so I already know I need to budget for at least the 32GB.  And with a bigger camera, I might be taking more pictures so the 64GB might be the thing to get, but with iCloud, I can store more things off-the-phone.

But it’s still 300 or 400 dollars, and that’s a lot of do-re-mi, Fasola Tea.

Here’s where you come in.

If I missed any good rationale or factors that would help convince me that this purchase is a necessity rather than a luxury, please comment below. 

If you have words of encouragement for me during these difficult times, please comment below.

If you have tips on how to deal with the time between now and when I get the funds to upgrade, please comment below.

If you happen to have any extra available funds or Apple gift cards, please comment below.

 

 

I’ve been an AT&T customer for a long time.  A looooong time.  Even back when I had the Telegraph Rollover plan.  I’ve been with them so long, I still have support for my two-cans-with-a-string phone.

Because of this, I’m very familiar with dropped calls.

I have enjoyed Verizon’s “There’s a Map for That” commercials showing the horrible, despicable and downright truthful discrepancies between the Verizon 3G network and the AT&T 3G network

Heh.  There’s even a lawsuit as reported by ZDNet.  The story Sam Diaz wrote is pretty funny and interesting.

Now, when it comes down to it, I really don’t care much about the Verizon map because 99.9% of the time, I’m in one of the dark blue AT&T parts.  Austin is pretty well saturated with 3G coverage, and it wasn’t long ago when I had a BlackBerry 8700C phone, and it only supported EDGE anyway.  Now that I’m on the iPhone 3GS, 3G coverage is more important to me, but in general I’m pretty happy with it.

Except in this one place.

This ONE, solitary intersection. 

This ONE AREA where I drive every day to and from work. 

THIS SPECIFIC DOT ON THE MAP WHERE I DROP MY CALL NO MATTER WHAT.

Yes, I’m sore about it.  A little.

I had heard that you can report to your cell provider dropped calls or problem areas, and if they have enough reports, they’ll investigate.  Who knows, they might actually DO something to fix it.

So I called in, waded through the options to figure out which one would help (hint: it’s zero, then zero again) and talked to the nice lady.  She did say that yes, I can report it and confirmed what I had heard.  So I reported it.  She let me know that she checked on the map and there was a transition point right there where calls would switch towers, and “sometimes calls drop when switching towers.”

Thanx for letting me know.

I also submitted the following email to their support team to hopefully hit home a little more.

This issue is not related to my specific phone, but I couldn’t find the option in the drop down. This issue involves dropped calls at a specific intersection. The intersection is Anderson Mill road and Millwright Parkway in Austin, TX, 78750. I’ve driven in this area for 20+ years, and ever since I’ve been with AT&T (8+ years), coverage at this intersection is spotty and usually results in dropped calls. It does this with my iPhone (3G), blackberry 8700C(edge), motorola RAZR, and the various phones I’ve had over the years. Since I drive this every day to and from work, I can count on a dropped call at that intersection.  It is very annoying. I’d love it if it could be tweaked to not drop calls every time.

YOUR MISSION, should you choose to accept it, is to also contact AT&T and let them know calls drop at this intersection all the time.  If you’re not in the Austin area, just say you were talking to Wayne and got dropped, and it annoyed you greatly.  If you’re not an AT&T customer, tell them you’d consider becoming a customer if they fixed that intersection.  You can contact them at http://www.att.com/wireless/contact-us/ or call 800-331-0500.

With our loud Internet voice, we can bring change!

This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds.

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June
17
2009
5:30 pm
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Remember way back when?  Back when I was wondering if I should upgrade to the iPhone?

I’ve made my decision:

iphone
click to embiggify

WOOHOO!

I wanted to share some of the details that led to my decision to choose an upgrade to the iPhone 3GS over continuing with my Blackberry 8700C.  That will probably be tomorrow’s post, so I’ll start with these details:

Detail Area #1: The fine print

The subject of the message says “Your iPhone reservation.”  The first paragraph of the email starts with “Thanks for reserving your iPhone” and even says I can “come to the store [I] selected anytime on the day of my reservation.”

Upon reading these constant reminders of my reservation, I was filled with a fulfilling sense of fulfillment.  This confirmation of my reservation was there in front of me, in black and white!  I completed my reservation at apple.com (Detail Area #2), tied it to one of the eligible phones on my AT&T contract (Detail Area #3), and got this email a few seconds afterwards.  Nice process.  Clean procedure.  Great result.

