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Author Topic: "iPhone 5" discussion  (Read 4650 times)
daviator
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« on: September 03, 2012, 10:11:55 PM »

So we're just over a week away from the anticipated unveiling of the next iPhone.  It's being called iPhone 5, largely, in the online world and elsewhere, but I'm not going to be surprised if they just call it "the new iPhone" and use the same new naming strategy they've gone to with the iPad.  Not such a new naming strategy, actually, because it's what they've done on the computer side for years.  They constantly update and improve those lines but the names, by and large, don't change.

I didn't upgrade to iPhone 4S, so it's time, for me  I expect to buy a new iPhone as soon as they become available.  In the past I've been a reluctant AT&T customer; hate the company, hate the service (though it has gradually improved, it's still not that great), hate their policies, hate the cost.  So rather than commit to another two years with AT&T, I'm considering paying full boat for an unlocked phone, and then signing up with a prepaid carrier like Virgin Mobile or Straight Talk.

Virgin Mobile has unlimited data (3G and 4G) and SMS with plenty of talk minutes (for me, I don't use that many) for only $35/month.  The downside is that they're using Sprint's CDMA network which I guess has lousy 3G speeds.  Not sure about their 4G but am interested in hearing.  Supposedly the new iPhone will support GSM and CDMA in the same phone, so this might be a decent option, especially if the 4G speeds are reasonable.

Straight Talk uses AT&T's network, so the availability, speed, and service quality should be essentially identical to AT&T.  $45/month gives you unlimited everything, except that apparently if you go over 2 GB/month of data they will cancel you.  So it's not all that unlimited.  Still, 2G/month is probably plenty for me given that a lot of my mobile stuff has transitioned to the iPad.  But their plans, so far as I know, don't include 4G, and that is probably a deal killer since the new phone will almost certainly support 4G.

Anybody have any other ideas?  I really like the idea of spending $35-45/month instead of $100+.  Obviously, that kind of savings will pay off the difference in cost (for the unlocked phone vs. carrier locked) in just a few months, and it's pure savings after that.
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perkiset
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 12:30:08 AM »

Heyya D!

I am looking forward to the new phone to see if it is a compelling upgrade. I went 4s on day one, so it'll have to be a pretty nifty upgrade for me to spring.

I went Verizon on my pad, stayed AT&T on the phone. I really thought I'd like V better. After 6 months of Verizon I can tell you that, when it works, it's really fast. But there are a LOT of times that I have full bars on the pad but still have to fire up a personal hotspot with my AT&T phone to get to the net. Enormously frustrating. So my only suggestion here is that if connectivity is important, you might split your service so that you have better odds of finding a signal. The 5 is supposed to be a world phone, should really help folks like us out.

Kind of funny, Straight Talk's name and pitch as you've described it. Not very straight at all, to start with. But second: "All the net you can use" for $45/month. And yeah, 2 gigs is "all the net you can use".  ROFLMAO ROFLMAO

I have no real comment on carrier since I've not ventured far. I am interesting in hearing your final decision and results.
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 08:42:01 PM »

After some further investigation, I'm leaning toward buying the unlocked phone and using it with T-Mobile.  While there are other carriers with cheaper service, including Virgin Mobile, MetroPCS, Straight Talk, etc., none of them have high speed connectivity.  Even MetroPCS, which was the first carrier in the nation to offer 4G LTE service, apparently offers an inferior LTE with bandwidth no better than AT&T 3G.

T-Mobile is just beginning to roll out LTE, but their existing HSPA+ service apparently offers bandwidth comparable to AT&T LTE.  That, in turn, offers the tantalizing possibility that their LTE, when available, might be even faster.  And at $59/month for unlimited voice, text, and 2.5G/mo of data, it will meet all of my needs at roughly half the cost of AT&T.

I think the payback - amortizing the extra cost of the unlocked phone against the monthly savings - is less than 8 months.  And the fact that I won't be contractually obligated to any carrier means I can switch if things aren't to my liking.  Finally, the fact that T-Mobile is a GSM carrier means (I think) that you don't lose the ability to do voice and data simultaneously, and that's fairly important to me, I do that with some frequency.
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perkiset
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 02:01:18 PM »

Did you order D?
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 04:25:35 PM »

No.  Apple has not made the unlocked version of iPhone 5 available for pre-order.  And they will not have them available on Friday.  But they expect that on Friday they will have a better idea when they might be available.  If past history holds, it'll probably be two or three weeks after the initial release.

