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Picking Your Wireless Carrier part 05: Data Plans for Tablets

Part 5 on my ongoing post about picking a wireless carrier in the US. I am going to touch broadband data plans. Broadband data plans mean plans that are intended for use with data only devices, such as tablets. We are seeing more and more tablet devices equipped with cellular radio for data. Unfortunately, not many MVNOs offer specific data plans for these devices. In the US, just like phones, most cellular radio equipped Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab lineup are carrier locked, meaning you can only buy them through a carrier (the big 4), and thus you can only use that tablet with that carrier as your provider. The only unlocked Android tablet available is the Nexus 7 3G. Apple iPads, on the other hand, are unlocked. But more on that later.

After searching around, the only MVNO that I can see offering a specific data plan of this type is Simple Mobile, and it’s not cheap. $45 a month gives you 2GB data, and $25 gives you 750MB. That’s not much.

Luckily, the major four carriers are not that bad in their rates on data plans. T-Mobile, the carrier that Simple Mobile uses, offers a much better deal. $15 gives you 300MB for 7 days, $25 for 1.5GB that’s good for 1 month, $35 for 3.5GB, and $50 for 5GB. A lot better than Simple Mobile.

As for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, again, Apple’s website offers a straightforward comparison between the three. AT&T offers 250MB a month for $15, 3GB for $30, and 5GB for $50. Verizon offers 1GB for $20, 2GB for $30, and 5GB for $50, while Sprint offers 300MB for $15, 3GB for $35, and 6GB for $50. And they all are on a no-contract basis. Of course, AT&T and Verizon allow you to add your tablet into your existing data-shared plan if you are already with them for an additional fee (additional $10 per month without any additional data), but we are not going there in the first place as they already rip you off on your phone plans.

The prices are very similar and competitive with each other. I mean sure, you will not use this as your main internet as it will be prohibitively expensive due to the paltry data quota, but for occasional use, it’s not bad. Plus, you are not under a contract so you can simply sign up for the data plan, and discontinue it when you are not using it.

Now, this won’t mean much for most people as like I said, most Android tablets with cellular radio in the US are provider locked. If you want a Samsung Galaxy Tab with 3G/LTE, well, pick the carrier you love as it will be locked to that carrier. In my view, for Android, there is only one choice, the Nexus 7 3G. Not only it’s fairly inexpensive (just $300 for the 32GB with 3G model), it has penta-band HSDPA radio (thus works with both AT&T and T-Mobile’s 3G) and unlocked. No LTE, so stop reading and go to your favorite carrier if you want LTE. Google sells two kinds of the Nexus 7 3G, one with AT&T SIM, another one with T-Mobile SIM. Don’t worry, the device itself is not locked and you can use either carriers later, you just pick which SIM you want to get from Google.

The interesting device is the iPad/iPad mini with LTE. For LTE speed, you have to pick the iPad that specifically said for the carrier you want to, ie. if you want Verizon LTE, you have to pick the Verizon iPad model. Now, all iPads with cellular radio also have GSM/HSDPA radio in them, and that is unlocked. That means you can put in an AT&T SIM on your Verizon iPad, and it will connect to AT&T just fine. The catch is, no LTE, just HSDPA/3G. Still, it’s not a bad compromise, plus any iPad you buy works with any GSM carriers overseas (again, LTE being the exception. Apple gives a bit more detail on which model supports which LTE in what country).

For the Nexus 7 3G, both T-Mobile and AT&T offer prices that are neck to neck with each other. At the low end, for $15, T-Mobile gives you 300MB, but only lasts for 7 days, while AT&T gives you 250MB that lasts for 30 days. At the top end, they are the same, 5GB for $50. In the middle, T-Mobile has $25 for 1.5GB and $35 for 3.5GB while AT&T has $30 for 3GB. Very close to each other. Personally, if my area has good T-Mobile coverage, I would go with T-Mobile on the Nexus 7 3G as T-Mobile’s HSPA+ is faster than AT&T’s. However, AT&T may offer better coverage in some areas.

