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iPhone 4 and other questions
Old 06-09-2010, 12:20 AM   #1
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iPhone 4 and other questions

Who's getting an iPhone?

Not sure I'm headed for an iPhone, but am probably headed for "something" - as I am starting to experience hardware issues with the Palm Treo 700wx that is 2 1/2 years old.

1. I read somewhere that they are calling it the iPhone 4 and "not" the iPhone 4G. So is it 4G or not? Or does that depend on the carrier? Why not call it 4G?

2. If it's all in the carrier, what carriers have 4G ?

3. When does AT&T's exclusivity with iPhone end?

4. How much more would you have to pay to go with a different carrier? What, if any, functionality do you give up by not going with AT&T?

5. Is data tethering different than a data plan (guessing that data tethering is to hook up a computer(s) and a data plan is getting internet and email on the phone).

6. Can you talk on the iPhone while you're tethered?

7. Data tethering is being capped. Are data plans capped or are they still likely unlimited?

8. I currently have a Sprint aircard for internet connection for a Macbook. No cable, FIOS or DSL in my neighborhood. So, also not much watching of video as performance is sometimes okay, sometimes not. But I have no idea if a capped data plan could serve as a replacement for the unlimited use aircard. In the meantime, I'd love to figure out what I'd have to buy to turn the USB aircard into a wireless so that more than one computer could be online...

Appreciate any answers. Please speak s-l-o-w-l-y.

Other discussion of iPhone features welcome (I enjoyed reading about the iTouch apps - I'm guessing they all work on an iPhone).

Thank you.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by spncity View Post
Who's getting an iPhone?

Not sure I'm headed for an iPhone, but am probably headed for "something" - as I am starting to experience hardware issues with the Palm Treo 700wx that is 2 1/2 years old.

1. I read somewhere that they are calling it the iPhone 4 and "not" the iPhone 4G. So is it 4G or not? Or does that depend on the carrier? Why not call it 4G?

2. If it's all in the carrier, what carriers have 4G ?

3. When does AT&T's exclusivity with iPhone end?

4. How much more would you have to pay to go with a different carrier? What, if any, functionality do you give up by not going with AT&T?

5. Is data tethering different than a data plan (guessing that data tethering is to hook up a computer(s) and a data plan is getting internet and email on the phone).

6. Can you talk on the iPhone while you're tethered?

7. Data tethering is being capped. Are data plans capped or are they still likely unlimited?

8. I currently have a Sprint aircard for internet connection for a Macbook. No cable, FIOS or DSL in my neighborhood. So, also not much watching of video as performance is sometimes okay, sometimes not. But I have no idea if a capped data plan could serve as a replacement for the unlimited use aircard. In the meantime, I'd love to figure out what I'd have to buy to turn the USB aircard into a wireless so that more than one computer could be online...

Appreciate any answers. Please speak s-l-o-w-l-y.

Other discussion of iPhone features welcome (I enjoyed reading about the iTouch apps - I'm guessing they all work on an iPhone).

Thank you.
1) the iPhone 4 actually works on Edge or 3G. It doesn't look like it works on 4G networks. That's probably why they didn't call it the iPhone 4G.

2) the iPhone is only compatible with GSM networks. So it would have to be AT&T or T-mobile. But when you buy an iPhone, you have to buy a 2-year contract from AT&T before you can activate it, so you are pretty much stuck with AT&T unless you are willing to break the contract and pay the penalty. Since the iPhone is also locked to AT&T, you will have to find a way to unlock it before you can use it with another carrier.

3) dunno.

4) I don't know what T-mobile's offerings are and what they would charge.

5) you are required to buy one of the data plans (200MB or 2 GB) and you have the option to pay extra for tethering. But data transferred via tethering do count toward your data plan limit.

6) dunno. Tethering is not currently supported by the iPhone OS. Officially, AT&T does not even support tethering yet. The new OS comes out in 2 weeks (with support for tethering), so we will have to wait and see.

7) new data plans are now capped (200MB and 2GB plans). Data transferred via tethering count towards your data plan limit.

8) I have a mifi card. Mine is from Verizon, but I think that Sprint offers one too. Basically it is an aircard that doubles as a router so that you can connect several devices to the Internet. Mine is capped at 5GB per month and gives me a pretty fast Internet connection.

