Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dont Fall for The AT&T Okie Doke!! [From the Blackberry Chronicles]

I'm always amazed how ape-shit ppl go over new Apple products. You couldn't even load the att website when the new iphone was announced bc all the iphone feens crashed the sight. Att is hilarious. They realized that they are utterly incapable of keeping up with the massive demands caused by the Iphone, so in an attempt fix it, their solution is..............stop using the network so much or we'll nickel and dime you out. But since they cant exactly cut your service against your will, they had to come up with a more alluring, seductive way to do pull this off.

If I believed in the market, I would have invested heavily in att about a month ago when they announced that they were no longer offering unlimited data to new users and revealed the new tiered data structure. Smart users will save a lot of money, but ppl who use their phone ignorantly will get raped. Once I get my new phone that will do all the things I currently don't do, the data calculator estimated me at 4.45 gigs a month. Att's "high end" plan is 2gs and $10 for every 1g over you go. Couple that with them raising the early termination fees on smartphones, (therefore, if you jumped ship just for the Iphone and are dissatisfied with terrible service, you're trapped or have to part ways with a kidney to go back to your old provider) att stands to make a killing.

Remember at one point, phone companies discontinued the unlimited nights and weekends (unless you already had it) bc of usage congestion and only offered 1000 nights and weekends. Remember when long distance wasn't included in your anytime minutes? Calling your neighboring state...and in some cases town, was an additional charge.

Sidenote: My first ever cellphone plan was 200 anytime minutes, long distance not included, unlimited nights and weekends, and I had it for a year before I ever went over (relationships are costly). My first txt msg plan was 200 msg... I average 1200-1700 txt msgs a month now. Can we agree that time and habits change?

Idunno about yall, but I would hold on to a grandfathered unlimited data plan (which they are discontinuing). At first glance, a $15 blackberry plan looks very enticing, but who knows what the internet will look like in 1-3 yrs. Look out for a few things here and on the horizon that will forever alter the next generation of cellphones. Here are a few reasons why you should hold onto your unlimited plan.

Video Calling: Although its currently choppy at best, if you can even connect a call, this is going to be the next mega-craze for smartphone usage. The Evo, Iphone 4 and a small handful others are a few that can video chat now. The quality is about as poor as pre-T1 speed webcam chat but will only get better. Soon, it will be as common as having a camera on your phone. You can't even find a phone today without a camera (they even have flashes that rival your actual camera). I would have preferred companies spent more R&D and fine tuned the concept first, but I credit these folks who pushed to be the first.

Tethering: It's bad enough that att charges you additional fees to do this, while other providers don't but with the tethering option, coupled with an unlimited data plan, you could make a wireless hotspot right at home without a cable or dsl internet plan. You can even use it anywhere with your laptop like an air card. You would definitely need an unlimited plan for this, otherwise whats the point? You think cell phone internet eats a lot of data imagine your computer internet usage? It transfers information to and from your computer even when you're not doing anything.

Video Texting: Att has a phone called "The Shine" and there are a few others that can already insert video into a txt message. Not a hyperlink, not an attachment. Yes. The actual video as streamline as those messages with pictures in it. After thinking "how fricken cool is that?" my inner nerd (shut up Denisha! He's inner I say!) couldn't help but think "that is going to consume a lot of data. Email can't even do that yet w/o youtube.

Wifi: If your wondering why you walk around with 2 spare batteries and bring your charger EVERYWHERE, its bc you probably have your WAP or wifi set to "on". Wifi is much faster than 3G (since its using a different network than what you use for voice) and can handle greater data transfers. This is perfect if you're trying to save $$ bc you can opt out of a data plan and just pick up a reliable wifi signal just like you do with your laptop. So what's the Achilles heal here? See first statement: since its doing more work and constantly checking for more reliable networks, its exorbitantly taxing on battery life, rendering it an unattractive option. As networks get faster and faster, unless companies do something to improve power management, more and more ppl will rely more on their data plans.

