Friday, January 14, 2011

Waiting for the Verizatt iPhone

This week Verizon Wireless formally announced what is probably Apple Computer's worst kept secret, that the next carrier for the iPhone would be Verizon. Predictably, the media coverage of the event has fallen on the usual talking points. First up were the Apple Haters. The report usually went Apple Choosing Verizon for the iPhone is a good move, but it is too little too late, and soon google and Android will rule the world aah ha ha (Evil Genius laugh added by me). Next up were either the Apple Lovers or, conversely, the AT&T Haters. The report went sort of like this A Stroke of Genius by Steve Jobs. Every smart phone sold in the world will be a Verizon iPhone by February 11 and by the end of the month of February AT&T will be a distant memory as it disappears from the world as quickly as the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz.

Of course neither is likely to happen. Android may pass iOS, and then iOS will probably pass Android, etcetera ad infinitum ad nauseum. Both are here to stay. So is AT&T. A company with links to Alexander Graham Bell isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It will survive.
Since I have experience with both companies via their landline divisions, I have decided to ask Apple that the next iPhone be the Verizatt iPhone, or the Sprin-T-Mob iPhone, or something like that. Maybe a better option would be an unlocked phone that could be used via Pre-paid cards. It would redefine the notion of 'Throw away" phones.  Who would throw away an iPhone? I wouldn't.
Here in the Northeast, Verizon runs the landline phone industry as a virtual monopoly, and they have the largest and best Cell Coverage. However, they have the worst customer service. You go through endless voice mail choices, and most of the time the voice recognition says I'm sorry, I didn't understand that response. When you finally get through to a real human, they are all concerned about understanding you, and they promise to fix your problems, but after a half dozen calls all that has happened is you have spent hours on the phone with customer service at best, and at worst, Verizon landline has decided to put multiple services on the same account, or bumped you to an expensive package without asking you for it. If just one person at Verizon wireless ever worked at Verizon landline or Verizon Online, it is too many.
AT&T may have a poor coverage area, but, in my landline experience, they have the best customer service. When I originally signed up for my landline I was asked to choose a long distance carrier. I Picked AT&T. At the time you would only pay for a call you made, but things moved to Packages where you paid every month regardless of whether or not you made a call. I called AT&T and asked if I had to have long distance, when I learned I did not, I canceled the service, and the whole process took about 10 minutes and one call. I have used calling cards ever since.
Instead of "Throw Away" phones, Maybe Apple should just start a Cell-Phone Company, or buy one. It's about time the phone companies learned to Think Different.