If you are buying an iPad with LTE, go with Verizon. Verizon’s $20 for 1GB for 30 days is hard to beat in terms of value. It is usually enough for casual browsing, and Verizon’s LTE coverage is better than AT&T and Sprint. Plus, the iPad is unlocked, so you can put in AT&T SIM for 3G access later on if you want to, or even T-Mobile’s (if T-Mobile has refarmed their 1900 band for 3G in your area).

Now, you must be wondering that there are some smartphone plans that have better prices than these. The big one is T-Mobile’s $30 a month with 5GB data. Well, T-Mobile is not stupid. I personally have tried this, putting the SIM with that plan on my Nexus 7 3G. Nada. T-Mobile blocks devices that are identified as tablets on that plan. I would think the same applies with other carriers/MVNOs too.

How about tethering? You already pay for a smartphone plan, right? Well, sure. If your phone is not restricted by your carrier, and you only use your tablet outside wifi access occasionally, you can save some money by buying wifi only tablets, and simply use your phone as a portable hotspot when needed. The downside is the inconvenience having to set up your phone all the time to do this, and you are draining both your phone’s battery life and your data quota on your existing plan. Considering the data plans I mentioned here are under a no-contract basis, personally I would rather have a cellular radio equipped tablet. Having that instant data anywhere really increases the enjoyment in using the device.


  • If you look at T-Mobile’s website for the mobile broadband SIM, T-Mobile sells them for $7. That’s a rip-off. Meanwhile, they are selling the SIM for the monthly 4G phone plans for 99 cents a piece. Well, guess what, you can activate that 99 cent SIM for a broadband plan, so stock up and don’t be tricked into paying $7. 😉
  • If you already activated a SIM (let’s say AT&T) on an iPad, you can use the same plan on the Nexus 7 3G, but you won’t be able to access your account via the Nexus 7’s browser nor AT&T’s website. They will say you have to do it on the iPad itself. There is a workaround, via this old AT&T’s website (note the copyright year, 2010!). You can log-in to your account and you can access it normally.

That’s all for broadband data plans. More tips and tricks in the future.

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Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Picking Your Wireless Carrier part 04: CDMA MVNOs

First of all, I would like to say that I am not a fan of CDMA carriers (Verizon, Sprint, and their MVNOs). The reason is that you are forced to buy their phones, which are branded and controlled by them. Plus you cannot use your phone anywhere else other than the operator your pick. Imagine buying a car where you can only fill up your gas at one gas station company. Imagine buying a computer where you can only use with one ISP for internet. With GSM, I can buy an unlocked GSM phone and use it with any GSM carrier I want to, worldwide.

Having said that, CDMA is pretty prominent in the US. The biggest carrier, Verizon, is using CDMA (and recently LTE). Let’s take a peek at their prepaid plans. Verizon only offers two plans, $60 and $70 a month. $60 gives you 500MB data, $70 gives you 2GB. Unlimited minutes and text. Compared to their own post paid plans, it’s not bad. However, your phone selection is severely limited as Verizon only offers three old smartphones on their website (2 Android phones, and 1 Blackberry, all 3G only). Plus, you are limited to 3G EVDO. No LTE access. And once you compare prices with the plethora of MVNOs we have seen so far, $60 a month is a lot of money, especially when you cannot use the phone that you want.

There is a Verizon MVNO called PagePlus. They will activate Verizon phones (you still have to buy the phone somewhere, and since CDMA is provider locked, most of the time you have to buy them at full price from Verizon). *EDIT: I guess I was misinformed, another reason I hate CDMA. PagePlus is not activating Verizon phones, more like people are flashing their Verizon phones to be usable on PagePlus.* Prices are a bit more reasonable. $30 a month gives you 1200 minutes, 3000 text, and 250MB data. $40 a month gives you unlimited minutes and text, but dialed down the data to just 200MB. $55 a month bumps the data to 2GB. If you already have a Verizon phone, this is a good alternative to save some money. Do note that you will be using EVDO 3G, not LTE. EVDO 3G is slower than HSDPA (which is the 3G technology used by GSM carriers).

