A ramble, hopefully both amusing and thoughtful, on my recent buying experience upgrading to the iPhone 5 and why I am loving it now that it is in my hands.
I finally upgraded to the iPhone 5 over the Christmas holidays. I know, I’m a few months behind the curve and posting about it now may seem a bit out of date. I’d like to still share some of the things that came up for me in the buying experience.
What surprised me was the realization that I actually had two separate buying decisions to make – the device itself and the carrier I was going to use.
So first let’s look at the device.
I should explain that in the debate over Apple vs Samsung, for me it was more a question of which first. I’ve been contemplating creating a mobile app, and ideally will want to do this for multiple devices – so eventually will consider having both, and possible other devices.
I bought an iPad summer of 2011… seems so long ago now… for a milestone birthday and just ahead of a trip to Europe. With the Skype app downloaded and using WI-FI in all the hotels and homes I stayed in, it became my mode of communication while roaming. One of my Irish friends teased me that it was an iPhone for old people. That I could do everything you can do on a phone, only with a bigger screen.
The initial driver for the iPad was to move all my entertainment off my PC, leaving my PC to only being used for running office and business apps. I moved my 12G of music to the iPad, play my favorite games, view videos and have the apps for various TV channels, and sports stations. Also, I use it a lot to check my emails and use the Safari browser, and the camera. What’s changed over time is I use it a lot for my subscription based services, like Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, Facebook and even the Weight Watchers app. I’m also using it as a reader, purchasing some iBooks and uploading my own pdfs.
When I walked into the Apple store the other week, it was interesting to be posed the question – how do you expect to use it. They asked to inform the recommendation on size and help me to evaluate the different carrier’s voice and data plans. I asked myself… how do I know how I will use it, might my behaviour change once I have it in my hand, as it did with the iPad?
I expect to use a lot of the same subscriber type apps, email, safari, and the camera. Though leave the videos and books to the iPad. Being mobile, I expect I will also add on location type apps – even if to simply figure out what traffic is like before I pick a travel route. And will use it for online purchasing.
Calling patterns are interesting. I think that I might use it more for inbound calls then outbound calls. (There is a Canadian carrier now offering unlimited inbound, costs for outbound – a more European model). At my home/office location and with more companies allowing bring-your-own-device to work, there is a chance I will more often be on a Wi-Fi network. As well, I can still use Skype for any international and long distance calling.
So the size decision for me was the 32G. For the data plan I decided on 1G monthly – as I use a lot of apps, though with WI-FI use, I’m not sure if I will use that much. This type of plan often came with unlimited local GTA calling. One thing for me to watch out for is the under the hood use by any location based services.
In the end, all this looking at my behaviour and the various carriers’ plans was just an exercise. I had basically decided on the alternate. The Apple sales attendant nicely recommended I go home and call my carrier to find out all the ins and outs about costs to leave them. When I talked to them, they worked out a deal for me that was about 15 dollars less a month in order for them to keep me as a customer. Leaving me with the question of why can’t they offer that in the first place. This is part of my general dissatisfaction with carriers’ prices and locked in contracts.
The real love came when I got it home and it was so easy to get things up and running. It is now very easy to manage through iTunes what will be synced and not synced to the device. I’ve also finally cleaning up my outlook address book, to have one true store for my contacts and sync them to the device. I’m having fun trying out the apps I’m installing on it. And as I engage in my New Year’s resolution to get out there and walk, I have my 12G of music and favorite playlists coming along with me.