There is no doubt that high speed Internet has changed the way that we consume and view media. As more and more people have access to high speed Internet from premium vendors like AT&T Internet, competition has increased and prices have plummeted. This increased level of competition is great for consumers, because it means that there are now more affordable options than ever before when it comes to viewing and enjoying their favorite TV programs and movies.
A whole slew of new sexy Android Phones are coming out in the next few months. HTC has just hit us their latest crop all featuring 4G speeds and there’s a phone for every carrier; the HTC EVO Shift 4G from Sprint, HTC Inspire 4G from AT&T, and HTC ThunderBolt from Verizon Wireless. Look at this we even have pricing and release dates? In a CES Press Release – egads, unheard of! The HTC EVO Shift 4G will be $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and activation on a new two-year contract and data plan. It will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including www.sprint.com and 1-800-Sprint1, on Jan. 9th. While Verizon and AT&T haven’t announced pricing on their headsets, one would think it wouldn’t be radically different than Sprint.
Ok, I’m really ticked off. I’ve been on AT&T for the last year and a few months, the service at my house has been stellar, but when I travel outside of DC it’s practically unusable. I’ve been on their lowest available plan all this time the 550 a month plan because I generally don’t talk on the phone all that often, I got the plan for the iPhone Data – again, never works when I’m out of town. Last month I upgraded my plan to 700 minutes which should have only cost $20 month. My first bill goes from $100 to $236! Where the extra $100 charge came from I don’t know. Instead of calling and complaining – I hate dealing with any of CSR weasel, I just ate the cost. I just looked at my bill and now my 1,800 roll over minutes are completely gone! Yes, I had 1,800 rollover minutes on a 550 minute a month plan, that should tell you how little I use the phone. And now they are gone. I’m so sick of all of these Mobile providers and their scams and messed up billing practices. I think I’m going to cancel service and just go with Boost Mobile or maybe T-Mobile. I’ll gladly pay the ETF just to get away from them especially after the way Verizon screwed me on the ETF – even though I went the full 2 years with them, I still got hit with an ETF, so what’s the point of staying until the end of your contract if they still find some way to stick you with the ETF? I’m just sick of these mobile companies.
Many reported issues with their iPad 3Gs over the weekend. Everything from slow and spotty connections to not being able to play some plugins that use video – the ABC App won’t play at all, YouTube and Netflix being downsampled into oblivion. I don’t know why I expected anything different from AT&T. I know my iPhone is unusable outside of DC and in DC about the only thing I can do with AT&T slow 3G service is check my email, I hate using the iPhone’s web browser, so I rarely do. So now I’m torn as to whether or not to even get the 3G Version. I really want to launch a new iPad site, but to do it I have to get a device I simply don’t like. I rediscovered the joy of using my Macbook in bed this weekend.
The big Apple rumor of the day is they are working on two new Jesus Phones. If they hold to their pattern, they’ll probably announce brand new iPhones in June. The earth shattering news is the iPhone could finally come to Verizon this summer. I like my iPhone and AT&T well enough while I’m here in DC. My troubles start when I expect to use it for business while traveling. So far it’s almost never worked – it failed at CES, Comic-Con, while I was in Salem, VA for a few weeks, etc. It”s proved to be pretty frustrating. The problem is, I’m not entirely convinced it’s AT&T’s fault. Verizon’s service where I live is horrible, so that’s not an option. I’ll admit, I’m really curious to see what a new iPhone would look like, all I want is a 64-Gig version, bigger, better screen, multitasking and for god’s sake a screen lock function! The constant rotating for no reason drives me up the wall.
Rumor has it that at some point today, Apple will release OS 3.0 into the wild. I’m going to try and wait to upgrade because I have a technical black cloud hanging over me this week where everything I touch has been breaking – including my iTunes being completely borked. Current iPhone owners can download the software from iTunes for free, and iPod Touch users can get it as well, but for a fee of $9.95, just like the last OS update. What time exactly, we don’t know yet. Apple will only say iPhone OS 3.0 will come out sometime Wednesday. The new update brings Tethering (not for AT&T Customers), Bluetooth, mms (again, AT&T won’t support until later this summer) and buying and renting TV shows over the air.
As Prince would say a Contract is for suckers, unfortunately the US Cell Phone companies have us by the gonads. I’m not going to go completely nuts on this, until I talk to my AT&T rep and see if I still qualify for an “upgrade” since I’ve only had my iPhone account for 2 months. But they really are f’ing their loyal customers over on an crappy upgraded phone. Let’s face it the iPhone 3GS is a useless, pointless “upgrade,” that provides almost nothing substantial. The reason I want it is strictly to get the 32-Gigs of extra space but if it weren’t for that I wouldn’t even bother.
There will be two separate lines at your local AT&T store, one for folks who pre-order the new iPhone 3GS and one for everyone else. Customers who are new to AT&T or current customers that have gone through at least 18 months on their current contract will be able to score an iPhone 3GS for $199 (16GB) and $299 (32GB). Current iPhone 3G customers who wish to upgrade to an iPhone 3G S, but haven’t yet reached the 18 month mark must pay $399/$499 or $599/$699 respectively for the 16GB and 32GB models based on how much time is left on their two-year contracts.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not an Apple Fangirl, I’m actually a Windows Fangirl who uses Apple Products. Although, I’m seriously considering switching back to Windows because I’m tired of getting gear that doesn’t play nicely with my Macbook and I don’t particularly like running Parallels. I find it slow, sluggish and just a bit silly using Windows on a Mac. But today it’s the start of Apple’s annual dog and pony show WWDC where we’re expected to get an announcement of new iPhones. I just signed a contract with AT&T for my current iPhone, so I’m looking forward to upgrading to the new rumored 32-gig model (what I’d love is for Apple to surprise us and give us an 80 Gig iPhone). When I do, I’ll probably have a contest here to give away my old 32-Gig iPod Touch. So far I’m digging my iPhone, although when I was in Salem, VA last week there was no 3G to be found and my phone was basically “Useless,” as an Internet device.
The rumor and fanboy (re: Press) spooging hasn’t been that bad leading up to this event, maybe it’s because everyone has been focused on E3 and the Palm Pre launch that they didn’t have the energy to go into full hype overload, but it’ll happen this evening. The latest rumors says the iPhone will come in new sizes 4 and 32 Gigs, feature a FM Radio, and a built in Video Camera. Like I said, I’m going to be stuck with the iPhone eco-system for the next two years, so I’ll be getting the latest model as long as it’s at least 32-gigs. The Press Conference starts today at 1pm EST, I recommend checking out Engadget.com, if you must get up to the minute announcements. I’ll do a wrap up tonight.