Sorry AT&T, I’m just not that into you


I know we’ve been going steady for three years. I really loved last Christmas when you got me that new phone for free. But I didn’t know that meant we had to keep seeing each other for another two years. I just don’t get it — you can still be my carrier if I get a new phone.

I just don’t want to pay an early upgrade fee and be forced into another two-year commitment if I get an iPhone. It’s not that I’m afraid of commitment. Really. I love the $10 line I pay for.

But I want more. And I don’t want to pay the $5 a month fee for a measly 200 text messages and $30 a month for Internet access that you won’t let even let me hook up to my computer. In Europe and Asia, iPhone users with other carriers can do this, so why can’t I without hacking the device?

I’m sorry to go behind your back, but on Wednesday, I spent all night with an iPod touch in my bed. I wanted to buy an iPhone, but I’m so glad I didn’t.

About 95 percent of Apps cross over from iPhone to the iPod touch, about half of which are free, an Apple employee told me. Currently, there are 41,000+ applications. The major drawbacks for the iPod touch are not having a camera for pictures or videos and being dependent on wireless LAN spots. Fortunately, my small college town where I work has free Wi-Fi downtown.

You see, text messaging and phone calls are now free. Applications for the iPhone and iPod touch like Textfree Unlimited cost $6.99 a year, and ad-supported “lite” versions with limits on the number of messages sent are free.

With the AIM application, I spent a one-time fee of $2.99. I then sent an AIM message from my iPod touch to a friend’s cell, who informed me about the six-digit number received. Now, others can send texts to that number, and I have no limits on the number of messages sent or received and no monthly or annual recurring costs. (Other free text messaging services only provide an e-mail address, which mobile users can respond to and save for future use, but friends and family can’t initiate that first text).

With the 3.0 OS system for $10, a feature called Push sends me updates so I don’t need to manually check each application.

With Skype, I can call others for free who use the service. There are some costs if I want to call landlines or mobile numbers, and there is an annual fee to set up a mobile Skype number so that non-Skype users can call me. Sure I’ll need to buy some earbuds that have a mic, but I think this PDA could be the one.

AT&T, I just don’t want to pay $20 a month for unlimited texts. Even your business buddy at Apple said so. “It’s nuts because there’s so much more bandwidth needed for one phone call than 1,000 people texting.”


Stay tuned with my RSS feed to keep updated on more App coverage this week. Coming up: how news orgs are looking in all the wrong places.

Recent applications downloaded:
QuickVoice Pro: record voice messages, which can convert the audio into a transcribed e-mail. (free): Internet radio station that plays songs by bands similar to a band you choose.
NPR Addict (free): news in audio and text formats.
Accept Credit Cards (free): process a banking transaction for a customer on the spot and e-mail a receipt.
Google Reader: I bookmarked my page, which is probably my biggest use for the iPod touch and getting news.


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Filed under Customized, iPhone & iPod touch, New business models, The Ombud

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