Savings on the Go!!!

As the economy begins its recovery, many of us are looking for ways to save a few bucks.  The other day, while shopping with my daughter at the mall, I saved over $20, just by using the very device that is by my side everywhere I go – my mobile phone. 

Remember the days when you had tons of coupons from mailers, newspapers etc and you forgot them at home?  Now all you need to do is turn on your mobile device, download one or many of the apps below and start searching for coupons, while you’re in the store!  No printing is usually required and many of the sales associates are aware of this common practice, which requires you to simply show the coupon on your phone. 

Here are some of the apps I would recommend (all of which were free in the Android Marketplace – other App Worlds/Stores might charge a fee, but these apps will pay for themselves):

GeoQpons

This app can be used along with your GPS to figure out where you are and what stores are in the vicinity.  If your store doesn’t show up or GPS is off, you can do a search for the store.  If a coupon exist, it will likely be on this application.  The app also has some nice additional features, including a Shopping list, a Wish List, Savings Calculator and Barcode integration to check pricing.

  

Coupons

Similar to GeoQpons, Coupons will also use GPS to figure out your location, if turned on.  Coupons also provides discounts that can be used right from the phone, but also shows discounts that can be obtained via e-mail sign-up.  Coupons main page provides the average gas price in your area, making you want to use the coupons provided, even more…

  

AAA Discounts

 

If you are a AAA member, you can get this app and it will provide all the AAA discounts offered in your area.  I didn’t know this, but apparently, New York and Company offers a discount for AAA members (don’t hold me to it, I am only going by what the app tells me).  You can also put your AAA membership number in the app, so if you need assistance, you can call right from the app and they will know your location.

 

Entertainment App

Do you have one of those Entertainment books and always forget the book when you are out?  Well, the app cannot act as a replacement for coupons in the book (it will tell you that there is a coupon for the store, but direct you to your book), but it can help for coupons that don’t require the book itself.  In addition, if you are in a store and you see there is a coupon, it will at least make you aware and you have the ability to save the offer, so you remember to clip the coupon (I am not sure about you, but I get overwhelmed whenever I start looking through the book itself).  What I have also found helpful, is letting the app find my location, so I can note all the coupons in my area.  I then go and save these under saved offers, so I know to clip, when I go to those retailers.  Membership number can be put right in the app, to validate you are a member.   

 

Foursquare

I reviewed this app awhile back and a lot more has been done to it since that time.  I will not go into a lot of details on the app itself other than to say there are some nice deals that can come out of Foursquare.  For example, I was once the mayor of Sports Authority in my area.  As a result, I received 10% off my purchase, any time I walked into that store!  There is also a coupon for a free Chips and Dip any time you go into a Chilis.  Some might think Foursquare is just a gimmick to check into places and let your friends know where you are, but as I wrote in my review, there are many practical uses – like saving money!!!

While there are probably many other apps out there, these are some of the ones I have found most helpful.  Even if you can save a little along the way, it can make a big difference in the end.  Happy savings!

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Amazon App store is now live – free Angry Birds Rio today!!

The much-anticipated Amazon App store for Android has finally gone live today (link provided below).  Even better, to entice people to use the site, Amazon is offering Angry Bird Rio, an all new exclusive Angry Birds game to the Amazon store, for free! 

I haven’t had much time to check out the site myself, but I will be checking things out today, and getting my copy of Angry Birds. 

When you get a chance today, head on over to the Amazon App store, let us know what you think and get your copy of Angry Birds today!   

http://www.amazon.com/mobile-apps/b/ref=sa_menu_mas2?ie=UTF8&node=2350149011

*Photo above taken from Amazon.com

AT&T and T-Mobile Merger – It’s a Sprint to the Finish…

So AT&T has bought T-Mobile…what a surprise.  Did anyone believe something like this wasn’t bound to happen, eventually?  Did anyone ever think that it wouldn’t be AT&T and Verizon in the end, just like the US and Soviets during the Cold War? 

Well, hold your virtual horses for now because the deal is still pending regulators consent, but let’s pretend  just for a moment.  Let’s pretend that the merger is approved and AT&T absords T-Mobile USA.  What does it mean to the others?

