Oh my iPhone

Wow. Just wow. Apple has finally released the PDA I’ve always wanted, the iPhone. It’s small, it looks great, and it does everything I’ve ever wanted a PDA to do — mail, web, wifi, GPS for maps — plus music, movies, and some other stuff I don’t really care about. It’s expensive, but not unreasonably so, and from what I’ve seen so far it’s probably worth it. We’ve known an Apple phone was coming for a while, but this far exceeds my expectations.

Except for one thing. Why in God’s name is it tied to Cingular? With a two year lock-in, no less? They were doing so well right up until the end of the keynote when this little tidbit was slipped out. The attractiveness of this thing came crashing down at that point. I’ve never heard a single good thing about Cingular, while I have no complaints at all about my current T-Mobile service. So to use an iPhone I’ll need to switch carriers, pay the T-Mobile early termination fee, and pay a higher monthly price for lower quality service.

On the other hand, I wonder what Cingular’s unlocking policy is? T-Mobile unlocks phones with no questions asked and if I could get my iPhone unlocked (I have no doubt that it will be locked out-of-the-box) I could then cancel the Cingular service and stick with T-Mobile. Cingular’s early cancellation fee is actually a little less than T-Mobile’s so I’ll come out ahead this way plus I’ll get to stay with the better service.

The iPhone won’t be available until June, so I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here, but it’s a little hard not to. We’ll learn more before they actually ship so there’s plenty of time to find out what our options will be.


Kevin says:

Yeah, drool

The Cingular lock-in is at least partly to do with the fancy voicemail features. Obviously, supporting it requires the participation of the voicemail provider.

Kenn Christ says:

I’m willing to live without that if I can get it to work with T-Mobile. I don’t usually have a lot of voicemail anyway.

I googled around a bit and it looks like Cingular has a policy similar to T-Mobile’s: they’ll unlock your phone after 90 days of service. So I’d have to pay for three months of overlap in addition to the Cingular early termination fee if I want to stick with T-Mobile service.

God, I hate cell phone companies.