Next, let’s look at Sprint. Being the “little” guy against Verizon, Sprint is akin to T-Mobile, offering better values and more MVNOs. They only have one prepaid plans for smartphones, $70 a month for unlimited everything, including data, but no tethering. Also, Sprint only offers two Android phones. The plus side is they offer an LTE phone. The downsides are Sprint’s LTE coverage is extremely limited at this point, and their 3G EVDO speed is slower than even Verizon’s (which is already slow).

Sprint’s MVNOs are more interesting. First, there is Virgin Mobile. $35 a month for 300 minutes, $45 for 1200 minutes, and $55 for unlimited. Text is unlimited. Data is “unlimited,” up to 2.5GB at 3G/4G speed. Tethering/portable hotspot is $15 extra, and will give you an extra 1GB of high-speed data. 4G here means Wimax. It’s no LTE, and it’s not going to be expanded any further as Sprint decided to adopt LTE instead, so caveat emptor. On the bright side, Sprint’s Wimax coverage is a bit better than Sprint’s LTE right now. In addition, Virgin Mobile’s phone selections are more varied, including iPhone 4S and 4 (CDMA iPhone, thus slow 3G EVDO speed). A good option if you know what you want and get.

Another Sprint MVNO that is offering an ala-carte style plan is ting. This is a very interesting model. Unlike most plans, you have a plethora of options on how many minutes, text, and data you want to pay per month. Even more interesting is if you exceed the pre-determined limit, ting will simply bump your plan up to the higher one, and will bring it down on the next billing cycle. So no crazy overages. How is this interesting? Well, since ting will bump your plans up automatically, one can simply pick no minutes, no text, and no data, and just pay $6 access fee per phone. That way, if you are a light user, you will be paying the minimum amount possible. They even include tethering at no additional charge (the way it should be as tethering is a feature of your phone, not the network). Of course, if you look at the upper end prices, it can be very expensive (3000 minutes by itself already cost $52, while other operators are offering unlimited minutes, text, AND data for less than that). ting allows you to bring an existing Sprint device (except for iPhone). They also offer a more “up-to-date” lineup, including the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2. Catch is, it’s still CDMA, and it’s Sprint. So if your area has no LTE, you’ll be getting the slow EVDO 3G.

Again, I’m not a fan of CDMA in general as I have pointed out in the beginning. GSM opens a lot more choices in terms of phones. If you have to go CDMA route, ting and Virgin Mobile offer very good prices. If you must have Verizon coverage, and you want LTE, then paying up to the nose for Verizon’s post-paid plans is the only choice.

Next I would explore tips and tricks in picking your phone and operators.


Posted by on February 9, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Picking Your Wireless Carrier (USA) part 01

You hear it all the time, how expensive cellphone bills are, especially in the US. Even worse with smartphones and data plans. This is true if you are using any of the major carriers, especially AT&T and Verizon. Yet whenever you try to find more information from the numerous tech “blogs” and tech “journalists,” their recommendations never go far from the big carriers that are ready to rip you off.

How much are we talking about? Well, Apple actually provides a very good tool on their website to compare the monthly post-paid plans between AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. I am going to focus more of individual plans instead of family plans. US wireless carriers have been squeezing more and more money from their customers by simply eliminating choice.

Greatest example is Verizon, where your only choice is to go with the data shared plan. The table on Apple’s website shows the cheapest plan to be $80 a month for an individual with one smartphone. 80 freaking dollars a month just to use a smartphone! It’s ridiculous. The carriers are making the excuse that you are getting unlimited talk and text. Well, what if I don’t use that many minutes or text? You are stuck paying more than you need. To make it worse, that $80 a month plan only comes with 300MB of data. Although 300MB might be okay for some people, with the future being in the cloud, 300MB is nothing, considering we used to have unlimited/5GB data as the norm. To bump the data to 1GB, you have to fork out $90 a month. On the bright side, tethering and portable hotspot are included. However, this was a scam to begin with, as the ability to tether and/or do portable hotspot is the capability of your phone, not the carrier’s network. So US carriers have been charging users extra money to use the features of their own phones. Now those charges are “bundled in.” Having said all these, Verizon does have the power to charge that much money as their network coverage is considered to be the better one compared to the rest of the carriers, and people are willing to give them more money.

