Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To iPhone or not to iPhone ... that is the question. And the answer still isn't clear.

To iPhone or not to iPhone ... that is the question. And the answer still isn't clear.

I've struggled with buying an iPhone from the get-go. At first I kept telling myself that I would get one when my contract was up, but then I went and dropped my old cell in the toilet and replaced it with a Blackberry, foolishly thinking that when the next new gen of iPhone came out I could just renew my contract again and snap it up. lat winter, knowing that the new iPhone was likely to be released this summer, i started to look into what I would need to do to upgrade, and it was then that I realized that AT&T would be happy to let me fill out another 22-year contract, but that would do nothing as far as allowing me to purchase a subsidized upgrade. I grumbled and decided to wait and see what new features the next iPhone would have.

Well, here we are in June, and the new iPhone is ... well, just not that exciting. It seems to be just catching up with what most other smartphones already offer and, truth be told, the only thing that really makes it attractive at all to me anymore is its browsing capability. Apple has grown so used to calling the shots and ignoring consumers figuring they know our actual needs better than we do, it's left a chink in their armor. And you see, since last winter, it's become obvious that quite a few other smartphones are closing in on Apple, not least of which is Palm Pre. It's a 1st gen offering, which means there's no way I'd buy it, but if the next gen has a bigger screen and more storage I/d be pretty tempted to get out of my AT&T contract.

Which brings me to AT&T. I've been an AT&T customer for over a decade. I've personally liked their service on the phones I've used, and valued the fact that the same phone could make calls in the U.S., China, and London without a problem. However the company's greed in the case of the iPhone has put me ill at ease, and when you compound it with the fact that technically they seem to be a poor match with Apple, with reports of lousy call quality, constantly dropped calls, lousy texting options, and snails-pace internet.

So what's the end result? I kept waiting for the next version of the iPhone before purchasing it, but now it seems as if there is no next version that will be convincing enough to get me to shell out the cash. And on top of that, because of its handling of the iPhone, I've become distrustful of a company that has actually treated me reasonably well over the years, and when I finally do decide on a new phone there's a good chance it won't be one AT&T carries, and I'll make the move without the guilt I might have felt abandoning its brand just two years ago.

Way for two companies to completely squander one customer's brand loyalty. Well done, folks.

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