Last Wednesday, on my way to Hewlett-Packard’s (s HWP) WebOS and Touchpad launch, I dropped my BlackBerry somewhere. It was time for me to panic, considering how much I depend on that device to do everything. By chance, I had a Sprint (s S) Android-based Evo 4G phone that I could use, otherwise I would have been in trouble.
In an odd coincidence, I lost my phone a day before Apple (s AAPL) launched the iPhone on Verizon Wireless (s VZ). This past Thursday morning, a review unit from Apple showed up. Still without my BlackBerry, I used the Verizon iPhone (through Google Voice) as my primary phone. Boy, it sure was fun.
As you might remember, I had broken up with my iPhone in disgust about two years ago. Frustrated by AT&T’s (s T) network coverage in the two metro regions where I spend most of my time — the San Francisco Bay Area and New York — I knew it was time to switch to T-Mobile’s BlackBerry service with UMA.
I liked the idea of a Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerry, which allowed me to make calls from any place there was Wi-Fi, without worrying too much about international roaming charges or pokey networks. And when all else failed, I could hop on to the Sprint Hotspot for making calls via UMA.
Sure I had an iPod Touch for testing out apps and mobile web services, and yes, I had access to all sorts of Android devices, but it was the ease with which I could BBM, text, email and use Google chat that made the BlackBerry an ideal solution for me. I missed the touch interface and a full-fledged browser, but my BlackBerry worked. T-Mobile has a decent network and UMA is a great workaround for any network shortcomings. Frankly, I preferred the BlackBerry over Google Android.
But then, the iPhone on Verizon happened and I got to play with it for four days — and today, I can safely declare, this is how the iPhone was meant to be. No dropped calls, decent Internet connectivity (1.2 Mbps to 1.4 Mbps) and SMS messages that show up without any delay. The apps performed, as they should, thanks to the stable network connectivity.
The only problem I can see when it comes to using the iPhone on a CDMA network will arise when I am traveling overseas. Sure, it is not possible to check the web when talking on the phone (which is a shortcoming of CDMA), but I will take ability to complete my phone calls without dropping them once a minute over that inconvenience.
I like the idea of carrying a single device. It’s like being in love again. I will miss my BBM, but it’s time for me to mosey over to the Apple store and make the switch back. I’m on my way!
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It’s amazing how much of a difference being able to make and take a bloody phone call can make in the mobile phone experience.
Yup that is correct. I think some of us old timers still like their phone calls and headsets 😉
I too picked up the new VZ iPhone 4 and love it. Upgraded from Droid (VZ gave me a sweet upgrade deal). iPhone is clearly the best phone there is right now and I’m more than happy.
Om, I have found a pleasant replacement to BBM, on the iPhone. Whatsapp. Look it up on iTunes. I have no connection to them, other than being astounded that an instant chat/photo/GPS client now exists on iPhone, Blackberry, and more.
And also: I patiently await UPS with my own beloved iPhone 4 on big red.
I think the problem is getting all my pals on that network. Some of them don’t wanna do that 😉
Anyway enjoy the phone.
basically you’re saying that you fell in love with Verizon’s services again 🙂
Haha… That is so funny! I like getting the phone calls though. Pretty awesome.
So you were using the iPhone with the Google Voice app? I’ve been debating the switch to Google Voice (and dropping my SMS package) but wasn’t sure how the GV experience worked on an iPhone 4.
I don’t much care for their app — get GV Connect – It is worth the price and is far easier to use. It doesn’t have notifications though.
I’m with you on the CDMA roaming issues. I can see two main solutions, since I’m also a Verizon/Google Voice user who travels internationally sometimes. Right now, my BlackBerry roams on GSM, but my next phone might not…
The first thought is to get a GSM phone with an international roaming SIM and a US number. Telestial and a few other companies carry these as “traveler” SIMs. Add the phone number to Google Voice and you should be good to go. GV doesn’t allow you to forward to international phone numbers yet, but that would potentially be an even better option. Local SIMs get better call rates, data rates, etc.
The second thought is to love the phone you have now, and get the new iPhone this summer. From what I’ve read, there shouldn’t be any reason that the new iPhone for Verizon doesn’t get the GSM/CDMA chipset fully enabled. In which case, there’s a high likelihood that Verizon will also offer a global data plan, which in my opinion is the best deal in wireless. I traveled in China for two weeks last year w/ my BB, had full data access, and it cost me $8. ($15/mo. prorated.)
Thanks for your great suggestions. I have made note and will keep you posted as I travel during the year.
> I can safely declare, this is how the iPhone was meant to be. No dropped calls, decent Internet connectivity (1.2 Mbps to 1.4 Mbps) and SMS messages that show up without any delay.
Ahem, quit being so insular. The iPhone device has always behaved, and does behave, this way or better. That is; absolutely stellar.
I use Telstra in Australia, Melbourne. And get far better data speeds (~ 5.5 Mbps).
If you have something to whine about, whine directly about AT&T. Leave the devices out of it, or drag them _all_ in.
p.s. Also, no stupid $ for that, oh! so advanced ‘Tethering’ thingy. And unlocked too (no fee). Used with 3 Mobile in Ireland for rural 3G.
Appropriate title for a Valentine’s Day post
🙂 well I thought so.
sometimes our dream from technology not becoming true. Many services calculate about profit but they not give what should they give to costumer
For international use, you can have Google Voice forward calls to your Skype number and use the iPhone on WiFi. That would be as useful as using a UMA phone in another country.
Can you go into detail on why you prefer blackberry over Android? that seems surprising to me.
WhatsApp Messenger – a good replacement to BBM
My wife recently upgrader her 3gs to a 4. This allowed me a chance to play with an iphone after almost a year of using the nexus one. Truth be told, it is still slick but I found it very “suffocating” even though it is running the latest iOS.
I dont think i can live without the android back button any more.