Archives for: November 2010
This week, as you contemplate buying wireless phones as part of your overall Black Friday Shopping War Plan, we would like to give you a few pointers.
For those looking for Black Friday buying guides, there are several sites with buying guides being continuously updated. There’s so much out there that even the big sites struggle to keep up. As such, PhoneCan is glad to point you in a few directions for help. However, keep reading, as some of the things we have to say may save you a little bit of money, or a whole lot of frustration.
I’ve been in the sales portion of this business for a long time. I’ve worked with irate customers. I’ve gone through bills with a microscope. I’ve seen computer glitches, and I’ve seen user errors. I’ve seen irresponsible parents, and I’ve seen irresponsible spouses. I’ve experienced a multitude of different scenarios, most of them not very pretty.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
A little over a year ago, the Droid Landed on Verizon Wireless. No one knew what it was, and up until that point “Android” was something from a Sci-Fi film. 13 months ago, the “Best” phone on Verizon was a Blackberry like the Storm. (Yes, I went there). Verizon phones had the reputation of being locked down, “crippled” and just generally “uncool.”
The concept of a smartphone didn’t make sense to a lot of people. To them, smartphone meant “getting my work email on my phone when I’m on vacation.”
Fast forward to this week and Android is the fastest growing operating system in the world, with dozens of handsets on carriers around the globe. The term “Droid” is part of our common language now. If I told you I was looking at a Droid, you might not know exactly what I’m talking about, but chances are good you’d know I was talking about a phone.
So what happened? What changed the market so drastically in an insanely short period of time? The answer is that little device you see at the top of this article, the Motorola Droid.
Join the PhoneCan staff after the break as we look at why the Motorola Droid was different, and how it changed everything.
One questions we often hear concerns discounts for employees of companies that use a particular brand of wireless service. The truth is, most companies have such discount.
At some point, someone in wireless discovered that extending the same or similar discount to the employees of a company as they do for the company itself was a good idea. Employees become more loyal to a wireless carrier when given a discount for their employment, and the word of mouth inside the workplace is an added bonus.
Swype is a downloadable keyboard that allows you to “type” on the screen without having to lift your fingers for each letter. You touch the first letter, then slide your finger to the next, until you get to the end of your word. The app will predict your word, usually getting it right on the first shot, but if it questions the keys you swiped, it will let you confirm the word. Words with double letters have no need for finger lift or sliding off the key - it figures that out for you. So, you spell the word “looking” as if it were “loking” and it will come up correctly as “looking.”
Swype ran as a beta test on Android for most of this year, but it currently closed. There is no indication of when the app will be made available officially. As such, the app has become quite the sought-after gem. But, if you’re good at digging around online (like we are), you can download the beta test now and try it on your phone. Follow the instructions below to download and install Swype Beta for Android.
If you haven’t been around the Internet phone sites in a little while, you might have missed a few articles about Verizon Wireless testing a promotional plan with select customers (as in, select markets) called Talk and Text Plus. In a nutshell, the plan reduces the monthly price plan of someone using a single or primary line with unlimited text AND a smartphone with unlimited data. This reduction is done with a special price plan that credits such a user $20 a month, effectively making their unlimited smartphone data plan $10 each month, and creating a pricing structure similar to Sprint’s all-inclusive data plans.
This promotional program has caused a bit of a stir in some online forums, due to the fact that not every representative in Verizon knows about it, not every representative even has access to it, and only specific markets were targeted. So, while thousands of people are discovering the discount through online sources, not everyone is eligible to receive the discounted plan.
To follow up on our October 6, 2010, post about the launch of the Motorola Citrus, a starting-point (read: sub par) Android device with minimal specs that still manages to put the Motorola Devour to shame, today Verizon Wireless announced that the phone would be launching tomorrow, November 11, 2010. The phone will run $49.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, naturally with a two-year contract, available in stores and online.
Details available at Verizon Wireless.
Today, Verizon Wireless announced that they would soon be launching the Samsung Continuum, a Galaxy S smartphone sporting Android 2.1 software. The phone launches at stores and online on November 11, 2010.
In related news, Q of the Q Continuum stated in his own press conference that he is “not at all amused,” and vows quick and snappy retribution.
Cellphones are expensive. You’re either paying every month for a phone you’ll only use in an emergency, or you’re paying significantly more to actually use the devices. But it’s not a luxury expense anymore.
Our lives are increasingly mobile, and the expectation is that no matter where you are, someone can reach you if they need to. On top of that, we like having this connection (at least on most days). The ability to call someone from the road without having to find a payphone, or upload pictures of your vacation to the beach while AT the beach is something a lot of us enjoy.
But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s expensive.
Yes, you can get a phone with unlimited “everything” from a prepaid carrier for just $50 a month. But what if your spouse wants one too? Then you’re looking at $100. And what if you have kids?
That’s where family plans come in. Family plans allow you to purchase a “bucket” of minutes, text and sometimes data and then add additional lines for a nominal fee, decreasing the cost per line significantly. If you have two of more people looking to get cellphones , this is a great way to lower your monthly bill without resorting to sacrificing features that you want.
But what are family plans, who offers them, and what questions should you answer before signing up for one? That’s where PhoneCan comes in. Join us after the break, and we’ll answer those questions, and more.