One of the most interesting editorial pieces we’ve ever written was our article, Hunting Down A Unicorn: The VPhone. For us, we spent considerable time last year working to get current information about the device, only to find none. In response to our article, certain representatives of Saygus, the company behind VPhone, started inundating us with emails and comments making various claims about our article.
Because it’s now been more than seven months since our article posted, we thought we’d do a little recap on the VPhone.
This is a follow up to our article titled “The Basics: Understanding Verizon’s Upgrade Policy.”
We get a lot of searches and questions from people trying to understand Verizon Wireless’ upgrade policies and discounts. Our Upgrade Policy article accounts for a lot of our traffic, but upon further review, we felt it might be prudent to follow up with an article explaining why discounting has changed over the years, and what it looks like today.
If you haven’t read the original upgrade article, please read it first.
And now… the fascinating world of Verizon Wireless subsidy.
“Let me speak to your supervisor!” These are words that many of us have uttered at one point or another. The words may conjure up images of ineffectual entry-level customer service employees who are unempowered to resolve any “real” issues. Maybe they conjure up images of customer service employees who don’t realize just how valuable your business is when you’re asking for something. Surely a supervisor will listen to reason. Or will they?
Read on for an insider’s perspective on escalating and what it does (or doesn’t) accomplish.
Last week, Verizon Wireless carefully announced that they were going to eliminate one-year contracts as an option for their customers.
The truth of the matter is, one year contracts likely comprise of less than 1% of overall contracts. We have no real data on this, but a long observation of the business tells us that the numbers are minimal.
The problem, though, is choice.
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.
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.
Apple recently officially announced the ability to purchase subscription-based content through applications in their popular iTunes market. This feature, which allows app developers to offer subscription based content through the app, is a feature that a lot of developers were looking foreward to; until they saw the cost.
With this change Apple is making it so that content providors who compete directly with iTunes and iBooks will no longer find it profitable to offer content on any of their devices. Not only is this an evil move on their part, but in the end it will be consumers like you and I who will suffer for it. Join us after the break as we go over some of the biggest changes, and what they mean for you and your favorite iDevice
The editors, writers, and contributors of this site frequent many online forums. We do this in conjunction with PhoneCan’s mission: to help consumers.
Our long-term goal, both as online citizens and as our own site, is to empower consumers to get the best price, the best phone, and the best experience - all by their own efforts. We provide insight into the industry, a view of how the business works from the inside, and how to speak the language of “wireless.” To us, education is the key to getting the best deal and the best situation for your needs. This has been the personal mission for each of us, even long before we joined up on PhoneCan. We’ve been a voice of compassion for the consumer, both in our personal and professional interactions, as well as on this site.
Now, we’re going to mix things up a bit.
While we aren’t changing our mission to empower and educate consumers, we’ve decided to add to that education. We’ve decided that it’s long overdue for a wakeup call to certain parts of the consumer base.
It’s time to tell it like it is.
At the time of this article, we are a day away from Verizon Wireless announcing their first 4G phones. Speculation has run wild in the last year concerning an Apple iPhone coming to Verizon in early 2011. Everyone, media-wise, seems to have input on the issue, and has for some time (with a poor track record of success). The inevitability of an iPhone for Verizon is indisputable. Everything else about it, however, is.
PhoneCan has been trying to hunt down one of the mythical unicorns of the wireless industry. No, it’s not the Verizon iPhone. That’s referred to as the Magical Unicorn Pegasus iPhone. This is something else, entirely.
No, what we’re referring to is the Saygus VPhone. For those familiar with the model, they will immediately recognize a phone that has never truly materialized. For those unfamiliar with the phone, we will help you understand what the phone was specified to have when it was “announced.” We will show you how it’s popped up from time to time across the Internet. And, we will tell you why we think you’ll never actually get to hold one.
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