I. Am. Reserved.

I even reserved some time with my wife (who I’m taking care of at home while she heals from knee surgery) to make sure I can be gone for a few hours Friday morning and that she’ll be ok without me. 

I know. Saintly.

However, down at the bottom of the email, in small print (and light grey on dark grey instead of black and white), it says:

Pre-authorization does not guarantee iPhone availability at an Apple Retail Store. iPhone is sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Say whaaah?

The pedantic side of me is noticing that it mentions “pre-authorization”, not “reservation,” so that makes me think “oh well, that disclaimer isn’t for me.”  But it still bothers me a little.

My Apple store opens at 10am, so I plan on getting there early just to be certain I’m seen and I score.

apple store

Detail Area #2: Reserving my phone

Right when I decided to go iPhone, a friend I was IM’ing with at the time told me he heard that pre-orders had sold out.

GAH!

Some quick googling confirmed that there was a June 12th cutoff that meant anyone ordering after that date would just get their phone shipped approximately “whenever” and it might be weeks before I got the phone.

Thank goodness I found an article online that dispelled the rumor, explained the June 12th mumbo-jumbo and told me how to increase my chances of pre-ordering.  I called AT&T and the person couldn’t help me (that took 45 minutes btw).  I went to wireless.att.com and they were having problems with the website.  Once I did get online, I couldn’t tie the iPhone to MY number, but I could upgrade one of the other lines on my family plan.  It bothered me to try to do this online, so I skipped that method.

So, I was able to go to the Apple Store online and reserve my phone.  Score one for the whallster.

Detail Area #3: Tying the iPhone to my cell

It took a long call w/AT&T to confirm this, but it did get confirmed.  I have four (4) lines on my AT&T family plan.  Two (2) of them are eligible for upgrades and two (2) aren’t. 

att family plan

Of course, MY line is one of the ones listed as not eligible, but AT&T allows you to use upgrades for one line and apply it to another.  They just can’t do it online.  So I actually tied the upgrade to my wife’s line and then I’ll have to call AT&T to swap them in their system once I have the iPhone in hand.

However, this probably means some weird service experiences are in my future on Friday when they try to do all this for me while they’re handling Black iFriday for everyone else in the US getting the new phone.  And if service sucks on Friday for AT&T customers, it might as well suck on an iPhone instead of a Blackberry.

My next post will detail some of the deciding factors for choosing the iPhone. 

I’m thinking of just making a graphic that says “It’s better” but since when do I use brevity?

June
15
2009
5:30 pm
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You may have seen some of my recent tweets that I’ve been trying to decide between keeping my Blackberry 8700C or upgrading to an iPhone 3GS.

Side note: I like how each of the manufacturers like to double up their graphics whenever showing off a phone.  It’s like you subconsciously get TWO phones.

I have my personal list of PROs and CONs about each phone/service.  What I’d like from you is not necessarily a vote for one of the other (because WHICH phone YOU would choose is less applicable than WHY), but instead, list your likes and dislikes of each.

Here are the facts first:

  • I’m currently with AT&T and I qualify for the upgrade discounts… so I’m pretty sure that means $99 for 8GB old iPhone, $199 for 16GB new iPhone and $299 for 32GB new iPhone.
  • I believe I’d save $15-20 a month on the iPhone all-inclusive plan over the Blackberry all inclusive plan.  I still have to confirm this, though.  (We already have unlimited texting on our family plan)
  • I’m an Enterprise user and my group administers the BES at work (some of you know what that means and why it’s a factor).
  • I’m an extremely fast typer and I rely heavily on email functionality, both work-related (Exchange) and personal (Gmail via IMAP).

I think what I’ll do is this: I’ll let Dave2 make his very witty and comedic-yet-unrelated comment, and then I’ll sit and watch the PROs and CONs filter in from all you smart and helpful folk.  Later, when everyone’s had a chance, I’ll see if any of mine were missed and I’ll add them in.  I guess really what I’m saying is I may steal the thunder from a lot of comments if I list out all my factors, and I don’t want to pre-empt comments.  I love comments. 

Feel free to be as technical as you want.  Or as frilly, I don’t care.


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