(iPhone Experience, Pt 2)
I had to chuckle. Really. Remember way back when, when I wrote that the iPhone was a bit over-priced, in my opinion? It was funny at the time, really, considering that Scott Bourne, over at The Apple Phone Show was talking about how great a deal it was, to get an 8gb phone for $599. He even bought, I heard recently, 11 phones at that price.
The iPhone has gone through one price reduction, and even lower prices with the introduction of the new “iPhone 3G” model. So do we applaud the new affordability of the iPhone? Well, some do. Others, however, choose to attack AT&T for making the iPhone “more expensive.” And not just any “others.” Scott Bourne himself!
I have been slowly catching up on listening to podcasts, and happened to listen to the Mac Break Weekly number 96, titled “iReady.” In that episode the MBW gang rants against AT&T, led by Scott Bourne, because the data plan has gone from $20/month to $30/month. Of course, AT&T argues that they are doing this because the data plan now supports 3G, but for some reason, many view this as a sort of “breach of trust.” What’s worse, Leo LaPorte leads the pack in ridiculing AT&T for actually trying to reach people with a video, helping them prepare for purchasing an iPhone. Seems like a nice, good-faith effort on AT&T’s part, but apparently their hatred of AT&T gets in the way, yet again. (Funny, given my previous past post: AT&T trying to get customers ready to buy iPhones, and then Apple slow-rolls the delivery of units to AT&T stores…)
It turns out that over at “The Apple Phone Show” in their podcast #61 the APS gang ranted again about the evil AT&T. It turns out their hatred of AT&T is because AT&T is treating the iPhone as a cell phone. Seriously. Here’s the quote: “The worst news is that it’s almost as if the iPhone is some sort of cellular telephone.” Gasp!
Why do they think AT&T is evil here? two reasons. The APS and MBW folks (generally the same gang) are upset that the SMS (text messaging) plans are sold separately, and that to get the “push” features for the business world they will have to pay an additional $15/month. Well, honestly, that’s no different than other customers with smart-phones. Have you looked at the additional fees charged to support the Blackberry? That’s really the only other “push” platform out there.
Despite all of this, there remains a voice of reason among the Mac/Apple-fandom crowd. Andy Ihnatko, owner of the Celestial Waste of Bandwidth, did his own analysis and found that the AT&T pricing plans are reasonable. His analysis is that the 3G iPhone plan is comparable to other plans for other 3G phones.
I would agree with him, but then extend the point. In my case, the data plan (without the “corporate push” for email) was costing me $40/month. By switching to the iPhone, I reduced my plan by $10 each month–a savings of $240 over the life of the two year contract. (Imagine my surprise, when I realized this means I almost paid for the 16gb phone simply through data-plan savings!)
So let’s take a look at the text messaging. Sure, I might be upset at losing the “free” 200 txt messages. If that was all I used. but honestly, with AT&T I have found that the “unlimited family plan” for $30/month is quite economical.
Sure, it’s easy to rant about how evil AT&T is. After all, we have hated the phone company ever since they sent refunds back paid in postage stamps. But let’s be honest here. Apple iPhone fans seem to want to be treated as “Special” somehow.
iPhone owners aren’t “special.” Trust me. I am one. A happy iPhone owner who has realized that sometimes a good deal exists, even with AT&T.