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New phone maddness!-www.ChristinaWarren.com


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New phone maddness!

Some people might think that signing a 2-year agreement to save a mere $50 is stupid -- but I've been with this company for SEVEN years, through two name changes. What can I say, I stay with a service I like...

W00t! I just got off the phone with T‑Mobile and ordered a new phone. My cur­rent phone, the magen­ta Razr, is like tru­ly on its last legs. I came this­close to dis­as­sem­bling it just to get the screen to come back on, but was saved when the damn thing final­ly came to its sens­es. I’ve had the phone since Christ­mas of 2005, when T‑Mobile got the Razr (and the magen­ta Razr at that), so it was time for a new phone.

I’ve want­ed a new Black­ber­ry for a long time, but I had to wait for my old con­tract to run out (or at least get to the point that I can get all the upgrade deals — that hap­pened in Novem­ber, but I was less set on a Black­ber­ry then (this was pre-Twit­ter mad­ness) and I was also hold­ing out for either a bet­ter price (and to save up more mon­ey on my own). I end­ed up get­ting the Black­ber­ry Curve 8320. It should be here on the 21st (Pres­i­den­t’s Day and all that), which is con­ve­nient­ly when my new billing cycle starts, so my new plan will start then too.

I end­ed up get­ting a pret­ty nice deal on the phone — the equiv­a­lent of what a new cus­tomer going through T‑Mobile would get (going through a deal­er you could get a bet­ter deal): $250 (after $50 mail-in-rebate) for a two-year con­tract. I could have only extend­ed my con­tract for a year for an addi­tion­al $50, but I just went for two. Some peo­ple might think that sign­ing a 2‑year agree­ment to save a mere $50 is stu­pid — but I’ve been with this com­pa­ny for SEVEN years, through two name changes (from Pow­er­tel to Voic­eS­tream and from Voic­eS­tream to T‑Mobile). What can I say, I stay with a ser­vice I like, and I like T‑Mobile. They are always incred­i­bly help­ful and NICE if I have to call them, they’ve giv­en me a dis­count­ed rate plan for the last three years that is only now being offered to reg­u­lar cus­tomers.

The bet­ter deal, how­ev­er, is on the rate plan. Even though T‑Mobile charges more for their vari­a­tion of the Curve than AT&T Wire­less does (a new con­tract with AT&T would net me a refurb phone for $120, less than that if I went through a re-sell­er), T‑Mobile is the bet­ter com­pa­ny when it comes to the ser­vice plan. For $60 a month (basi­cal­ly $10 more than what I pay now), I’ll get 1000 any­time min­utes (the same as I have now, less the unlim­it­ed nights/weekends that I nev­er come close to using any­way), unlim­it­ed data (and the Curve is EDGE and has built-in Wi-fi), unlim­it­ed text, unlim­it­ed e‑mail. I haven’t used Twit­ter on my Razr because I hate the SMS sys­tem, but I’ll use it all the time on the BB. Plus hav­ing e‑mail on my phone will be SO nice. AT&T’s clos­est plan would be $50 more a month. $50 more a month!! I’m sor­ry, but fuck that. I’ll pay $100 more for a phone (or even $200 more if you get one of the AT&T bun­dles) for the month­ly sav­ings.

So you ask, “Christi­na, you write for TUAW, you were in on the iPod rev­o­lu­tion from the VERY begin­ning1, why do you not have an iPhone?”

The answer is sim­ple: I loathe AT&T/Cingular/BellSouth Mobil­i­ty/What­ev­er-name-they-have-now. The peo­ple are ass­holes. The con­tracts are over­priced. And I’m still mad about the billing fias­co from 2001. Yes, I hold grudges. But seri­ous­ly, I also remem­ber work­ing in Wire­less and grant­ed, this was years ago, but I dealt with both halves of what is now AT&T and the peo­ple could always be count­ed on to be ter­ri­ble. I deal with enough ass­holes, I don’t need to have my cell phone provider treat me like crap and over­charge me just so I can have an iPhone.

I mean, I think the iPhone is sexy as all get out, but the iPod Touch is a much more like­ly gad­get for me at this point. I mean, I can get it in a 32 GB capac­i­ty. Reminds me, I need to make sure I can still trade-in my old-ass 3G iPod, I think I have until late March — got­ta check and see if I can just get a Touch for it.

Here’s the thing, I would have an iPhone if using it with anoth­er provider did­n’t require me to keep up with the hacking/dev com­mu­ni­ty, leav­ing me unsure if my actu­al phone will work or not. Like, I don’t have a land­line, I’m not will­ing to risk no access to a human voice (aside from Skype which is so not the same thing) just because some pim­ply faced vir­gin found an exploit in a base­band and got it to accept out­side SIMs. And I’ll be hon­est, I’m all about hack­ing the shit out of my phone/toys/gadgets (I’ve been down­load­ing updat­ed firmware and cus­tomized stuff for my phones for years), but there is some­thing innate­ly trou­bling to me about the way these unlock hacks are devel­oped. Like, I get want­i­ng to pro­gram for the device — I think the SDK should already be avail­able — but if I have to mod­i­fy the boot­loader and base­band of my com­mu­ni­ca­tions device, a device which is a full func­tion­ing com­put­er for many intents and pur­pos­es, I don’t real­ly like hav­ing to do that. At least with the tra­di­tion­al unlocks it’s just peo­ple find­ing ways to access a legit­i­mate sys­tem with­out being a deal­er. Cre­at­ing your own sys­tem is just not my bag, not for a cell phone — sor­ry.

/Rant (this is why I don’t ever post any­thing about the iPhone on TUAW; I have noth­ing of val­ue to add and I have seri­ous secu­ri­ty qualms about the “hack­ers” (Eri­ca exclud­ed, of course).

Any­hoo, I’m very excit­ed that I’ll be ful­ly plugged into Twit­ter for SXSWi! Grant and I will be there (as will our trust producer/boss man/Yoda, Vic­tor) doing video cov­er­age for The Squad­cast and Down­load Squad and I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to meet­ing some of my Twit­ter peeps in per­son.


  1. Again, please keep in mind that that jour­nal entry is 5 and a half years old — now I feel old — wow. []

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