The Consumers – right off the bat, I think consumers will prosper over this merger.  The merger gives AT&T more resources; for example, they can now utilize T-Mobiles infrastructure.  More resources, mean more leverage, which means lower costs in the end.  AT&T’s ability to lower costs, will likely spark competition and force competitors, like Verizon, to lower their costs.    Many might argue the consumer will lose here because there are fewer choices and greater potential for a monopoly.  Let me remind you a monopoly means one; even if we are left with Verizon and AT&T, it’s not a monopoly.  You might have less choice, but honestly, right now, I’d rather have 2 good choices, than 1 great choice, a good choice and a few sub-par choices.  In addition, for those worried AT&T and Verizon would collectively dabble in unfair business practices under Anti-Trust laws, do you really think these 2 companies could ever play nice together?

The competitors – Sprint is in trouble.  Sprint had hoped to merge with T-Mobile, but that is obviously not going to happen with this proposed AT&T merger.  Now Sprint is going to be running for its life with little room to breath.  They have little leverage to compete with the competitor’s price points and honestly, they don’t have the products either.  My suggestion here is for them to work out a deal with Verizon (like they would actually ask for my suggestion…).  They share the same CDMA technology, so it seems like a match made in heaven.  Worried a Verizon/Sprint merger would never be approved, you say?  Well, if the regulators approve the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, they are kind of setting a precedent to approve a Verizon/Sprint merger. 

Of course, there is still much to go before we see a completion to any official merger.  The merger must now be approved by the government, so it will be interesting how all of this plays out in the coming weeks.

The Thunderbolt has arrived – will lightning only strike once for extending your unlimited data plan beyond this Summer?

 

Today marks the release of the much-anticipated HTC Thunderbolt from Verizon.  So why was the Thunderbolt such an anticipated device?  Besides having a cool name, the reason is because it is the first 4G (or LTE…however you prefer to call the next generation network) phone on the Verizon network.  While it is the first phone on 4G, many are asking should I go out and buy one, or a more common question asked specifically to me is, will I go out and buy one? 

If you would have asked me a couple of months ago, I would have said, no, I’m waiting, simply because there are a bunch of other 4G phones on the horizon, and I am also curious what the iPhone 5 will have in store (despite not likely being on Verizon until next year..imo).  Of course, that is if you asked me a few months (even weeks) ago.  I have since started to think (I do this every so often) and it hit me how well Verizon has played its hand these past few months…that’s assuming my assumptions here are accurate. 

Let’s look at some of the facts so far:

  • Verizon just released the most popular smartphone ever on their 3G network, the iPhone, locking people into a contract for at least the next year (likely 2 yrs).
  • Verizon has stated that the unlimited data plans will be going away, likely sometime this Summer.
  • Your rate is usually locked in, at least until the end of your plan term, or you make changes to your services.

If Verizon starts to not offer unlimited data plans beginning this Summer, if you are already locked into the unlimited plan, you will likely be grandfathered in and able to stick with unlimited, at least until your contract is up for renewal or until you make a service change (there is a gray area here, so these are the assumptions).  But, if you are one of the people who makes the change from 3G to 4G after the unlimited is phased out, you will likely be in the position where you have to take one of the new “limited” data plans. 

So while waiting for the other phones could be a good thing, it could also work against you because making the service change from 3G to 4G, later this year, could force your hand in forfeiting your unlimited plan for one of the new limited data plans (depending when Verizon makes the change from unlimited to limited only plans). 

Also, all the people who signed up and got an iPhone are trapped in the 3G world until their contract expires; unless, they go out and buy a new 4G phone at full cost.  By the time the iPhone users are up for renewal, I assume most of the new phones will be on the 4G network, so even if you are grandfathered on the 3G network, you are going to eventually have to make the change to 4G, hence likely going to lose the ability to stay on the old unlimited plan. 

The best case scenario than is to be one of the first in on the 4G network before anything is changed.  Once on the 4G plan, as long as you stay with 4G and don’t swap out onto a different data plan (ie.  Blackberry Corporate vs. Smartphone), you should be grandfathered into the plan.  Even if your contract expires, I wonder if you would still have the ability to keep the unlimited…hmm?   