Of course, I'd like to get it on day one, but it's really not a big deal to wait a few more weeks.
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daviator
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 12:12:32 AM »

So I had an epiphany tonight.

I am frustrated at the need to wait for Apple to release the unlocked iPhone 5 for sale in the U.S., and suddenly realized there is absolutely no need to wait for it.

Tomorrow I will go down and buy (assuming I can get one) the subsidized AT&T iPhone 5.  I will use it for 30 days with AT&T.  I will then cancel my contract, and pay the early termination fee, which, at $325, is $125 LESS than the premium I would have paid for buying an unlocked phone!

Once you pay the ETF, you have satisfied your contract and AT&T will allow you to unlock the phone.

Plug in the T-Mobile SIM, and I'm a happy camper.
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perkiset
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 11:35:31 AM »

Interesting move D.
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2012, 03:11:25 PM »

Got the iPhone 5 this morning after waiting a very grueling one (1) minute in line.  ;-)

First impressions:  It's light.  Really light.  Very noticeably lighter, and feels really nice in the hand.  And it's fast, blazing fast.  The combination of the faster CPU and the faster 4G/LTE bandwidth make it really amazingly quick.  Web pages just pop up.  Apps that I used to have to wait for are near instantaneous. 

The extra row of icons is a huge improvement, particularly since it also lets you store an extra row of apps in folders.

The screen is much easier to read in bright sunlight.  The retina display is amazingly bright and sharp compared to my iPhone 4.  The downside is it's pretty much impossible to see the screen while wearing polarized sunglasses, unlike my previous iPhone.  Not a huge deal, obviously it's a limitation of the display technology in use.  The pros definitely exceed the cons.

The lightning connector attaches more firmly than the old one (a good thing) and it's not keyed; i.e. you can insert it either way, as opposed to the unidirectional keyed connector previously used.  I had to buy two additional USB to Lightning cables to replace older ones that won't work for me any more.

Battery life seems to be AT LEAST on part with the old phone, and I think quite a bit better.

All in all, I'm extremely pleased.  I'll stick with AT&T a couple of months until T-Mobile has their 4G up in SF and then I'll pay AT&T's termination fee and move to T-Mobile.
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perkiset
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2012, 11:35:52 AM »

I had to go in and purchase two on Friday ... But did not get time to play with them before distributing them out. Very pretty, really light. And I've heard that it is really fast compared to the 4.

I've played with ios6 for abit now and like it - maps doesn't piss me off at all. What's your experience? I really like popping texts back to people instead of either answering the phone or just ignoring it ...
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It is now believed, that after having lived in one compound with 3 wives and never leaving the house for 5 years, Bin Laden called the U.S. Navy Seals himself.
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2012, 11:36:56 AM »

BTW - is the header of the forum screwed up for you as well? It's a complete mess for me on the pad in '6...
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2012, 02:38:39 PM »

I don't usually use my iPad to access The Cache, but I'm doing so now and it's all fine, no issues with the header.

I'm relatively happy with the new Maps app but won't feel that way next time I travel outside the US, international maps are pretty sad. They need to work on that pronto.  It took Google a long time to get their international maps up to snuff, and apple needs to do it a lot faster.

Also some speech issues, spoken turn by turn directions always pronounces "Dr." (as in Drive) as "doctor."  Lol...they need some contextual help.  But Waze has become my main navigation app for driving anyway.

I'm also disappointed by the lack of transit info in the maps app, used that all the time.  Farming it out to third-party apps seems like a stopgap solution.  Same for bike routes.  But I expect it to keep getting better.  I'd have been very surprised if it was as evolved as Google maps on day one.

Lack of street view is also an issue, fortunately you can still use web-based Google maps.
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2013, 03:13:14 AM »

If past history holds, it'll probably be two or three weeks after the initial release.





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