Next is Sprint. Cheapest plan is also $80 a month, with a tradeoff of getting 450 voice minutes and unlimited data. People that don’t really use minutes might prefer this, but it is still a freaking 80 dollars per month to use a smartphone! Bumping to 900 voice minutes will have you fork $100 a month! Seriously? People are complaining having to pay $10 a month for their prescription drugs, yet wireless carriers can get away with this highway robbery. Also, Sprint’s network is not the greatest. Sprint’s CDMA EVDO network is slower than even Verizon’s (which is already slow to begin with compared to HSDPA 3G). Their LTE network is very sparse as Sprint was doing Wimax instead of LTE as their pick for “4G.” The bright side, you get unlimited data (albeit with restriction on tethering, only up to 300MB per month).

Last but not least, AT&T. Like Verizon, AT&T is also pushing their shared data plan, where the cheapest plan would be $85 a month for unlimited voice and text, and 1GB of data. For $5 more a month, you get 1GB instead of 300MB on Verizon. Still, it’s 85 freaking dollar per month. At this point, you should wonder how people can even afford owning a smartphone. However, unlike Verizon, AT&T still offers their classic individual plan which gives you a bit of granularity (not much though) on your plan. Cheapest plan would be $60 a month, for 450 minutes, no text (pay as you go for 20cents per SMS and 30cents per MMS, another rip-off), and 300MB of data. Unlike the data shared plan, however, this individual plan doesn’t include tethering/portable hotspot. You have to pay an additional $30 a month (so $90 per month) to get those features and 5GB of data. This is a far cry from the old plan where you simply pay $30 for an unlimited data plan. Coverage wise, AT&T is better than Sprint, but not that great compared to Verizon. AT&T’s LTE coverage is more prevalent than Sprint’s. Also, AT&T uses GSM/HSDPA, so your phone selection is not as limited as the other two CDMA carriers.

For my subsequent posts, I am going to focus mostly on GSM/HSDPA carriers as I despise carrier locking, which is inherent to CDMA phones offered by Sprint and Verizon (with a tiny exception on Verizon).

So, to recap, Verizon’s cheapest plan is $80 a month for unlimited minutes and text, and 300MB data. Sprint’s cheapest plan is also $80 a month for 450 minutes, unlimited text and data. AT&T cheapest plan is $60 a month for 450 minutes, pay-as-you-go text, and 300MB data without tethering/portable hotspot. For $85 a month, you can have the shared data plan that gives you unlimited minutes and text, and 1GB data. Knowing this, with services like push email, twitter, Google Voice, Whatsapp, Line, iMessage, Facebook, etc, we are at the point that one can go by without any SMS, as long as one has data plan. This is why the carriers are eagerly “bundling” unlimited minutes and text and charging you an arm and a leg for data, because that’s the money maker with smartphones.

From those three, I say the winner is AT&T in terms of value. The tradeoff with Verizon is coverage. I would only pick Sprint if they offer LTE coverage in your area.

Then there’s the “other” GSM carrier, T-Mobile. T-Mobile is not featured on Apple’s website because T-Mobile does not sell iPhones… yet. It is mainly because T-Mobile uses an odd frequency for their 3G network, AWS, which is not supported by iPhones, nor many other phones worldwide. Thus if you use an iPhone on T-Mobile, you would stuck with 2G EDGE speed. However, this has changed recently. T-Mobile starts to re-farm their PCS 1900 band for 3G. The 1900 band is supported by many phones, including the iPhone. You can check to see how the coverage is in your area. Knowing this, expect coverage to still be spotty. T-Mobile also has been promoting their HSPA+ 3G speed as “4G.” Although it’s fast, their coverage is not that great when you start comparing them to AT&T, let alone Verizon.