Remember, a lot is assumed here based on what has transpired for me in the past with Verizon.  I don’t work for Verizon, nor has anyone from Verizon confirmed any of these assumptions to me.  I am clearly speculating, based on what I have seen from being a Verizon customer the past 10+ years.  I can tell you I ran into a similar situation with the mobile hotspot/tethering service and it wasn’t until I let my Blackberry go and hooked up my Droid that they changed my tethering plan from the, no longer offered, $15/unlimited, to the new $20/2G plan.  If I would have kept the Blackberry, I would have continued to enjoy the $15/unlimited tether option, since I was grandfathered into that service option.  

For all we know, Verizon could just make everyone change their data plans; regardless of when your contract expires, or phase people out based on some internal algorithm.  The data plans are just considered an added service, taken on a month to month basis, so they likely have these options without going against your contract.  On the other hand, they could  just grandfather all loyal customers into unlimited, although this is very unlikely – probably more likely they just keep the unlimited plans and just raise the price.   What I do know, is I would rather take my chances now and move to a 4G unlimited plan with the chance of being grandfathered in, rather than take that chance later, knowing they will more than likely take away my unlimited once I change over. 

It might be time to get out the lighting rod, and get into some of this thunder, before it’s too late!   Thunder….Thunder…Thunderbolt…Hoooo!  (yes, I had to say it…I grew up in the 80s, I couldn’t let it go…snarf…snarf..snarf…okay, I’m done)

Things your Parents didn’t tell you – Netbook or Tablet??

Are you like one of the many people I have spoken to recently, trying to decide what is the right device for you?  Do you need a very mobile device, but are not sure if you should go with the traditional Netbook or get caught up in the tablet hype?  Well, I can tell you first hand, I own both types of devices and there is a time and place for each of them.  What I hope to accomplish here, is provide a little bit more insight on the pros and cons for each.

Netbook

What is it?   A netbook is a stripped down laptop that runs the same type of  operating system, your typical desktop or laptop runs.  Some netbooks these days are borderline laptops and vice versa, but generally a netbook sports a screen size between 10-13 inches, does not have any CD/DVD Drives and is less powerful, than your average laptop.  Netbooks are designed to provide portability and efficiency, hence the small screen sizes and less impressive specs.  They were originally targeted at people looking for a more economical  system that would allow them to surf  the web, check e-mail and perform basic pc tasks (ie.  MS Office).   Today, some netbooks are a bit more powerful, like the one I am typing on right now.  Mine houses a faster processor and graphic card, but comes at a price, specifically, greater cost and  6 fewer hours of battery power than your average netbook.  It’s all really personal preference.  The bottom line is a netbook is good for anything that will require you to type a lot and  jump between applications.  If you are like me and want to work remotely every now and then and need to link into another desktop or device, a netbook would provide the perfect blend of functionality and portability.  If you are a blogger, like some others you might know, and will be doing a lot of typing, a netbook would also meet these requirements. 

Tablet

What is it?  It’s an iPad…okay, just kidding, obviously there are more tablets out there than just the iPad.  A tablet is a flat device with a touch screen that allows you to do various tasks.  It runs a mobile operating system, like iOS, Android, or WebOS.  What are these mobile OS I speak of?  Do you have a smartphone?  If so, you have a mobile OS on your phone.  As you already know, one of the advantages of how your phone operates is instant gratification.  Another words, as soon as you turn the device on, it is ready to serve you.  Even when you completely reboot the device, it comes back to life, ready to roll, fairly quickly….of course, unless you have  Blackberry…sorry RIM, but 11 minutes to reboot my Blackberry Storm 2 was never a fun experience (at least it was consistently always 11 minutes).   This leads me to one major advantages of a tablet – it’s always ready to go.  There are no long boot times.  If you are looking for a very portable device, that you can turn on and off without delay, the tablet could be for you.  If you have a smartphone, and love it, but find the screen too small, then the tablet is for you.  If you want that device you can sit on the couch and surf the web, the tablet is for you.  The tablet provides quick, on demand portability.  What it won’t provide is the ability to multi-task efficiently between applications or type well (although the tablet is making strides here with 3rd party products). 