I don't plan on buying the iPhone 4. I have a 2 year-old iPhone 3G (second generation), and I plan on replacing the battery soon so that I can keep it another 2 years.
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:55 AM   #3
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I can't answer your questions, but I will be getting an iphone 4 within the next 6 months. I spent a day last week playing with DW's iphone 3 at the same time with my 2 year old Blackberry.

The apps on the iphone crush the Blackberry apps. And emails come to me faster on the iphone.

We have AT&T on both, but the iphone with 3G has far better reception than my Blackberry that only has edge. i have to leave my house and sometimes the neighborhood to make a call or email on my Blackberry.

I'll probably get AT&T for the new iphone since our home and DW's iphone are on the same plan. Or I may stay on my employer's plan if I'm still employed and the company switches to Microsoft Enterprise. Our current setup at work will not allow email access from iphones
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:20 PM   #4
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7) new data plans are now capped (200MB and 2GB plans). Data transferred via tethering count towards your data plan limit.

8) I have a mifi card. Mine is from Verizon, but I think that Sprint offers one too. Basically it is an aircard that doubles as a router so that you can connect several devices to the Internet. Mine is capped at 5GB per month and gives me a pretty fast Internet connection.
Follow-up...

My current aircard contract gives me "unlimited" connection for $60 per month. It takes up a USB port. Again, this seemed like the only option other than dial-up, which I had until late 2007.

1. Guessing that if I get mifi the new contract will not be unlimited...?

2. Is mifi faster than my Sprint aircard?

3. How many MB is an hour-long podcast? What about email? Does web-surfing "count up" against that limit?

Capping data plans seems great for the provider and horrible for the customer.
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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Follow-up...

My current aircard contract gives me "unlimited" connection for $60 per month. It takes up a USB port. Again, this seemed like the only option other than dial-up, which I had until late 2007.

1. Guessing that if I get mifi the new contract will not be unlimited...?

2. Is mifi faster than my Sprint aircard?

3. How many MB is an hour-long podcast? What about email? Does web-surfing "count up" against that limit?

Capping data plans seems great for the provider and horrible for the customer.
1) From what I see online, Sprint offers two data plans for their mifi. One at $40 for 500 MB and one at $60 for 5GB. Similar to what Verizon offers for their mifi (I have Verizon's 5GB plan for $60 myself).

2) DW has a Sprint Aircard on her work laptop. She thinks that the Verizon mifi is faster than the Sprint Aircard. But it might have something to do with differences in the quality of the cell phone coverage between Verizon and Sprint in that particular location.

3) an hour-long audio podcast would require about 60MB. Emails without attachments are probably only a few MB. A movie in standard definition might be 1-1.5 GB. In high def, it can be close to 3+ GB. Every data transfer (web, email, video/photo/audio downloads, etc...) counts toward the limit. You should be able to log on to you Sprint account and see how many MB/GB of data you actually consume every month.
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:52 PM   #6
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My wife got an iPhone and now she's an iFiend. I miss her.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:16 PM   #7
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I am not getting an iPhone.

I presently have a plain Motorola flip phone that is good for making phone calls. That's what I do with my cell phone - - make phone calls and answer them, and precious few calls too. Somehow I just can't imagine wanting to do anything else with a cell phone, ever. (?)

My conclusion is that I must be an old fuddy-duddy and SO lacking in imagination.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:28 PM   #8
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My wife got an iPhone and now she's an iFiend. I miss her.
Mine got an iTouch, I call it her iFondle. We still talk.

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Old 06-09-2010, 04:38 PM   #9
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2) the iPhone is only compatible with GSM networks.
So that means it'll work in Europe with the same SIM card as it has in North America?
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:52 PM   #10
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So that means it'll work in Europe with the same SIM card as it has in North America?
My iPhone works fine in Europe as is, no need to swap out the SIM card. Just make sure you are pre-approved for international use by AT&T before leaving the US.
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:12 PM   #11
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I will be getting the iPhone 4. I currently have a Blackberry Storm (first generation). The touchscreen is horrible on the Blackberry and I am eager to get rid of it.

I had hoped to see the iPhone coming to Verizon but that appears to be at least a year or two away (although no one really knows).

The data tethering through AT&T is horrible. It is $20 a month and you get no extra data. You are still limited to the 2GB on the $25 data plan. So, basically you are spending $20 a month just be able to tether which is not a great deal.

