Oct 01

iPhone 5 with EarPodsGive three thoughtful users Apple’s iPhone 5 and each could easily come away with a different reaction. One sees a leap forward: an iPhone with a larger screen, LTE connectivity, and an attention to detail unmatched in consumer tech. Another spies a stale, lagging attempt to catch up to innovative competitors: a phone without a single industry-shifting pivot, no obvious next-gen features, and a last-decade OS.

Each is a defensible reaction to the iPhone 5, because both are true to an extent.  Therefore, it is the third, middle-ground view that rings most true for me:

This is the best iPhone yet, with long overdue additions, tweaks and advances certain to be welcomed by long-time users. But there’s disappointment, too, because Apple has once again played it safe.

Just a week out of the gate, the iPhone 5 is already a huge success, and will continue to be for the next twelve months – both in terms of sales and general user satisfaction. But Apple should be on notice; resting on your laurels can only take you so far for so long.

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Sep 21

iPhone 5

So, the wait hasn’t exactly been long, but the iPhone 5 is now available for purchase in the United States. Those who were fortunate enough to pre-order in the first hour or so of availability last Friday morning should see their phones arrive sometime today; later pre-orderers will have to wait a few days or weeks.  If you order now may have to wait up to a month.

If you didn’t pre-order and want a chance at nabbing an iPhone 5 today, you can try your luck at Apple, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint retail stores, or check out third-party retailers like WalMart or Best Buy.

Let the games begin…

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Sep 10

We’re just two days away from the iPhone 5 announcement, and likely just shy of two weeks before the first 6th Generation Apple phones begin arriving at stores and doorsteps around the country.  If you’re already an AT&T iPhone user and are expecting to help pay for the new iPhone by selling the model you already have, it’s probably a good idea to unlock it before the sale so its new owner has more network choices.

And that’s not nearly as difficult today as it has been in the past.

AT&T Unlock Request for iPhone

AT&T has posted a new page on its site that allows people to unlock their iPhones with a few simple steps.  Just input a little information, submit it to AT&T, and await further instructions.  It doesn’t get much easier than that.

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Nov 21

iPhone 4SLast month when the iPhone 4S was about to go up for pre-order, I discovered that – for the first time in my three-plus years as an AT&T iPhone user – I wouldn’t be eligible for a subsidized upgrade at launch; I’d have to wait until late November to get a 4S at the discounted $199 price.  Frankly, I was aggravated, but set about waiting for AT&T to let me renew my contract and get the latest and greatest.

Dreams of Siri danced in my head.

Then last week I had the opportunity to review an iPhone 4S (the Verizon 16GB Black model), and after spending several days with the handset, I’ve decided that my iPhone 4 will suit me just fine until the iPhone 5 is released, probably in the summer of 2012.  And if you’re an iPhone 4 owner waiting for your own subsidized upgrade, read on – the same may be true for you.

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Oct 07

Valued my ass...When I upgraded from the iPhone 3G to the 3GS, I’d had the handset for less than a year (September 2008 – June 2009), and AT&T allowed the upgrade at the subsidized price: $199 for the 16GB version.  Same story a year later when the iPhone 4 went up for pre-order; $199 with another 12 months left on my contract.  Bravo, AT&T.

So, when Apple announced the iPhone 4S this week, I didn’t even consider this time might be different.  Nothing had changed with my service and, rather than being 9 months or 12, it had been 15 months since the iPhone 4 upgrade.  I thoughtlessly expected smooth sailing.  That ain’t what I got.

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