Still confused on what this all means?  Here is the quick and dirty rundown: 

Netbook

Pros

  • Fully functional OS – true multitasking and integration with other devices
  • Easier to type (for the most part)

Cons

  • Slower start-u whether full boot-up or just being “woken”
  • Harder to manuever, while in transit – opening and closing screen and typing..there’s a reason they are called laptops (and physically, other than size, a netbook is inherently a laptop)

Who would benefit most – users looking to work remotely, bloggers, students, people who want a more portable device to their laptop, economical alternative to a laptop or desktop replacement

Tablets

Pros

  • “Always ready” – little wait to boot up and ready to serve when needed
  • Easier to use on the go – no keyboard and completely flat
  • Inherits same full functionality a desktop would have since it uses same OS

Cons

  • Multi-tasking between apps is very challenging
  • No keyboard built-in other than touch screen
  • functionality is limited since it runs on a mobile OS and not the same OS a full-blown desktop would run on

Who would benefit most – couch surfers (Internet), users who are looking for a personal assistant (portfolio) replacement, students (as a supplement to a netbook), workers in the field that normally carry client info (ie. sales, real estate, Dr,  etc.), e-readers who want the best of all the e-reading device world.

How to Protect the Vault that Sits on Your Belt

 

Have you ever lost a credit card or wallet?  Maybe a purse?  How did you feel – pretty anxious about the whole situation, right?  I bet you ran to the phone and started cancelling credit cards and changing pin numbers.  Now imagine if you lost your wallet/purse, your file cabinets, personal files in your safe, computer hard drive and broadcasted all of your personal information to a total stranger – how would you feel?  Well, if you are like me, then if you were to ever lose your mobile phone, you would be in that same predicament. 

Mobile devices are always going to carry a high risk of being misplaced or stolen.  That is the nature of carrying a small device around with you everywhere you go.  So how would you protect yourself, if you lost your phone?  Who would you call?  You could try, well, your phone and hope someone answers, but what if they were up to no good and weren’t taking messages?

If you’re a corporate user, and using some type of corporate interface solution, like Blackberry Enterprise Server or Mobile Iron, you’re in good hands.  You can likely just call your help desk and have them send a remote wipe to your phone.  But what if you’re not on a corporate network? 

This takes me to one of my biggest concerns as a avid mobile device user – security.  Since I like to put my life story on my phone, I know I need to make sure the security setup is bulletproof.  I need to make sure my data is safe and cannot be compromised remotely.  I need to make sure if I lose the device, I have the ability to find it, or make my data a distant memory on it.   

When I was on my Blackberry, using my corporate BES, I didn’t really have much concern around security.  Blackberries  are one of the most secure mobile devices around.  The problem was moving to an open source Android device that put more emphasis on innovation than security and made me sweat at night.   

 

In order to compensate for the security issues, which I now faced with my Android, I went into the Android marketplace and began looking for a security solution.

In the marketplace, I found various security choices, but the one I liked best was an application called Lookout, which has a $29.99 yearly fee associated with it for the Premium edition (don’t panic, the lite edition is free and still very useful).  There is also a 30 day free trial period for the Premium.  I downloaded the application, after reading lots of positive reader reviews and began playing with it. 

The application, in a nutshell, provides the following benefits:

  • Virus/Malware Scanning
  • Privacy Advisor
  • Data Backup
  • Missing Device

 

 

Most people today have heard of a computer virus or malware.  They range from benign to severe and can cause major headaches.  While smart phone viruses are not as common, they are out there.  Lookout has a feature that will scan every application you put on your device and any file you open. 

Privacy Advisor analyzes apps that access your location, identity information or personal messages. 

The Data Backup function does exactly that – it backs up your data to a secure remote server, maintained by Lookout.

