Archives for: March 2011
I’ll admit, I frequent phone-related online sites and forums. I do it for two reasons: to help people with their problems, and to advertise this very site. One thing I do not use online sites for is to pick a fight.
I see fighters all the time - people who are upset about something, people who are looking to vent their frustrations, and people who simply want to be a jerk. Usually, I try to avoid them. But sometimes, their statements are so outlandish that I find myself wrestling with the need to respond.
The truth is, online discussion is flawed. Hell, even this site is flawed, despite our best efforts. But at the end of the day I fall asleep comfortably knowing that I’m trying to do right by those I talk to. I’m not a fight picker. But I have no problem being a cause taker.
We’ve talked at length about contracts, discounts, upgrades, and phone pricing until we got blue in the face. But there’s one phrase in this business that we have yet to spend much time on: the “free” upgrade.
I have issue with some of the statements finding their way around the Internet concerning AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile. Let me share some thoughts with you.
AT&T announced today the intended acquisition of rival and #4 US wireless carrier, T-Mobile.
The boards of AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG, owner of T-Mobile USA, came into an agreement that allows AT&T to acquire T-Mobile, in exchange for cash and stock worth approximately $39 billion. Also, Deutsche Telekom AG will receive an 8% ownership share in the combined business.
No word on how long such an acquisition would take to be approved and finalized. It is unclear at this time if the federal government will have issue with any of AT&T’s offer.
The full press release can be found here.
As a look back at the history of advertising will show, it is possible to create a consumer demand for a product that doesn’t exist yet. In a way this is the state of the marketing of 4G technology. There is a bombardment of ads proclaiming that carrier X can offer you the best of the “next generation” of mobile technology.
These ads play to a very specific information age consumer insecurity: technology becomes obsolete quickly. If you don’t adapt to the rapidly changing technology you too will be left in the dust.
The power of these ad campaigns and general lack of consumer understanding is evident in calls I receive from users of basic phones with no internet at all worried about not having the next generation of mobile technology.
Does the current state of 4G deliver on the marketing promise? What is a 4G network capable of? Are current networks even 4G at all?
Put on your high boots and join PhoneCan as we attempt to wade through the murky waters of marketing and confusing terminology to define just what is– the current state of 4G.
Many sites review new products before they are launched, and after having maybe thirty minutes with the device. Others are sent a test device to review, which allows for a little more time. And even a few others buy the device outright, review it, and keep it in their “phone closet” for some future purpose.
When we were asked to write up a review of the Xoom, we had a dilemma.
PhoneCan couldn’t afford to send anyone to CES a couple months back, so that type of review was out of the question. And the manufacturers surely aren’t going to send their products to be reviewed by a site that’s focused more on the empowerment of the customer than they are driving sales. So, that left us with only one option left: buy a device and test it.
So we did.
And our review comes after the break.
Some time ago, we helped you understand your battery - how it works, how to charge it, and how to make it last longer. A question we see from time to time concerns the other side of things: the charger.
Come along as we take a quick trip through the world of chargers.
Of all the questions and search keywords we come across on this site, there’s one that rises above all the rest: help me understand a Verizon Wireless upgrade.
This question is understandable, really, seeing as how Verizon’s upgrade policy has been rewritten a bit over the past couple months. But even before the changes, people were asking us for help.
Upgrades are really quite simple, but because of the recent changes, we’re going to split this answer into two sections: customers who signed their last contract in 2010 or earlier, and those who signed their contract in 2011. New customers will want to pay attention to the second section, as this will pertain to them as well.
Come along with us as we tackle the complexity of a Verizon Wireless upgrade.
On many occasions, we’ve been witness to confusion concerning the type of technology used by Verizon Wireless - some of which is also used by Sprint, MetroPCS, and regional wireless service providers. Of this site’s internal visitor statistics, we often see people searching for information about the wireless technology being used by Verizon. The information is actually rather simple, but the common consumer is probably confused by terms such as “1X” and “EVDO.”
Follow us after the break to better understand the technology that Verizon (and others) use, and what some of the technical jargon really means.