T-Mobile has been the choice for most people looking for value. Their post-paid plans offer more granularity and bang for the buck. Their cheapest plan with data will snag you for $70 a month that gives you 500 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data (2GB at 3G speed), but no tethering/portable hotspot. That’s not bad compared to the other carriers, although still expensive in my book.

T-Mobile also offers a “value” plan, in which you bring your own device (or pay the device in full). This plan allows you to go as low as $40 a month for 500 minutes, no text, and 200MB data. For the same features as above (500 minutes, unlimited text, 2GB 3G data), the price is $50 a month. That is much more reasonable, although there’s a catch. Despite you bringing your own device/paying the device in full, you are still signing up for a 2 year contract, complete with an ETF. In my opinion, that’s a total scam. The point of signing a contract is in exchange for a subsidy. If I bring my own phone, or pay for the phone in full, WTF the contract is for? So caveat emptor.

This is the first part of my post. At this point, you have to wonder how one can afford owning a smartphone, and how can these wireless carriers charge so much money, and people are still willing to cough up the dough. Couple reasons. First, most people actually have family plans (usually under their parents). This kinda reduces the per-person monthly cost, especially when you have multiple family members. Second, many big companies offer employee discount for their employees if they sign up with one of the major carriers (usually the big three, ie. AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint). Now, just because you are under a family plan and/or have an employee discount, doesn’t mean your plan is a good deal. Sure, it’s cheaper, but most people are still spending $60, $70, or even $90 and more a month for their cellphone bill, per person. That is a lot of money.

I was in that boat, on AT&T using an employee discount. At that time, I picked the bare minimum individual plan (when AT&T used to offer unlimited data for $30). I still end up with ~$60 a month bill after taxes. Imagine now, with those expensive plans, and the extra taxes you have to pay. I find those prices to be unacceptable. Thus my search for a better deal in the sea of MVNOs, coming up in part 2.

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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


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iPhone 4S Keynote Impression

Well, the iPhone 4S Keynote is available now, for download and for streaming. Here goes my impression:

First, we have Tim Cook, looked and sounded subdued for whatever reason, talking about the new Apple stores in Hong Kong and China. For some reason, he kept talking about the glass staircase, saying how only Apple could do that. Hmmm, maybe Apple patented glass staircases now? 😛 The Hong Kong stores look great though.

Then he talked about Lion. Errr, I thought this was iPhone keynote? 6 million downloads of Lion. Tim Cook is comparing Lion to Windows 7, and how it took longer for Windows 7 to reach 10%. Well, 10% of Windows users is a heck lot more than 10% of Mac users. :roll eyes: Just the typical statistic spin of Apple. Mac outgrows PC… well duh. It’s easy to grow from 1% than 99%. 😛

Next he talked about music, iTunes, revolutionize, blah blah. Guess what Tim Cook, I still cannot buy many J-Pop and Eurobeat tracks from iTunes US as they are only available in iTunes Japan. So much for “revolution.”

iPod sales. With the death of the Zune player, it’s a clear win for Apple. As such, being the dominant player, things are slowing down. It’s a given ever since Apple jumped the shark and added a camera to the nano. The classic has not been updated, again. And, well, no updates on the iPod lineup at all. We’ll talk about this later.

iPhone 4 (finally, he’s talking about iPhone), best selling smartphone, “ever.” Well, considering it was selling out in countries like Singapore at the beginning of the year, yeah, it’s selling a lot. Mobile phone satisfaction…. yeah yeah, this BS talk is getting old.

iPad sale. You know, for a keynote that secifically said “Let’s Talk iPhone,” Tim Cook sure did talk a lot about everything else. Everybody loves iPad, sure, blah blah. Watch for the Kindle Fire. Tim Cook sounded like a really old person. Steve Jobs had so much more energy, even at the later days where he’s so skinny.