Missing Device is in my opinion the most important feature of this application.  If you were to misplace your device or be a victim of theft, you could go onto any internet connected device, log into your Lookout account and discover the location of your phone!  (assuming the phone is on and GPS enabled)  In addition, you could send a remote command to the phone and have the memory wiped (including any SD cards).  If you lost the phone locally, say for example, you just couldn’t find it in your house, you would also have the ability to make the phone ring. 

As I mentioned Lookout Lite is a free application, but costs $29.99 a year, if you want the Premium features.  Of course, one of the most important features, the remote wipe, is a premium feature, so I would have to recommend taking the plunge and spending the $29.99.   The one challenge with security is how to quantify ROI.  $29.99 might seem like a sunk cost each year when you have no issues, but lose that mobile device just once, and I guarantee you will pat yourself on the back for a well spent investment.

Check out Lookout at http://www.mylookout.com/

 

ConclusionA Must Have

 

Practicality Score 5.0 / 5.0

Practical use – Data / Personal Security

Target Market – people who want the piece of mind that they have taken the necessary precautions to protect the data on their phone.  Especially targeted towards people who keep personal and confidential information on phone 

Alternative Apps/Competition – Corporate Solution like MobileIron or BES, Smartguard

iUpgrade?

I have been getting a lot of questions from friends on whether they should make the switch to Verizon’s iPhone.  While some of them are on AT&T, most are already Verizon customers, wondering if this is a good time to upgrade.  In a previous post, I made some compelling reasons (at least I thought they were compelling), to not necessarily get a Verizon iPhone.  Let me restate what I meant by that post and go into a little more detail.  I do not believe it is the right time for me or someone who is like me, to get a Verizon iPhone.  I am not saying no one should run out and get one.  In fact, I am ecstatic that the iPhone is finally on Verizon’s network, and it took every bit of energy not to pull the trigger on ordering one, during the pre-sale.  So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and find out if the iPhone is right for you.

 When I say it is not the right time to upgrade to the iPhone 4, let me say, I believe it is just not the right time to upgrade…period.  There are so many things going on in the mobile world right now and with the Mobile Congress coming up in Barcelona next week, I expect a ton of new devices announced.  Here is what I expect in the coming months:

  •  A new line of Android devices – we already know about the Thunderbolt and Bionic, both supposedly coming to Verizon’s 4G, but there is also chatter about a new Moto Droid and HTC Incredible.  In addition, Sony is set to announce the Xperia, which is an Android based phone setup to play like a PSP. 
  • iPhone 5 – I am not necessarily convinced Verizon will offer the iPhone 5 when it is released, but it is rumored to be coming to a service provider near you this summer.  I expect it to hit AT&T first, but it would only be a matter of time before it is on Big Red. 
  • 3G vs. 4G – I emphasized how putting the iPhone on the 3G network was a good move for Verizon.  I am not sure if it would have been even feasible getting a 4G iPhone manufactured at this stage of the game, but I’ll give Verizon credit regardless of the true motive.  With so many people moving to the Verizon iPhone, I expect some risk of Network overload.  I am not saying Verizon will crash or have major problems, but I expect minor bottlenecks and slower transmission rates, especially in very populated areas.  On the other hand, while the masses move to the iPhone, there will be these high powered, state of the art Android devices on the new 4G.  Hmm…Faster network, less capacity – sounds pretty tempting to me. 
  • Timing – in a few months, we should all have a lot more information to make a better decision.  There are so many rumored devices coming to the market that if you take the plunge now, you might regret that decision before you’re even 4 months into your contract.  It’s possible that when all the smoke clears and you have all the relevant facts, you decide to still get an iPhone 4.  What did it cost you – a few months?  A few months for the opportunity to make a better sound decision – that’s not asking for a lot.

So who should upgrade to the iPhone now and never look back?

  • You don’t need to have the latest and greatest.  You’re just going to be happy to have an iPhone on Verizon.
  • You don’t care about upgrade costs – no one is saying you can’t buy an iPhone 4 now and then upgrade to the 5 when it comes out.  It will just cost you hundreds of dollars more to do so.  
  • You still have a flip phone.  Let’s face it,  any smartphone on the market is going to make you feel empowered. In addition, if you still have a flip phone, then I am pretty sure the first bullet also applies to you.   Go for the current iPhone, ease your way into the crowd and feel confident you made the right choice.  

