POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

How I ended up with an iPhone this week (yes, sigh...an iPhone)

My friends who know me will realize what a momentous title this blog carries. Over the years I have had not a small bit of fun with the clone phone carriers who stoop to pay homage at the alter of Steve Jobs. I still type this on a PC so there is no fear of a complete conversion, yet something a bit strange happened to me this week. Now, don t get me wrong, I am a technological diversity champion using a Dell XPS laptop, Palm Pre (original/Sprint) and the family having a couple of i devices from the fruit company.

As I am somewhat on vacation this week (though working from the road, preaching this Sunday) I thought I would share a bit of my heart in what happened to place this iPhone at my side today. This week I am in Memphis, TN with my three children visiting aunts, uncles, cousins and having the kids stay at Grandmas house. On Monday we went downtown to do a few things and my son was climbing all over me and apparently, inadvertently, stepped on my pocketed Palm Pre phone. After realizing the touch screen was not working I noticed a spider like crack in the screen. This of course brought both sadness (I LOVE web OS) and a bit of a dilemma. I had planned on making a smartphone decision this summer in June but alas it was now thrust upon me.

The Story

Seeing that we have no home phone and I am a guy that uses his phone daily for just about everything I do, I went right over to the trusty (um, well maybe not) Sprint store to get a replacement. The following sad story is unfortunately true.

Part I - The Joy of Sprint Store

  • Act I - We can t give you a loaner phone cause you are from out of town
  • Act II - We can t give you a new Palm Pre Minus as we are not carrying replacements for them any longer
  • Act III - You can buy a new phone, let me see when you are eligible for an upgrade. I knew this was coming very soon as I am almost 2 years on the original Palm Pre bought on launch day. 
  • Act IV (mental act) - I felt sad as I don t want an Android phone and did not like the Win Phone 7 coming out on Sprint.
  • Act V - Oh sir, you are not eligible for an upgrade for another 1.5 weeks (yes, weeks). 
  • Act VI - Can you just let me upgrade today and get a new phone? Let me check with the manager. Manager - no, you need to wait. 
  • Act VII - I must admit that I was now flabbergasted. Really?!? Yes, really. 
  • Act VIII - But there is a Verizon Store almost right next door, do you guys want me to have to go get a phone there? Sir, you have to do what you want. Exit Sprint store.

Part II - Seeing Red

  • Act I - Wow, Verizon people are friendly and professional
  • Act II - Explain their plans (yes, a little more money that Sprint)
  • Act III - I love the apps on iPhone/iPad - they are quality devices and particularly love ESV+ and Logos Bible Software. OK, lets do this
  • Act IV - transfer number to Verizon
  • Act V - have phone, have problem solved

Part III - Leaving on a Red Plane

  • Act I - Tell Sprint guy I need to cancel my line, and scale down our plan for wife’s phone
  • Act II - Sprint guy, texting while talking to me, says O you have to call customer service to do that 
  • Act III- Can’t YOU do this? No, you have to call, just dial *2 on your Sprint Phone! But what if your Sprint phone is broke. Dials store phone and hands me a handset - I have to do this myself.
  • Cost me 50 bucks to cancel last 3 months of my contract. Worth it.

So, after this sad story, I ended up with Verizon and the best phone out on their network today - iPhone 4. After using this phone for a couple of days I have to say I dearly miss my Palm Pre. With the Sprint likely not getting the HP Pre 3 this summer at least I might have the option to move back to webOS and give my wife the iPhone once her contract with Sprint is up.

My Impressions

iPhone Pros - I love the screen, the speed, the sturdy feel of the hardware (though I fear dropping this thing). Video looks great and the basic phone functions work well enough. Of course, the best thing is all the apps and their quality. The fact that my iTunes account has all apps we have purchases as a fam on iOS the fact that I did not have to repurchase any apps was really cool. I also like the iPod integration and I can truly now roll with just one device.

iPhone Cons - I absolutely hate the keyboard so far. Other than this the Cons have to do with webOS and its superiority to iOS on several fronts. I miss the integration of all my contacts and being able to just start typing someone s name to text, call, email them. Too much in and out of multiple apps on iPhone. I miss the wonderfully elegant multitasking and the notifications of webOS. iOS just feels clunky on these fronts. I also really, really miss my slide out hardware keyboard.

The Road Forward

Over the summer I will watch the phone space as iPhone 5 and HP Pre 3 will launch. I am guessing both will be on Verizon. If I want to head back to webOS I can pick up the Pre 3 and give iPhone 4 to Kasey once we get her off of Sprint. If I continue to grow in appreciation for iPhone we can pick up the new one this summer with the new contract price. $199 isn t bad for iPhone.

Perhaps the one thing that may cause me to fully drink the iKoolaid is FaceTime. Yes it is gimmicky, yes its only on Wifi, yes it is proprietary Apple tech/branding but I gave my kids an iTouch not too long ago and it is a delightful thing to FaceTime with the kids when on the road. I look forward to my April trip to Brown University to try this out from the road. Last night a same house test session at Mimis was a HUGE success.

I feel like I have switched allegiances in some way and I m not so sure I’m comfortable being an iPhony yet. But the journey has been interesting so far and perhaps I have been predestined to end up with an iPhone all along. I suppose God only knows.