Next, Scott Forstall. Good, as he sounded more energetic than the tired Tim Cook. Blah blah apps blah blah app store blah blah number one blah blah billion.

New app, Cards. You can create and mail cards directly from the iPhone. Yeah… when the last time you send a card to somebody? There’s something called email and Facebook. Push notification when the card is sent. Sure, knowing how “reliable” the USPS, this is not anything you can rely on. $2.99. Meh.

iOS5. Urgh, just a recap from WWDC. 200 new features, notifications, iMessage, Reminders, Twitter integration (yup, no Facebook here), Newsstand, Camera, Photos, Game Center, Safari, Mail, PC free (it’s weird the he didn’t talk more on this other than what we already know from WWDC). October 12th.

Eddy, iCloud. Again, more rehashes from WWDC. *yawn Something new though, Find My Friends. Yeah, an official stalking app. I’m guessing a more controlled version of Google Latitude. 5GB free storage for documents (music and photos are not counted against the 5GB). iTunes Match, $25 a year, the service to legalize your downloaded music. Not something I’m interested as most of my music are not available in iTunes anyway. Same ship date as iOS5.

By the way, Apple is very good in making these videos of their own products to show the features and whatnot. I mean they have an iPhone downloading music automatically while a dad is taking care of his baby in the background. Talk about subconscious marketing.

Phil has been downgraded to talk about nothing new on iPods. LOL. Big icons on the nano and more skins for the watch feature. Whoop dee doo. Previous nano users should be able to get all these new features via an update as nothing has changed hardware wise. Phil said how people are using the nano as wristwatches by themselves. No Phil, Steve Jobs actually hinted at it when he said one of the board member was going to clip it to his arm band as a watch. It has been planned all along by Apple. Slight price drop, 8GB for $129 and 16GB for $149.

iPod Touch, nothing new. Only a white version and price drop on the 8GB version to $200. Nothing else changed, not even the prices of the 32GB/64GB Touch. Sad. What’s the point of trying to push the Touch as a gaming device if you don’t even put the A5 in it? This is another sign how innovation slows down to a halt as Apple has virtually no competition in this market.

Well, Phil finally talked about the new iPhone 4S. Sound similar? Yes, Phil also did the keynote for iPhone 3GS. iPhone 4S has A5 chip (dual core), like the iPad 2. Who knows if it’s clocked as fast as the iPad 2 though.

Mid intermission, Epic Games was showing Infinity Blade 2. Ooooh, Koi in the pond. Phil doesn’t look too amazed though.

Okay, back to iPhone 4S. 8 hours 3G talk time. “Fantastic battery life.” Sounds good, right? But what Phil didn’t mention is the standby time is a lot less than the iPhone 4, down to 200 hours from 300 hours. New switching antenna. LOL. Now you don’t have to worry if you hold your phone wrong. HSDPA+, 14.4Mbps down, fake 4G. World phone, meaning there’s only 1 version of iPhone 4S, having both GSM and CDMA radio. Question is, will it be unlocked? Nobody knows.

New camera. 8MP sensor, backside illuminated CMOS (sounds like the one Sony was talking about), f/2.4, software features like face detection (something that is commonly available in point-n-shoot digicams), faster than Droid Bionic (getting a cup of coffee?) and SGS2 (well, better be). One of the sample photos showed no barrel distortion, something that is a problem in most compact digicams.

1080p video recording. Meh, I hope it can be scaled back down to 720p. Also I find it funny that Apple never supported their own iFrame format in their own hardware. The big thing is video image stabilization. If this works, it will be a God send. The camera features themselves imo is worth getting the iPhone 4S.

Airplay. Meh, I don’t have the Apple TV.

“Most amazing iPhone yet.”