 For those who decide to get the Verizon iPhone (or have already gotten one), I congratulate you on your new device.  I am sure you won’t be displeased with it.  For those who decide to wait, be patient, and be sure to check out this site for all the upcoming rumors and my take on some of the new devices coming to the market.

Why I won’t be getting the new Verizon iPhone (Spoiler Alert!)

Shocking…I know.  I have been preaching the iPhone on Verizon and hyping this moment for at least the past year, and now that it has been officially announced, let me say…I won’t be rushing out to get one.   

I am excited it has been announced on Verizon.  I love that there is more competition to ATT and better variety now on Verizon, but I do not believe this is the right phone or time to upgrade to the “i” for me.  Of course, that’s not to say it is not the right choice for others.  I certainly wouldn’t tell everyone to not go out and get one.  I just wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone, especially given the hype around it.  Let’s see why…

When the iPhone news was released, there were some important details released along with it that lowered my expectations for the initial iPhone on Big Red.  

Specifically, these include the following:

  • It will be a 3G phone;
  • iPhone 5 is already in the works for a possible announcement this Summer and will likely be dual GSM/CDMA (means you can take your iPhone to ATT or Verizon);
  • HTC Thunderbolt;
  • Verizon has restructured its upgrade policy and eliminated the one year early upgrade option;
  • iPad

So what does this all mean and why do I even care? 

Well, for starters, I have to applaud Verizon for their strategy (assuming this was all part of the plan).  As they are getting ready to launch their new LTE (4G) network in certain major cities, they are opting to keep the iPhone on the 3G network.  While it would seem to make more sense to put the newly announced iPhone on the 4G network, it actually makes more sense for them to keep it 3G.  The iPhone hype alone is going to get people to buy this phone and I don’t think keeping the iPhone on the 3G network is going to deter many people, who have waited for what seems a lifetime for this event.  Verizon could probably put it on an old analog system and people would still buy it.   For the people who are deterred because of the lack of 4G, this is good for Verizon as well because those consumers will likely look to the new Android phones, hence keeping the Android stakeholders happy.  In addition, for Verizon, who makes out either way, they are allowed to slowly migrate their 3G customers over to the new LTE, keeping both sides properly load balanced.  Eventually, the LTE network will be ready to take the full load and you will see more phones on the LTE system, likely including a future generation iPhone.

That takes me to the iPhone 5.  While it is rumored to be announced this year, I am not sure if that means it will be released, or just unveiled.  Normally Apple takes little time between the announcement and the release time, which makes me believe the release date could be as early as this summer.  If a new iPhone is on the horizon that will likely be better, why would I upgrade now to an iPhone 4?  Especially when you consider by the time I would be able to upgrade again, I might be looking at the iPhone 6… 

Not only is there a new iPhone on the horizon, but the Android phones that are due for release in the coming months look to surpass the iPhone 4 in certain areas.  For starters, let’s look at the HTC Thunderbolt.  This phone will sport a 4.3 inch display (which is a little big, but I expect phones in the same class with smaller screens to be released soon as well), a lightning fast processor and will allow…wait for the drum roll please…simultaneous voice and data, all on the new LTE (4G) network!!!!   So while it is exciting to have the iPhone 4 on Verizon, you have to ask yourself, is it your best option at this time, or would it be better to go with a high powered Android device on the latest 4G network and wait for a later more matured Verizon iPhone?   Recent rumors have the Thunderbolt coming out later this February, with many other Android phones right behind it. 