Blackberry Messenger: Yall know by now that if bbm was a woman, I'd massage her feet daily. I'm seriously about to get rid of or lower my txt msg plan (I haven't bc I had a conversation similar to this with myself) bc everyone I talk to most is on bbm. You can already have group chats, conference chatting, file sharing, send images, files and even record voice notes back and forth (how's that for a spin on free international conversations; feel free to steal that; you're welcome) its only a matter of time before video chatting is an option.

Multi Media Messages: Show of hands, how many ppl have more than 3 megapixels on their phone cam? Ok, now how many ppl have a phone cam that rivals most digital camera's? I remember when 3.0mp came out in the art/graphics/photography world, that was the death of "point and click" cameras and the 5.0+ was the nail in the coffin for film (outside of industry preference). Now they are making 5-10mp HD cameras on cell phones. Better quality = larger files = more data required to send those picture msg we send so frequently, a la "hey I bought some bomb ass new shoes - CLICK:::SNAP:::SEND- see!!??" You may not exceed 2gigs a month NOW, but 2 phones down the line you may. Which leads me to my last point:

Most users are oblivious of their data usage: Can anyone quantify the txt equivalent of 20 bytes of data?.......... The Final Jeopardy answer, "how are you?" I know this bc I had extensive conversations when trying to figure out an international data plan. Images and attached files are easy bc they tell you the file size but how much data is a 2 minute streaming video, Facebook page or even this blog? Plus these newer phones can do more like view flash, allowing you to watch hulu or netflix on your phone.

Sidenote: wifi and netflix kills my laptop battery life what pillage and desecration will it do to my poor wee lil cell phone battery?

Rumor has it that other carriers are looking to follow suite with the tiered data pricing. If history repeats itself, they may eventually bring back the unlimited plans as data/network supply catches up to consumption demands.....but what if we don't. Do we as consumers need to usher into a new era of limits, restriction, become more cognizant (thanks lady in red) and responsible and considerate about our data ussage?.............................................................MAAAAAAAAAAN, [UGHFFF] DAT!!! As much as we're over charged?!! Shooooot, I'll take a picture of my hand giving a middle finger, attach a voicenote of me singing "lalala," type "how are you" 100 times, and bbm that bitch to Mars if I damn well please!

Sent via The RrChitect by Some provider I refuse to advertise for.


Denisha said...

I totally agree! I had a facebook argument the first day I found out about the end of the unlimited plan. The person said I was dumb and the tiered plan was better. I said mathematics don't lie dumb dumb, $30 is better than the unlimited $10/per gigabyte clause that the tiered plans have. I said it then and I'll say it again, I am keeping my data package until the bitter end.

M. said...

Call me old fashioned, but all this new technology disturbs me. All it does is encourages people to not speak to and interact with one another. And I know first hand because modern cell phone technology only feeds my reclusive nature. So anyone that insists on being up to the time and down to the minute has to realize that these things come at a price...be it monetary or otherwise...

Lady in Red said...

"Cognizant" (sp)

Enjoyed the quasi-dystopian view...

R said...

@D I wouldn't call someone dumb, but the tiered plan does make a lot of sense for SOME users. i have relatives with smartphones, who for the life of me I cant figure out why. If you just check email and do simple to minimal web browsing, its a great concept. I just think getting rid of the unlimited was a bad idea.

@M Very true. In the course of a day I get over a hundred emails, dozens of txts, countless bbm's and probably 4-6 phone calls. Its so hermetic that some ppl you just meet will only ask you for your bbm and the first interaction is usually a txt message. I have some friends I dont speak to on the phone at all

R said...

Thanks Red, amended. I would emphasize EXTRA "quasi" (someone's been reading Mill). I dont see anything wrong with the world, its just the normal growing pains we go through on the cusp of any new technology. I love watching technology, but to me its not about the now, its about the trends. What has gone, and what's to come. Signs and trends. I just follow signs and trends.