Oh, Phil forgot something. Yup, as rumored, Siri personal assistant, built-in to the iPhone 4S. The idea is mind blowing. Yeah, it’s Star Trek’s computer that you talk to. Scott Forstall doing the demo. The problem with voice recognition is recognizing the words for a non-perfect-English-speaker. Hopefully this will work, because currently the voice recognition of iOS4 is mediocre at best (I cannot have it do anything). Siri + wikipedia + wolfram alpha = ultimate exam machine. God, I wish we had this technology when I was in school. 😀 This is going to freak out a lot of old school teachers that think you have to memorize everything on earth. Now in beta. Can’t wait for the technology to enable automatic real-time translation, just like Start Trek’s Universal Translator.

More videos. Where’s Johnny Ive?

Black and white, 64GB option. Apple also keeps the 3GS and iPhone 4 (downgraded to 8GB). Subsidized price for 8GB 3GS is $0, or $375 unlocked. Yeah, it’s the first time Apple made an unlocked 3GS available in the US. It took them like what, 2 years? iPhone 4 8GB subsidized price is $99, $549 unlocked. Subsidized price for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB 4S are $199, $299, and $399 respectively. No info on unlocked price yet, but looks like it’s going to be $649 for the 16GB version (and adding $100 for the next size up). New carriers mentioned, Sprint for US and KDDI for Japan. My biggest question is, since the 4S is a world phone and (maybe) unlocked, does it mean users can jump from AT&T to Verizon to Sprint and back willy nilly? I hope so, but US carriers are notorious for their anti-consumer and anti-competitive business practices of provider locking. Hopefully Apple can lead the way to a world without provider-locked phones in the US.

October 14th, shipping to 7 countries. October 28th, pretty much everywhere else. Compare this to Android OEMs that are dragging their feet in releasing their phones in the US. Yeah, I’m looking at you Sony Ericsson, Samsung, taking 6 months after releasing their phones in Europe/Asia to the US.

Keynote ended with an old and tired sounding Tim Cook. I hope he’s just nervous. He needs to be more upbeat and energetic like Scott Forstall.

Well, there you go. And yes, I’m going to get one as to me the camera and A5 alone are huge improvements. Besides, I’m a sucker for new gadgets anyway. Gotta cath-em-all!

PS: I’m typing this entirely on my iPad (with a bluetooth keyboard of course, the touch keyboard on the iPad sux). Just trying to live in a post-PC world. 🙂

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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Apple event coming up, iPhone 5

Well, it’s just hours from now. Regular live blogs: gdgt, Engadget, and thisismynext.

My guess:
-iPhone 4S: A5 chip, 1GB RAM, up to 64GB config, HSPA+, new voice recognition features. Same design as iPhone 4.
-iPhone 4 8GB taking over the 3GS spot for the “lower end.”
-iOS5 and iCloud tie-in will be the bigger focus.

I have a feeling that’s about it. The evidence for the iPhone 4S is just too many to ignore. I was hoping Apple would use a continual numerical system instead (iPhone 5 instead of 4S). It was perfect with the tie-in with iOS5 and A5 chip, but I guess not. There are rumors that Sprint is getting an exclusive iPhone “5,” but I doubt it. Why would Apple want to make a Wimax iPhone just for 1 carrier, while the future is LTE? Besides, world market is way larger than Sprint’s, so it’s in the best interest of Apple to make a GSM/HSDPA iPhone 5, if it was to exist. There’s also a rumor about Apple keeping the 3GS. I don’t know. Apple is known to iterate and ditch the old stuff quickly. Why would they stick with a 2+ year-old hardware with so many new features they want to bring with iOS5?

Since the invite specifically mentions iPhone, I don’t think we will see any iPod related announcement… unless Apple makes the iPod Touch into the “cheap iPhone.” Apple is pretty much un-contested in the portable music market. Even Microsoft stopped production of the Zune. Apple could simply let things the way they are, maybe just cut some prices for the Touch. It’s sad though, as I feel there wouldn’t be anymore exciting stuff in this segment as the market is overtaken by smartphones.

Well, it’s just hours before we find out the real deal. Get you wallet ready. 😀

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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


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