Decisions…decisions…  Either way, you  better be sure you make the right choice because your next phone at a reasonable price might not come as soon as you think…

Which leads me to the next issue – the new Verizon policy.  As many already know, Verizon provides a discount (promotional) price on mobile devices.  That means if the phone retails for $559, Verizon will sell it to you for, let’s say, $199.  The only catch is you have to sign-up for 1 or 2 yr contract and cannot get another promotional price until your contract is up for renewal (or close to it – 22 months for 2 yr deal).  In addition to being able to upgrade every 22 months for a 2 year deal, many subscribers had the option to upgrade “early” after only 12 months into their contract, for a minimal fee (which I never heard of anyone actually getting charged).  Effective January 16th, Verizon has done away with the early upgrade option and now will make everyone wait 20 months (they were nice and eliminated 2 months from the 22) until they are eligible for an upgrade.  Now I know that is only 8 more months than an early upgrade, but this is modern day electronic gadgetry we are talking about – 8 months can be an eternity!!!  You can always opt for just a 1 year contract, but you are going to pay a lot more upfront for the phone, even with the promotional price.

It is also important to mention one other reason factoring into my decision to not get the Verizon iPhone – the iPad.  With the iPad 2 rumored to be released April of this year, I am now ready to take the plunge and get the newly improved device (as I predicted would be released around this time, after noticing some things missing on the first generation).  If I am going to pull the strings on an iPad, why would I also get an iPhone?  I rather have the luxury of both iOS and Android at my fingertips and an Android phone and iPad would best fill that desire.  Of course, if you are not like me and don’t need every gadget known to man and have no desire for an iPad, this really doesn’t apply.    

The bottom line is we are at a point in time when there are a lot of new options on the horizon.  Verizon has a new LTE network that will be getting some pretty cool and powerful Android phones.  You have rumors flying around that the iPhone 5 is close to being announced and will sell on both the Verizon and ATT network this summer.  Add to that the more restrictive policy around upgrading early and you really need to stop and think which smartphone is the best choice for you and at what time does it make sense to upgrade.  Don’t just get caught up in the Verizon iPhone hype; make sure it’s the right choice for you.  You waited this long, what’s a few more months.   

This is why I won’t be running out on February 10th to get the new iPhone on Verizon.

It’s official – iPhone 4 to Verizon!!!!!

The much-anticipated announcement of the iPhone 4 on Verizon’s network was officially announced today at an 11am Verizon press event! 

*****UPDATE*****

So after taking in the news for a bit and reading some more details on the iPhone release, officially set for February 10th, I have some thoughts. 

3G vs. 4G

As many might know, Verizon was very excited this past week at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) to announce their new LTE network (4G – latest and greatest – in a nutshell – faster!) and all the new devices that will reside on the network this coming year.  Verizon announced a bunch of Android phones that would be released on LTE.   Unlike these devices, the iPhone will not be released on 4G, which actually doesn’t surprise me.  Let’s face it, people are going to run out and buy the iPhone for the phone itself and not care what network it is on.  Why not keep it on the 3G network, which is proven and let the new Android phones go on the 4G network, allowing the network to grow at sustainable levels and creating a nice load balance.  This allows the iPhone hype to settle and keeps some people who might have considered the iPhone, but had an Android, loyal to Android, since they can reap the benefits of the 4G network.  I expect the iPhone to go 4G eventually (likely will require a new phone), once 4G is more mature, but for now 3G is the smarter choice. 

AT&T Loyal

People who stick it out with AT&T might see improvements in their performance.  With some estimates coming in as high as 30% for AT&T users that might migrate to Verizon, this might actually help AT&T in the end.  If AT&T has 30% less usage volumes (pure speculation), then network performance should prosper.  Verizon users might actually take a hit and see  degradation in their performance with the increased traffic, but my hope is Verizon took this into consideration.  Bottom-line, things will level off with users finding the provider that suits them best. 

I look forward to the coming weeks to see how the iPhone hype on Verizon plays out.  If you are in the market for one, be sure to go onto Verizon Wireless’ website and sign-up for updates.

Verizon iPhone release date Feb. 3rd?

According to multiple articles posted on BGR.com, Verizon and Apple will likely release the iPhone on February 3rd. There are reports of Apple employee vacation blackout periods and extra staffers being scheduled for the period between Feb 3-6.  This follows in line with the way the iPhone 4 release was handled.

I will try to post the links to those articles a bit later, but if you check out bgr.com, you should be able to find them.

There is also mention of iPad 2 being CDMA compatible (Verizon), which has always been the speculation.