For many users who have wifi at home and don't use a lot of data the new $15 a month plan is probably fine. For most of the rest the $25 plan for 2GB is OK. But, a couple of caveats. For people who stream a lot of video (think netflix) they can easily blow right through 2GB. Also if you are going to get tethering and essentially use the phone as the modem for your laptop for extended time then you may blow through it.

The other point is that as more and more video, etc. becomes available to stream then the more data you will see people using and then that 2GB may not be enough.

I don't think any US carrier currently has 4G. Verizon is supposedly going to start its LTE network later this year and AT&T maybe a year from now.

A friend of mine just got the Nexus One and it is very cool. It is more customizable than the iPhone which is nice. And the Google Apps are very nice. The touchscreen is less responsive in my opinion than that of the iPhone. He tells me it is less intuitive to use than the iPhone. There are quite a few apps for the Nexus One but not so many as on the iPhone of course. The iPhone software upgrade that is coming out later this month will be very good (it is extremely annoying on my iPad that I can't listen to Pandora while reading a book).
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:53 AM   #12
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SO lacking in imagination.
Maybe lacking in a big cell phone bill... the bill that I somehow justify because I "need" to be able to get email for business purposes
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:03 AM   #13
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Maybe lacking in a big cell phone bill... the bill that I somehow justify because I "need" to be able to get email for business purposes
You'd think so, but to be honest my cell phone bill is not as small as it should be. I never seem to exceed my minutes, so I pay the same $35 every month (including taxes and fees and so on; the base price is a few dollars less). I love Verizon and have been dragging my feet on switching from my (old, discontinued) Verizon plan to something cheaper with another carrier or a cheaper pre-paid plan.

I don't even check my e-mail once a day on my home computer. My big brother said in an e-mail last week that we retired types can justify a two week lag in responding to e-mails.
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:05 AM   #14
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Alrighty then - are there "any" unlimited data plans left for cell phones ?

Are there "any" unlimited mifi contracts to be had?

I was hoping that one of the big carriers was going to break out and offer an "everything unlimited" plan for $79 a month or some such. The Sprint everything for $99 is not really everything (doesn't include data from what I recall).

This capping of data is going the other way.

I can keep my Sprint aircard unlimited plan, but would have loved to migrate to mifi....

Since we can't get cable, DSL or FIOS, can I get wifi through a dish (and is it unlimited?) I think some trees are in the way, though... so that may keep me on the aircard. Is there a way to hook up a router for the aircard so that more than one computer can be on it? What (specifics please, if you know) would I need to purchase to do that (this is usually the place where my eyes roll back in my head when I'm trying comprehend).
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:38 PM   #15
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I don't plan on buying the iPhone 4. I have a 2 year-old iPhone 3G (second generation), and I plan on replacing the battery soon so that I can keep it another 2 years.
Unwilling to pay the upfront cost?

Would be a big improvement for speed, better screen, camera, etc.

You've paid off the subsidy by staying on contract for 2 years. If you continue paying the same plan rates for another 2 years, AT&T is making more off you.

But of course, you're free to leave AT&T now whereas if you got a new phone, you'd have to commit for another 2 years. And of course there is that $200 upgrade cost for the new phone. Still the upfront cost is nothing compared to what you end up paying over the course of 2 years.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:44 PM   #16
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Alrighty then - are there "any" unlimited data plans left for cell phones ?

Are there "any" unlimited mifi contracts to be had?

I was hoping that one of the big carriers was going to break out and offer an "everything unlimited" plan for $79 a month or some such. The Sprint everything for $99 is not really everything (doesn't include data from what I recall).

This capping of data is going the other way.

I can keep my Sprint aircard unlimited plan, but would have loved to migrate to mifi....

Since we can't get cable, DSL or FIOS, can I get wifi through a dish (and is it unlimited?) I think some trees are in the way, though... so that may keep me on the aircard. Is there a way to hook up a router for the aircard so that more than one computer can be on it? What (specifics please, if you know) would I need to purchase to do that (this is usually the place where my eyes roll back in my head when I'm trying comprehend).
No and now it appears Verizon is going to introduce data tiers just like AT&T.

Truth is, bandwidth costs are hurting their bottom line and the bandwidth hogs are a few percent of their customers who heavily stream video and use other data-intensive applications.

Supposedly, the vast majority use less than even the 200 mB of the cheapest AT&T plan. I used 40 MB last month on my iPhone 3G.

Unfortunately, the phone companies are going to condition us to accept limits.
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